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80-year-old Brightwaters Guesthouse restored and reopened

An interior shot of the Brightwaters Guesthouse An interior shot of the Brightwaters Guesthouse

The 80-year-old Brightwaters Guesthouse and surrounding property has been restored and reopened as rental housing.

Maintaining the history and integrity of the original property was a top priority for Michele Azan and Elisabeth Perez when they purchased three acres with six homes 2½ years ago to begin their rental business.
“Although all the houses and the land were in need of repair, we fell in love with the property and its rich heritage when we had our first site visit,” Michele says. “We immediately saw the potential and have dedicated the last few years to lovingly restoring and renovating it.”

The Brightwaters Guesthouse, on U.S. 64 west of Laurel Park, is the biggest home on the property. The large stone building was originally built in 1938 as an 8-bedroom, 6-bath guesthouse. Founder Samuel Childs built the Brightwaters Guesthouse and Lodge and Dining Room, as well as 25 cottages on 400 surrounding acres, now known as Brightwater Heights. The resort, called Brightwaters Estates, and was frequented by guests, primarily from Florida, looking to escape the summer heat and enjoy the cool mountain air. On the grounds of the Guesthouse, Childs converted an 1800s one-room schoolhouse into a dining hall for guests.

Today, the Brightwaters Guesthouse takes back its original name and has been restored to its former glory, exposing the 1930s hardwood floors and tongue-and-groove paneling.
“This has certainly become a labor of love as we have made progress on the property,” says Elisabeth Perez. “We have found old postcards from the original guesthouse at vintage shows, we have met many members of the Childs family who have graciously shared stories and details about the history, and we have learned much about the architecture of the buildings. We are proud to be celebrating the 80th anniversary this year with increased marketing, pop-up $80/night guest discounts, open houses, property tours and community collaborations.”

To see a listing of all the rental properties for Brightwaters Vacation Rentals, visit brightwatersvacationrentals.com. For more information contact Michele Azan or Elisabeth Perez at 828-513-0528 or vacationhomenc@gmail.com. The Brightwaters Guesthouse is holding an Eightieth Birthday Celebration and open house from 5-7pm Tuesday. The address is 119 Tioga Trail.