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“A beautiful, relaxing step back in time” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rockywold Deephaven Camps (RDC)

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Rockywold Deephaven Camps (RDC)
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A beautiful, relaxing step back in time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

This was our first time at RDC (unusual, most families had been coming back for years) and we we're the only Europeans. None of that mattered - we were made to feel very welcome by other guests and staff alike in a beautiful spot on Squam Lake in a cabin in the woods 40 feet from the lake.

Every cabin has its own dock where you moor your kayak, lie in the sun and swim in the lake (a good temperature at about 75 degrees in July). The cabins are relatively basic, but comfortable and charming and all in beautiful locations. There are lots of activities lined up for all ages (some reminiscent of 'dirty dancing' like the talent show, but all lots of fun). We booked 'Loon Island' for my wife's birthday which was great - our own island for swimming and BBQ in a breathtaking location.

3 meals a day are served at set times in a communal dining room (no alcohol allowed, and the best tables given to the guests with the longest history !) the food is good (a bit too good, so you need to ration yourself or put on weight !!).

I can see why families have been coming back here for years - it hasn't changed for many years and has retained a non-commercial, genuine quality that many people yearn for in this high paced world. Highly recommended.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Richard_Lines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
montague
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

Beyond words. From the moment you arrive, you will breath more freely, feel joy and peace. Leave the world behind. Every cabin is unique. The lodges are cozy and intimate. Individual docks and many options for exploring the lake. The loons and eagles. Delicious and healthful meals. Hike to Rattlesnake for breathtaking vistas. Evenings in a rocking chair on the screened porch. Memories to carry you through the rest of the year, until you return again.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank oldnewengland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2013

This is a place that draws you back year after year. 1) The people are amazing - you get to know the other guests and come back during the same weeks each year, developing really cool friendships. 2) There is no "forced-fun". All activities are optional, which gives children the freedom to go off and participate in things they are excited about and parents don't have to worry about them getting into any trouble. 3) The area is beautiful, the lake pristine, and the opportunities for outdoor fun are endless. From hiking to sailing, tennis to wacky canoe races - there is something for everyone.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mwhitmore8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
124 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2013

It is just about the best part of summer - our time at RDC. Unfortunately, this year we were only able to stay a few days because of other commitments, but even that provided us the calm and relaxation that can only be attained there. The cabins are rustic and not overly clean, but that is part of the charm. The staff is wonderful. Housekeeping and outside crew really work hard to make your stay great. It is the great outdoors at its best. Looking forward to next year.

Room Tip: I'm a Rockywold girls. Any cabin on that side is great!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cliffsideinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
51 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2013

To me, this is the Happiest Place on Earth! The staff is always amazing. Always pleasant and willing to help. Tons of activities for everyone and the food is always good. The cabins are positioned so everyone has a nice walk to the dinning halls and making friends here is so easy. Been coming up here for almost 30+ years and it continues to be my favorite spot in the world.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank uoducks1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2012

Our family stayed at RDC in the summer of 2011. It's truly a unique and precious place.

Every cabin has its own dock and the staff will keep swapping out whichever watercraft fits your fancy for the day. We got a kick out of the pontoon bicycles and couldn't believe how fast they were. I tried squeezing some knots out of a Sunfish in the fickle winds and we all kayaked past the not-so-legendary loons of Squam lake.

Our cabin was perched on a rocky outcropping and was just a perfect blend of antique rusticity and plush bedding. My favorite thing in the cabin was the authentic icebox, filled every morning by the friendly staff with chunks of ice harvested from the lake in the winter season and stored in one of the 2 ice houses at RDC. Amazing.

The physical amenities of this summer camp resort are special. But it's the people of RDC that have kept it thriving for over a century. We were welcomed at RDC like we had been coming there for years. But it wasn't only the staff that was so gracious, but the guests as well! We met several people that we just clicked with right away. Our 2 children also made friends right away and were riding bikes all over the camp going from activity-to-activity giving us time to listen to the loons and relax.

We've only been here once, but we're planning another visit. We're betting that RDC is like a full-bodied cabernet that only grows better year after year.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ken A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2012

Rockywold Deephaven Camps is unlike any other camp or resort in the USA, and since it's New England-y in character, there is also no equivalent to be found elsewhere in the world. Founded on the cusp of the 20th century by a widowed school teacher whose husband had been a general for the North, led black troops against the South and later founded Hampton Institute, the Camps were inspired by strains of the Chautauqua movement which was a major social phenomenon at the time promoting education, recreation and self-betterment in summer colonies. A regular speaker on the Chautauqua circuit was Booker T. Washington who had graduated from Hampton and subsequently founded Tuskegee Institute. Today, RDC has shed the moral sternness and Victorian principles of the early Campers who were often professors, teachers and preachers, but still lingering is a strong sense of purposefulness alongside the recreation, relaxation and enjoyment sought by present-day campers who are largely high-level professionals.

