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“More than what we could have wanted!”

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Diamond John's Riverside Retreat
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1 review
“More than what we could have wanted!”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This place was awesome! Our family took a vacation out to the Crater of Diamonds State Park during spring break this year and decided to stay at Diamond John's. We were hoping for a Teepee, but they were all taken so we went with one of the cabins instead. The cabin we stayed in was the Montana, and it was just perfect. Our children, ages 3 and 5, loved the bunk bed, as well as al of the animals roaming the property. It was really cool to wake up to the peacocks up on our front deck and be visited by some of the little kitties and ducks at dinnertime. The owners were great and so helpful with everything. They let you borrow diamond digging equipment for free so that is also a big plus for those planning on trying their hand at diamond mining.

Although we didn't find any diamonds, we didn't leave empty handed thanks to the nightly gem hunts that Diamond John leads. Our kids looked forward to them every evening and are so proud of their finds! It was probably the most memorable thing about the whole trip for our kids.

We also made use of one of the canoes that the owners provide for free and had a great time out exploring on the river. The week before we arrived, the owner's daughter had found an indian pestle when one of the trees had fallen over on the bank, as well as finding many arrow heads in the past. We enjoyed finding cool rocks and looking for more artifacts while out on the river. The scenery was beautiful and provided a whole afternoon of entertainment on a day that we didn't have much planned.

Another thing I wanted to mention was that the owners do have quite time after the gem hunts each night. It was great for us because after the gem hunts, our kids knew it was bedtime and the adults got to have time to themselves. Some may not like that, but for us it was a welcome break from focusing completely on the kids like we normally do. It really helped us relax and enjoy each other's company for a few hours, something that we normally probably wouldn't have done. While the kids were safely in their beds sleeping to SpongeBob on the flat screen, we got to enjoy the campfire on the deck as well as have a dip in the hot tub.

Overall, I would highly recommend staying here. I can't think of one thing I would change or one single negative about our visit. It is a very family friendly atmosphere and was a perfect fit for our family.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MTOkieDokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
149 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

This is a quaint family run retreat and is quite eclectic. There are a few peacocks, and evil pony, a gaggle if geese and ducks as well as a few mountain goats on site. Everyone is fine except the pony who likes to bite but is thankfully tied up. There is a treehouse- sans plumbing but w electrical and sat TV ; several tipis- sans plumbing also; and then a cpl of cabins with plumbing. They are very rustic but cozy and inviting. Like 5 camping. It is on a river and is a beautiful setting. The owners are friendly and willing to answer questions or offer help. They provide diamond mining equipment for free and are located not 3 minutes from the parks entrance. About 5 minutes drive to town. There's a canoe, soccer ball and volleyball net all free to use as well as plenty if lighters and firewood for each put- also free. Resident 1 yr old terrier shih tzu mix named bandit is super friendly. Pets welcome.

We will be back

  • Stayed March 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank cassiesmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Family and I reserved a teepee a month in advance. As advertised, it was supposed to be kid friendly and a overall great family adventure. First of all, there is no military discount of any kind. My husband is a 12 yr Army war veteran. When we first met the male owner, the first thing he said to us was; never mind the reviews. I asked him what he meant and, he said, its just about some issues with some past visitors that were here. We moved into the end tepee, and couldn't get WiFi service. So we asked to move to the front tepee. Still no WiFi. The second tent was dirty and the sheets had dog hair on them. No air or ventilation. There's a hot tub advertised as communal use. I informed the female owner that we had 3 children and was that OK. So we all go to the hot tub. There was a large sign on the fence around the hot tub that states 'children must be supervised. About10 minutes later, the male owner came out and told us there was supposed to be no kids in the hot tub. We tried to ask him about the sign but he wouldn't let us talk and kept getting louder and told us we could leave if we didn't like it. My husband was very upset. He has PTSD and it was hard for him to contain hiself. He managed to stay professional and nice. Nothing that was advertised was as said when we arrived. The worst experience we ever had and we have camped at a lot of places in the south. We are very easy to please but we refuse to be treated the way this male owner treated us. We have never felt so disrespected and unwanted in our lives. We payed more money to go to the Queen of Diamonds and was very welcomed and satisfied. There will be more reviews on this in the Democrat Gazette.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank brianbaxter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, Missouri
1 review
Reviewed October 15, 2012

