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“Ah, Wilderness!!! Country Living at it's Best.”
Review of Wilderness Lodge

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Wilderness Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Ah, Wilderness!!! Country Living at it's Best.”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

Wilderness were Paradise enow, I feel like waxing poetic over our two day mid-week stay at Wilderness Lodge. 3 generations, 6 people stayed in Jack's Cabin built in 1909 where we stayed when the grandparents (us) were first married 35 years ago. Little has changed but the ownership now returning to people who really care again-a whole new lease on life for this retreat. The clear Black River runs only yards away. The picnic lunch arrived in a proper English hamper. We snuggled under old quilts--soft covers made in hard times and watched the mist rise over the river. Our late friend once owned this place but the new owners made us feel that they were our new friends. Gracious country living.
Food prepared from the freshest ingredients with herbs from the kitchen garden just outside the 1034 lodge building. Zip lines, pool, hiking trails are all just waiting to be discovered by our new generation. Horses no longer on premises but found a trail ride at nearby Brushy Creek so all was well with our birthday girl and her best friend.

Room Tip: All furniture old, elegant in its own way and comfy, quilts are Ozark patchwork, fireplaces work and...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank PastorPrime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
kcmo
Level 5 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Just wanted to add our praise for Wilderness Lodge. We just stayed there for 4 nights and had a wonderful, relaxing time. We visited and hiked in the nearby parks and saw a few antique shops in the area. The food was fantastic, as were the accommodations...great beds, adorable furnishings, nice views and beautiful lodge and grounds. When they didn't have a particular wine I like the first night, there it was the next 3 nights, ready to pour!! So nice not to have to haul our food or go searching in the Ozark "hills" for restaurants. The new owners (new in the last 3 years) are off to a great start..it looks like they've certainly figured it out!

Room Tip: The Riverside rooms are spacious and have a fantastic deck from which you can see a bit of the river...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jbates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

I recently stayed with friends at the aptly named Wilderness Lodge and found it to be the perfect weekend escape into an unpretentious natural setting in the Ozarks of southeast Missouri. The staff perfectly complemented the setting by pampering us when we needed service and otherwise leaving us to our own devices. The delectable meals were prepared with care and served attentively by the delightful wait staff. The cozy bar was manned by a uniquely charming and colorful character who apparently impersonates Mark Twain and readily slips into that character while serving up some mighty fine adult beverages. Our rooms were beautifully constructed of recycled barnwood walls, open-beamed ceilings, beautifully aged flooring, and featured a large deck overlooking the pristine Black River. Our canoe trip was alternatively exciting and relaxing, a perfect mix for a casual weekend trip. Our group agreed that we will return at our first opportunity to this gem.
Charley

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lintner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

The Wilderness Lodge is a crown jewel not too close to St Louis but close enough. The drive from the airport was an easy 2 hours though woods about to burst with spring green. I gathered there with 8 college buddies, and we were treated like kings by a thoughtful, courteous and responsive staff. Some of us stayed in the river front cabins and were stunned by the scenic beauty of the clear Black River, a sky bursting with bright stars at night and an impressive large deck connected to the charming cabin. Rustic but not too rustic and very comfortable with interesting regional furniture. The food was just terrific. Prepared by an experienced kitchen chief and served by an enthusiastic staff in a charming dinning room shared by all guests. The adjacent bar with fireplace provide some fine wines and served by a knowledgeable bartender who provide colorful stories on any subject tossed to him. A real treat was the pulled BBQ pork prepared by one of the staff who specializes in smoking meat while attending to other duties.

We took a day long canoe trip down the Black River arranged with Wilderness Lodge with an experienced guide who taught us the fine art of skillful paddling and maneuvering around low hanging branches over swift currents. He also served an elegant lunch on the pristine shore during a rest break.

What else can I say? I guess it is this will be a repeat destination for me for some time with friends and family.

