The Shaded Crest transforms into hidden getaway resort

Jody and Shaun Manus took over The Shaded Crest resort in July 2022, and started the renovation project on Jan. 1, 2023. Photo by Scott Baughman


Tucked away up a small hill just above a curve on Memorial Highway in Lake Lure are six rental cabins that provide an oasis of relaxation for busy visitors and a fun getaway for traveling souls.

The Shaded Crest is a resort going through a rebirth under new owners Shaun and Jody Manus. Three of the six cabins have been renovated to update the property from longtime owners Werner and Patricia Maringer who had previously operated the 8-acre resort with a European theme as Gaesthaus Salzburg. After Werner passed away, Patricia ran the property as a Bed and Breakfast herself for some time but decided to retire.

In July of 2022, Shaun and Jody took over and began the renovation project on Jan. 1, 2023.

“Ms. Patricia is just a force and a great inspiration to us,” Jody said. “We kept her cat after she retired because it was so used to being outside and she couldn’t do that at her new home.”

The six-cabin resort property sits on 8 acres of heavily wooded land just off Memorial Highway and five minutes from Lake Lure itself. Three of the cabins have been fully renovated with more work to come later this year. Photo by Scott Baughman

Alongside the two dogs and one cat that Shaun and Jody brought with them that means there are plenty of animals waiting to greet visitors to The Shaded Crest. And the goal is to make the entire resort pet friendly soon.

“There are six units, and we have renovated the front 3 – everything is now (Americans with Disabilities Act) friendly with the exception of the driveway which we are working on,” Jody said. “The upstairs of the front unit is a full bedroom, and the unit has a full kitchen. The downstairs unit is kind of more of a studio – it has an induction portable cooktop but not a full kitchen.”

In addition to reworking the cabins, the project also included changing out the decks and other outdoor areas for a more modern, yet rustic look.

“We did all new decking and all new interiors with new kitchens and bathrooms and new furnishings. We’ve been working with Vick Knight from Knight Strategies on the exteriors. We plan to shut down again in November of this year to redo the pool and garden space to put in a new hot tub and a fire pit,” Jody said. “The plans are coming together, and we are working on some 3D modeling to show people on the website. We are also hoping to do the interiors up next to the pool. Right now, there are two side by side studios and we are going to redo those.” 

The idea behind renovating and restoring the resort wasn’t only about updating to a modern look.

“For us it was important that every cabin have a space you can sit outside even if it rains,” Jody said.

Visitors both old and new seem pleased with the project so far. “We were fully booked for our first weekend at the end of May,” Jody added. Her 20 years of experience as a manager for a theater in Los Angeles and work for a concert promotion company have come in handy as she and Shaun work to promote the new resort.

But they understand the importance of the property in the history of Lake Lure. 

“I think this being a prominent place in history it has helped with the recognition and recurring people are excited for what we are doing,” Shaun said. “People are glad it is being revitalized. Local businesses are still referencing the German place on the hill. A few visitors want to visit every year and follow the story.”

One major change from the previous incarnation is that the resort is only cabin rentals – it’s no longer a Bed and Breakfast of any kind.

“We aren’t doing food,” Shaun said. “But we are happy with you cooking our own stuff. And we might offer local ingredients for you to cook.”

Shaun said when they do that the focus will be on local providers and local ingredients – like eggs from local farmers, maybe some local charcuterie.

“And Pisgah coffee,” Shaun added. “The whole focus is climate friendly and local – we want the shopping to stay east of Asheville and not much farther down than Black Mountain.”

But Shaun said the most important ingredient for the success of their business is caring and attention to detail for their guests.

“I really love taking care of people and offering an opportunity for relaxation,” Shaun said. “I just know to make sure people feel safe and welcomed in the environment. And you can be social and hang out at the pool, or just close the door and hang out by yourselves. We had a couple that came with like two coolers worth of food and we didn’t see them all weekend and they had a great time! Other guests come see us to ask what we are up to and if we can hang out. We have so much acreage so there are many experiences possible.”

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