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“Our new vacation spot with SO much to do!”

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ACE Adventure Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Oak Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Zanesville, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
“Our new vacation spot with SO much to do!”
Reviewed June 29, 2011

We decided to go white water rafting with our 11 year old and 8 year old. My husband found Wildwater's brochure at a hotel while out of town for work. It had a coupon for kids to raft for free on Sunday, so I called and booked with ACE. (Somehow the rafting companies have merged?) We did the Upper NEW which was the only rafting for our 8 year old. At first I only booked a log cottage for that Sunday night. By the time we decided to stay Saturday night also, only a lakeside chalet was available for Saturday. I definitely recommend staying a minimum of 2 nights if you are only white water rafting like us. You could EASILY spend a week here with teenagers due to so many activities. (It would only cost more!)

Upon arrival (4pm) we checked into Lakeside Chalet #1. It was literally right beside the lake with all the inflatables! The people coming off the zipline walked right by our hot tub! Since we are a family, we did not mind the intrusion of privacy and LOVED the convenience of seeing when the line was short on the zipline! We walked right over to the lake and got our wristbands and life jackets and had so much FUN on the inflatables in the lake! I am amazed I made it to the top of the huge iceberg with the help of my children! After all the fun, we walked back to our cabin and cooked dinner on our Coleman stove on the picnic table outside, then enjoyed the hot tub at dark with our campfire going.

The inside of the cabin was not very new looking, the white linoleum needs replaced, but it was clean though. In fact, I checked the mattresses and they looked BRAND new and I slept very well knowing.

The next morning we checked out of that cabin and went white water rafting. Bodee was a very knowledgeable guide and I liked that he was there with us the whole time. Mattie also assisted when we got caught on a rock! All the guides were GREAT. The rafting was more exciting than I thought it would be. In fact, I must be a chicken because at times I was nervous. Next time I am going in the big raft instead of the ducky. My daughter and I did a double ducky, and my husband with our 8 year old son. My daughter and husband loved it and said it wasn't scary at all. It depends on your comfort level with water, of course.

The lunch was great shore side and we ate early enough that we didn't starve. There was also a port-a-pot available. I took lots of pictures, but on a waterproof camera so I don't have any of those pictures uploaded.

That night while wet from wwrafting, we went ahead and did the zipline and water toys in the lake again before driving up to our log cottage. We LOVED the log cottage! It looked brand new and was very private with woods to the back and a neighbor through the trees. I believe it was #620. We ate dinner in the lakeside restaurant (buffet.) I made reservations a few days before. Everything tasted delicious or else we were really hungry! (We ate breakfast there the next morning also, and it was equally as good! I would definitely book that again next time.) That night we enjoyed the hot tub looking at trees instead of the lake and people, then had another campfire. The kids loved the loft and actually didn't fight having to sleep together.

Overall we loved this place. It was fun for something different for our family. Next time I'd like to go horse riding also. We'll have to wait for our son to get older to do anything else. The campground looked great, with some private campsites and lots in a large area. WE'LL BE BACK!

Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank teachermama1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Round Rock, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2011

We stayed here for 6 days. We wanted excitement, we wanted danger, we wanted fun. We got it x 10. We rafted the New River and the Gauley @ 3500 csf with Ace. Our guides were great. Hats off to Alysa, even though she fell out of the boat on the Gauley. My wife and I have rafted in different parts of the world and all I can say is holy scenery. We also rock climbed, rappelled and did the zip line tours with Class6. When we booked our trip we didnt realize that Class 6 and Smokeys on the Gorge were in the same place. We took the 1/2 hour drive from Ace to smokeys on the gorge the first day we were there and the place is top shelf. Who would have thought in the middle of the W Virginia wilderness that you would find gourmet meals and the most amazing views you could only see if you were an eagle. We wound up coming here after our outings almost every day to chill, drink, play pool or just talk to the owners who were always around making sure the place felt like home. Since we did adventures with both major players in the area here is my take. The cabins at Ace are comfy and just what the doctor ordered, but the rest of the grounds are really bare. The one sports bar or lounge if you could call it that pool tables that looked like they were 50 years old. As a far as the rest of the lounge I was kind of embarrassed to be there. Smokeys on the Gorge and Class 6 was a different story. Everything was new, ambiance thru the roof, and excellent food. The adventures thru Ace were a little cheaper because they gave you discounts the more you did. One thing i didnt like is the rock climbing had only one guide. That made me a little nervous. Dont know if thats the way they do it but I would have been much happier with 2 guides. All in all best vacation my wife and I have had for this sort of stuff ever.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank paulyp99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2011

We reserved a rv site here and it was our WORST experience ever!!!! The BUGS are the size of birds...Standing water everywhere..long grass...(weeds) The sites dirty... And this is the good part. The 3 women at the front desk...messed up our reservations...messed up our activities...they knew very little of what was going on in the campground or the area. I could of handled all this except they got really pissy with me and tried to blame me for why I catch this mistake earlier...WHAT!!!??? I just got there and they are acting like they are doing me a favor. Horrible receptionist!!!!

