2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, sleeps 6
About Sue Cloutman
I am 4th generation on this property. My husband and I manage the rental cottage, which was built in the early 1900's, since my parents gave up management in the 1970's. I love watching people enjoy the lake, boats and surroundings as much as I have all my life. My husband and I are fortunate to have retired here in 2002.
Sue Cloutman purchased this Cottage in 1898
Why Sue Cloutman chose Gilmanton IW
This is a very unique spot with lots of history and of stories which, given a chance (watch out!) my husband will tell you in great detail as you sit on the peir dangling your feet enjoying the sun. It has the best view on the lake of the Belknap Range and the lake itself. The drop off is gradual and therefore wonderful for kids (of all ages!) My grandkids spend hours playing in the water and/or the beach and have made many friends through our guests. I made life long friends from people I met here when I was a child as have my now adult girls. It's rewarding to see parents who came here as children now returning with their children and in some cases their grandchildren. Crystal Acres has a genuine 'family' atmosphere.
What makes this Cottage unique
Crystal Acres has all the benefits of a resort vacation without the big resort. Parents often tell us it's the most relaxing vacation they've ever had because there is so much for the kids to do without having to leave the place and yet they don't have to worry about where they are because it's not that big! There's always shuffleboard, games to make up or set up (croquet, bocci, whatever!) on the lawns, the beach which provides hours of 'lots to do' fun and then there's the water! You do have to pay close attention there but chances are you'll be in the lake with them! Families all love the boats too and we provide the life preservers. In the evening, bring your fishing rod or make s'mores by the fire pit. You'll marvel at the stars you can see over the water. Such a wonderfully relaxing piece of heaven!
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 10:00 am
Dogs considered. No cats.
Minimum age of primary renter:21
Max guests:6 (sleeps up to 6 adults)
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
A Great Outdoors Family Vacation
My wife and our two boys, aged 2 and 4 were looking for a place close to a lake, but far enough away that our boys couldn’t simply run into the water. We didn’t want to be on top of a steep rock wall to get to the lake either. We wanted a place we could bring our family dog. We wanted a place that we could enjoy a good old fashioned family vacation. This place checked all the boxes. We had been to Winnipesaukee before and loved all it had to offer, but had found it hard to find a house to rent that offered all of the things we wanted while being in our price range. Not to mention that we wanted to have a nice beach on a lake. The beach at Crystal Acres is perfect for the children to play, the dog to enjoy and for my wife and I to go and sit in one of the Adirondack chairs and watch the kids in the refreshing lake against the most beautiful backdrop of the Belknap mountains. Both the Cloutman’s and other guests are respectful of others while being warm and appreciative that you chose their place to stay. They provide paddle boats, row boats, and life vests amongst other things for you to enjoy the lake. We don’t get as much time with our kids as we would like and I was so grateful to have taken my older one for a row boat ride onto the lake. It was the definition of family and/of father son bonding.
There are 2-3 cabins/homes on the property so you will most likely see others on the property throughout the week. Everyone is very friendly while also being polite and respectful that everyone else is there for the same reason...their own vacation. We were lucky enough to have been there when the Cloutman’s had there daughter, son in law and 2 grandchildren there. They couldn’t have been a more accommodating family. Our children played together and we enjoyed their company, but they were also so attentive to letting us enjoy our family time. From the property we made regular trips to Alton bay, weirs beach, Harts, and to Storyland, and felt as if we were both in a secluded beachfront lake spot in a beautiful clean refreshing lake while being minutes away from all that Winnipesaukee offered. Our family is so grateful to have found this property and these hosts to have enjoyed our summer vacations the past 2 years. Time seems to slow down when you’re there. For a family that’s always on the move and doesn’t get to enjoy our own time together much, Crystal Acres gives us exactly what we need.
We truly enjoy this family. They are respectful of the property and fun to have a round. I look forward to seeing them again.
Ideal family vacation in an absolutely idyllic setting
Our family had the most wonderful week staying in the "Villa" at Crystal Acres. The cottage itself was so cozy - the bathtub, laundry and TV with Netflix were a huge bonus for a family with three small children! The kids loved running around the property with Sue's (the owner's) grandchildren, jumping off of the piers, playing shuffleboard, digging moats in the sand with the large collection of sand toys, making s'mores in the fire pit, and touring the beautiful lake in the canoes, paddle boat, kayaks, various inflatable floats, and especially the kids kayak! Sue and her family were absolutely lovely, and we loved hearing about the history of the lake and the property - what a special place!! We felt like the cottage was just the right mix of being in a secluded, quiet location, while being within driving distance of civilization for grocery stores and little trips out to dinner or ice cream around the bigger lakes (we went to Weirs Beach, Wolfboro, to the Speedway in Loudon, and for a hike up Mount Major). Sue and her family have a wealth of knowledge and great recommendations for tucked away spots to check out around the area too. We can't wait for our stay on Crystal Lake next summer!
These people were so much fun and so easy to have around. The adults as well as the kids all hit it off which made it extra nice for all of us. Plus they left the cottage in wonderful condition. Hard to do with 3 children 5 and under!! Look forward to having them back.
Really nice location
We really enjoyed everything about this stay. The owners were very helpful with anything we needed. The location was so peaceful and stress free. The lake is beautiful and having access to everything(paddle boats, canoes..) you need to have fun on the lake was a great bonus. We had no problems with the villa we stayed in and the enclosed porch was very nice also. We would recommend this place.
