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“Great Getaway!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Retreat at Artesian Lakes

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The Retreat at Artesian Lakes
235 Chain-O-Lakes Resort, Cleveland, TX 77327 (Formerly Chain-O-Lakes)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Cleveland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Houston
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great Getaway!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

I have stayed here often and conducted corporate retreats here as well. The property is beautiful. Each cabin is furnished with antiques and looks over a crystal clear artisan lake. Truly a special place and the staff go out of their way to be of service.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    49
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    6
    8
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34
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Spring, Texas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

It has been a few years since I stayed. I have been going since it was Chain O'lakes.

First, this IS camping in a cabin!! This is not a place you go to surf the net, or watch t.v! You are going to be outside and enjoy the environment!

I have stayed in several different cabins over the years and have never been disappointed. I did not go the first time expecting to be staying in a Penthouse! But, the cabins are nice, clean and cute.

I have fed squirrels and birds by hand on my porch, watched alligators swim below my cabin and my son swim with alligators! My son a techno kid thought he would hate it, and be bored. He loved it!

If you are looking to get away from the crazy work world this is the place. If you are looking to sit in front of a flat screen t.v., or mints on your pillow this is not the place for you!

  • Stayed October 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
    • 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.
Kingwood, Texas, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

What a great place!!!! Loved my porch and the alligator that came to visit every day - didn't want to leave and will be back again!!!!! Tinkerbell the horse and the beautiful carriage picked us up for breakfast on Saturday - the swimming hole and pool were awesome - the trails were beautiful - I will be back in the fall to use my fire pit and fireplace!!!!

Room Tip: the one room log cabin was perfect for me and my 2 kids - any more people and I would want to go wit...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Porte, Texas
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

My family and I stayed for 3 nights during the week and had a great time. My husband researched thoroughly so we knew to take food for dinner (drinks, sandwiches stuff and snacks) because the restaurant is not open in the evenings on weekdays. There are many places to eat in Cleveland which is a short 20 min drive. The kitchen had everything we needed, paper goods, ref, stove and microwave. The only thing missing was an icemaker but you can buy ice and all other types of sundries in the gift shop. The place was beautiful, clean and well maintained. Of course you are in a heavily wooded area so there were raccoons (those were the biggest pests in my opinion) and an occasional bug or two. My children are 6 and 8 and we they enjoyed playing in the loft upstairs and swinging on the front porch. We rented horses one day (for an additional cost) and spent another day lounging in the cleanest pool I have ever been in and had a really good burger from the grill by the pool. We very much enjoyed the free breakfast buffet (one of the best quiches I have EVER eaten) not to mention, fruit, eggs, pancakes, potatoes, bacon, sausage and gravy....I could keep going but you get the idea! All of the butter and jams etc. are made right there. The staff was very nice and welcoming everyday. The carriage ride to breakfast was an added bonus! We fed the fish and turtles from the deck after breakfast and saw lots of alligators. There were many beautiful paths and landscapes to admire including the beautiful herb garden. It is a little pricey but we opted to stay here over something cheaper for the privacy and peace that it offers.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Prairie, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We attended a family reunion at Artesian Lakes. Spending time with the extended family was great, the resort was not. As some of the other reviewers have pointed out, this is very expensive camping. You will need to bring your own food, breakfast is included on Saturday morning but not on Sundays. There is a dinner restaurant, but it is by reservation only and you have to make the reservations 48 hours in advance. If you are going to cook you will also need to bring pans and cleaning supplies. The cabins come with plates, cups and silverware but no cooking utensils. You may want to bring extra bedding. The beds were made with a sheet and thin quilt. I asked for a blanket at the front desk and was told that none were available. The service was poor. When our toilet quit working (the flapper broke), the front desk did not answer the phone. I walked over and found the front desk clerk and both maintenance men chatting behind the desk. They did come fix it, but I shouldn't have to hunt them down. Someone came to our door on the first day and gave us fresh towels and an extra garbage bag. No one came by the other days. We took our trash to the trash barrel by the road and it looked like they don't empty the trash barrels often, as raccoons and cats were constantly in the barrels pulling out garbage and scattering it all over.
The resort advertises activities, however, the only one that is included is swimming. Everything else is extra. At these prices - $330 a night for a 2 BR, 1 BA - we expected more.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alvin, Texas
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

The scenery is beautiful and there is such potential for an amazing place but because of the service it falls short. On our arrival the trash had not been cleaned out of the cabin so there was a stench around the garbage can. We took out the trash and were told that housekeeping would replace the bag. That did not happen. we had to go to the front desk and get a bag. Sheets were supposed to be changed every other day but that didn't happen either. Towels were left by the front door in a chair instead of in the bathroom. My toddler got to them first :(. My husband and I did the couples massage. The room was musty smelling and the sheets on the table smelled mildewed. It was gross! I had to shower as soon as we left to get the smell out of my hair. It was hot in the cabin at night so sleeping was not good. Bathtub did not drain well and with only one bathroom for a cabin for 8 it was filthy.

