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“Human relaxation and doggie paradise”

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Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Human relaxation and doggie paradise”
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Our hosts, Ellen and Michael, were kind and gracious. We stayed in Bo's hideaway... great choice! It's the most private and has a huge private yard for our dogs to romp by themselves. Everything you need is provided. The other cabins have the benefit of a pond view if that is your preference. My husband and I needed nothing but rest and relaxation. The cabin was so comfortable and felt Iike home. Sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace can only be described as "ahhhhh.". Our dogs were in heaven. Other visitors and their dogs we met were very nice. All in all, if you're looking for a relaxing get away with your canine family, you can't go wrong with Barkwells. We spent a week there and did not want to leave. We will be back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank TLR03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
187 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

nice above average cabins with Wifi, Hot tubs, Satellite cable, nice views, and open porches. Even better accomodations for our dogs ! Dog beds and bowls, dog doors, fenced in areas for each house AND the entire 7+ acre property is fenced in - just in case your canine kid escapes. Large filtered pond for the dogs to swim in, and the pet parents to take the paddle boat out. Great, relaxing place to stay and the entire family can enjoy. All 4 of our dogs, from 14 months to 14 years have a great time here - our second stay, and we'll be back. The owners and staff are dog people, and incredibly hospitable.

Room Tip: multiple cabins to choose from - none are bad !
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Allan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2012

From the moment I booked this trip back in June, this was a wonderful experience. The office staff responded to emails promptly and professionally. When we arrived this past week, we were escorted to our cabin (which was exactly what we asked for) and were shown everything we needed to know to enjoy our time there. My wife, our 10 month old puppy, and I loved the cabin and the grounds. We met other people that were like minded about their dogs and the "open" grounds really allowed our pup to run and play without us having to worry. The cabin was very clean, everything worked well and checkout was easier than 5 star hotels I often frequent on business travel. If you like to travel with your dog and want to experience a place where you and your furry friends are truly welcome, then please give Barkwells a shot. You will not regret it.

Room Tip: We stayed in the "snickers" cabin which has a wonderful view of the mountains, even from t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MSChrisCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We, along with our two dogs, our two best human friends, and their two dogs, stayed in Baxter's Cabin to celebrate our anniversaries. The joy on our dogs' faces as they raced around the fully-fenced in property was totally worth the price of admission! The grounds are manicured and very clean, the pond is extremely clean (and our dogs loved it), and the cabin was also very clean, especially when you consider the fur that they probably encounter on a daily basis.

Bobbi greeted us upon our arrival and gave us a tour of our cabin. She was very friendly and quite hospitable. They had even put a "Happy Anniversary" flag outside the cabin since both couples were celebrating! I knew our stay was going to go well! The rooms were a nice size, as were the bathrooms, and the kitchen had a ton of space. We really enjoyed the cabin and the lovely view of the grounds from our deck. The gate system in the front of the cabin was a spark of genius. If you wanted to confine the dogs to the yard and deck, you shut the gate one way. If you wanted them to have the ability of going in and out through the doggie door, you shut the gate the other way. It came in handy when we needed to load and unload the vehicles!

We all really enjoyed playing with our dogs on the property and the furkids loved the pond! Our dogs have never been so exhausted before in their short little lives. Our dogs have been sleeping since we got home...and that was after a 4.5 hour drive!

The only "cons" I can think of were these (and they are so very minor and by no means any kind of deal-breaker):
(1) Water pressure was a bit low in the showers.
(2) Our tub drained slowly, which we didn't think much of at the time, but on our last morning, it completely stopped draining.
(3) We had 4 large dogs in the cabin but there were only two medium-sized dog beds...one of which was quite lumpy. We had brought one of our own, only because one of our dogs has hip problems, but I feel like there should be at least one dog bed per dog staying at the cabin. I understand it's impossible to keep really nice dog beds around b/c of the cost, but the one we had was pretty bad (which I could tell just by stepping on it). If you have super-spoiled dogs or dogs with orthopedic problems, you might want to bring their own beds with you.
(4) There were only 3 dog bowls in the cabin. Luckily, our friends brought their own and we were able to make due with big plastic bowls in the cabinets for water....but, again, I think dog bowls should be plentiful in a place like this, especially if you are expecting 4 dogs in one cabin.
(5) We made our rounds through the yard to pick up after our dogs. We picked up after them and then some. It's tough to see dog poop this time of year, with the leaves from the trees all over the ground, but if we were able to find the piles, surely someone else could have.

We had a wonderful time and will definitely be back. We spent a fair amount of time away from the cabin so next time we will plan accordingly and do our cooking there. Though, with all the crazy fun the dogs had on the property, I'm not sure they'd have any energy for hiking!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rachel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Georgia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

My wife and I have a wonderful rescue dog named Peanut. He is one of those Heinz 57 dogs and is truly lovable and fun to be with. So, we decided last spring to take him on a pet friendly vacation. My wife discovered Barkwell's Vacation Retreat we from what we read we loved it. It's a wonderful place for dogs. Lot's of room to run in the fenced in compound that has a small pond smack in the middle. We loved the place and are likely to return again next year. The owners do everything they can to make you and your pets very welcome from the personal welcome when you arrive to the immediate response to any issues or needs you may have. Peanut had the greatest time with the other dogs he met and played with. You have to have a vacation here!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Snickers cottage. One of the smaller ones there, but still easily sleeps four adul...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank NCGolfer88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
178 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We had an amazing time at Barkwells. It is located so close to Asheville (about 20 minutes easy ride to the middle of downtown), but feels like you are all alone in the mountains. The property is so lovely and the cabins are great. We stayed in the "Snickers" cabin and it was perfect for the two humans and two dogs. The cabin was well stocked with everything you might need excluding food. The manager was sure to show us everything in the cabin including the wash and dryer, Direct TV, DVD player, internet access, and well appointed kitchen. She even pointed out the binder full of local restaurants and maps on the area complete with added detail for grocery stores. Our dogs love the doggy door to the spacious back yard. They don't have that feature at home, but were quick to adapt to it. We all loved the grounds. It was so much fun seeing our dogs run free and explore the 8 acres of fenced in property. They really loved running, seeing the chickens, and playing in the pond. Even though the place was full while we were there, the grounds were very quiet and people were very respectful of one another. We just absolutely loved it and hope to visit again very soon! We did receive our full pet deposit back in a timely manner. Great place!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank SuzKMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 16, 2012

My husband and I with our 2 dogs, a lab and cocker had the best time ever. The place is everything it says it is and more. We had such a great time. The cabin was lovely and well equipped. Hot tub...awesome! The grounds are beautiful and the dogs loved the pond.

Carol and Ken from KY

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Carol H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat

Property: Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat
Address: 290 Lance Rd, Mills River, NC 28759-3884
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Mills River
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Mills River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Run. Swim. Play. You and your four-legged friends can roam over eight rolling fenced acres or splash into the pond. Fully equipped and furnished vacation homes with hot tub, fireplace, luxurious beds, private fenced yard, dog door, gated porch. Every comfort and convenience of home, but far away from every day.20 minutes from downtown Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard and Biltmore Estate in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Come. Sit. Stay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Barkwells, The Dog Lovers` Vacation Retreat Hotel Mills River

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