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“Wow! I didn't want to leave!”
Review of Wilderness Lodge

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Wilderness Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 September 2013

A weekend was not enough time to enjoy it all! Wilderness Lodge is a step back in time while keeping all the modern amenities. Wonderful hosts, meals, and atmosphere! Every wish is accommodated. I would recommend this weekend (or week) get-a-way to the whole family, or any group of friends, young or old. I will definitely be back!

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
Thank Brenda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 - 88 of 150 reviews

Reviewed 3 September 2013

The Ozark Mountains of Missouri are probably among the most underrated outdoor experiences in America. A case in point here is our latest find on the Black River: the Wilderness Lodge Resort near Lesterville, MO, roughly a two-hour drive south of St Louis.

I knew the area would be beautiful since I've camped in the area before - thank you BSA - but I was unprepared for the gem that the Wilderness Lodge turned out to be. Nestled between an Ozark Mountain and the Black River is small gaggle of log cabins - a few of which were built in the 20's as a hunting lodge. They all have that rustic feel you expect from a cozy log cabin sheltered under the trees. It's got it all - great stone fireplace hearths, great backed comfy chairs, the occasional lace doily, squeaky beds and tons - and tons - of critters.

What I did not expect was the impressive dinner I had that evening. While I won't go so far as to say it was "gourmet" - an overused term if ever there was one - it's clear that the men and women in the kitchen both know what they're doing as well as take well-earned pride in serving simple food well. It's not an exaggeration to say that the roasted vegetables were among the best I've ever had.

Breakfast the next morning was also simple, just scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, but again, when the cook really cares what she sends out of the kitchen, it can lift a simple dish from to something just short of heaven itself.

So the food's good.

The grounds offer plenty of opportunity for tired city dwellers to recharge and improve their outlook for the week. And there something for everyone there. We strolled down to the Black River and waded in the water. My kids discovered a tree house hidden in the forest uphill and disappeared for hours. Hours. They left their freaking iPods in the cabin and went and played in the woods for hours! That alone would earn the Lodge three stars.

Now, the lodge isn't perfect. My cabin had a bit of a musty smell associated with it - more of that log cabin ambiance, I guess - and the the cabin AC unit had a tendency to growl at me. That said, it didn't prevent me from having a great time and I fully expect to go back again and again.

If you need something a little different for your next trip, give this place a thought.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank SushiPilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Over 75 of us (from across the country) descended upon Wilderness Lodge for a family reunion. I am already trying to find a time to go back with friends! This is a family-run operation, and the staff were true professionals...from food to activities to accommodations - they have everything covered for guests of all ages. We had happy hours, delicious breakfasts, and amazing dinners (and good wine)! They even arranged for box lunches every day we were there! They arranged our canoe and rafting trips. In the evenings, we played games and hung out as a family. We brought vegetarians, food allergies, paleos, etc., and they rolled with it all and made sure everyone had gourmet meals to meet their needs! Everyone commented on the friendliness of the staff at Wilderness Lodge. These were the nicest people I have ever met in the hospitality industry. I would recommend this place to anyone wanting a great, relaxing time with your family and/or friends. They have thought of every comfort while still making it a weekend of Wilderness.

Room Tip: Their website has great descriptions of all of the rooms. Everything has A/C.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

My husband and I were so happy to bring our 3 year old here. This place really knows how to make you feel welcome and will go out of their way to do so. We stayed in the riverside suites which were very beautiful, note that this cabin does share a deck and is set up like a double. However, we only had neighbors for one evening and did not even hear them. Each evening we had appetizers and drinks at the bar followed by a wonderful dinner. Breakfast was always very good and fresh made:) We cannot recommend this place enough. Our hope is to return each year if possible!!!

Room Tip: Riverside cabins have a beautiful view and are very nice. Note these do share a very large common ba...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Salvador4242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

My husband and I just came back from two wonderful days. Hilltop #18 was beautiful! Quilts, antiques, rustic detailing paired with artwork. Gorgeous! Tom & his staff are amazing. Meals were fresh, delicous and plentiful-whoever heard of being asked if you want seconds?

Black River is crystal clear! Next year we are staying 4 days...can't wait to go back!

Cindy & David O'Neill

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Cindy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

I had a great vacation at Wilderness Lodge with my dog. They were extremely accommodating and the staff was friendly and informative. Food was great, as was the Happy Hour. The cabins were clean and the bed was comfy. I will be back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We had our family reunion at Wilderness Lodge this summer (two grandparents, three kids with spouses, four young cousins), and we were all impressed with the quality of the accommodations and meals, the beautiful setting, and the impressive attention to detail that in all of their services. The highlights for me: delicious food at every meal, happy hour appetizers in the rustic bar, a bonfire with s'mores after dinner, the library in the stone cabin with books for kids, hot tub and pool, zipline and a tree house, miniature golf, and incredibly nice staff members. They also coordinated a float trip for us on the Black River--we had 2 canoes, a raft, a kayak, and 2 tubes! It was an epic day on turquoise clear water with plenty of swimming holes and bass to be caught. We loved everything about this place!! Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Stay closer to the lodge with kids, they have easier access to amenities and play areas.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank yunguena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wilderness Lodge

Address: PO Box 90, Lesterville, MO 63654-0090
Region: United States > Missouri > Lesterville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Lesterville
Price Range: £58 - £69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Wilderness Lodge, we have over 25 different cabins, suites and cottages for guests to enjoy. All cabin prices are based on a per person, per night charge since dinner and lunch are included with the package. Breakfast is available continental style from 7:30am to 9:30am, and we also serve a hot breakfast from 8am to 9am. For dinner, we have 4 seatings at 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm. During the week there is just one dinner seating between 6pm and 7pm (but we still try to be flexible if guests would like to come a little earlier or later). As far as activities, there is of course the Black River directly across the road from Wilderness Lodge for a little (or a lot) of water fun. Just a short walk from the cabins, the river, gravel bars, and side streams are great places to explore, swim, catch water critters and just relax in the sun. For a bit more adventure, we rent canoes, rafts, kayaks, and tubes for floating. We port floaters upstream in the morning for a 4 to 6 hour float (depending upon how fast the river is moving and how many gravel bar breaks you take) that ends up right back at our rivers edge campground. There are plenty more outdoor activities on the property including hiking, fishing, miniature golf, horse shoes, basketball, shuffle board, a playground, frisbee golf, etc -- we even recently found a cave to explore for those not afraid of small spaces. :) There are also a number of cool nature attractions within a short car ride, including Elephant Rock State Park and the recently opened Johnson Shut-ins. To get out of the heat, we have an air conditioned rec room with games & indoor activities -- and we plan to keep the main Lodge open all day long (over the last couple years it was only open during the meal times). Also in the main lodge is the Ripple Room Lounge, open for cocktails and beverages from 5pm to 9pm everyday. For the readers in our crowd that want a little piece and quiet, we have taken one of the Rock Cabins and converted it into a library refuge. Finally, on Saturday nights, we will also hold an informal friendly family game night in the main lodge for anyone that wants to attend. Unwind. Cool Off. Eat Well. Enjoy Wilderness! Wilderness Lodge Resort ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wilderness Hotel Lesterville

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