My wife and I took a long weekend touring the Ouachita forest area of Arkansas, during which we spent 3 nights at 3 different "state park" lodges. Mount Magazine was head and sholders above the others. I can not say enough good things and plan to go back next year.
Starting off with the drive. The state park claims to have the highest point in Arkansas that is an easy hike from the lodge. There are plenty of vistas and hikes in the area to keep you busy for a couple of days. They vary greatly in difficulty, and can have some steep elevations to climb up or down, but there should be something to fit all physiques and experience levels.
Be sure to look in advance for any events in the area. We did the wine tour and it was alot of fun, but will take up a good chunk of your daytime. The wine tasting tours were fun and we got to try alot of the local flavor.
Back at the lodge, expect to have your jaw drop a few times. A few on the drive up, one when you reach the lodge, and another as you walk in and take in the rear deck. All rooms have windows looking out to the valley. It was really something watching some storms blow through (and below us). Truly a castle in the sky.
Once we got our keys, prepare for jaw drop #2 as we take in the Suite King room. 2 balcony's, 2 rooms, jacuzzi tub, kitchenette, fireplace. Beds were comfy and rooms were super clean. Our suite was quite a luxury!
The lodge food was very good (and remember this is a state park). Just don't go in with 5 star expectations and you'll come out happy. My wife and I had a wonderful dinner on the patio and got to watch the sunset. Does get a bit chilly in October, but her chicken alfredo and my cheeseburger were good. There is no room service, but plenty of vending machine options and a nice kitchenette in our suite. I'm sure the cabins are even more well equipped for those who want to cook their own meals.
Spectacular views everywhere you look! Early october was starting to show some nice fall colors, but late October/ Mid November would be even better.
The only two items lacking are room service and a spa service. Being a guy, I wasn't to concerned about the spa, but a massage would have been nice. And another night we would have loved to order late night dessert, but could not. So stock up during the day or make use of the ample and well priced vending machines.
If you want to have a beer or wine with your meal, then you are either bringing your own (see the available off-site wine tasting tour offered through the lodge) or join the lodge's "club". I've seen others complain, but it's really no big deal. It's free, just fill out a form to get a card and you're done. Or just go on the wine tours, buy some really nice wine and enjoy it on your balcony in the evening.
I could go on and on, but in summary there wasn't anything we could them to improve upon except maybe the spa service. Just remember this isn't the Ritz Carlton, but a State run park. However it is probably the crown jewel of all Arkansas state parks.. Stay two nights and enjoy yourself! 9.9 out of 10!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience The Lodge at Mount Magazine. Overlooking the Petit Jean River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake, this resort mountain lodge offers 60 guest rooms with breathtaking views of the valley below. Gracing the south bluff of Arkansas's high point, the Lodge at Mount Magazine is one of the finest Arkansas lodges and offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in The Natural State. With its sweeping views of the Petit Jean River Valley and distant Blue Mountain Lake, lodging in this mountaintop resort combines a majestic natural setting with first-class amenities. The modern, rustic-style lodge offers 60 guest rooms, a hearth room lobby, delicious classic Southern cuisine in the Skycrest Restaurant, a conference center, business center, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and gift shop, making this one of the most well-appointed Arkansas lodges. The three-wing lodge stretches along the bluff so that the hearth room, restaurant, swimming pool, and all 60 guest rooms offer the view from the bluff. This is a getaway for couples. It's for families and friends to share together, too. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Lodge At Mount Magazine Hotel Paris
- Hotel At Mount Magazine
- At Mount Magazine Paris
- The Lodge At Mount Magazine Arkansas/Paris