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“Peaceful, warm, and dog-friendly!”

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Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Athens, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Peaceful, warm, and dog-friendly!”
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Barkwells was the perfect place for us and our four dogs. My husband and I took a "working" vacation. During the days, we "hung out" in our cabin using wifi, working at our own pace. We took walks with our dogs on the lovely property, swam in the pond, and enjoyed the hot tub. We met wonderful people and simply relaxed. It was great knowing our dogs were not only welcome, but were honored guests. Our cabin was perfect for us (and the beds super comfortable) and our dogs enjoyed it too. I brought a stack of brochures and have been giving them to everyone I know who travels (or would like to travel) with their dog(s). Highly recommended! And downtown Asheville is just 15 minutes away!

Room Tip: No swimming pool but the pond is much better! Snickers may be the most private cabin, Peppermint Pa...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Babs M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    188
    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lebanon, Maine
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2012

We recently had our first stay here with our two dogs.It was great, close to everything,hiking , restaurants...nice drives.You have your own fenced in yard with a doggy door so your dogs can go in and out as they please.Or open your gate and let them run and swim in the large fenced in area.The cabin was great, comfy , clean and more private than you would think.would we stay here again ? Actually booked it for the fall before we left !!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank DavidM22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2012

We've stayed here twice in the last couple of years, and every time we plan a vacation we've got to decide whether we want to go back to Barkwells or go somewhere else.

The location is perfect. It's out of the way enough that you get peace and quiet outside, but not so far removed from civilization that you have to drive a long way to get anywhere else. It's located just outside of Asheville, 10-15 minutes away from Biltmore, the North Carolina Arboretum, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shopping is convenient, there are a ton of great restaurants in the area, and hiking trails galore.

The only problem is that you might not want to leave Barkwells for any of that. It's a small resort, with seven cabins available (with, I understand, an eighth on the way) so it's never crowded. The fenced six-acre common area is massive with only six other groups staying there, and many times you'll have the entire space to yourself. There's hammocks and a swing to swing in, a dock to fish from, a paddleboat to play on the water with and a shallow sandbar at one end of the lake that even the stumpiest dog can play in safely. If the dogs get bored with that, there's a large growth of bamboo at one end that they can play in and chickens and goats to harass (from behind a fence, of course).

That's to say nothing of the cabins. The two we've stayed in, Bo's and Diva's, were both houses in their former lives, and have that unique warmth that only an older mountain cabin can have. Both are very nice, with VERY comfortable beds, great views, a closet full of games and books, and all the comforts of home. They even have front-load washers and dryers. Bo's has a massive half-acre backyard all to itself, and sitting at the top of the property, it has the most stunning views of all. The back faces east, so if you're awake in time, you can catch a great sunrise over the mountains every morning. That backyard is wonderful for privacy, and if your dogs aren't quite as well-socialized as you would like. The rest of the cabins don't have a full backyard, but they do have a small fenced area for your dogs to handle their business, and they will also have the run of the large decks without having to be out in the full common area. Each of the cabins has dog doors, so they're able to come and go as they please. You've got a charcoal grill outside, and you'll want to pick up a bag of charcoal when you head out to buy groceries since it's not provided. Each cabin has a decent-sized hot tub, large enough for four to soak comfortably, though with all the hot tubs facing the common area, you'll want to pack a swimsuit unless you're staying at Bo's.

I feel like I should temper all this gushing praise with some "But..."s, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any. I mean, the water pressure isn't great, but that's to be expected up in the mountains. Walking up the hill, especially if you're staying in Bo's, can get a little tiring. There's only one full bath in Diva's, which can get crowded if you're traveling with kids or friends. Honestly though, if my only complaints with such a perfect resort are that it takes me a little longer in the shower, it gets tiring walking up to my mountain cabin after playing with my dogs, and I have to share a bathroom with my loved ones, I think I'm doing pretty well.

Will I stay here again? Absolutely. I won't even look for anywhere else to stay in Asheville. Barkwells is a complete gem hidden away in the mountains, and it's a wonder it isn't booked up solid for three years out. It's that good.

Room Tip: Bo's Hideaway is absolutely worth the added cost, if it's available. But there isn't a b...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank nin_man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 June 2012

I, 3 friends, and 5 large dogs had the most relaxing stay here. It was very welcoming and clean. We stayed in Baxter's cabin and it was perfect. Our dogs were able to run and play in the lake(something we can't do in Florida). We were able to nap in the hammocks and sit in the hot tub on chilly nights. It was close enough to downtown Asheville and other outdoor adventures that we were never bored. They've really thought of everything here.
There is limited parking available so stick to 1 car per cabin.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank erickamhaag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southeast
Level Contributor
69 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

We brought our lovable mutt, along with our daughter and son in law for a spring vacation. Everyone had a fabulous time, the complex is perfect for those of us who lovingly indulge our dogs. She met chickens and goats for the first time in her life and romped with her new dog friends. The cabin was perfect, very comfortable, immaculately clean. We cooked, grilled out, watched sunrises and sunsets and MLB.com! We've already booked our return visit!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SweetPeamom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat

Property: Barkwells, The Dog Lovers' Vacation Retreat
Address: 290 Lance Rd, Mills River, NC 28759-3884
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Mills River
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mills River
Price range (per night): ₹ 13,603 - ₹ 20,080
Number of rooms: 8
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

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