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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Mathews' Mansion, a cabin by a mountain lake

Bedrooms 2
Space 800 sq ft
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

2 bedrooms, 1 bath, sleeps 3. 1 couch. Dishes, cutlery. Steps to lake.

Long overdue for a lazy afternoon in a hammock? How about a rocking chair overlooking one of the most pristine lakes in the world? At Mathews' Mansion, a small cabin on a lake full of fish, you will find a bit of heaven. No clocks, phones, or TV's, only rest and the rustling of maples. Bring your camera for some great nature shots. Chipmunks, hummingbirds, and raccoons are common visitors. Smoking okay on screened-in porch.

Lake is great for bass, boating, swimming. Santeetlah Marina is only a quarter of a mile. Hike the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and other lush trails in the region. Take a drive on the breathtaking Cherula Skyway. Nearby streams & rivers are world-famous for fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. Ride the choo-choo from Bryson City to the Nantahala Gorge. Visit a pow wow at the nearby Cherokee Reservation or see the outdoor drama. Try your hand at ruby mining. Go antiquing for quilts & carvings. Cycle, or just relax!

Tail of the Dragon: Mathews' Mansion is close to the Tail of the Dragon, the famous curvy Highway 129, which attracts sports car enthusiasts and cyclists from all over the country. Along Cherola Highway one will view spectacular breathtaking mountain views. For more details visit our website.

Cherokee Artifacts: Did you know that Cherokee artifacts have been found in Lake Santeetlah? Stop at the Cherokee Museum in Robbinsville to see what local residents have found while walking the shores. While there, visit Chief Junaluska's grave site. Take a drive through the Snowbird reservation and picnic at one of the creekside tables. Always keep your eyes open, for you, too, might find a Native American relic!

More Details

Marsha Mathews
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english, spanish, Spanish call Aura 828-479-8737. MATHEWS MANSION
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 17, 2018

About Marsha Mathews

I am a professor at a small college, an author of three poetry books, a mother, and a grandmother. I love my cottage on Lake Santeetlah and named it Mathews Mansion when I inherited it from my parents. I have enjoyed fixing it up, one project at a time, from the septic tank to the roof. When the economy fell, I started inviting guests to stay to offset the costs of property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. It's a lot of work, but when I'm there, I feel like I'm in a tree house overlooking the lake.

Why Marsha Mathews chose Lake Santeetlah

This property is exquisite, set in among some of the oldest mountains on the earth. The wildlife intrigues me because I grew up in Florida where birds have much longer legs. In addition, each season brings something new, especially autumn when the leaves turn red and gold and flutter in the breeze like butterflies. The screen porch is where I spend most of my time, rocking, reading, watching the lake, the chipmunks, and listening to songbirds.

What makes this cabin unique

This is not a place to party. it is a place to relax and retreat from the hubbub of daily pressures. It is great for those who want to hike, kayak, or simply rock in the rocking chairs. Only an hour or two from river rafting, Cherokee, DollyWood, Gatlinberg, Asheville. Chief Junaluska's burial site is right there in Robbinsville (6 miles) and a small museum and Native American garden.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We really enjoyed our visit. Such a quiet restful place! We had a great time exploring all the nearby areas – even got pictures of the elk at the Great Smoky welcome center. Thanks again for sharing your mansion with us.
Jul 2015
  • 1 of 2


Lake Santeetlah Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Bring one set of queen sheets and, if needed, twin sheets, and plenty of towels for swimming, rafting, boating.
Location Type:
  • Lake ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Monument View ...
  • Mountain
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 3 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Floor tile, showerhead, sink, and faucets.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Snug-a-Bug - 1 twin/ single , Bring Linens
    Patchwork - 1 queen , Bring linens with deep pockets that fit thick mattress.
  • Pillows and mattress pads provided. We have closets! The couch is comfortable for a child to sleep but is not a pull-out.
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Games ...
  • Games for Kids
  • Toys ...
  • Beach Chairs
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Fish Cleaning Table
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Wood Deck
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • laundromat
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
You will love this place. It's the perfect retreat as long as you like being near hemlock and laurel, mountain air, and the flutter of hummingbird wings. Gatlinburg is not far away. Cherokee's close, too. Please bring lots of bath towels because you'll use them after your dip in the lake. There's a sandy beach around the bend of lake, roped off for safe swimming. Or take the steps down to the water in front of your cabin. Mathews' Mansion is on a cul-de-sac. Even non-walkers enjoy walking around the mountain, the next road up, scouting for rabbits, ground hogs, raccoons, and other critters. Community leash law. Come in autumn if you wish to see a spectacular display of foliage.


Very Good! 4/5 -
(15 traveler reviews)

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Mathews' Mansion, a cabin by a mountain lake
average rating of 4.0 based on 17 reviews

Very small

  • 2 of 5

Beautiful scenery but very small and over priced. Tub doesn't drain properly, heaters cause the circuit breakers to flip off and smells musty.

