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“Wonderful Active Family Vacation”

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Earthshine Discovery Center
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wonderful Active Family Vacation”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

How to describe Earthshine? I am still not sure if I can do it accurately, but I do know I didn't do it justice while selling my husband on the idea. He only heard we were making candles for a week. This place is SO much more than making candles (or only visiting the Pioneer Village).

We were looking for something different from either the beach or Disney which tend to be staples for family trips. I found Earthshine online and cannot be happier with the decision to try it out. If you are looking for a vacation sitting by the pool, this is NOT the vacation for you. If you are looking for something that is active (and mildly educational for the kids) and super fun, this is perfect.

I have to say the staff are wonderful and always seem to be happy to see you. They are very attentive and professional for each activity. The food....ahhh, the food. God Bless Marnie. She made some kind of apple, caramel, parfait thing for dessert...I really wanted her to keep what I couldn't eat so I could have the rest for breakfast. I was a little leary of what we were going to be getting to eat...is it cheap cafeteria style? Canned beanie weanies? Absolutely NOT! The meals were wonderful and they are nice enough to put our a pre-dinner snack each night.

Both of my children are under 10, so they were unable to do the "high adventure" activities, but I don't think they even noticed. I think their favorite part was the creek hike and finding the treasures at the end of the hike. I was pleased and impressed with each activity and the kids had fun the ENTIRE trip.

For the moms, this is the ideal vacation where you do no planning. The question "what are we going to do today?" never came up because its all set up for you. Same with "what are we going to eat today?". It was the most relaxing family vacation I have been on yet, but at the same time I felt like we were constantly doing something and being active.

Highly recommend this for a wonderful family vacation experience. Well worth the price!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Kimberly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

I have to say this is one of the most difficult reviews I have written for two reasons:
a. I am hesitant to give away this secret "gem"
b) For my reviews to be credible, I like to be "balanced." Unfortunately, I can think of nothing easily that I would change or improve about this Lodge

I travelled with 2 children - a 9 year old boy and a 6 year old girl, and each had the "best vacation ever."

Apart from the location, what this property has going for it are the staff: Easily the nicest, friendliest, most engaging people possible.

I would like to single out Marnie the chef both for her amazingly goof cooking and for going above and beyond to look out for my son who has severe food allergies.

I also like the fact that as a single parent with 2 children whose interests do not always (rarely?) coincide, Earthshine offered an option for each to do what he or she wanted, expertly supervised by a Lodge staff member.

We are already planning our next visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JeandeMontebello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We have been to Earthshine Mountain Lodge for three years now. As cheesy as some will probably think this sounds, it is literally our home away from home. We really do feel like we're at home when we're at Earthshine. The staff are the finest group of people you'll ever meet, and every single one of them is extremely passionate about what they do and making sure their guests enjoy their stay. They really do treat the guests like family, and we consider them our family as well.

Zip-lining, ropes courses, hikes, a nature center... this place is simply amazing. And the food! Three completely home-cooked squares a day that are simply exquisite.

There are people that won't really "get" what Earthshine is all about, but those that are into nature (and preserving it) will love it. One thing you must know, and this will either be a dealmaker or a dealbreaker: there is no TV, there is spotty cell reception at best, and there is one landline phone on which to call out in the case of an emergency. Quite frankly, that is THE selling point for us. The digital detox is SO refreshing. It is great to be able to actually talk to people like we used to do before all that electronic garbage. As a matter of fact, the first time we went there, we met a great family from Georgia and hit it off with them immediately. We have met them at Earthshine every year since.

THAT, my friends, is what a vacation should be.

Room Tip: If you have a large group- or prefer to be a little less social- stay in the cottage. If you have so...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2012

Thismis the 4th year in a row I have taken my 2 daughters to Earthshine Lodge for Zip Lining. We always have a great time and our guides are very knowledgable, safety minded and have a great sense of humor.

They make sure everyone has fun and feels safe!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
211 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Came here with three schoolage boys - and the place and its workings are fabulous. Great activities for children - zipline, ropes, climbing wall, nature and creek exploration,.... Amazingly knowledgeable staff and tremendously helpful and engaging for the younger folks (pretty good for us older folk too). Lodge sits in lovely spot; interesting wood details abound.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 10, 2012 via mobile

This year someone asked if we come all the way from England just to stay at Earthshine - well, yes, we do! Three times now. Agreed, this is not a luxury hotel, it is indeed a rustic lodge, in the midst of some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see, with staff who become friends, delicious food (always something for even the most fussy eater) and a fantastic programme of activities for all ages, from the totally exhilarating zip line (my two teenagers never tired of this, sometimes doing it twice a day) to learning to be a Cherokee (including how to throw a tomahawk), to rocking on the porch with a book and a glass of homemade lemonade. This is a place that relaxes not just your body but also your soul. We plan on a fourth visit!

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Alix S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harlem, Georgia
1 review
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Best Food Ever, Better than being on a cruise!!! Fantastic Hospitality and always had cool stuff to do. Even had a zipline course! Had a great view of garden from picture window where we could watch the resident turtles and snake. Lots of great hiking trails. Great place for kids. We made homemade candles, tried out blacksmithing, made homemade apple cider, and even spun wool. The mascot goat, Cocoa would follow us around to make sure everyone was happy.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jgswift
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Earthshine Discovery Center

Property: Earthshine Discovery Center
Address: 1600 Golden Rd, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747-5717 (Formerly Earthshine Mountain Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Lake Toxaway
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Lake Toxaway
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Remember that sense of wonder and adventure that gave childhood its magic? Well, get ready to feel it again. Escape to a storybook place guaranteed to exceed your expectations. Your family can unplug and reconnect with one another in an environment free of digital distractions. Earthshine is "unforgettable." ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Earthshine Mountain Hotel Lake Toxaway

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