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“Rustic, charming, relaxing, great value @ Wilderness Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Lodge

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Wilderness Lodge
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PO Box 90, Lesterville, MO 63654   |  
Hotel amenities
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Rustic, charming, relaxing, great value @ Wilderness Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Look at the cabin choices on website.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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99 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012 via mobile

We had a wonderful trip to Wilderness Lodge. The staff was beyond accommodating. Our rooms were clean and ready for us. We had plenty of room in the Turkey Run cabin. Our float down the river was rough because of low water levels, but that's no one's fault. The dining area was very nice and the food was EXCELLENT! Over all it was a great weekend. Our children had even more fun than us.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

My grown children and small grandchildren, my husband and my 93 year old mother and I were looking for somewhere to yearly enjoy a family get together. We live in St. Louis and always enjoy a getaway that involves family fun, good good, water and nature. For us, that makes the perfect getaway. I've know, over the years, of many, many families from St. Louis who had vacationed at Wilderness Lodge and loved it. So, this year, we thought we'd give it a try.

From the moment we arrived we were treated as family. We were put into an adjoining 1920's rustic cabin so we could all be together. The cabin was right across the road from the dining hall and from a circle of adirondack chairs with a fire pit in the center that we would make good use of as the days went on.

The resort has everything a family could want. Cabins have no television and internet is sketchy which helps you enjoy time together without interference. There was basketball, horshoes, volleyball, soccer, miniture golf, tether ball and shuffleboard. There is a playground for the kids and a recreation hall that has a television for those who just can't escape and lots and lots of games and tables and chairs. And there is a library cabin for those who want to get away and read the days away.

We enjoyed hiking up a steep trail to the top of the hill where we witnessed past "hurricane" damage from a terrific storm that decimated trees. And daily my husband and daughter and I ran and walked the roads and hills nearby.

Across the road is a walkway to the beachfront on the Black River, which is one of the most beautiful rivers in Missouri. Spring-fed, it is cold and clear. My grandchildren delighted in the many minnows and small fish as well as the tadpoles in the water that they could watch swim all around them. Saturdays are heavy with people floating the river, but Sundays and the rest of the week, you practically have the beautiful river to yourself. It is calm enough for the kids to sit in and at the time we were there, we sat in the water on the river bed and the water came just over our shoulders--cold and clear on hot summer days.

And I haven't even mentioned the food! The owners like to say their food is down home comfort food, but we found the food gourmet comfort food! I've had the best port steaks I've ever had there, as well as some of the best chicken. And did I mention the spaghetti and meatball? To die for! Every meal (breakfast and dinner are served to you everyday and part of your reservation) is prepared fresh from farmers markets and local meat is used. The owner makes healthy food with fresh herbs and spices. Sometimes we would do cheese tasting with a complimentary wine to clear the palatte. All meals were three course with creative salads, excellent entree and tempting desserts. Portions were just right. Breakfasts were always cereals and fresh fruits as well as eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy...whatever the chef prepared for the day. Always with juice, milk and coffee if you liked. And the music accompanying your meal was always either jazz or classical.

Outside the dining windows is a hummingbird feeder which delighted my grandchildren to watch them eat.

Off the main dining hall is a bar room and a game room where we would settle for card games and wine or beer. And on the sun deck outside the dining hall is a large swim pool and a hot tub for guests enjoyment.

The new owners of the lodge have a love and respect for the history of the Lodge and they continue to make it better and better. Always respecting the old, but updating and upgrading as needed.

And now to the adirondack chairs. After our full tummies and with a twilight coming on, we wandered down to the fire pit where some other guests had lit a fire. As the sky grew darker, other guests joined us with devices that helped to identify the star constellations that were everywhere above us. And in the dark, a lone figure walked carrying a try. As he approached he said, we thought you'd like these! He had brought a tray of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate along with sticks to make s'mores! It was a perfect day!

We LOVE Wilderness Lodge! We're making our trip a yearly event!

Room Tip: Individual cabins have screened in porches for evening "listening" of the river or cricket...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st. louis, MO
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We just returned from a nice, relaxing weekend at Wilderness with friends and children. It was perfect for our busy toddler. The resort was smaller than I expected, but that worked out to our advantage with the kids. They staff were always available and friendly. The food was great a just a little slow at times, but we did have an enormous group. The cabins were great. Clean and rustic. The cabins were really old and unique so you can imagine how surprised I was when we had to keep turning down the A/C because it was so efficient! They don't skimp on the pillows and blankets. We loved sitting by the campfire and were amazed when staff came to stoke it and deliver our s'mores fixings tray. How cool! We will be coming back.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Girardeau
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

If you're looking for a place to really unwind, Wilderness Lodge in Lesterville, MO is the place to do it. My wife and I, my two adult children, and my three year old grandson (which the universe revolves around) all had a relaxing, memorable time.
We appreciated the rustic cabins that were air conditioned well, the activities available to us, and the top two attractions the lodge has to offer; the delicious food, and the crystal clear Black River. The staff was very accomodating. It's a family owned and operated lodge, so they are very flexible, and work hard to satisfy your needs.
Ours was a family trip this time, but Wilderness Lodge would be a perfect couples getaway as well. As a small business owner, I also realize the lodge would be a perfect place to take your staff to simply relax and recharge their batteries, or to have a team building weekend.
The environs are very quiet and family oriented, but there is also a fun little bar in the back of the main lodge facility for adults to enjoy. It's not loud , and doesn't take away from the family feel of the place at all.
There is no doubt in my mind that we will return many times. Thanks to the entire staff for the great service and the memorable vacation.

Room Tip: because we had several adults, we stayed in Jack's Cabin. It was wonderful, but since this was...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Missouri, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

Our family recently stayed in Jacks Cabin at Wilderness Lodge and we all agree if was a wonderful experience! Wilderness Lodge offers the opportunity to relax and enjoy the family in a wonderful and tranquil setting. We were blown away with the cozy and comfortable cabin and fell in love immediately. The staff were all warm and welcoming and bent over backwards to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. The food was outstanding and the servings were perfect. The feeling of the place was relaxed and warm. There was plenty to do including a great float down the crystal clear Black River. But, the best part was the atmosphere that just beckoned us to unwind and enjoy one another. We loved everything! So much so that we intend to tell our extended friends and family in hopes of planning many more visits to come. Thanks!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Missouri, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

I have been visiting the Wilderness Lodge for 3 years and two years ago new owners bought the property. The improvements over the past 2 years have been amazing! They treat you like family and cater to every need. The dinners are fabulous and the breakfast is just what you need to get your body energized for the fun day ahead. I have been floating the Black River for many years and when I found the Lodge it makes the float trip even that much better.
I know once I'm tired from a long fun filled day on the river I can come back and be waited on in the dinner hall and treated like family! Who wants to cook, they do such a great job. I love the Rustic atmosphere the lodge has and I can't wait to visit again in the fall and bring another large group with us.

Room Tip: I prefer the hilltop cabin.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Lodge

Address: PO Box 90, Lesterville, MO 63654
Location: United States > Missouri > Lesterville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Lesterville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 26
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

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