Room Tip: find a different place to stay the night...
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
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2 Thank travelnut94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boone, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2011

I saw this resort on the travel channel and decided to come Memorial Day weekend! Myself and my boyfriend aren't campers but we decided to bring a tent and "rough it". Most campsites looked great but we were given a site that had no tree cover or shade (and it got really hot on Saturday!) and the ground was rocky with no soft spots and sparse grass. Definitely request a specific site because most were great! On a better note, the breakfast buffet was amazing! We also went zip lining for our first time and it was so awesome! The guides were so helpful and explained everything very clearly. They also made it very safe and I had no nervousness at all even though I am slightly afraid of heights. That evening we went sunset horse back riding. It was the BEST horse back riding experience we have ever had! Our guide Caroline explained everything about how to handle the horses and just information in general about horses. I learned so much and felt confident in being able to handle their beautiful horses. Caroline was so much fun and talked about the area along the ride and told us each a story about our horses we were riding. It made it a very personalized experience. Beautiful sunset as we approached the end and an amazing overlook in the middle of the trip! Overall, this was a lot of fun and we will definitely be coming back to the white water rafting!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KaraNaomi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rittman, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2011

Before I begin my review, let me preface with the fact that my husband and I planned to hike the Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest from Wednesday, May 11 to Saturday, May 14. We only brought enough items to get us through this backpacking adventure ... but our plans were changed at the last minute (and I mean, LAST MINUTE) by thunderstorms approaching the area. Thankfully, the great people here on the TripAdvisor forum had suggested ACE as an adventure resort for people to visit in West Virginia, and we were therefore saved from driving back home another 6 hours to Ohio! I called ACE on Thursday and was able to book a full day rafting trip on the New River, a horseback riding trip, and two nights of camping the day BEFORE the rafting excursion. I couldn't believe our good luck in finding a great alternative to our hike on such short notice! I spoke with Eileen on the phone and she was very pleasant, helpful in suggesting a good trip, and gave us the package discount that I found on the company website.

Okay, now on to the actual review! My husband and I arrived at 8:15 a.m. at the ACE grounds to check in for our rafting trip on Friday and to also eat at the breakfast buffet that was included in our package. The buffet was a nice assortment of pancakes, eggs, cereals, fruit, granola, and some really yummy potatoes. We eventually met up under the Big Top to meet with our guide, rent some rafting gear, and get out onto the New River. We each rented a jacket for only $5 a ride - not the warmest item because it was supposed to get sunnier as the day wore on. They do offer full wetsuits and booties for you as well.

Craig was the trip leader and instructed us as we filled out the waivers associated with white water rafting. He was very helpful in suggesting the proper gear and soon we were wearing our Personal Floatation Devices (lifejackets, basically), helmets, and carrying paddles, getting loaded onto a bus to take us to the drop point in the river. What a ride! Definitely some tight curves, but the driver did a fantastic job. We were introduced to all the river guides on the trip and also the videographer who would be kayaking along taking video of our journey. Definitely a fun, laugh filled ride!

When we arrived at the drop point, we were all assembled and given a very detailed safety talk. Personally, I hadn't been nervous at all until this point. But it definitely was good in building a real respect for the waves and other river pitfalls that exist. Fortunately, we were grouped with another couple, a father and his daughter, and our guide - Craig himself! I felt really confident being with the trip leader and the four others in the crew. As we carried the raft into the water, I could tell this was going to be quite an adventure.

We were beginning the full day New River trek, which was broken into two sections - Upper New and Lower New, divided by lunch. The first half was rather tame, the biggest rapid being called "Surprise". We learned the meanings of the different classes of rapids from Craig, as he explained the the classes don't necessarily mean how big the waves or rapids get, but by the consequences that are experienced and possibility of injury by falling out of your raft, and the likelihood of such an event. Surprise is a Class III rapid, which means in it's case that it's rather bumpy, but there are no rocks around or anything for you to get pinned under - in fact, people sometimes pop out of the raft intentionally to experience being in a rapid. Not me! But some people!

