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Reviewed 10 August 2013

This retreat is really remote. It is seven miles down a dirt road but is definitely worth the effort to get there. The owner was attentive but we didn't see her much as she really respects your privacy. We visited various attractions in the area every day and on our trip back, we had a competition on how many deer we could see along the dirt road. The kitchen was well stocked. Since the cabins are remote, we cooked our meals there every day. There are a few nice restaurants in and around Jasper that I wish we had tried but we were a large group. We had both the cabin and cottage. Both were well stocked and clean. The grounds are nicely landscaped and blend well with the environment. The kids enjoyed the water hole which was a little hike down from the cabin. We all loved Shanti, the owners dog. She slept on the back porch and kept guard over us at night. Shanti followed the kids every where they went to keep watch over them and keep them company. She is a very good dog and was never an imposition. We brought movies and games with us but didn't need the games since the cabin had quite a few. Don't worry if you forget your book - there is a large variety to choose from there. Jasper is about 30 minures away. There are restaurants there as well as a grocery store and gas stations. Please note that the gas stations do not have pay at the pump so get your gas while they are open - you can't get it after hours.

Daily outings for us included: Boxley to see the elk herd, Lost Canyon, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Kyles Landing, Mystic Caverns, and Pruitt Landing. We visited Eureka Springs and Osage Pottery too.

I recommend that one use a high clearance vehicle to get to the retreat. It was raining hard when we left. Thankfully, all in our party had four wheel drive vehicles (except us). Despite the downpour, the road was still very passable and only boggy in one spot - no one got stuck or slid off the road.

We enjoyed the retreat and definitely forgot about work that week. My husband and sister were sure they weren't staying the entire time because of work but they both did. Phone reception isnt great but Verizon did work. The cabins have wifi.

Date of stay: August 2013
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank Teeleah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

Needing to detox from the noise of everyday life, I chose this retreat house due to its remote location. The drive to it was exquisitely beautiful, and tho it takes eight dirt miles to get there, every mile helped me let go of stress and prepare for my retreat. I could not have been happier. My needs were completely satisfied. Upon arrival, I was given privacy to unwind in my cottage before getting the tour of the grounds. On the banks of the Little Buffalo River, this retreat property is beautifully maintained with gardens and sacred stone graced pathways. The cottage had everything I needed for a self sustained stay. It was perfectly quiet for deep and well needed sleep. The owner, Ann Lasater, is a highly skilled body worker and the three massages I received were nothing short of completely healing. What was especially nice about this retreat, as opposed to others I have taken, was the energy from Ann was so pure and true with very little ego to have to try to appease. This made it so much more relaxing. And a word about the community....I was welcomed by a wonderful neighbor who brought me into his home for a spontaneous session of playing music together. Shawn Porter, thank you! And a trip in to the small town of Jasper was met by a wonderful and friendly trio of native American men who took the time to teach me a some amazing history lessons on their tribe. This was a fantastic trip that I will return to again and again. Jody Nally Fayetteville, Arkansas

Date of stay: March 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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3  Thank jody n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2011

The extremely long and treacherous road to get there is bad enough, but then you also don't know whether there will be any water in the "river front" property. The Lodge and the Cottage are right across from each other and there isn't much privacy. The people there do not like strangers in their little community too.

Date of stay: December 2010
Trip type: Travelled solo
4  Thank Diane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ozarksriverspirit, Owner at River Spirit Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2012

I am slow responding to your review....I am just learning how to do this on Trip Advisor.
I am truly sorry that
you had a negative experience visiting River Spirit.....especially since almost all of
our customers seem to have such a wonderful time. Were you traveling with someone else?
I have looked back over my reservation pages from all of 2010 and 2011. I can't find any reservation under your name. Perhaps your reservation was under another name?
Otherwise, I would have emailed or called you long before now.
Please email us so that we can discuss the issues that disappointed you.
I strive for and love to have customers that are satisfied and who return to
River Spirit repeatedly.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2006

The fam and I wanted to see some Autumn leaves this year (you know, the brightly colored things we don't have in Texas).

I studied the websites (like [----]) to decide where to go and basically found out that this year everyone was dry and so the leaves basically sucked pretty much everywhere. But then I found out Arkansas got some rain in the last two weeks and they were pretty at the end of October. I wanted something different and peaceful..not your average hotel/motel thing. So, I happened to stumble upon the website of the River Spirit Retreat (via [----]...but that's another story).

When I talked to the owner, she kept saying, 'you know it is remote'. I told her that is what I was looking for...a cute 'not-so-rustic' cabin in a relatively remote location that we could use as a base of operations. By the time she said 'you know it is remote' about the 4th time, I was thinking maybe this place was in Deliverance Country. Then, she told me we needed to bring our groceries in with us because 'it was so remote'. Somewhere I heard Dueling Banjos playing. Then she said she didn't take credit cards, but that I could mail her the deposit check, and make sure I rent a car with a high clearance, because....'it is so remote'. When she sent me directions on how to get in there from the highway, I intentionally didn't show them to my travel buddy, because she would have passed out.

(Excerpt: Continue past a farm with a barn on the right, you will come to a fork in the road. There is a whitish colored house on the right along with several mailboxes at the fork. You want to take the left fork here which goes sharply uphill. There you will notice a road going off to the right with several mailboxes. Do not take this road to the right. Instead stay on the main road which curves gently away to the left. You will come to a group of mailboxes on the right and a driveway/road to the left. Do not take this.)

Anyway, we rented an SUV (highly recommended) and took I-75 up through Oklahoma and I-40 at Fort Smith and went over to Jasper at the top of Route 7 (the leaves were only so-so up till this point), but by the time we got to her off-the-road directions, the leaves were fairly spectacular.

The road into the retreat is washboard gravel and dirt and not for someone with a back condition. The locals ride their horses and ATV's on it. We got lost several times and as a result barely got in before the sun set (at 4:30pm in the mountains!!).

Having said all of that, let me just tell you that the place was absolutely lovely. The Guest Cottage is a darling little cabin with an upstairs loft and a full kitchen and bath. The place was spotless. Not one item was overlooked. It had a toaster, coffee pot with coffee and filters, silverware, dishes, refrigerator and feather comforter, books, vcr, huge TV and videotapes, a cute little porch with a hanging swing and table and chairs and chimes, etc. etc. This was my kind of rustic. Each cabin is by its lonesome surrounded by meditation gardens and beautiful trees. Down below is a fast current river that has a trail along side. This is a fabulous hiking place. The woods are very quiet, surrounded by mountains and there is a very friendly Labrador that comes to visit you in the jacuzzi. This is definitely a place to lower your blood pressure.

We found out that it wasnt nearly so 'remote' as first thought. The town of Parthenon is pretty sleepy, but just down the hill at Jasper is a great restaurant, the Ozark Cafe, that lots of canoers eat at when they canoe down the Buffalo river. It has full southern breakfasts and is a great place to swap travel routes with the bikers who love the winding scenic roads of Highway 7, Route 65 and 123. The town also has some cute stores to shop.

All in all, I wish I had a week or two to spend there. Exactly what the Doctor ordered!

Date of stay: October 2006
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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9  Thank boilinginTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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