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“Lodge basically closed in winter. Staff uninformed, incompetent.”
Review of Lake Barkley Lodge

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Lake Barkley Lodge
Reviewed February 14, 2011

I read the glowing reviews for Lake Barkley but didn't notice that nearly every review was written by a traveler visiting in summer. We recently had some very nice weather (around 60 degrees) in February, so we decided to give the park a try. It was a big mistake.

The lodge and the park itself are basically closed for most of the winter season, despite the great local weather. A small note on the park website warns that the lodge is closed Sunday through Wednesday for the winter, so I called the park in advance to see if any services would be available before we drove out there. The park employee answering the phone seemed perplexed by the online closure message. I was assured that only the restaurant was closed and the park grounds and all other facilities would be open for our use. The restaurant closure didn't seem to present a problem since we only wanted to hike the outdoor trails, view the lake, and use the indoor pool and hot tub, which I was assured would be open.

When we arrived, we walked into the office and were completely ignored by staff, despite the fact that we seemed to be literally the only two guests on the property and three or four employees were standing around. I finally approached the information desk and asked a man in uniform about the available hiking trails. He informed me he was assigned to "another park" and didn't know anything about the park in which he was working. I then asked another staff member about hiking trails. He informed me that trails began at "various places", but when I asked for clarification on specific trails he could never provide coherent information. It became clear that he did not know how to access the hiking trails, and was trying to find the information on a printed map. As it turns out, most of the hiking trails begin in areas that are closed to the public behind locked gates, totally off limits and unusable to visitors.

With hiking ruled out, we proceeded to the fitness center to check out the indoor pool and hot tub which I had been assured would be open. We found the hot tub closed, and later found out that it had been broken at least since the previous week, with no repair in sight. When we asked to see the pool, a staff member guided us to a pool completely enclosed in a large glass room. Upon entering the pool area, we found the area so uncomfortably hot that we simply could not stay inside. I was surprised to see an outdoor thermometer mounted on the wall which displayed a temperature of nearly 130 degrees! No one was swimming in the pool, and it remains a mystery to me why someone couldn't open a door and cool the area down to a reasonable temperature. Staff members seemed bored and uncaring, with employees standing outside smoking and talking on their cell phones for long periods of time.

In the end, we found absolutely nothing to do at the lodge or the park in general. A quick drive to nearby Kenlake State Park revealed a note on the door informing guests to ring the bell if the door was locked.

We understand that parks may limit services during winter months. What we cannot understand is the fact that every single Kentucky State Parks staff member we talked to either gave us incorrect park information, or was unable to provide any information at all. Perhaps Lake Barkley Lodge is a worthwhile destination in summer. I have no way to judge. In winter, the lodge appears to serve as a retirement community for state employees whose level of professionalism and competence is reminiscent of local fast food outlets. Despite making more than one call in advance to get information, this trip was a complete waste of our time and money. We will not be frequenting Kentucky State Parks again.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ideas8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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222 - 228 of 264 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2010

We stayed in the main lodge one night after taking our daughter to Murray State U.
The room was very nice, looked like it had been newly decorated - very clean, bathroom was very clean and updated.
View of the lake from our room was the best feature of all.
We used the outdoor pool, and ate in the restaurant - all good, no problems.
We went to see the beach, but since they had experienced recent flooding in the region, the beach wasn't at its best.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank SunnyTraveler57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2010

We went for a weekend getaway for an anniversary and we were simply looking to spend some nice time together. It was the perfect place to relax and do some simple activities together. We went swimming in the indoor pool and it had very nice facilities; a sauna, a steam room, changing rooms, and a very large pool, as well as a hot tub (although we did not get to use the hot tub when we were there because it was being repaired, I think).

The room was great. It had vaulted ceilings, a nice comfortable bed, and a couch. The walls were old wood and it had a great mostly private balcony with chairs and a great view of the lake. At night, we heard animals walking around outside, and that was really neat. It was a great "lodge" feel and that is exactly what we were looking for.

There were a few nice trails for hiking and we spend most of one day walking along those. It was great weather for it. The food at the restaurant was pretty good. We ate the buffet twice, and ordered off the menu the other few times. Food from the menu was usually better than the buffet food, but none of the food was ever bad. Also, they have really great Fried Green Tomatoes and French Toast.