I was definitely disappointed in the retreat.

Food was good at the restaurant and the kids enjoyed the carriage ride.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

We were looking for a place to spend a weekend for our 29th anniversary and had seen Artesian lakes advertised on FB. It is in the small town of Cleveland, tx, about an hour north of our home. We looked over their website and reviews on tripadvisor and decided to try it. What sparked our interest actually were the such different reviews, the beauty of the pics and the seclusion, sounded like a nice way of spending a quiet weekend.
We booked for Saturday and Sunday nights, could not make it for Friday but the front desk was great and worked that out with us. Usually a carriage ride and buffet breakfast is included for Saturday a.m. But since we weren't coming until Saturday afternoon, they scheduled us an "in cabin breakfast" to be delivered on Monday.
Meals at the restaurant need to be reserved and we scheduled dinner Saturday night and the Sunday morning brunch, the restaurant is not open on Sunday night. Since we were on our own, we packed fruit and veggies with cheese, etc for Sunday dinner.
The directions were easy to follow and there was good signage as you got close, so we arrived easily around 3pm. The grounds are beautiful and quickly we felt lost in the wilderness! You check in at the lodge and that seems new and very nice inside, lots of wood and comfy chairs by a fireplace, small store with sundries and snacks, also ice. Some souvenirs and t's, also the front desk is here and a conference room. You can easily get wifi in the main lodge and sitting outside near there or the restaurant.
Here I must stop and say; whomever said if you think of this as a camping trip was spot on, it is not the Ritz, nor is it even a Holiday Inn, it is a retreat, a relaxing, outdoors type of place with gorgeous grounds, real wildlife (alligators, turtles,etc.) at your porch!! But you will not get room service, turndown service or any of that. Knowing that going in, you will enjoy yourself, but....make sure you note that.
Front desk staff are great, all staff we encountered were super polite, very friendly and helpful. We were upgraded to a romantic cabin in a secluded area as they knew it was our anniversary. They were very helpful in planning the meals, etc. I have to follow a gluten free diet and the restaurant was knowledgable and very helpful. The meals were tasty, see my restaurant review.
The Cabin we were in was in the more private area and needed a remote for the gate. Our cabin had a great view of the lake, and we used the porch swing a lot!! We were visited by many gators, turtles and a resident cardinal always sat on our table. He was so friendly we had to make sure he didn't come in the cabin!! The outside was dusty and did have some cobwebs, it added to the ambience for us. The inside was a great set up. A huge king bed, sat across from the door, there was a small loveseat, table and chairs, microwave/fridge/sink, and a two person jacuzzi. A small bath with shower stall and commode/sink. Towels were large and fluffy, nice, organic toiletries. Yes, there was some dust in the cabin, I even found a dead fly on the floor, but....this was a cabin....things happen...I've found dust on a high end hotel before...and dead flies!! It did not ruin our great, romantic time. Yes, there were kids at the pool, which was an awesome pool and hot tub, also lake area with slides. If we didn't want to see kids we went back to our cabin, they were just normal children. At dinner and breakfast there was a mixture of people it was fine. This is a family place, but we had a great time. The air worked great in our cabin, there was also a gas fireplace. We loved the swing on the porch! Lots of walking trails. No the wifi didn't reach us where we were in our cabin, seemed to work only by the lodge and restaurant area, but we were not there for wifi, but I can see it being an issue of you needed it.
All in all this is a great camping cabin type place.

Room Tip: Ask to be n the more remote section if you want a more quiet spot.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Retreat at Artesian Lakes

Address: 235 Chain-O-Lakes Resort, Cleveland, TX 77327 (Formerly Chain-O-Lakes)
Location: United States > Texas > Cleveland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Cleveland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Retreat at Artesian Lakes (formerly Chain - O - Lakes Resort & Conference Center) is a uniquely designed, nature-focused facility ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways, weddings, group retreats and business conferences.Located on the edge of the Texas Big Thicket National Preserve, about one hour north of Houston, The Retreat at Artesian Lakes offers overnight accommodations in authentic log cabins, log suites, and private log homes. The Retreat at Artesian Lakes is also home to Hilltop Restaurant, a famous East Texas landmark founded by renowned herbalist and cook, Madalene Hill. Hilltop's exquisite cuisine is based on the herbs grown in the adjacent garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Retreat At Artesian Lakes Hotel Cleveland
Retreat At Artesian Lakes Cleveland
Chain o Lakes Cleveland
The Retreat At Artesian Lakes Texas/Cleveland

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