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“Things surpased my widest expectations!!!!”

Silent Forest Retreat Cabins at Hidden Lake Winery
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Silent Forest Retreat Cabins at Hidden Lake Winery
Reviewed January 22, 2010

I stayed the 21 and 22 of January 2009, as a matter of fact I'm still here! I couldn't wait til we left to tell everyone how wonderful this place i so writing this review from their amazing lodge. I had read the previous rewiews and heard first hand accounts from past guests. Despite the vary rare negative (only a 2 total from here) we thought we'd give it a try, WOW!!! 1st of all the cabin was amazing, we stayed in the honeymoon cabin and things were great, from the satellite tv, pillow top matress, to the heart shaped jacuzzi tub. We were treated as royalty by the staff who went above and beyond the call of duty, even staying on the phone with us until we reached the amazing resturant they reccomended (which was also more than spectacular "Popeye's chop house" a five star resturant with a three star name"). The management was the best making sure we were completely comfortable during our stay. While we were here we ran into no trouble, I had an amazing time and would reccomend this place to any new couples, married coupled, or anyone looking to just escape for the weekend, or week if you're that lucky. Overall a 6 out of 5, the extra one is my tip. If you see Doug make sure to tell him hello, and enjoy your stay at the best little get away from home that's not to far from home.

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Thank Garcia111907o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 - 30 of 30 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2009

My girlfriend and I stayed in one of the cabins the weekend of November 7, 2009. After only seeing pictures of the cabins online, and knowing that things usually look better online than they do in person, I was pleasantly surprised. The pictures hardly do the cabins justice. The cabin was very clean and well thought out. The robes that are provided were comfortable and warm. The bed was very comfortable and inviting.

My only complaint, and it is a small one, is the check in process. We checked in on a Saturday and there were quite a few people in the lodge for wine tasting. We had to wait a little longer than expected to get checked in to our cabin.

I was able to speak to the manager the following Monday and he was very gracious and offered his appologies. A very nice gentleman to speak with and I look forward to meeting him on my next stay. Yes, I will most certainly be back.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank iamdonman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2009

My future wife and I have been to Hidden Lake Winery many times. We spent our 1 yr Anniversary there & stayed in there Silent Forest Retreat Cabins. They are amazing to say the least. This year for our Anniversary, I decided to take her there again, & this time propose!!!!! The Inn keeper, Doug, gave us Excellent service and went over and above to make sure that we had an Amazing engagement weekend. The country atmosphere is great. Servise is even better. If you've never been... It's a MUST SEE! My future wife & I will return for years to come. It truly is a great retreat from the real world, & trust me..... A great place to get engaged &, or married. Thank you from the bottom of my heart , to Silent Forest Retreat Cabins & Hidden Lake Winery for making the best weekend of my life, to date, even more special! Chris Etling

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank cetling82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2009

We arrived to our cabin in Silent Forest Retreat around 1:00 pm to get ready before the wedding which was at the Majestic Falls location. We were granted an early check-in in advance (normal check-in time is 3:00pm) Unfortunately when we got to the room it had not been cleaned yet! Doug the inn keeper (manager) was on site within minutes and personally cleaned the cabin for us. He was extrememly apologetic and even comped us an extra bottle of wine for our troubles. After the wedding the cabin was perfect. We had a fireplace, a heartshaped jacuzzi and champagne and enjoyed every minute of it! We were given a complimentary brunch with our nights stay which was also very nice. I recommend it.

Even though there was a slight hiccup when we arrived, Doug went above and beyond to make things right for us. I really appreciate this kind of service and feel that other staff members of Hidden Lake Winery could learn from his example.

Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank tracy0291
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2009

I would not recommend this place to anyone! We really enjoyed their wine, so we decided to spend our anniversary in one of the cabins. Big mistake!! The room took over 4 hours to heat. The TV never did work. Found a dead cockroach in the room. The staff wasn't very helpful. The said they would "make it up to us". They never did. My husband and I are only able to leave our kids a few times a year. This was one of those times and we wished we wouldn't have spent so much money on this trip! We will never go back! Travelers beware!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Cardsfanx4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2009

Took my wife to Hidden Lake Winery to do some wine tasting. Needless to say we had a bit too much to drink. Saw a brochure at the wine bar that they had cabins to stay at on the property. Instead of risking driving a bit tipsy, decided to get a cabin for the night. Well, after reading the previous review I wondered if I was at the same place. People at the wine bar were very nice and the cabin didn't disappoint. Had a mini fridge with 2 complimentary bottles of water and oj, microwave, coffee pot, basket of fruit, TV, and Jacuzzi. Now if you are expecting 5 star accommodations this is not the place to be. You drive on a gravel road to get to the cabin. No phone in cabin and no room service. The night we stayed the winery shutdown at 7:30, but if we stayed the next night they were open later. I see they are also opening a restaurant, but it wasn't open when we were there. Not the most exciting place on a weekday, but was as nice as the pictures in the brochure.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank PelicanBay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2008

