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“Wonderful stress free vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Big Cedar Lodge

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Big Cedar Lodge
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   612 Devil's Pool Road, Ridgedale, MO 65739   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ridgedale
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bismarck, North Dakota
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Wonderful stress free vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

This resort was amazing and exceeded our expectations. We stayed four days in a two bedroom cabin that was majestic and no detail was spared. For the most part our stay was perfect. I would like to end on a good note since this place deserves that so I will "complain" first then gush about how awesome everything else was.

Activities: A few weeks before we checked in, a lady from the activities department, emailed me about setting up activities. I set them up through her and she seemed polite and the emails were kept very professional. However I noticed a charge on my credit card by Big Cedar. I wanted to clarify what it was for. I asked her if it was for our activities we booked. She said it was for the second deposit on the cabin rental. That was fine and I was glad she clarified. But when I inquired further about when we pay for activities, she shot back a snappy (exact words).."When you do them" email with no professional greetings or closings. Being from the professional office world I recognize a "you're bugging me" email when I see it. This was definitely one of those. When we arrived at Big Cedar and they gave me our itinerary, I noticed our Boat and tube rental was for the day before and not even during our stay. We drove 15 hours to stay on a lake. Imagine how ruined our vacation could have been if we came solely for boating and tubing. They told us to come the next day and because it was raining we did not need a reservation. We didn't rent. We ended up hiring a fishing guide instead. Mistakes happen but this could have had the potential to ruin our trip. The email I sent to her had the correct dates. If only she would have double checked her work before, this would not have happened. Next time we will be calling guest services in advance to double check their work for them.

Scamming: Oh Wilderness Club how you annoy me... This part really turned me off. Two days before our vacation a "Telemarketer" called me. Big Cedar has a neighbor resort called Wilderness Club. Big Cedar basically gave my information to this company to call me twice to try to get me to listen to a "90 minute seminar about enhancing my stay" She acted like she was from Big Cedar and left a voicemail stating how she was "confirming my stay at Big Cedar and had some information regarding our stay". This was during all the flash flooding in Missouri and I was already fearing our weather on vacation. I was worried it was something major and called her back. I was duped and hung up feeling like they tried to pull a fast one. She called me back the next day and I didn't answer. Then when we checked in, Big Cedar gave us a card to "get a free gift" from the Wilderness club desk conveniently located just to the left of registration. It was a shameless scamming that left me feeling very uncomfortable. We didn't fall for it thankfully. But really!!?? Big Cedar you're better than that.

Pricing: This may just be a fluke but it's something to watch for. I would recommend staying during the week as opposed to the weekend. I noticed a few things went up in price by Thursday. The breakfast special (biscuits and gravy) on Tuesday was the same as Thursday but went from 4.95 on Tuesday to 6.95 on Thursday. Then the gift shop had an item I scoped out on Monday that was priced 175.00 but by Thursday the price was 215.00. I ended up saying something and she said she would "honor the 175.00 price". But again, we live in a state that has a ridiculously high cost of living so to us the "weekend" prices are still reasonable. The week prices are dirt cheep. Just beware that the prices possibly do change so if you want items buy them earlier in the week just in case.

Customer Service: Everyone was very nice and polite. The reviewer who called them "cold or maybe professional" hit it right on the head. We are from ND where Customer Service is downright rude so I don't expect much out of people. And the "behind the desk" folk at Big Cedar are nice but not overly friendly. The shuttle drivers were so much more welcoming. We found them so refreshing and fun. Tip them!! They deserve it!! Also Housekeeping was fantastic. They laughed and joked around. Our phone was messed up so every time we called Guest Services we got Housekeeping. We told Housekeeping about it, apologizing for bugging them and within 5 minutes they sent a tech out to fix our phone. We didn't even ask them to. Now THAT is customer service. We also lost a shoe who knows where and Guest Services tracked it down and even brought it up to our room within minutes. We also ordered pizza to the cabin and room service to the pool. Both arrived super fast. The service really can't be beat.

Cabins: The rooms are spotless. The beds are heavenly. The cabins are the way to go. One word to describe them.. Majestic. No detail was missed. The element of surprise is worth it so I am not going to give many details. Just know they are perfect. Enjoy your free gifts. We also had a squirrel friend who hung out on our deck every day. We fed him bread. I swear by the end of our stay, he would sit outside my window and bark until I woke up and took bread out for him. It was so cute.

