My wife, infant son, and I took advantage of a midweek special at the Wilderness Lodge in Lesterville, Missouri the week after the Independence Day holiday. We were referred there by a friend.
Our stay surpassed our expectations in nearly every area.
First and foremost--this is an "all included" lodge. Besides providing breakfast and dinner the Lodge provides so many activities for one flat daily rate, including:
+ River access
+ Swimming pool and hot tub
+ Volleyball, tetherball, horseshoes, croquet, etc.
+ Family games of all sorts located in the lounge of the main lodge and recreation building (including blocks, etc., for the very young.)
+ Books and magazines everywhere
+ 18 hole miniature golf course (a little run down, but incorporates trees and rocks creatively)
+ hiking trails (somewhat challenging especially during the heat, but really interesting)
+ "explorer" backpacks available to loan for the kids
+ fishing poles and tackle available
+ Float trips / horse rides available at an additional cost.
The cabins were very nice--they were definitely rustic, and I say this to mean old but charming. The A/C was awesome. My wife and I were in a cabin set off to itself with two bedrooms separate from the main room. Our cabin was right by the library cabin--#3--which was a wonderful place to get some quiet and solitude--and it has shelves and shelves of books to borrow. All their facilities had a unique combination of primitive and classy--leather lounge chairs and timber logs in the main lodge, for example. The main lodge contains the bright and sunny dining room, two sitting areas, and a full bar and lounge. The bar is staffed "till late" nightly and is a FULL bar. Great atmosphere. There is also a recreation cabin with a large screen tv, and games.
The people at the Wildnerness Lodge are helpful and friendly. You really get to know them; most of them live on site. The owners and their son wait tables and tend bar. Mark was especially helpful. They attempted to accomodate every request we had.
The food was spectacular. Dinner is always three courses One night we had a "BLT salad", followed by a roast pork loin with apricot glaze and potatotes and asparagus a la creme, finished with plum crumble and ice cream--awesome. I guess this is what a previous reviewer meant by "fancying up" the food; it wasn't previously frozen fried chicken, dried mashed potatoes and canned green beans as it had been, and it wasn't served in a troughbut nicely plated. I will say that portion size was inconsistent. not NECESSARILY small but varying largely from plate to plate. But everything I ate was executed very well.
There are a few areas for improvement. The mini-golf course was a draw for me and a lot of the other guests, but it really needs to have new artifical turf laid, and maybe someone sweep it out a few times a week. They could increase the portion size slightly and make it more consistent, or make seconds available. Also if they could make internet access more reliably consistent so we guests have some contact with the outside world that would be awesome.
This was definitely a "Grade A" vacation and we are already making plans to come back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At Wilderness Lodge, we have over 25 different cabins, suites and cottages for guests to enjoy. All cabin prices are based on a per person, per night charge since dinner and lunch are included with the package. Breakfast is available continental style from 7:30am to 9:30am, and we also serve a hot breakfast from 8am to 9am. For dinner, we have 4 seatings at 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm. During the week there is just one dinner seating between 6pm and 7pm (but we still try to be flexible if guests would like to come a little earlier or later). As far as activities, there is of course the Black River directly across the road from Wilderness Lodge for a little (or a lot) of water fun. Just a short walk from the cabins, the river, gravel bars, and side streams are great places to explore, swim, catch water critters and just relax in the sun. For a bit more adventure, we rent canoes, rafts, kayaks, and tubes for floating. We port floaters upstream in the morning for a 4 to 6 hour float (depending upon how fast the river is moving and how many gravel bar breaks you take) that ends up right back at our rivers edge campground. There are plenty more outdoor activities on the property including hiking, fishing, miniature golf, horse shoes, basketball, shuffle board, a playground, frisbee golf, etc -- we even recently found a cave to explore for those not afraid of small spaces. :) There are also a number of cool nature attractions within a short car ride, including Elephant Rock State Park and the recently opened Johnson Shut-ins. To get out of the heat, we have an air conditioned rec room with games & indoor activities -- and we plan to keep the main Lodge open all day long (over the last couple years it was only open during the meal times). Also in the main lodge is the Ripple Room Lounge, open for cocktails and beverages from 5pm to 9pm everyday. For the readers in our crowd that want a little piece and quiet, we have taken one of the Rock Cabins and converted it into a library refuge. Finally, on Saturday nights, we will also hold an informal friendly family game night in the main lodge for anyone that wants to attend. Unwind. Cool Off. Eat Well. Enjoy Wilderness! Wilderness Lodge Resort ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Wilderness Hotel Lesterville