The location was great, and it was easy to feel secluded from traffic and work and all other stressful situations. Since we didn't go during the summer, we didn't get to experience the outdoor pool or the lake as much, but it was still a great weekend and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking to simply relax.

The only problem we had is that the TV in our room did not work. We asked to have it fixed, but they could not fix it, so they asked if we wanted to move rooms. We moved to the room right next to us after the first night, but that was our choice, so they didn't force us to move. We ended up not really watching much TV anyway since we were outside most of the weekend. But we figured since we were paying for the room, we at least wanted a TV that worked. It wasn't a big issue, though.

I had a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AL722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2010

Wonderful setting. Newley appointed rooms with free wifi. Overlooks beautiful Lake Barkley. The restaurant is fantastic. Great value!

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Thank jaylo1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2010

I had been told a year in advance that the entire Little River Lodge @ at rate of $1200/night that it was a great place for our family reunion (10 rooms & 25 people). I made the "group sales" girl aware that we would have small children in our party. When we arrived we were greeted by the barely passable rooms and the general meeting room was pure filth!!! The carpet was so dirty that I had to wash my 1 yr. old granddaughters feet and legs after only 1-2 hours. She looked as though she had been playing in coal dust!
I went to the regristration desk and complained. They were very nice and did everything they could to help us.
We were moved to the main lodge, given special rates, etc. The Little River Lodge was just what we wanted...but TOO dirty for a family to use! Hope they remodel soon. If so we will return. If not we will not be back. Be sure to ask ALL questions before signing a contract.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank INFarmwife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2010

We spent the weekend before Memorial Day in a king-room at the Lodge. The room was nicely decorated, with plenty of room for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. The bathroom seemed to be relatively recently updated. Our room had a lovely view of the lake. The kids enjoyed the indoor pool (outdoor pool was not open yet) and throwing rocks along the paved walkway in front of the lodge. My daughter had a great time on a pony ride at the stable ($5). The beach wasn't open so I can't comment on that. The playground equipment was dirty and sticky for some reason. I wouldn't let the kids play on it. We ate breakfast and supper at the restaurant. Great views and an okay buffet. We wanted to rent a boat at the Marina on Saturday, but was told it was closed, so that was a big disappointment. I guess my advice would be, don't plan on a fun-packed vacation before Memorial Day, since many of the amenities are not open yet. But that said, we would definitely return. I would recommend taking an afternoon or evening and driving in to Patti's Settlement in Grand Rivers. Lots of cool shops, restaurants and fun for the kids.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank TruMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2010

The family headed to Lake Barkley for our Spring Break getaway this year. We stayed two nights at the Lake Barkley State Resort Lodge. The room was clean, beds comfortable, and the view of the lake from our private balcony was spectacular. Since it was early in the season the access to their beach was closed, as was the horseback riding and outdoor pool. We took advantage of the indoor pool, tennis, sauna, and walking trails. The game room was outdated but still fun for our two teens, and they both loved the recreation room across the hall from the game room where they got to hold snakes. The resort is in a very rustic setting which means you'll need to drive into town (10-15 minute drive) to find variety at meal time. We also ended up driving to Wrangler's Camp for horseback riding which our teen girls just adored.

The workers at the Marina were so nice and helpful. We checked into renting a pontoon and the prices were much lower than expected compared to a few other Marina's in the state. Because of the decent rental price, we would absolutely have rented one if it hadn't been so windy that day with the threat of thunderstorms. The fishing was great, too.

Our only negative on our trip was the experience we had eating at the lodge. During lunch one afternoon my husband and I got the soup and salad bar, sat down and began eating only to see with our own eyes that the attendee at the buffet was placing food on it with her bare hands. The next morning we waited over thirty minutes for blueberry pancakes to be served. We felt that ten dollars for four chicken tenders and some fries was a little pricey as well, and ended up driving to town for future meals.

It was a lovely, quiet place and we all had a good time. It is a very nice resort.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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Thank TravelinMaggieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Barkley Lodge

Address: 3500 State Park Road, Box 790, Cadiz, KY 42211-7090
Location: United States > Kentucky > Cadiz
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Cadiz
Price Range: $66 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Lake Barkley Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake Barkley State Resort Park has accommodations for every kind of travelers, including the comfortable Barkley Lodge and a large camping site. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lake Barkley Hotel Cadiz
Barkley Lodge
Barkley Hotel Cadiz

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