At Home, in the Mountains

The New Summit Lofts in Mt. Shasta…

When heading off Interstate 5 toward Mount Shasta, it’s hard to miss the new two-story boutique hotel at the main intersection downtown. The renovated building at 103 East Lake Street recently opened as the sparkling new Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel, with award-winning Theory Coffee Roasters and Bakery now on the ground floor. It’s a partnership that seems meant to be, given the building’s history.

Photo courtesy of Josh Thomas

“Fun fact is that when the original owner, Mr. Louis Solari, built it in 1923, he opened Hotel Solari on the second floor and a bakery on the ground floor,” explains Josh LaFrance, one of the hotel’s owners and the general contractor who oversaw the building’s restoration. “At my core I’m a craftsman, and I like using and expanding upon the original character of something. So, we were inspired to do the hotel with a mountain modern aesthetic that still preserved the building’s history. We refinished the original Douglas Fir wood floors, and salvaged unique pieces like the original hotel room doors and antique hardware.”

Interior photos courtesy of Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel

Then came the bakery. “When talks with Theory Coffee began, we knew it was the right fit. So, here we are 100 years later, and we’re back to the hotel and the bakery.” April LaFrance, one of the primary owners and LaFrance’s wife, adds “We’ve actually had the opportunity to host some of Mr. Solari’s descendants at the hotel. It’s been really meaningful to hear how happy they are to see the building beautifully restored.”

Photo courtesy of Josh Thomas

Not only does the hotel have a commanding view of Mount Shasta, but it sits in the heart of the city’s business district. “One of the things that we love in particular about the building’s location is its walkability to so many of the great things downtown. Guests can park their car and walk to just about anything: restaurants, boutique shops, outdoor gear stores and even an organic grocery store. We’re also only a short drive from Lake Siskiyou, two golf courses, countless hiking trails and a few of the area’s most iconic waterfalls,” explains Jenny-Lynn Buntin, the other primary owner of the hotel and a longtime friend of the LaFrances. April LaFrance adds, “There’s also a really beautiful, peaceful place called Sisson Meadow that’s just a five-minute walk from the hotel with huge views of the mountain.”

Interior photos courtesy of Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel

In keeping with the city’s mountain vibe, the building’s exterior is an ode to a modern A-frame with a customized interior. “Every room is unique, with unique layouts, and they’re all decorated a little bit differently, so we really encourage our guests to explore our website to find the room that fits their needs,” says LaFrance.

Interior photos courtesy of Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel

The hotel also features a few luxurious comforts. “Our goal was to create a comfortable place to stay after an outdoor adventure, while also accommodating travelers looking to simply relax and find restoration,” explains Buntin. This meant an exceptional amount of attention paid to the sleeping experience. “Jenny-Lynn and I spent months researching mattresses and bedding for the hotel. We would each get whatever set of sheets or duvet covers we were looking at, try them out and report back to each other. We were determined to get the perfect combination. We ended up going significantly over budget for bedding, but it was worth it because of the great reviews from our guests. We get a lot of questions about what mattresses we’re using and whether or not they can purchase our bedsheets to recreate the experience at home.”

Interior photos courtesy of Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel

One of the things the team is most excited about launching this year is the option for a group to exclusively rent the entire hotel. “We found a lot of groups reaching out to ask if they could host a company or wellness retreat at Summit Lofts. Until now, we’ve had one very large room that is our executive suite. It’s 1,000 square feet and stunning, but it wasn’t really set up to facilitate larger meetings. But recently, Shasta Mountain Guides, who was a tenant in the Summit Lofts building, fulfilled a dream by purchasing their own property. As a result, their commercial space opened up and Josh (LaFrance) has been busy creating a conference room that can accommodate up to 28 people. So now groups can book the entire hotel which includes this meeting space. We have a nonprofit using it in a couple of weeks, and a wellness retreat is already booked for this summer, so it’s something we’re very excited about.”•

Summit Lofts Boutique Hotel • 103 E. Lake St., Mt. Shasta
(530) 918-4735 •

About Megan Peterson

Megan Peterson is a freelance storyteller who loves her family, her pets, and Northern California. Her favorite part of writing is finding flow, and she always relishes a touching human story. Aside from Enjoy, she’s typically busy writing and producing for television, having created more than 220 hours of on-air content on networks ranging from National Geographic to Netflix.

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