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Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Aurora, Illinois
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23 posts
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Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Hi -

Has anyone stayed at this location recently. There has only been

1 recent (2012) review. I was looking at the newer cabins. Trying to

decide between here and 5 Points Cabins.

Family of 4 - 2 adults/3 kids.

Any input or thoughts are appreciated

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
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3,326 posts
290 reviews
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1. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

These are two real different locations. Lake Ouachita (where Crystal Springs is located) is a larger lake with undeveloped wooded banks , known for good fishing and natural beauty. It is more isolated, lying outside of Hot Springs and you have to drive a ways to find alternative dining and actvities. Five Points is on Lake Hamilton which is smaller, but large enough for tubing, skiing and boat crusing. Its banks are developed with nice homes, hotels and condos. Hamilton is right in town, and Five Points is on some isolated wooded property, but only a very short drive to many restaurants and shopping areas. I prefer Hamilton for easy access to restaurants, and kids' tubing (due to its manageable size and lesser winds), but Ouachita for fishing and natural beauty. As to the accommodations themselves, the websites are pretty descriptive. I have not stayed at CS since the new owners have been there. The older resort units where I have stayed are pretty basic. The owners are well a known family with a good reputation. I have not stayed in or seen their new units except on the website. Their on-site dining is apparently seasonal. They offer on-site boat rentals and specialize in Houseboat and some other smaller nice boats.

You will have to go off site at 5 points for tubing boats but it's just down the road. The cabins at 5 points are really interesting. Some are actual historic log cabins which have been in the owners' family for generations. (This family also has a good reputation in the area). Others are new cabins built in a rustic tradition. If you choose the historic cabins, they are kept up well but do not expect "brand new!" They have definite character and you must appreciate this aspect to fully love them. Choose the new cabins if you like "brand new!"

Maybe the above will give you some clues about which is best for you.

(Check to make sure that Lake Hamilton is filled during your travel time. They draw down the lake each winter for maintenenace purposes.)

You didn't ask but I will recommend a couple of fun things to do with kids in HS.

First, my kids' fav museum Mid-America Museum - a hands-on science museum which you will like as much as the kids. Flight simulator, crawl-thru coal mine, lots of hands-on exhibits. Mid America Science Museum

www.midamericamuseum.org/

Next, Crystal mining is just so fun for boys especially. (very messy so wear old clothes!) Very hot in summer! There are several mines. Here is one of my favs: Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines

www.wegnercrystalmines.com/

This is a place for everyone to let off steam and run around nice trails and gardens - Garvan Woodland Gardens

www.garvangardens.org/

While you have picked some good places, here are a couple more ideas:

Lake Ouachita State Park

lakeouachita.org/lake-ouachita-state-park.htm

Lake Catherine State Park

www.arkansasstateparks.com

Lake Ouachita Resorts - Arkansas Cabin - Mountain Harbor Resort

www.mountainharborresort.com/

Aurora, Illinois
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23 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Thanks so much for your input. It does help.

Do you think Lake Hamilton is better for boating, swimming, tubing etc.? We were thinking about renting a boat on Lake Ouachita for the day, but maybe Hamilton would be better?

Due to proximity, we are going to stay in the Lake Hamilton area as we want to visit the National Park and the other activities in the area and it appears this location will save us driving time. Would you still recommend a day at Lake Ouachita for either boating or hiking? (I did try the state park cabins for both Ouachita and Catherine, but nothing is available), but will still probably head over to Catherine for some hiking?

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
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3,326 posts
290 reviews
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3. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Lake Ouachita is known for cleaner water and more pristine banks. But it is really, really big and it can get rough fairly quickly when the wind picks up. I am an infrequent boater and I have always felt more comfortable taking the kids on Hamilton for tubing just because of its size. Others much prefer Ouachita. So it's just personal choice. I don't see you going all the way out to Ouachita just to swim and boat if you are staying on Hamilton. As to the park cabins being booked, some of the State Parks allow you to be placed on waiting lists, so you might try that. Some parks do not require deposits until 5 days before arrival so they often do have cancellations.

AR
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3,583 posts
9 reviews
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4. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Crystal Springs' new cabins are very nice, however, the resort is in a small cove and you will not have a view of the lake, only the trees, mountains, etc. There is a small restaurant about 2-3 miles away, but it is only open a few hours a day depending on the season. The restaurant at the resort is open only during late spring/summer. It will take about 30-40 minutes to get to CS from Hot Springs, depending on where you begin your trip. Without renting a boat, you will not have a swimming area/ restrooms, etc. at the resort. There are facilities/swimming area at the camping area @ one mile before you arrive at the resort. Lake Ouachita is a huge lake and it is very easy to get lost on it(even with a map) if you are not familar with landmarks....as jimjade stated, the wind can be rough and storms can come up very fast. Ouachita/ Crystal is beautiful though and I am there often. I live on Lake Hamilton and would suggest that unless you are very familar with boats/lakes that you might prefer Lake Hamilton...though large, it is much smaller and the main area is not nearly as wide as Ouachita. There are also always people about in case you do get turned around. You can play on the water, eat at a restaurant and (if you know where to park the boat) even shop on the water. You can get a view of the lake as well as the mountains and surrounding area, be close to town and hike in the National Park. I believe you can go to entergy.com/hydro to get the schedule for March, which is when they usually refill the lake...it is down 3 feet this winter for flood control/plant control and building projects.

Aurora, Illinois
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23 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

Thanks so much for the information. It was really helpful.

It looks like the Lake Hamilton area would be better suited for us. I

am looking into renting a little house on the lake which I think would be

perfect for our needs. We don't plan on being there much during the day, but I still like a nice place to come back to.

6. Re: Crystal Springs Resort & Marina or 5 Points Cabins

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