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StoneWind Retreat
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Reviews (63)
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48 - 53 of 63 reviews
Reviewed August 16, 2012

The Sanctuary yurt is not worth the price difference in the summertime. There was a visitor a night (mouse) who woke me up the first night as he chewed the bait left out for him in the kitchen. The second night, my friend awoke to the sound of him as well. While the provided earplugs are appreciated, removing pests is what needs to happen and it's not.

The surrounding area of the Sanctuary yurt is very run down. The furniture needs to be replaced and someone is definitely lining their pockets by not putting anything back into the property. The hot tub WAS clean but that's the only positive thing I can say about the outdoor experience.

The pond was dried up and I was informed of this before arriving. However, I would have liked to know about the rodent...will not return again.

Room Tip: No helpful tip about a good room.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Next007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StoneWind, Owner at StoneWind Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2012

We are very sorry this Guest did not enjoy her stay in the Sanctuary Suite. A mouse is definitely not an appropriate roommate. We also regret the unkempt look of our landscaping. Both situations were directly related to the extreme heat we had been experiencing when she was here at the beginning of August (105˚-112˚, index to 115+˚), and to the worst drought in Arkansas history that began in 2011 and continues today. StoneWind shares a boundary with the Ozark National Forest, which means (a) we have a lot of wildlife (deer, turkey, and yes, mice), and (b) we are very careful to observe all fire safety procedures, regulations, and burn bans.

With record breaking heat and extreme drought, we have had a few problems with mice coming into the cabins for food and water, hence the precautionary rodent bait behind the kitchen cabinets. We had recently caught a few mice in the Sanctuary Suite and thought we had the mouse issue resolved. If the Guest had told us about the mouse after the first night, we would have done more to keep it from being a problem the second night. We never knowingly allow rodents or any other critters to be in our cabins.

Nearly all Arkansas counties, and StoneWind, are under a burn ban and fire alert. In early August, the grass and underbrush at StoneWind was a brown, dry tinder waiting for a spark. We had been unable to weed eat or brush hog for almost ten weeks because of the danger of a blade hitting a rock (it’s called StoneWind for a reason), causing a spark, then a fire that would be out of control in minutes. Such had already happened in other counties with almost a 1000 acres burned. The Sanctuary pond was completely dry for the first time in 7 years, and some of the trees were dying or dead as well, with us unable to cut and remove them in the extreme heat, again due to the fear of sparks and subsequent fire. It was painful to see. So yes, the grounds were not at their best, not because we don’t bother to take care of them; rather because we could not safely do the work in the heat and drought.

In the last two weeks, the heat has broken and we have had some rain, enough to green up the grass a little and make weed eating and brush hogging safer. We are working to catch up with the landscaping and to repair–where possible–the damage nature has done. And we are praying for more rain.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

My husband and I visited Stonewind retreat in March. It was our fifth year anniversary. We really enjoyed our stay there. It was peaceful and quite. The staff was great. We visited the the Devil's Den and The Natural Dam. We also went to Fort Smith and visited the mall and some of the surrounding shopping areas. While at the retreat we went on the walking trail short but nice.

I would recommend this retreat to anyone who would like to connect with nature and really like the outdoors, or someone who just really what some along time by themselves or that significant other. Its all about loving the nature, and to say that my husband and I are a young couple we really enjoyed ourselves.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank T M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

I work in a service career that places a huge emphasis on customer/client/patient/patron experience. It is not very difficult to make customers feel cared for and to exceed customer expectations. It is also very easy to ruin the entire experience for a customer by a few simple comments and a negative attitude. I found the Stonewind retreat while searching for private cabins with hot tubs in the Ozarks. It looked like the perfect, relaxing way to retreat for my 30th birthday based on the uniqueness of cabins, the presence of private hot tubs, and the fact that it is "off the beaten path". I wanted an adventure and something completely different from anything I have done before. This could have been exactly that if the management could learn how to treat customers. I admit, I didn't read word for word all of the information on the website before booking our stay. After all, I have traveled to many places and stayed at many different types of establishments from the lowest class town motel to 5 star resorts. I don't act inappropriately and I would never purposely disrespect the property of anyone. My lack of satisfaction was partly due to poor planning on my part and not reading all the fine print in the ridiculous contract; however, it is very unacceptable for a customer to feel like an inconvenience or a complete nuisance after utilizing a service. A customer should leave any type of business feeling like they were treated with respect.

