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Hemlock Hall
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The Hedges(Blue Mountain Lake)
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Reviewed July 31, 2007

Our family had been going to Hemlock Hall for 15+ years, but life got in the way, and we haven't been since the summer of 2001 (I can't believe it's been that long!) and we are planning a trip for our usual week (the 3rd week of July) in 2008!!! Extra kids in tow (alot can happen in 6 years) will absolutely LOVE it there! It says so much about the people and property that 3 generations can find things to do, together or apart. Here it is August of 2007 and we are already excitedly awaiting the hike to Castle Rock, the rope swing (hope it's still there), the Sandy Beach, pre-breakfast swim (at least for me!), etc. We hope the people we remember are still going and ready for a game of Trivial Pursuit! Everything about Hemlock Hall is a fond memory for us - the place, people, staff, food, etc.

  • Stayed: July 2003, traveled with family
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3  Thank kgvert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

I will be going to Hemlock Hall with my kids again this summer after having missed the last two. I had been going every summer since 1997, a short time by HH standards, and am looking forward to returning. The pictures from these trips have become a chronicle of my kid’s childhood, now teenagers.

Hemlock Hall is not just a place, it is a state of mind. It is a return to an earlier era where simple pleasures and activities such as Hiking, Kayaking, swimming or just reading a book mark the passage of time punctuated by the ringing of the dinner bell. The hike to Castle Rock is a right of passage.
While not luxurious, it is lovingly maintained. Everything is absolutely unchanged for decades, including the weekly menu. No stress, no decisions, no dinner reservations, meals are served family style, and seating is rotated among the tables to make sure everyone meets everyone else. By the end of your stay, everyone feels like an old friend. There are no phones, TV’s, computers or video games, a healthy thing for overly wired kids. The 100+ year old manor house with a stone fireplace sits up on a hill overlooking the Lake and the grounds are wooded and beautiful. In the evenings, board games are played while Paul invites the little kids to help him bake bread. Something as simple as cookie night becomes an event. This is a very rare and special place.

  • Stayed: August 2004, traveled with family
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3  Thank Hewlett_LI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2006

We spent one night at each of two hotels on Blue Mountain Lake last weekend: Hemlock Hall and The Hedges (see separate review). Hemlock Hall was more family oriented and rustic, with large multi-generational groups, crowds of kids and the liveliness that accompanies that kind of gathering.

Although it was well maintained and clean, it was very, very rustic and clearly hadn't been updated in generations. Equally clearly, the large number of repeat visitors like it just the way it is and proudly point to the fact that the weekly menus haven't changed in decades (turkey on Saturday, beef at 1pm on Sunday, fish on Friday and there are apparently chicken/bisquit and corned beef/cabbage nights as well -- heaping platters served family style at table of 8-10. All is excellently prepared, including freshly baked bread, but no choices...except perhaps a vegetarian option for special requests.) Dinner is at 6 pm and breakfast at 8:30 and guests are seated with others at the tables. Both meals are included in the pricetag (we paid $150), making it a spectacular deal. No alcohol, but lots of other beverages and interesting conversation from the collection of academics and other long-time visitors who have found their way to Hemlock Hall.

We stayed in the Brook Room, first floor in the lodge, and although it was clean and had great windows and nice matresses, it was fairly basic (ie not decorated) and noisy both from the adjoining living rooms and kitchen. We did have a private bath -- complete with toiletries but no hair dryer -- but many rooms don't, so ask.

The lodge is up at the top of a steep hill overlooking the lake. Most cottages have lake views -- some at the higher level and some closer to the water. Be prepared for some steep climbs to the lake front, where there is a large beach that looked especially inviting for kids and a large selection of canoes and kayaks. They also have a sunfish, which the Hedges did not. Nothing is as pristine as at the Hedges, but it's serviceable and ample.

This is a great place for families and many appear to come back 14-15 years in a row. You also don't have to book for a week at a time - most tend to stay 3-5 nights. It's absolutely NOT fancy, but it is clean and doesn't appear to be run down or overtly shabby. The food is excellent, the lake beautiful and the price a real steal. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank princetonreviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Mobile, Alabama
14
Reviewed April 11, 2006

On our way to Maine for the summer, we always try to stay at Hemlock for one night and day. I cannot say enough about the rooms, service and area. Meal experiences were absolutely great. You cannot forget the experiences with the other guests at meal times. We ordered the lunch to take with us on our trip and it was excellent. Glenn and I had a picnic on the way. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you soon on our way to Maine.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Indiana
16
Reviewed July 26, 2005

We just returned from our 18th year at Hemlock Hall. The place just keeps getting better. Perfect place to get away from the world. Such beauty. No words can describe Blue Mountain Lake. And Paul the owner is fabulous. He treats every guest like his best friend. Anyone who comes to Hemlock Hall wants to return.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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