The house and grounds are even better than the pictures! Jeff (owner) and his wife have thought of everything. The decor is beautiful and every little detail is perfect. This estate is exquisite and immaculately clean. If you enjoy the finer things in life, you will NOT be disappointed with your stay here. I've stayed in five star resorts and many vacation rental homes, and the Ark is in my top 2! There is ample room for large families/groups. Everyone can have their own space and yet there are numerous common areas to gather and socialize. The theatre room, kitchen island, large dining table, living room, screened porch, and outdoor living areas were our favorite places to congregate. The nights were cold when we visited, which provided great weather for gathering around the large fire pit and soaking in the hot tub under the stars. Everyone enjoyed cooking in the gourmet kitchen and outside on the grill. There are two refrigerators and freezers for stocking up. We ended up only going out to eat one time because I couldn't imagine any setting that would be better than the Ark for a meal. There are views from every room! If you don't feel like cooking, you can easily hire a caterer or have food delivered.
I must mention the master suite. It's luxurious and romantic with plush linens, a fireplace, remote control window treatments, a steam shower, a jacuzzi tub, large closet, a TV, tons of natural light, and gorgeous views. It provided a great escape for this busy mom. Of course, I finally caved and did let my daughters in to try the steam shower and the big bath tub.
All of the other bedrooms, bathrooms, apartments, and suites were impressive, as well. Everyone in our group said the beds were comfortable, and they were extremely pleased with their accommodations.
The house is so comfortable and filled with so many activity choices, that you never have to leave during your stay. However, this part of Georgia is pretty amazing! Atlanta is a short drive away if you want to explore the big city. Gainesville is the closest town and has everything you need - restaurants, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, movie theatre, mall, golf course, etc. If you love nature, like our family does, you will have endless options. Our favorite thing to do is hike in the mountains, and we found fabulous hikes within 30 minutes to an hour of the house. I highly recommend exploring the mountains, forests, streams, and area waterfalls. If you aren't able to hike, take a scenic drive and visit some of the wineries and boutiques in the surrounding towns. My husband loves to fish and enjoyed fishing from the private boat dock and from one of the provided kayaks. He caught several large mouth bass. I kayaked with 2 of my daughters over to the nearby island. Life jackets were provided, so we felt safe and enjoyed the lake scenery, ducks, and geese. All of our children, ages 10-18, enjoyed the in-ground trampoline, pool, hot, tub, outdoor games, Nintendo Wii and numerous board games (any and every game imaginable). They also brought their hammocks and were able to unplug and enjoy quite a few books while lounging throughout our stay.
I cannot end this review without thanking Jeff and his family for their gracious hospitality. They made sure that we had everything we needed and were available for questions anytime.
Staying at the Ark was a dream! My group was there for a week, and we had a blast. The property is beautiful especially with the way the house looks right over the lake. The movie room was a great addition! The kitchen is spacious, so there was room for all of us to hang out during mealtimes. Altogether a great time!
I had the blessed privilege to stay at the Ark for 4 nights and 5 days. Even before my stay, I heard legends about this magical place from those who had visited in the past. It FAR EXCEEDED even these legends of greatness. The place is massive, very clean, decorated so beautifully, and has breathtaking views of the lake and pool/recreational area out back. The Ark was the perfect place for a retreat week. It was so quiet, homey, and yet feels like a dream! I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and I have no suggestions for improvement of the property because frankly I see none! I hope to stay here in the future!
Our group stayed at the Ark for four nights and had an excellent time. The house is expansive and well designed, and has a number of amenities that are a pleasure to enjoy. The location on the lake is beautiful.
The best place to meet, play, learn, and grow. Incredible spaces, beautiful views, perfect home. Such a refreshing week at the Ark!
The Ark in one word is bliss. The house is so beautiful and amazing. It is well furnished and really feels like home. The outdoor amenities are rockin! The trampoline and fire pit are amazing. I would highly recommend this house for any event or family vacation.
The Ark was one of the best places I have ever stayed! Stunningly beautiful! I highly suggest checking it out. Tons of room and very homie.