In the first part of our journey, we were invited to jump off the aptly named "Jump Rock", in which we ambled up a steep rock jutting out of the side of the river ... what a rush! Jumping into the chilly waters of the New River in mid-May was quite a thrill! Evidently, depending on the time of year when you go, there are numerous Jump Rocks because of the different levels of the water. The depth of the river changes drastically depending on the season due to rainfall and also (in the Gauley River) the opening of the dam that REALLY gets people into rafting in the fall.

Eventually we pulled off to the side of the river for a delicious, grilled lunch prepared by our river guides! It was worth the wait for them to prepare grilled chicken and hamburgers with all the toppings. Also available were side dishes such as potato salad, a seafood/tomato salad, cookies, and some kind of chocolate dessert that was GREAT! I tried not to fill up too much as the much more wild second half of our journey was approaching.

For the first half of our trip, I had sat in the "lead" position, on the left front side of the raft. I was responsible for setting the pace of the group as we had to paddle in unison to control the craft. I really enjoyed the experience, but I wanted to give up that responsibility for the more difficult portion and give someone else a chance to be in the front! I can't emphasize enough how great Craig was at giving us direction, explaining the rapids as we approached - which included where and how to swim if we capsized or fell out of the raft in a rapid - and just why they were classed as they were. He never downplayed the severity of the rapids, but he also never made us feel unsafe.

So for the second part of the trip, we enjoyed such rapids as the three Keaneys (Class III - V), the Upper and Lower Railroads, Double Z, and Stripper's Hole. Many more were included, all with interesting names and stories behind them, which I'm sure you'll learn on your trip! Craig really emphasized the teamwork that was necessary to get through the rapids, and not once did anyone fall out of our raft. Some groups may enjoy that experience, but as the trip leader raft, we had to lead by example and also get out ahead of the other rafts in order to aid them in case of emergency. We all did pretty well in my opinion!

My favorite part of the trip was when Craig instructed me, on the last rapid of the day, to sit in the very front of the raft, hold my arms up and yell, "I'm the Queen of the World!" as we went through it!! It was a great, exhilarating moment for me, as I admittedly have some pretty big fear of water ... this whole trip changed all that for me. I feel like a totally new person, conquering fears left and right, all because of whitewater rafting, our awesome group, and of course, our GREAT guide Craig. I can't wait to request him on our next trip down there, which will hopefully be this fall!

The last part of the journey included pulling the raft out of the river, and riding the bus back to the ACE grounds. The whole time we were rafting, the videographer got great shots of us flying through rapids, and about an hour after we returned to ACE, we gathered in the Big Top to watch the edited video. It was amazing footage! Unfortunately, the price was a little steep, so we didn't purchase it. We hadn't planned on spending any money on our backpacking trip, so we had to pinch pennies on this where we could - but that doesn't mean you should NOT tip your guide! I've read that guides make some pretty abysmal salaries - of course, they have just about the coolest job there is, but they have to survive as well. Please, please tip your guides on any adventure you take at ACE or any adventure resort.

So after we were all changed into our dry clothes, a dinner buffet was included in our trip .... but we really wanted to check out Pies & Pints, a pizza place highly recommended by the guides nearby in Fayetteville. Great restaurant! I won't review it here, but I also recommend! So I can't comment on the dinner buffet at ACE.

Here is the bad part of our trip. Included in our package was camping, which we were definitely going to do because we brought all our own gear for the backpacking trip. We set up camp in the rain around 7:30 pm and just planned on lying in there for a while, reading, talking, until trying to sleep at maybe 10 pm. That ... never ... happened. My husband and I may not be the party or drinking types, but that doesn't mean we didn't expect a little partying from the other people at our campsite. Party doesn't even describe what went on in the Blackberry camp. Music blasting, people hollering, trampling within a foot of our tent to get to the bathroom facilities ... and then, diesel trucks skidding around in the dirt past 10 pm ... it was ridiculous! We literally packed up our campsite at about 10:30 pm and left for the Comfort Inn we stayed at previously. Unless you plan on engaging in these activities as well, do yourself a favor and rent one of the cabins or other lodgings they offer at ACE. They look really nice and probably are a lot quieter.

