We were looking for a place to spend a weekend for our 29th anniversary and had seen Artesian lakes advertised on FB. It is in the small town of Cleveland, tx, about an hour north of our home. We looked over their website and reviews on tripadvisor and decided to try it. What sparked our interest actually were the such different reviews, the beauty of the pics and the seclusion, sounded like a nice way of spending a quiet weekend.
We booked for Saturday and Sunday nights, could not make it for Friday but the front desk was great and worked that out with us. Usually a carriage ride and buffet breakfast is included for Saturday a.m. But since we weren't coming until Saturday afternoon, they scheduled us an "in cabin breakfast" to be delivered on Monday.
Meals at the restaurant need to be reserved and we scheduled dinner Saturday night and the Sunday morning brunch, the restaurant is not open on Sunday night. Since we were on our own, we packed fruit and veggies with cheese, etc for Sunday dinner.
The directions were easy to follow and there was good signage as you got close, so we arrived easily around 3pm. The grounds are beautiful and quickly we felt lost in the wilderness! You check in at the lodge and that seems new and very nice inside, lots of wood and comfy chairs by a fireplace, small store with sundries and snacks, also ice. Some souvenirs and t's, also the front desk is here and a conference room. You can easily get wifi in the main lodge and sitting outside near there or the restaurant.
Here I must stop and say; whomever said if you think of this as a camping trip was spot on, it is not the Ritz, nor is it even a Holiday Inn, it is a retreat, a relaxing, outdoors type of place with gorgeous grounds, real wildlife (alligators, turtles,etc.) at your porch!! But you will not get room service, turndown service or any of that. Knowing that going in, you will enjoy yourself, but....make sure you note that.
Front desk staff are great, all staff we encountered were super polite, very friendly and helpful. We were upgraded to a romantic cabin in a secluded area as they knew it was our anniversary. They were very helpful in planning the meals, etc. I have to follow a gluten free diet and the restaurant was knowledgable and very helpful. The meals were tasty, see my restaurant review.
The Cabin we were in was in the more private area and needed a remote for the gate. Our cabin had a great view of the lake, and we used the porch swing a lot!! We were visited by many gators, turtles and a resident cardinal always sat on our table. He was so friendly we had to make sure he didn't come in the cabin!! The outside was dusty and did have some cobwebs, it added to the ambience for us. The inside was a great set up. A huge king bed, sat across from the door, there was a small loveseat, table and chairs, microwave/fridge/sink, and a two person jacuzzi. A small bath with shower stall and commode/sink. Towels were large and fluffy, nice, organic toiletries. Yes, there was some dust in the cabin, I even found a dead fly on the floor, but....this was a cabin....things happen...I've found dust on a high end hotel before...and dead flies!! It did not ruin our great, romantic time. Yes, there were kids at the pool, which was an awesome pool and hot tub, also lake area with slides. If we didn't want to see kids we went back to our cabin, they were just normal children. At dinner and breakfast there was a mixture of people it was fine. This is a family place, but we had a great time. The air worked great in our cabin, there was also a gas fireplace. We loved the swing on the porch! Lots of walking trails. No the wifi didn't reach us where we were in our cabin, seemed to work only by the lodge and restaurant area, but we were not there for wifi, but I can see it being an issue of you needed it.
All in all this is a great camping cabin type place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Retreat at Artesian Lakes (formerly Chain - O - Lakes Resort & Conference Center) is a uniquely designed, nature-focused facility ideal for family vacations, romantic getaways, weddings, group retreats and business conferences.Located on the edge of the Texas Big Thicket National Preserve, about one hour north of Houston, The Retreat at Artesian Lakes offers overnight accommodations in authentic log cabins, log suites, and private log homes. The Retreat at Artesian Lakes is also home to Hilltop Restaurant, a famous East Texas landmark founded by renowned herbalist and cook, Madalene Hill. Hilltop's exquisite cuisine is based on the herbs grown in the adjacent garden. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Retreat At Artesian Lakes Hotel Cleveland
- Retreat At Artesian Lakes Cleveland
- Chain o Lakes Cleveland
- The Retreat At Artesian Lakes Texas/Cleveland