Shuttles: Don't call until everyone is ready. These guys are fast. We used the shuttles at least 30 times during our stay. We stayed Mon-Thurs so unsure what the weekends are like but the longest we waited for one was maybe 5 minutes and we were way out in a cabin on the other side of the cove. The average wait time for a shuttle was maybe 3 minutes. We started knowing them by name and they were a refreshing face every day.

Cookies: By the end of our stay I was looking forward to these every night. What a neat amenity. This was one of those little things that made this place a keeper for us.

Glow Scavenger Hunt: Best activity we did. We had our plates full and took advantage of many of the fun things they offered but this one just nailed it. I highly recommend this family activity for everyone. We had so much fun. Something so simple yet perfect. This is a memory we will keep with us for a long time.

Truman Cafe: We ate here for lunch. We ate outside and it was perfect. I am hooked on their Caramel Frappes. Best coffee hands down. Starbucks has nothing on Truman Cafe. We loved it.

Pools: There are three pools and both the Swimmin' Hole and the Lazy River have hot tubs. Devil's Pool does not. We went to all three and found we like them all for different reasons. If your trip allows, take the time to visit them all. The dive in movie at the Swimmin' Hole is a great family activity. Bring your floatie!! Towels are provided at all three locations.

Fitness: I did both Yoga Hike and SUP Yoga. The instructor was the same for both and she was really friendly. She also brought her camera and took pictures of us and sent them to us later on that night. That was in my opinion going above and beyond. What a great person!

Food: We brought our own and didn't eat at the restaurants much. We did order in pizza. My son thought is was good. We are not picky about our pizza. We even like the cheap grocery store ones but this pizza was really icky to the rest of us. Everyone has different tastes but to me this was hard to eat. I ate twice at the Truman Cafe. Just like their coffee, their food was hard to beat. We all liked the food there.
If you are going to cook the majority of your food in the cabins, the kitchens are stocked very well. I wish someone would have had a list for me so I knew what to pack and what not to. So as far as I remember they provided: Corning Wear, measuring cups, dinnerware, frying pans, steak knives, utensils, can opener, dish soap, coffee maker, coffee, tea, dish towels, and paper towels. The things a person could bring that isn't provided: Toaster (we forgot one so we used the grill and it worked perfect), tin foil or zip lock baggies, veggie peeler, cutting board, and paring knife.

Overall our experience was very positive. We are already planning our next stay. We all wish we lived a lot closer so we could come more often. This place was beautiful and so relaxing. We have traveled quite a bit and all agree this is one of the most beautiful, stress free, happy vacations we have ever been on. There is so much to do we will have to come back at least twice to experience it all. I will be bragging about this place to all who listen.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
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847 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (270)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
jaims0982
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

Each time we stay here we are blown away! This trip was no exception!!! It was a rainy day and with two small children we were a little bummed at first. But the resort had lots of activities and the kids stayed busy. When it wasn't raining we hit the infinity pool and also went to a Bon fire with s'mores. The Bon fire turned out to be the high light if the kids week. When it was raining we watched tv and also went to play bingo which the resort hosted. All of the activities we did on the resort were free making our vacation very cheep. The only draw back was they put a $100 hold on our card which were not expecting so that was a surprise! We got it back a few days later.
The rooms are so detailed and beautiful!!! They held nothing back while decorating the rooms or any part of the resort! This is by far the greatest place we have ever stayed!!!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
BCLGuestServices, Public Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
We loved hearing about your stay with us, thank you for leaving your comments. We strive to develop a full list of activities, even for the rainy days. We are so pleased to hear that the weather didn't keep you from enjoying your visit.
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Hallandale Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

I recently returned from a family trip at Big Cedar Lodge with my family. I'd never even heard of the Ozarks before going, and had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. The grounds were wonderfully maintained, and most areas had a nice view of the lake. Boat rentals are just wonderful we rent 2 times for 8 HR a lot fun. Restaurants were just outstanding great food and service.... pools and lazy river are great pools and well located, please what about the great transportation FREE shutles in the Resort. I CAN GO MORE!!!!! SO I'M JUST GOING TO SAY """"AMAZING PARADISE""""'"GREAT FAMILY PLACE

WE ARE GOING BACK..