My husband and I stumbled upon Diamond John's on our way to the Crater of Diamonds. We planned on staying one night in Murfreesboro then we wanted to head to Hot Springs to finish up our honeymoon. We arrived after dark on a Tuesday night. We had not made reservations and basically knocked on their door at 8:30 PM. We were welcomed in, offered a cabin and we quickly settled in for the night. We made a fire on the front porch area and enjoyed our evening together. The next morning we woke to neat animals, a beautiful river front and we were totally surprised with everything else we were seeing! Since it was dark when we arrived, we had no idea what surrounded us! We instantly decided to blow off Hot Springs and spend the next few nights at Diamond John's!! Diamond John and his wife were so nice and great hosts; they were around when we needed them (mostly to get tips on diamond digging) but left us alone otherwise. We were offered use of the canoes, diamond screens and other things the retreat had to offer. Our cabin was nice, clean and comfortable. We stayed in a teepee the last night and enjoyed that as well. We had tons of fun, met great people and had plenty of time to relax and adjust to married life. My husband and I have decided to spend our anniversary weekends there as well!

Don't go in expecting the comforts of a Hilton, enjoy what the 6 acre site has to offer and you will have a great time.

-B & C Cooper

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BrandiCooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yukon, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 3, 2012

My mother is 66 years old and fell in love with this place. We take a yearly camping trip just us girls. This year my daughter was not able to attend so Mom and I decided we needed a quick get away. We decided to try a cabin this year we usually pitch a tent. The cabin was a great treat. Mom loved sitting outside on the deck in the quiet. THe peacocks were entertaining as well as the other "pets" Mom loved walking in the area and talking to the owner. The owners had a great balance of being host and giving us privacy. We will be adding DIamondJohns to our list of places we must go back to.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank dee w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitney, Texas
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed September 30, 2012

My family stayed 3 nights in early spring and loved every minute of it. We stayed in the biggest TeePee, all 6 of us. Had 4 beds and a couch, and a TV (never used, weren't there to watch TV) refigerator, microwave, firepit that we used to cook (and stay warm 1 night). a/c (used 1 day) We had all kinds of weather hit us but snow. At one point I thought we were going to be hit by a tornado. The teepee never leaked or swayed like I would have thought. We weren't there for the diamond mines, just a great outddor adventure. And trust me, it was a great one. The kids loved the 'diamond dig' John did with them every night. It's more for young kids but we all still enjoyed it. Took the canoes and kayaks down the river, did some nature hunts, some fishing, and just some good ole scenic floating. We were able to interact with the animals there too. my favorite was to watch the geese chase the kids!! No harm done in case your wondering. And the miniature pony was fasinated by my sons zipper on his jacket. He kept using his mouth to zip and unzip it. The kids loved it.
I couldnt see going in the summer cause I'm a wimp to the heat and hey, teepee's weren't meant for a/c even though they have them for your convenience. The restrooms/shower rooms actually had a country home kinda touch. If I ran out of towels the owners got me more or I used my own! yea, i did feel kind of inconvenienced to have to walk there. But then again, teepee's aren't supposed to come equiped with a restroom. I also liked the fact that the owners left us alone and let us do whatever we wanted. If we ever needed anything, we just walked to the hilltop and asked. He was always accomadating to whatever we needed. Wi-Fi was spotty, but you are out in the middle of nowhere.
If your looking for the Marriot under a canopy, it wont be there. It's all good old fashion camping just with a MUCH Better tent.
We will obviously recommend this place and do plan on going back!

Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank VickiSullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mcdonough ga
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

If you have kids and or dogs this is the place, if you are looking for the Days Inn ,this is not it,4 adults ,1 cabin, close but it worked, 3 nites ,very interesting place and people,animals running around lose,river for a front yard, nothing else close, park around corner..left my wifes wedding rings ..they were returned to us ,fire out front, other people I talked to there all said they loved it ...we did and we will be back asop..let me repeat, this is not the KOA .but a unique place to spend a couple of days, had 2 dogs with us...fishing poles ,canoes ,diamond screens,shovels etc, all free to use,your kids will love it...John and Shirley see you soon I hope...WE HAD NO PROBLEMS WITH THIS PLACE !

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank duane m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Diamond John's Riverside Retreat

Property: Diamond John's Riverside Retreat
Address: 81 Roy Rd, Murfreesboro, AR 71958-8700
Location: United States > Arkansas > Murfreesboro
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Murfreesboro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Diamond John's Riverside Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camping and other lodging next to Diamonds State Park. Lodging options include B&B in a log home, cabins, tipis. Activities include fishing, paddleboats, kayaks, petting zoo, water slide, picnicking, and horseshoes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diamond John`s Riverside Retreat Hotel Murfreesboro

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