I was booking only a couple of weeks in advance for a mid-October local event (unaccompanied GMAA marathoners--this place is for YOU!). Most B&B's didn't even bother to respond to my emails/calls (unless they had a cancellation, in which case they suddenly found the love...). I had read the 2006 nasty review of By The Lake but took a chance.
This place was exactly what I needed: quiet and secluded. Management was very accommodating and helpful (I even forgot my credit card there and they immediately gave me a call); they warmed the room up for me before my arrival (it dipped below 30 degrees that night!), and pretty much left me alone. Thanks!
[They were near the end of their season--and an unseasonably CHILLY season--so most rooms were already shut down--they went out of their way to help me.]
View in the a.m. was *outstanding*! Steam off Lake Champlain at sunrise was...sublime. Got to my event rested and on time. Good enough for me!
One suggestion for improvement: thanks for the coffee maker, but where was the coffee?! (I am assuming that in-season there are coffee packs).
A caveat: this is an old-timey, family-run motel, not a schmancy, big-name outfit. The rooms are catch as catch can, the TV is like you would have at home (one remote for the box, another for the TV), old linoleum floors, drafty with minimal heating: So. What. Big. Deal.
Set your expectations appropriately and you will be well satisfied. This place was what I needed at the price I needed at a time when local B&B's didn't need my business Thank you, By The Lake!
One more note: I bet this place is AWESOME in the summer... Grand Isle is, well, grand!
Pros: Amazing view; quiet; convenient