Banquet for 75 people: $1880

Honeymoon Suite: $200

Dead cockroach in the bathtub of Honeymoon Suite: PRICELESS

On the surface, the Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center in Aviston, Illinois would seem to have everything going for it. A quaint concept, nice secluded cabins, large banquet rooms and a connection to a California wine dynasty. Sadly, the devil is in the details. My husband and I first became aware of Hidden Lake Winery when we received some bottles of their wine as a wedding gift. We drank the wine with friends at a dinner party and all present declared the wine to be tasty so we decided to visit the winery. We had lunch at the winery and it wasn't bad, so we decided to look into having the annual Christmas party in their banquet room. I visited the winery and spoke with their party co-ordinator, and decided to have the party there and she seemed quite capable so naturally she quit a week later, as did the second co-ordinator I was working with, but the third one did manage to make it until the party day. As all my loyal readers know, I have severe back problems due to many car accidents and I am a wedding and party planner by trade. I arrived with the party decorations and such to find a huge SUV parked in front of the door and it was the owner's wife's SUV and she parked it smack in front of the door and left it running. She watched me make 5 trips from the handicapped parking space in 28 degree weather and a strong wind carrying heavy decorations before it finally dawned on her that she might want to MOVE HER FREAKING CAR SO THAT THE DISABLED PARTY PLANNER/CUSTOMER WHO SPENT TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS AT HER HUSBAND'S BUSINESS could bring in the decorations for the party without having to walk through the MUD AND ROCKS AND FREEZING RAIN of their absolutely horrid parking lot--which looks like it's been nuked repeatedly. Her attitude of "The customers can kiss my [--]" was pretty much the attitude of the entire staff and it showed up in virtually every facet of the way the business is operated. The decorations that the staff had left on the tables were on mirrors that were covered with greasy, nasty fingerprints. When I asked if they could be cleaned, they gave me a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels. I was going to incorporate them into my decoration theme but I didn't have time to clean them all, so I removed them from the tables. We were contracted to have 10 tables but only 9 were set up for us and my bad--I didn't notice this until I had finished putting out the decorations so I had to cannibalize bits of decorations from other tables until I could get the table looking like the rest of them. The salt and pepper shakers were only half full on each and every table--even WAFFLE HOUSE fills their shakers every shift. There's no excuse for this kind of lack of attention to detail, and every time I asked the staff for something, their entire attitude was that I was annoying them, they did everything but ROLL THEIR EYES to convey their displeasure at being asked to do their jobs. When my husband arrived, I was in severe pain from running around on the hard floor and carrying in all the decorations from a half mile away, so he went to get me a glass of wine AND THEY CHARGED HIM $2 FOR A GLASS DEPOSIT!! How [--] is that? I could NOT believe it, but I drank the wine, we finished the decorations and he put out the place cards and we went to the $200 honeymoon suite to rest and get ready for the party. Again, the devil was in the details. The room was so cold we had to turn the heat on HIGH for nearly an hour to get it to 70 degrees. There was ONE towel in the room. There was a DEAD ROACH in the bathtub. There was a soap scum ring around the jacuzzi tub. There was a nearly empty roll of tissue on the spindle and the spare was on the floor underneath it. I guess changing it wasn't in the maid's job description or else they didn't want to waste the 11 squares of tissue left on it. The satellite TV didn't work because it couldn't get a signal--it kept going to blue and 'searching' for signal. There was no telephone in the room and the alarm clock was a $4 Wal-mart digital--I wanted to dock my Zune and most good hotels in the $100 per night price range have an MP3 player hookup. The towels were clean but of very poor quality--again a detail but an important one--big, thick cushy towels are the hallmark of quality hotels. There was no Internet access, so we had to use our iPhones to check email. The outside "parking lot" was nothing but mud and we couldn't see to open the door because the outside light was burned out. The "Continental Breakfast" consisted of a disposable bowl of Coco Puffs and another of Golden Grahams cereal. There were two mini-pies (the kind you buy in a convenience store) that were so bashed and smashed that I thought they had been beaten with a bat, a mushy apple--with the grocery store PLU sticker still attached--tacky, 2 GREEN bananas and a rotten orange. I'm guessing that the same chef who prepared the mediocre banquet food is also in charge of the Continental Breakfast. There was a freezer in the room fridge but NO ice cube trays although there was so much white frost on the freezer they wouldn't have fit. The coffeemaker was dirty--I mean COME ON--this is just ridiculous.
It's a shame to have to write this kind of review because the cabin was beautifully rustic and the bed was as comfortable as any I've ever slept in, the grounds are lovely and the wine they bottle is very good. Unfortunately, Hidden Lake Winery never fails to disappoint--and it shouldn't be that way. The employees are what is killing the place--they don't care and it shows in everything they do starting from their attitude toward guests to the job they do--they ignore the details and do their jobs just well enough to fool the owner into thinking he has good people. A good general manager, a good chef and an attitude adjustment would make all the difference here but it's not going to happen. As word spreads about how bad this place is, their revenue will drop and the help will get worse instead of better. I would never have another event there.

6  Thank LimoBarbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Silent Forest Retreat Cabins at Hidden Lake Winery

Address: 10580 Wellen Road, Aviston, IL 62216
Location: United States > Illinois > Aviston
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Aviston
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Silent Forest Retreat Cabins At Hidden Lake Winery Hotel Aviston

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