So here is my experience: after a long day of Harley riding from Oklahoma, my fiancé and I arrived at Stone wind right at 6pm. Because we were unfamiliar with the area and were unaware that it was so far off the interstate, we arrived an hour later than we had planned. In addition to being far off the main highway, the road was VERY rough causing us to have to ride very slowly up the gravel hills (which is mentioned on the website). The lady who "greeted" us at the office acted very put out that we were there at the last minute, even though we called ahead to let her know our situation. She also acted appalled that we had a loud vehicle due to the serenity of the place. She mentioned very condescendingly that "the website states no motorcycles but I guess we will let you stay, just don't start it after you get to your room". After checking in and quickly signing a fairly lengthy contract, we proceeded to our room for a couples massage. Despite the lady's attitude and being treated like we we were not worthy to stay at the resort, I looked past it and was excited about our stay. The yurts were awesome and I would probably have considered returning if that was all that had occured.

The massage therapist (an individual contractor who's name I can't remember- Jennifer???) was absolutely amazing! She went above and beyond to make our experience exceptional. She stayed longer than our one hour session to make sure we received the full benefits of massage. The closest food establishment was quite a distance and we were unaware that we would have so few options for dinner so we did not bring food with us. The massage therapist even called a local friend to try to get us a homemade meal (and beer) so that we could relax and not have to venture out to try to get food. Heaven forbid we start the motorcycle after dark. We politely declined the offer, but the personal details she provided during her service were above and beyond and left me (the customer) feeling like she was there to serve my every need. Which is not her job, but that is what makes a good experience exceptional- the unexpected details that someone provides because they care about all the needs the customer, not just about their job. The massage therapist at Stonewind provided one of the best experiences that I have had. Lucky for Stonewind, she made up for the bad greeting.

After the massage, I was looking very forward to the private, outdoor hot tub under the starlit sky. I used the hot tub for about an hour that night after the massage. I showered afterwards. The next morning I used the hot tub for another hour or so. My fiancé, who had showered before going to sleep, used the hot tub the next morning also. He wanted to finish a movie he was watching so he decided to turn the television facing the window so that we could watch it from the hot tub. He rolled up the window cover in the outside of the yurt. The window cover has latches that are designed to hold it up. For some reason (probably laziness) he pulled the fabric latch through a hole that was in the plastic window instead of the hole that is designed to hold the latch. The hole was a rip in the plastic, it was not supposed to be there. It was there when he rolled up the window cover. He or I DID NOT tear the plastic!

Checkout is at 11am. We started packing and were a few minutes away from being done at 11am. At exactly 11am ON THE DOT, an older gentlemen knocked on the door and said it is time to leave. I totally respect the check out time, and am even ok with someone coming to tell us, but it is a little rigid to knock and tell us to leave right at 11. To make it worse, he stood right next to the door until we left and I was changing clothes. He could see directly into the door and windows and did not respect my privacy. It would have made me feel much more comfortable (and better customer service) if he would have left the cabin area and gave us just a few minutes to leave the property.

