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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Big Cedar Hotel Ridgedale
- Big Cedar Resort