These guys were wonderful! They were here a few days during Bike Week. Lots of fun, very respectful of the place and even updated our Wifi! I hope we see them again.
Beautiful beach, kid friendly,family vacation spot
We use home away quite often and we rely on the reviews before renting a property. When I write a review I try to be very honest so there are no surprises.
First of all the lake is beautiful, the best beach on the lake! Sue & Art are kind enough to allow use of all the kayaks, boats, floats ect. which we took advantage of. The cottage was clean, and well stocked for cooking. The cottages are as described and have a very authentic feel to them.
There are tons of nearby activities, other lakes, places to eat ect. close by.
Sue & Art are very nice, and right there to help should you require anything.
That being said you should understand this is for families with kids . The owners are very close to the cottages which gives no sense of privacy.You REALLY need to be quiet after 10pm. 90%of the time it was just my husband & I. We did have friends up (4 people) all 40 yrs and older a couple of times. We were playing cards on the back porch laughing and talking , not "whooping" it up and were all in bed by 11pm on a Friday night. The next day we were told we had to keep it down because voices carry in the woods. We were very put off by this since we are very respectful of other people and were not playing music or being loud and obnoxious. After that we felt like we had to be very quiet and worry that we were disturbing others.
There are NO locks on the doors. I inquired about this and Sue said "nothing has ever happened". We were not comfortable with this as no-one can keep an eye on things at all times , especially at night. We also locked our computers ect in the car when we left the cottage and feel that locks are a must in today's society unfortunately. We understand the owners want to keep the old fashioned feel of the place, but we felt this needed mentioning.
An under the sink water filter is a must. The odor of the water is really terrible. We honestly were disgusted by the smell. We know it's safe to drink , but you surely wouldn't want to!
Spiders! If you have a phobia you will have an issue big time! Giant spiders are outside the screens at night. One of our friends was completely freaked out. A regular perimeter cleaning and bug spraying needs to be done on a regular basis.
Overall I would recommend this HIGHLY to families with children for the reasons stated.
Had other renters mentioned the issues we had, I would have looked for something more private.
These renters were a lot of fun and we certainly enjoyed their stay. They and their grandchildren really seemed to enjoy themselves. I was very surprised by these comments.
After the first night they were here, she asked me if they were too noisy. I did tell her that sound carries. However, the noise was not from playing cards on the lakeside porch, it was on the driveway side while they were outside smoking and on their phones after 10:00. Our concern was for our other guests who had commented. Not for ourselves.
There ARE locks on the doors. I'm sorry she didn't see them and wish she had told me. I don't remember her doing that. There are sliding bolt locks for the inside and pad locks for the outside.
I apologize for any odor she noticed from the water. Again, we were unaware of this since no one else, including our cleaning crew, has ever mentioned it and I've never noticed it myself. We encourage our guests to let us know when they have a problem.
Concerning the spiders...We do occasionally have big spiders outside the cottages. We sweep them down regularly. Most families tell us the kids are fascinated and it's not a problem. Again, if it is a problem, we sweep them more often. Spraying is very toxic and we would never do that especially when there are children and pets around.
We can not address concerns our guests may have if they are not brought to our attention. I am sincerely sorry these folks had these problems.
A perfect family vacation spot!
We had a wonderful vacation at Crystal Acres this summer! We have 2 kids (under a year and 4 yo) and it was just a perfect spot to bring them to. The villa is just steps away from the lake, without the need to cross the street which was great for our daughter, we felt very safe. There are tons of sand toys and floaties on the beach which was a cherry on top! The beach is very kid friendly: shallow entrance, docks, clean sand, clean water. There are kayaks, a canoe, a pedal boat - everything you might want on a lake (life jackets are also provided)! We had a few nice walks (very stroller friendly) around the lake. The villa itself is very cozy, we loved the fireplace and the porch especially! We had a few rainy days, and we used them to explore the area around (the Weirs beach with the arcades was quite fun and Tilton was a good shopping experience). Sue, Art and their entire family were so welcoming and such nice people, it was really great having them closely! We can't wait to come back! Thank you so much for the wonderful week!
This family was a lot of fun and were wonderful guests. They were very friendly, respectful of the property and my grand daughter enjoyed having their daughter as a playmate.
We look forward to having them back again.
Wonderful place for a relaxing and fun family vacation
We loved our vacation at Crystal Acres! We found the cottage to be exactly as described. It was comfortable and very well equipped and maintained. All five of us, and our dog, had a great time. It was just steps from the cottage to a beautiful sandy beach. We had lots of fun swimming and kayaking, relaxing in the sun, and also just taking in the amazingly beautiful views of Crystal Lake. Sue and Art were very friendly and helpful. We just came back home, but are already looking forward to returning to Crystal Acres!
Hendrick was back for another week this year (2015) and we really enjoy this family. They are respectful of our property, polite and easy to talk too. I hope to see them again.
Crystal Lake is ideal for swimming, fishing, boating or just playing in the sand on our 200 feet of beach front. Included is free firewood for the outdoor fire pit or indoor fireplaces, use of a rowboat, canoe, paddle boat, shuffleboard, 3 piers and a raft. We are only 15 minutes from Lake Winnipesaukee and 30-35 minutes from wonderful restaurants, Loudon Speedway, Weirs Beach, movie theaters, hiking, golfing, arcades, water slides and outlet shopping. Wireless Internet. Pets welcome @ $150.
Other Activities: One of the longest zip line in the US is only 30 minutes away at Gunstock Mountain Resort.