Let me start by saying the owners, Van and Deb, are great! They are super friendly and happy to make suggestions for things to do. Van was quick to correspond via email prior to our stay. The house was very clean, and my wife loved the floor to ceiling windows. We also loved the short, and non-strenuous hike to Roaring Fork Falls, which starts right across the street from the treehouse.
The sheets on the master bed were inside out, which was a little weird, but they seemed to be clean. We really appreciated the kitchenware and condiments, even though the condiments seemed to mostly be leftovers from previous guests (one bottle of horseradish sauce had expired long before our trip). With the exception of the soap, the toiletries were the same—seemingly leftover bottles from previous guests.
The caveats mentioned in the title don’t apply to everyone and are not necessarily the fault of the owners, but in full disclosure, future renters may want to be aware of the following, or the owners may want to consider making some updates to their properties page and amenities:
First of all, before making the trip, I emailed Van to ask if we should bring firewood to use with the advertised fire pit (I chop and season my own wood, so this wouldn’t have been a problem). He told me there was plenty of firewood for us to use, but when we got there, I found all the firewood to be too wet for use. Furthermore, the fire pit is just one of those small metal ones you can buy from Lowes (maybe a 2’ diameter), and the metal grate/spark protector was dented with holes rusted through it. To be fair, this is technically a fire pit, and I didn’t ask Van if he had dry firewood anywhere. Honestly, I did not feel like bothering him due to the next caveat about which I’m going to write.
TripAdvisor lists the property as Pets Allowed, and that is one of the main factors I took into consideration when renting this property. Our stay was from Friday to Sunday, and we were planning to go tubing on Saturday, which would require us to leave our dogs at the house. These plans had to be cancelled because when we came back from dinner Friday night, we found Van outside the property, seemingly upset because our dogs were barking. He told us we should have told him we were bringing pets, having pets entails a pet fee, and if we were leaving them at the house unattended, they would need to be crated.
This is completely understandable to me, but I’m not sure how I should have known this information. It is not stated anywhere on the TripAdvisor property page (at least it wasn’t when I booked the property), so I guess we were just supposed to know? Van said there isn’t a place to list this information on TripAdvisor, but I think it could easily be put into the properties description, or where additional fees are listed.
Anyway, having never used TripAdvisor, I was under the incorrect assumption that if a property is listed as Pets Allowed, with no indication about stipulations to the policy, we would be fine bringing our dogs and leaving them at the house for short periods of time, unattended and uncrated. If I had known about these unlisted requirements about pets before booking the property, I would have made other plans. To be fair, Van did not retroactively charge us a pet fee and the full deposit was returned.
Oh, and the mountain views listed in the amenities and shown in a least one picture are a bit dubious, at least in the summer with the foliage. The house is situated above a motel (also run by Van and Deb), and my idea of mountain views are not ones that can be seen from this property.
Again, these caveats may not be a problem for others. The views may be spectacular in the fall and winter, and they may have dry firewood then too. If you have pets and don’t mind crating them, make sure you let the owners know they are coming. My wife and I would definitely consider staying her again, but it would be with the knowledge we gained after our initial stay. In fact, I have already recommended the Tree House Cottage to a colleague of mine.