Room Tip: Tell Wilderness Lodge about your trip plans and they will work with you to select lodging suitable t...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This resort is unpretentious and wonderful in it's rustic-ness. We stayed in the hilltop cabin- taking all four units of a building. It was a wonderful way for 7 women to steal away from their families. No cooking, no cleaning, no putting up and taking down camp, breakfast and supper served to us at no extra cost. Firewood was right next to the fireplace in all four units. Tables and chairs aplenty for card games and having a glass of wine on the screened porch overlooking the river. We went in the fall so there was no lugging of rafts and other river toys like we do all summer long. As far as relaxing getaways - this is it. Even if you forget your book, they have a complete library to use, and every game under the sun. If it rains, don't worry, there are enough movies in the rec building to keep even a group of teens entertained. Mini golf, frisbee golf and shuffle board are right outside your door. Plus, they built a bonfire for us to toast marshmallows down on the commons. We ran out of time before we ran out of activities. Definitely going back next fall.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank abenttree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, Missouri, United States
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We wanted comfort,spacious cabins (yet in a wilderness setting), good food, friendly staff and a clean river to play in. We have researched and visited for a few years now and WILDERNESS LODGE is it! It was perfect waking up on a cool September morn, with our windows wide open, and our fire place burning. There is plenty of activities to do OR nothing to do. The bar in the evening, with the hot tub and campfire is a real nice touch to end the day. And the FOOD! This is not camp food! You get fresh cooked, 3 course gourmet style meals all included. Wilderness Lodge even comes with its own children, to visit with yours, and a friendly family to visit at the campfire. We use to spend many summers on the Black River, 20 something years ago, and there is not a cleaner or more beautiful river in our grasp. Wilderness Lodge has brought us back and we will keep coming back!

Room Tip: The Riverside Suites is wonderful, overlooks the river valley, a bit more private and has huge pictu...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tari R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

Somehow, this place has found the magical combination between rustic/cozy and gourmet/sophisticated. Tasty food that's homemade without being fussy; rustic cabins that are clean and comfortable; and all kinds of activities for whatever floats your boat. We enjoyed watching a movie and playing games in the Rec Room, reading books in the lounge, hikes on and off the property, and s'mores by the campfire. And then there's Lester, the bartender. He dished up sodas to the kids and drinks to the adults, and charmed everyone. The location already makes this place a cut above -- right on the crystal clear Black River, and a short drive away from Johnson's Shut-ins and Taum Sauk -- but the real thing that makes it special are the people who run it. Fantastic!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kristina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Lodge

Property: Wilderness Lodge
Address: PO Box 90, Lesterville, MO 63654-0090
Location: United States > Missouri > Lesterville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Lesterville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Wilderness Lodge, we have over 25 different cabins, suites and cottages for guests to enjoy. All cabin prices are based on a per person, per night charge since dinner and lunch are included with the package. Breakfast is available continental style from 7:30am to 9:30am, and we also serve a hot breakfast from 8am to 9am. For dinner, we have 4 seatings at 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm. During the week there is just one dinner seating between 6pm and 7pm (but we still try to be flexible if guests would like to come a little earlier or later). As far as activities, there is of course the Black River directly across the road from Wilderness Lodge for a little (or a lot) of water fun. Just a short walk from the cabins, the river, gravel bars, and side streams are great places to explore, swim, catch water critters and just relax in the sun. For a bit more adventure, we rent canoes, rafts, kayaks, and tubes for floating. We port floaters upstream in the morning for a 4 to 6 hour float (depending upon how fast the river is moving and how many gravel bar breaks you take) that ends up right back at our rivers edge campground. There are plenty more outdoor activities on the property including hiking, fishing, miniature golf, horse shoes, basketball, shuffle board, a playground, frisbee golf, etc -- we even recently found a cave to explore for those not afraid of small spaces. :) There are also a number of cool nature attractions within a short car ride, including Elephant Rock State Park and the recently opened Johnson Shut-ins. To get out of the heat, we have an air conditioned rec room with games & indoor activities -- and we plan to keep the main Lodge open all day long (over the last couple years it was only open during the meal times). Also in the main lodge is the Ripple Room Lounge, open for cocktails and beverages from 5pm to 9pm everyday. For the readers in our crowd that want a little piece and quiet, we have taken one of the Rock Cabins and converted it into a library refuge. Finally, on Saturday nights, we will also hold an informal friendly family game night in the main lodge for anyone that wants to attend. Unwind. Cool Off. Eat Well. Enjoy Wilderness! Wilderness Lodge Resort ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wilderness Hotel Lesterville

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