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Lake Guntersville’s famed ‘Hooper House’ thrives as a charming Bed and Breakfast

Few towns in Alabama are more beautiful than Guntersville. Located on the southernmost point of the Tennessee River and surrounded by a stunning 69,000-acre lake, downtown Guntersville boasts quaint local shops and exquisite cuisine. It is also home to the most charming bed and breakfast in North Alabama.

Known locally as the “Hooper House,” the historical home was built in 1910 by brick maker Alexander Hooper who used bricks from his own brick-making factory. Eventually, the house was turned into a bed and breakfast, complete with seven rooms, one of which – called “The Hooper Room” – features an exposed brick wall, showcasing the rich history of the home.

Lake Guntersville Bed and Breakfast/Facebook

In 2015, Michelle Louze bought and completely renovated Lake Guntersville Bed and Breakfast, adding four and a half bathrooms and turning the unfinished third floor into a large game room. Big porches adorned with inviting rocking and adirondack chairs wrap around the house. Inside, each room is cozy and comfortable and nearly all of them have direct access outside. A delicious homemade breakfast is included each morning, as well as plenty of coffee, snacks and drinks throughout the day.

“It was a big overhaul,” Louze said. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Back when I bought it, there were definitely people who knew about Guntersville, but things have changed a lot in the last six years. We have a lot of really, really good eateries here. I tell people all the time it’s like our little hidden gem.”

Owner Michelle Louze/Contributed Sara Watkins

Originally from the panhandle of Florida with a background in photography and catering, Louze was actively looking for a bed and breakfast to run, when she came across the Hooper House on her first-ever visit to Guntersville, a town she never knew existed. What started out as a more culinary-driven venture has grown into so much more for Louze and the B & B.

“So many things have come out of it,” she said. “Things I didn’t even realize I would enjoy. I’m a social person, so I do like people; you have to in this business. That part is really fantastic. But even interior design; I get to decorate and I get to change rooms out as often as I want. I enjoyed upcycling before I bought the B & B, so I have a huge outlet for that now. Those are some things I didn’t anticipate.”

Lake Guntersville Bed and Breakfast/Contributed Sara Watkins

Something else she couldn’t predict: Meeting so many people from all over the world who come to stay at her bed and breakfast.

“I stay in touch with some of the guests from other countries,” Louze said. “And some who are even somewhat local come so frequently, I consider them family.”

It’s the guests as well as the other businesses in Guntersville that drive Louze’s passion for local hospitality.

“Some of these businesses are an attribute to why I call this ‘our little gem,’” she said.

If planning a stay at the Lake Guntersville B & B, Louze recommends visiting Stach & Co., Hadwin House, The Soak House and Soapery, as well as dining at places like Rock House and Old Town Stockhouse to maximize your time in the Lake City.

 

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