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
BCLGuestServices, Public Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comments. We are so pleased to hear about your positive experience with us, and we look forward to having you back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Racine, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

So much to do! Swimming, Hiking, Miniature golf, shopping, shoes, and parks near by. All the family fun could want. Nice accommodations; spacious suites with kitchenettes (or restaurants available.) Incredible setting with wonderful views.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BCLGuestServices, Guest Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit with us and to hear that you had a chance to take part in so many of the area activities! Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

First off, my family and I had an amazing time. This resort is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the weather didn't quite cooperate so we spent a considerable amount of time in our Two Bedroom Valley View suite. Because of this we were really able to notice all the wear and tear in the room, which I'll go into detail below.

Pros:
• Beautiful resort with amazing views
• Staff was top-notch and very friendly
• Evening wagon ride with the signing cowboy was great entertainment for the family
• Food is above average to excellent. We dined everywhere except the Worman house and always had excellent service and quality food.
• Plenty of free activities (nightly campfires, dive-in theater, miniature golf, paddle boats, kid fishing, pools (indoor and outdoor)

Cons:
• This is not a resort if you're on a budget. Luckily, we weren't
• Valley View Lodge:
- The decor was very sparse and haphazardly placed and mismatched. It looked like someone just took all the leftover decor from all the other rooms and threw them together.
- We also found quite a few items left over from the previous guest (water bottles, socks, etc)
- The shower in one bedroom was broken but I fixed it myself.
- Light fixtures and other furnishings were severely dated and worn.
• Food is pricey - for a family with two small children I was averaging a day $40 for breakfast and lunch then $65 - $75 for dinner. Wasn't an issue but if you're on a budget then keep that in mind.

Overall, I cannot and will not recommend the Valley View Lodge based on the price I paid for our duration of the trip. I would have given this resort 5 stars had the room been in better conditions and I really expected better which was ultimately a big let down.

Room Tip: Avoid the Valley View Lodge - Rooms are dated and there's considerable wear and tear for the pri...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BCLGuestServices, Guest Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Thomas W,

Thanks for your comments about your stay at Big Cedar. We're so happy your enjoyed your stay overall! So sorry to hear that you didn't have a great impression of the rooms in Valley View Lodge. I hope you come back again in the future and give it another try in our Falls Lodge or a Private Log Cabin! You're right though, the Campfire Wagon Ride is a GREAt way for a family to have a good time. Again, thanks for your honest comments and keep an eye on Big Cedar in the future as we may have even more lodging choices for you next time!

Matt Neal
Assistant Leisure Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in one of the cabins and it was great. We were able to rent a pontoon boat and had so much fun. The cookies at night were a nice touch as well as the welcome treats. We have made this spot a family tradition.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
BCLGuestServices, Guest Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Mkltll,

Thanks so much for coming out to Big Cedar Lodge, and we're so happy that you enjoyed your stay! We can't wait for you to come on back to see us!

Matt Neal
Assistant Leisure Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

A beautiful location and resort with plenty of complimentary activities for our family (canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, lazy river, many swimming pools, lake beach, etc., etc.). We enjoyed most of it on our short two-night stay. Check out the full list of complimentary activities on their website. The food at the restaurants is high quality and the service and staff were excellent. We stayed at the Valley View Lodge and our room was very nice and clean with comfortable beds but it was a little on the small side for our family of five - a minor issue since we came here to enjoy the outdoors. Room service is available as well.

Overall, we had a great time and we plan to return. Our only disappointment was the cost of the Horseback riding which was $55/person for a one hour trip. I suppose that's okay for one person but it adds up quick if you have a family of five. You can go to Silver Dollar City all day for about the same price.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
BCLGuestServices, Guest Relations Manager at Big Cedar Lodge, responded to this review, September 7, 2013
Dear Toomanydaysontheroad,

Thanks for the great comments about Big Cedar! We're glad you and your family got to come out and enjoy the property! Come back again soon!

Matt Neal
Assistant Leisure Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Big Cedar Lodge

Address: 612 Devil's Pool Road, Ridgedale, MO 65739
Location: United States > Missouri > Ridgedale
Amenities:
Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ridgedale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Big Cedar Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 247
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family-friendly resort on Table Rock Lake just outside of Branson, MO. This luxury resort features a variety of accommodation options including private cabins and lodges. On-site activities include golf, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Big Cedar Hotel Ridgedale
Big Cedar Resort

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