The next day we had booked a horseback riding excursion. I had never been on or even approached a horse before, but my husband used to own and ride horses all the time growing up, so he assured me that it would be lots of fun. We arrived at the stables and soon Caroline (hope I spelled her name right) got us set up with our horses. I really liked that she told us the name and story behind our horses! I was riding Skipper, a gelding who was evidently her own horse! Skipper and I had a rough go for the first portion of our trip - 95% of which was because I was not assertive enough in showing him who was boss, which Caroline made very clear was extremely important! He kept stopping to eat the fresh spring grass and flowers which, as she explained, were extra tempting since they had been eating dry hay all winter long. So when we reached the top of the Gorge overlook, I was a little happy to get a break from Skipper and his ornery attitude! I mean this all in good fun - it was amusing to have a horse with such character. Caroline led us to a great view of the New River Gorge below us and gave us a great history lesson on the area. We even started talking a little political and she was very passionate about her views, but never overbearing or insulting. I didn't disagree with her one bit, either. Anyway, we eventually got back in the saddles for the trip back to the stables, and immediately I showed Skipper who was boss - and he didn't ONCE try to eat anymore grass on the way back! It was great. I made jokes with him about knowing how tempting it was to walk through a delicious looking place ... being surrounded with chocolate must be difficult! Anyway, we made it back to the stables and Caroline was just a wonderful guide all the way around for our trip. Of course, please tip the guides! She never asked or mentioned it at all, but I can imagine cleaning, feeding, and working the horse stables is a job that goes far beyond our two hour journey.

We had booked another night of camping, but after our first disastrous night, and our desire to get home a day early for some peace and quiet, we ended up heading home shortly after the equestrian adventure. To sum it all up, I can't recommend ACE Adventures enough. Besides the activities we did, there are also ATV rentals, paintball, ziplines, a lake with huge equipment to play in, and much more. But I will say, this is not Disneyworld. This is in the remote area of West Virginia. It is a tourist attraction, but to expect the highest in cleanliness or guides wearing nametags ... you're not going to get that here. We were encouraged to swim around in the river, to jump off rocks, to trot on our horses on our horseback tour ... this is not really something that I would've enjoyed had their been kids around. If you've got kids that can take direction, like getting dirty, and aren't going to be crying by getting water splashed in their faces, great! But to see people complain about bugs - and I'm sorry, even bedbugs - in West Virginia is just mind boggling to me. It happens. If you want to stay in a plastic bubble, go ahead ... I loved being rugged and not worrying about my makeup for a few days. I still haven't put any on since we got back yesterday! Enjoy being in nature and the laid back attitude of all the friendly people at ACE!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank soyduck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2011

Went to ACE for rafting and zip lining over spring break. The staff and guides were great. This early in the year we almost had the place to ourselves. Although the cabins were convienent, they were not worth the money. They really need an upgrade and for the money, should provide daily service.

If you want a camping experience, ACE may be fine. You are DEEP in West Virginia and if you have Sprint, you will not get cell coverage.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Soccerdad2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashburn, Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2010

My friends & I went with Ace for Bridge Day weekend. We did the New River for Bridge Day and the Upper Gauley on Sunday. Wow, what a ride! Eric S. & Chris C. were excellent guides!

We camped on Ace's property because by the time we decided on which weekend to go, all the chalets & cabins were full. We were expecting that and wanted to camp anyway. It was indeed a bit rowdy in the campground this weekend, but it's a big festival weekend. What can you do? Bring earplugs if you want to get to sleep early.

The showerhouse up by the Blackberry campsites is great. Private rooms for the ladies (unisex actually) and a communal room for the men. Never a want for hot water.

We didn't use a meal plan, but did go to the pig roast on Saturday night. It was not bad, not amazing, but it was filling. The lunches on the river trips were great, but that's probably due to working up a serious appetite. Chicken, burgers, veggie burgers and a few tuna steaks like was mentioned before, but so good after being in the water. Hot chocolate & patio heaters were definitely appreciated at Sweet's Falls!

I had only been rafting once before this weekend, and was admittedly a little nervous about the Gauley, but I'm also a little bit of an adrenaline junky. Once we got in the water and got going, all nervousness evaporated. It is so much fun. I would recommend however if you aren't that active or haven't rafted in a while to warm up on the New or even the lower Gauley before you do the Upper Gauley. We are already making plans to come back next year. Can't wait!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Care824
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ACE Adventure Resort

Property: ACE Adventure Resort
Address: Minden Rd, Oak Hill, WV 25901
Phone Number:
Location: United States > West Virginia > Oak Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Oak Hill
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Featured on the Travel Channel, we offer amazing vacations, most of them wet! We are North America's largest outdoor vacation resort, where you can try whitewater rafting, zip line canopy tours, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, paintball, ATV tours, a mud obstacle course, alpine tower, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, horseback riding, a bridge catwalk tour, or relax on the beach of our 5-acre lake full of inflatable toys. Come get away from it all on our 1,500-acre property in Southern West Virginia. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ace Adventure Hotel Oak Hill
Ace Adventure Center Hotel

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