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“Capt. Whittell's life is stranger than fiction”
Review of Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Federal Way, Washington
Level Contributor
376 reviews
179 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
“Capt. Whittell's life is stranger than fiction”
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Thunderbird Lodge is an interesting and scenic place but small and sparsely furnished compared with great houses like San Simeon or The Biltmore Estate. The story here is the amazing account of its owner, Cpt. George Whittell, a fabulously wealthy individual who was like the Bill Gates or Warren Buffett of his day, but a person, many people have never heard of. George led a completely outrageous life of leisure and decadence that is hard to believe and Thunderbird Lodge was the site of many of his escapades. You cannot drive to this location and after you see the entry road, the reason is obvious. We signed up at the chamber of commerce in Incline Village and were shuttled in on a van for $39 a head. The trip and the tour are worth every bit of it. Our guides Larry McComber and his wife were excellent. Even though they have probably done this tour hundreds of times, they make the story come alive.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank fsdukejr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    67
    19
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    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Interesting- but...”
Reviewed 6 August 2013 via mobile

Tour and site are interesting but the tour was far too long. An hour and a half plus the time on the shuttle to and fro is just too much. We felt that the docent went on and on with details about the man that built the home in a very lecturing manner instead of an engaging manner. Overall we were just board with this site and tour guide.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenn65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Family Tour”
Reviewed 11 July 2013

I wouldn't take small children, buy we had our 10 & 13 year olds with us and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It is such a beautiful place, with an interesting history, and a wild story about the very eccentric rich guy that built the place. Definitely not to be missed.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Zenithon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McKinney, TX
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful tour!”
Reviewed 8 July 2013 via mobile

I would highly recommend this tour by land! You are picked up from Incline Village visitor center in a small bus. The drive to Thunderbird Lodge takes about 15 min. There is an audio tape playing on the way out there giving you some background of the property and the original owner, Capt. George Whittell. The setting is beautiful and the stories are all intriguing.
We had tried to get tickets for the tour by boat but it sells out quickly.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank amhmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
602 reviews
326 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“The Highlight of our visit to Lake Tahoe.”
Reviewed 30 June 2013

I really enjoyed visiting the Thunderbird Lodge by boat. The Tahoe is a wooden boat built in 1950. The boat holds up to 16 passengers. We left the Tahoe Keys Marina at 10 AM. The sun was shinning and the water was calm. We cruised up the eastern shore stopping for pictures of the mansions. We stopped for pictures of Cave Rock and the Lady of the Lake. We arrived at the Thunderbird Lodge at noon. The tour of the lodge took an hour. The man who built the lodge was a bigger than life character who had a pet lion named Bill. We had lunch at the site and then returned to the marina at 4 PM.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank charles6346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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