  • Submitted: Oct 23, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 3 of 5

The view was beautiful. The only thing would be to fix the oven. It gets to hot. the tub doesn't drain like it should.

  • Submitted: Sep 4, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Unplug and relax!

  • 5 of 5

Great place to get away from it all or to use as base to explore the area. The cabin was exactly as described, very clean and had all the basics we needed for our stay. Can't beat the view from the deck.

The only downside for us was that the lake access in front of the cabin was limited. There are steps down to the lake that end in a concrete slab (no dock). While it is Ok for launching a kayak, the last step is fairly high and could be a problem for young kids and the elderly to get in and out of the water and the overhanging branches make fishing difficult from the step. With that said there is a great swimming beach at Cheoah Point (about 2 miles away) and a fishing pier at Massey Branch (about 8 miles away).

We will definitely stay here again.

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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It serves its purpose, as a place to stay, but there are definite problems to be fixed.

  • 3 of 5

So, I'll start off saying that it definitely serves the purpose it needs to, a place to eat, sleep, and clean, as well as coming with a gorgeous view, an amazing location, and a price that can't be beat, there are problems that need to be addressed. First, the smell. The first thing that greets you when you open the door is an incredible musty smell. It's borderline overpoverpowering but was bearable after airing out the House. Second, the sleeping situation. This house is listed as sleeping for 4, but there's only beds for three, so one person is going to get stuck with the couch, which isn't a pullout bed style couch, it's just a couch. And the smell is horribly musty. Third, just some miscellaneous problems, the beds being hard, the boat launch being so underwashed it's borderline dangerous, and a rodent that had taken residence in the cabinets looking for the chicken nuggets left by the previous rentors. I will say though, the deck area is amazing and this house would be perfect if we didn't have to go inside. And to be honest, this house would be perfect if all these problems were fixed.

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Holly, for your fine comments. To be sure, this is a cabin in the woods and gets its share of mice and crickets. I have notified the cleaning crew but asked them not to set traps for fear a child will get a finger pinched. I have asked that more Damp Rid be placed inside to absorb some of the moisture. When you have a place on the water, humidity is an ongoing problem. The listing has always said, "Sleeps 3 comfortably" and explains the size of the beds and states that the couch is NOT a pull out. Mathews Mansion is a small lodging and not a party place, simply a back-to-nature experience.
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Quiet lakefront cabin.

  • 3 of 5

I always enjoy staying here to avoid crowded urban areas. The weather and proximity to good hiking trails is important to me. I look forward to returning again.

  • Submitted: Jun 25, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great location, nice house, great times

  • 4 of 5

Our family had a great time staying at Mathews Mansion. The location is great-- convenient to the Cheoah Point swimming beach, not far from Joyce Kilmer and Slickrock Creek hiking trails, and convenient to Robbinsville restaurants and stores, also.

The house had everything we needed for cooking meals.

The lake view from the porch is beautiful.

There is a nice staircase leading down to the water which would be a perfect place to load into a canoe.

One piece of advice-- air out the master bedroom for a while (maybe use some Febreze, too) before putting your clothes and linens in there. The lakeside/musty smell is really strong in there, and it kind of permeated all my clothes before I realized it. You might consider buying some DampRid to help keep that problem under control.

  • Submitted: Jun 21, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Andrew, I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed your trip to this majestic lake. Also, thanks for your suggestions on removing the musty odor in the front bedroom. I have notified the cleaning crew, and they are getting the Damp Rid from storage to place in the bedroom closet. We use Damp Rid during the winter when the cabin is closed up, but I guess this is a particularly damp season and need it now, as well. It sounds like the positives outweighed the negatives for you, so I hope you will come back again soon. Marsha
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Unto These Hills
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Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Visit Chief Junaluska's grave site in Robbinsville. There is a medicine trail of herbs and a...
Yellow Creek Falls
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Cheoah Beach is at Lake Santeetlah
Car: necessary

Right at the Tail of the Dragon, this cottage on Thunderbird Mountain overlooks Lake Santeetlah, which is surrounded by pristine National Forest. Steps make it easy to hop in for a swim or to board your kayak. With the appeal of a cabin, complete with rocking chairs on its screened porch and a hammock ready to hang, this peaceful abode also sports a large deck with benches and two comfy yard recliners. The marina down the street offers boat rentals and water sports equipment. Ten miles in at Robbinsville, see the Native American Museum or a few miles further, you will find white water for fly fishing, rafting, and nature galore. In driving distance to Cherokee, Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove where you will see deer and maybe even a bear.

Other Activities: Mining for rubies and garnets; nature photography, berry-picking, bird-watching, horseback riding are all close by. Gambling is now available in Murphy, about 45 minutes. Boat rental is available at the nearby Santeetlah Marina or Dayton Camp Boat Rentals (828) 479-7422.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

A liability waiver will be provided by the proprietor. The waiver must be signed and sent along with payment.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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