I'm finally getting around to writing a review, but to cut to the chase, we've already booked our next visit for May 2010!
We HATE leaving our dogs behind when we travel, so this was a perfect fit for us. First off, the owners and staff are fabulous and go out of their way to make you and your dogs feel comfortable and welcome. The cabins themselves are great. Extremely clean upon check in - you'd never know that there are always dogs staying in them! Furthermore, they are all situated perfectly to give you privacy, which is nice when you're relaxing in the hot tub.
The grounds were impeccably clean and well maintained. It is so nice to have a place to let your dogs run totally free. We would tire the dogs out early in the a.m., and then head out on our own later, knowing that they were comfortably sleeping back at the cabin. So many other "pet friendly" places have very specific rules about not leaving dogs unattended, but at Barkwells it was OK to do so and it made things so much more relaxing and enjoyable for us.
I thought the location was great, as far as Asheville, Biltmore, Lake Lure/Chimney Rock, Hendersonville, Brevard, etc. It's a bit of a drive to GSMNP and Gatlinburg, but there is just so much other great hiking and things to do nearby anyway. (Note: dogs are not allowed on most hiking trails in GSMNP). It was great to come home at the end of the day and relax on our porch/in the hot tub.
We unfortunately had horrible weather the week we were there in Sept 2009, but we knew right away that we wanted to give the area another shot this Spring, and hopefully we'll get much better weather. Without hesitation, we booked another week at Barkwells.
My only complaint (if you want to call it that) and the reason I rated the rooms only a "4" is that the couches in the cabin we stayed in weren't the most comfortable. There was one chair w/ ottoman which was fine, but the couch was more of a loveseat-sized futon-type of furniture, and wasn't great for laying down/stretching out. But all in all, a minor inconvenience as far as I'm concerned - afterall, I didn't go on vacation to lay around on a couch all week!
Highly recommend Barkwells, even if you're not traveling with pets!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Run. Swim. Play. You and your four-legged friends can roam over eight rolling fenced acres or splash into the pond. Fully equipped and furnished vacation homes with hot tub, fireplace, luxurious beds, private fenced yard, dog door, gated porch. Every comfort and convenience of home, but far away from every day.20 minutes from downtown Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard and Biltmore Estate in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Come. Sit. Stay. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Barkwells, The Dog Lovers` Vacation Retreat Hotel Mills River