The Tan-Tar-A stay was so multifaceted it's had to focus on one thing as a standout, and there were good and bad points. First off we were there slightly outside of season (first week of Oct) but were surprised to find how many services (especially at the marina) ceased to exist. No paddleboats or jetskis, we had to settle on a speedboat or a skiff (which was not recommended and could not leave the cove) but the staff was accomodating and gave us an hour vs. the normal two-hour minimum.
The first thing that strikes you is that there is absolutely no architectural congruence. Every part of the compound seems to be added on with no thought to the rest of the property. Small but nice enough heath club. Ghastly indoor waterpark that was Soviet-era concrete design with some lame attractions. Maybe appealing to kids? Adult pool (indoor) was nice enough, but with windows through to everyone in the Spa area. Outdoor pool looked fabulous but was already closed. Walking trails made for a nice stroll but the maps were completely confusing and trails ill-marked. Great stroll once you get it figured out, though.
The rooms: while not abyssmal, certainly sub-par. decent linens, horrifying plastic bedspread, tiny TV, suspect carpet and bugs galore. including one preserved behind the glass of the picture over the bed. Even the more modern rooms had no bathroom fans so not a good first getaway for new couples who might still be self-conscious about thier bathroom time. : ) flimsiest toilet seat, contractor-grade shower with musty caulkwork and drains so slow that you had to turn off the water during soaping time in order for the drain to catch up. As thoguh popcorn ceilings weren't enough to cover shoddy sheetrocking, the WALLS were covered in popcorn finish as well. Comical. Room cleanup during the day was thorough and timely, consistent with the strong service thoughout our stay.
The staff was VERY friendly and helpful. With maybe one or two exceptions everyone we spoke with went out of their way to be polite and of utmost assistance. They should be highly praised and saved what could have been a lousy stay. I felt that everyone we passed by was glad to see us and happy that we were staying with them. Bravo.
Overall the food was good. the Black Bear was the only real option most of the time and, with the exception of a mediocre buffet breakfast (no worse than others in the milieu) meals were tasty, fresh and service excellent. The turkey club and the generous onion ring starter were standouts.
One night we ate at their "fine dining" restaurant which i recommend to any foodie becuase it was, for lack of a better term, a complete trip. The two slightly older ladies running the entire dining room were at the top of their game, consummate professionals. while the decor and menu were borderline anachronistic the execution of the food was perfect. The '70s menu (Filet oscar with a perfect holandaise and garden fresh asparagus and excellent lump crab meat for me, a perfect unadorned filet for my wife) was a throwback. Almost like a really well done theme restaurant representing (the drapes!!!) thirty years ago. but I can't fault the food or the service from the two lovely servers/bartenders. I even took a chance on oysters on the half shell (Rockefeller also available, to keep the period feel going) which were not spectacular but just fine for a starter. The creme brulee was an absolute vanilla lover's dream and highly recommended. loaded with fresh beans and absolutely scrumptious. If you don't mind an older menu, ridiculous decor and timewarp menu I highly recommend the Wind Rose, charming in it's own unique way. The rose presented my wife and meal's end was another great throwback.
So would things be different on-season? Maybe not as much for a couple. The somewhat cheap and definitely dated rooms were a turn off but during the summer I can see a lot more potential for activities and I like the idea of an adults-only pool. if you have kids i presume they could enjoy the water park and there's a comprehensive arcade for rainy days. And, again, the staff was priceless. Not to belabor the point but everyone was super friendly, helpful and seemed genuinely glad to see you. It was a credit to the service industry workers in a town where i'm sure they could become easlily jaded by the rude out-of-towners that come with the territory.
Probably more of a family place, won't be first on my list for a romantic getaway, but you could do a hell of a lot worse. and the golf course looked excellent with a lot of elevation changes and beautiful scenery. Just know "resort" doesn't mean what you'd associate with a grand hotel or a Disney property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At Tan-Tar-A Resort, we provide guests endless excitement with an abundance of year roundrecreational activities in a casual and relaxed resort setting with an experienced team offriendly staff. Conveniently located on the shores of the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri,Tan-Tar-A Resort offers a great value for families, couples, and conference attendees with:- Exciting water adventures including wave runners, and ski, pontoon & paddle boatrentals- Wet, wild indoor family fun at Timber Falls Indoor Waterpark- 27 holes of championship golf with tree-lined fairways, rolling hills and breathtakingvistas of the Lake of the Ozarks- The “Bears Den” Arcade, guided horseback trail rides, miniature golf, a bowling alley andtwo outdoor tennis courts provide guests of all ages a variety of fun experiences- Seasonal supervised fun for kids ages 4-12 at “Kids Kabin” and “Camp Tan-Tar-A”. Whilethe adults are golfing or enjoying a romantic day at the spa, the kids can have the timesof their lives with a variety of affordable fun activities2- Windjammer Spa and Salon is the place to spend a day nourishing your body and soul inan intimate, relaxed setting- 9 restaurants & lounges available to suit every palate and pocketbook, from hardycasual Ozark favorites to lakeside dining- Over 90,000 square feet of customizable indoor meeting space with 30 meeting rooms,as well as multiple scenic outdoor venues- Experienced, down-to-earth conference planning team offering solutions to unique groupevents- Personalized, custom wedding services, down to the last detail ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tan-Tar-a Resort, Golf Club, Marina And Indoor Waterpark
- Tan-Tar-a Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Waterpark Hotel Osage Beach
- Osage Beach Tan Tar a Resort
- Tan Tara Resort
- Tan Tar Hotel Osage Beach
- Tan Tar Resort Osage Beach
- Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Waterpark Lake Of The Ozarks/Osage Beach, MO