We finally departed, not 100% satisfied, but mostly satisfied despite my complaints. What happened a week or so later is what caused me to feel completely angry and defensive. I will never recommend Stonewind to anyone now. A few days later, I received a VERY insulting email stating that my credit card was being charged for "contaminating the hot tub" and for "damaging property (the window)". They even sent pictures of the hot tub and the tears in the widow. The letter went into detail about how "gross" the hot tub water was left and how bad the damage was to the window. It also stated that it wasn't damaged before our arrival. My credit card was charged around $200 for draining the hot tub and replacing the window. APPARENTLY, the contract states that no oils, soaps, or lotions can be on your skin when you get in the hot tub. I understand that policy; however, it should have been clearly stated by the manager when checking in- especially due to the fact that we scheduled a massage (with oils) through the resort. That may be common sense to some, but for those with no experience with hot tub maintenance, this could have been prevented with a little reiteration during check in. Personally, I think draining the hot tubs occasionally should be part of the expected overhead, but I signed the contract so I guess I am at fault. Again, not very friendly customer service. Regarding the window, I will say again that we DID NOT damage it. It obviously wasn't noticed until we pulled up the cover to expose it. Although it would appear that we caused it because the latch was through the hole, we would never vandalize property on purpose and if it was an accident, I would not be so defensive. If it hadn't already been charged to my account, or if they were closer, I would take legal action to try to get my money back, but it is not worth it to me. Instead I will just provide reviews and hope that Stonewind will consider the way they make customers feel. For the success of the resort, I would highly recommend that they invest in a customer experience initiative and training. I would also recommend they hire the massage therapist to lead these efforts.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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9  Thank UnhappyWithStonewind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StoneWind, Owner at StoneWind Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2012

The experience recounted above was unpleasant for everyone, and we regret deeply that it happened as it did. It is never our desire or intent to insult a Guest or to be rude, and we are sorry that this Guest’s one night experience at StoneWind went so wrong. As other reviews indicate, we try very hard to create a quiet, peaceful, and relaxing environment for our Guests, and we do everything we can to help our Guests enjoy themselves while they are here. To assure those conditions are maintained for everyone, however, we have to have rules that protect StoneWind’s peace and quiet, the safety of the hot tub experience, and the cabins. We make every effort to make the rules and policies transparent and available to Guests on our web site, in the emails sent out in connection with a reservation, in the documents provided at check-in, in separate brochures on hot tubs and yurts, and then with the most important points posted on the refrigerators in the cabins. Each of the rules, and our efforts to make them known, have a sound reason behind them.

The unpaved road is steep, difficult, and probably dangerous for street bikes—that’s why we discourage them. And honestly, we’re just not a Rolling Thunder kind of place. People come here for the peace and quiet; we try to assure they find it when they arrive.

The hot tub rules are designed to protect the health and safety of our Guests by assuring optimum water quality in the hot tubs at all times. We check the chemical balance in the hot tubs daily to maintain that optimum water quality, and we change the water frequently, although not everyday. However, we never put a new Guest in a cabin if the hot tub water has been contaminated by a previous one. Oil in a hot tub is disgusting and impossible to remove without draining, cleaning, and replacing the water. Hence our efforts to educate Guests on proper use of the hot tub (showering before use, no additives, etc.), and on the policy of charging for unscheduled hot tub maintenance when the hot tub rules--provided in numerous, obvious places--have clearly been ignored.

As to the window damage: it’s unfortunate that while repositioning the TV to blare outside to the hot tub they held the shade up by putting a strap through the vinyl window instead of using the shade straps provided. With the weight of the shade hooked through the window, the wind catching the shade tore the vinyl window to such a degree it was unusable.

We genuinely like our Guests and feel great satisfaction when Guests tell us how much they enjoy being here. We welcome constructive criticism and insight into how we can provide a better vacation experience, but we do have and enforce rules that are there to protect the unique StoneWind experience for everyone.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

Loved every minute of our stay. Hot tub was wonderful, comfy bed, and all the necessary amenities inside, including full kitchen. Would recommend to anyone!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank jentastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2012

We went in Oct and fell in love. Spent some time hiking at Devils Den, walked the property at Stone Wind Retreat, was treated great by the staff and enjoyed every evening looking at the stars from the hot tub. We went wanting to unplug and get away from everything and we did. Nothing but us and nature. It was so relaxing and we are planning another stay, We will become regulars and you should too.
Chuck and Melissa Neal

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chuck and Melis... N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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