I've been coming to the Camps for over 50 years as have many others, often spanning several generations within families. RDC is a camp for the individual or family that wants relaxed simplicity without privation. Often several generations of a family congregate from their scattered locations around the USA--and now the world--for once-a-year reunions during which bonds are renewed. There are many activities such as water sports, boating, mountain climbing, square dancing, tennis, and toddler and teen activities. There are special events such as baseball games, running and water-sport competitions, tennis tournaments, picnics and lectures. One can partake in as much or as little as one wants. If you're wound up from the office and just want to sit on your private boat dock reading a Tom Clancy novel, that's a great way to enjoy the beauty of the lake while the kids are swimming or boating.

Evenings at RDC are one of my most favorite times "On Golden Pond" (the movie was filmed on Squam Lake). At night you can sit on your screened porch or lie in your bed as you drift off reflecting on the day's activities and guests you've come to know while listening to the haunting cry of the loons echo around the lake. If you're in the mood for a real shift from the grind of work and routine, try putting on your swimsuit at night, walking down to your dock and slipping into the lake to float on your back while gazing up at the starry firmament. There is no better therapy. And, you may choose to conclude your evening with a nightcap over black ice cut from the Lake's pure waters during the winter and regularly brought to your cabin to aid in such self-concocted ceremonies of unwinding from city life. A palpable stillness settles over the Lake at night and as a result a strange phenomenon occurs: you find yourself speaking in quieter and quieter tones on your dock or porch as you listen to the sounds of the night and the water lapping the shore. It's then you know you've come home.

For those with a spiritual or religious inclination, Sunday services are conducted on an island in the Lake, and for around a century well-known ministers, primarily from the east coast have officiated at these services. RDC guests often comprise a sizeable portion of those assembled. Where in past times a vespers service used to be held on Sunday evenings on a rocky point of land that juts out toward the Lake providing a serene and scenic environment for reflection, an occasional reading is now offered instead. This particular change reflects how the Camps and Campers have evolved over the years-along with America-from being guided by stern Protestant values to now adopting a more relaxed, secular and rational worldview.

The cottages at RDC, which are rustic and quaint, typify a style of architecture found in early 20th century New England camps and contain many surprising angles, rooms and twists and turns. I am drawn to the old buildings and find much charm in them. Some are small and appropriate for a couple or small family and others are capacious and can house many generations of a family or friends. The crews who clean and bring fresh ice, linen and towels to your cabin are friendly and helpful. Most are college students and many sons and daughters of Campers have gotten their first jobs and social security cards through employment at RDC. The staff is international with many of the employees presently coming from Europe.

Food at the Camps is all-you-can-eat buffet style, and I find it exceptionally good for non-plated buffet food. The spread is diverse and varied and I always find at least a couple of selections that delight and intrigue my palate. From breads and soup to cheeses and cold cuts, to a wide selection of salad-makings and dressings to entrees and vegetables and a selection of desserts and ice cream and frozen yogurts (even popsicles and ice cream bars for the kids), a great effort is made to please even the most finicky of eaters.

Rockywold Deephaven Camps will be enjoyed most by those seeking a relaxed, non-glitzy vacation during which they can connect with nature, enjoy good food and recreation and a chance to connect with old friends from past years while making new ones. Whether you hail from Cambridge, Greenwich, Saddle River, Bedford, Haverford, Chevy Chase, Buckhead or many other points to the south and west, you will find surprising social ties and connections here that keep bringing you back to the camaraderie of RDC and its unique traditions as you decompress from your quotidian urban life. My advice: try coming 'down east'. Come home to RDC.

Brian A

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank goodguynycusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rockywold Deephaven Camps (RDC)

Property: Rockywold Deephaven Camps (RDC)
Address: 18 Bacon Road, Holderness, NH 03245
Region: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Holderness
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Holderness
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
RDC is much more than a rustic resort, we are a family camp steeped in over 100 years of tradition bringing families and friends together in the natural beauty of the lakes region of New Hampshire. Rockywold Deephaven Camps accommodations offer cozy cabins, cottages and lodge rooms with rustic and vintage charm. Families enjoy delightful meals in a home-style fashion. This unique experience provides you with the opportunity to quietly read a book by the lake, take a swim, go fishing, or sign up for range of activities like softball, boating, guided nature walks, and tennis. RDC hosts numerous reunions and events for large family gatherings or conferences and we offer special group and conference rates. ... more   less 

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