The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls occupies 75 acres of natural beauty within Eastern Ohio’s Hocking Hills region. After years of living only hours from the Hocking Hills area, and reading about all of the many events and activities available in both the area and at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, it was time for us to make our first formal visit “to the hills”. Is the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls one of the best in the historic Hocking Hills? What should readers know about a trip to the Inn?
The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls has an excellent location relative to the tourist attractions and scenic Hocking Hills region. The Inn is literally minutes from Hocking Hills natural wonders such as Old Man’s Cave and Conkle’s Hollow, and of course, Cedar Falls. If you are flying to the region-you will encounter a little over an hour’s drive to the Inn from the Columbus Metro Airport-but, there are parks and small towns along the way for exploring to break up the drive. Winding, gravel roads lead guests to cabins and cottages within walking distance of the main Inn, Spa and Restaurant. While our cities never seem to darken, near the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, you will be able to see the stars-just don’t forget to use your handy, Inn provided flashlight to find your way to and from on the late night trails!
Accomodations and Amenities.
The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls offers standard guest rooms, rustic cottages and 1840’s style log cabins; an on site, gourmet restaurant, a “Gathering Place” for meetings, conferences and events, a gift shop/general store, and modern spa facility-plus outdoor areas for gathering and exploring. Each room, cottage, or cabin is furnished and decorated with an eclectic collection of antiques, locally made artisan crafts, original artwork, and pieces personally selected by the innkeepers.
The attention to detail paid by the Innkeepers in creating a visitor’s experience is exceptional. From simple things, such as providing a convenient flash light for use on darkened trails or an umbrella that most vacationers often fail to remember to pack-to the the gas log fireplaces and whirlpool tubs available in the cottages, the Inn is designed with visitors’ comfort and needs in mind. While the gas log fireplace was quite welcomed after a chilly, late fall, Hocking Hills hike-one of my favorite aspects of the Jasmine Cottage was a little journal-instead of an unassuming “name and address” style guest book. This journal provides a “diary” where guests are able to write a journal entry of each personal stay. My husband and I read entries from guests visiting from around the world. We even read that the innkeepers had once stayed in our cottage during a power outage in their own home-and they also had taken the time to write an entry. This one small personal touch provided a link between our stay to those of the previous guests-and even to the owners-that I have never experienced in any other bed and breakfast.
The amenities and little extras offered are too many to mention. The rooms, cottages, and cabins come with usual lodging fare, as well as board games, books, magazines, both coffee and tea-plus even an incredible lip balm that is just what you need after a windblown, chilly hike.
While you will find much attention to detail, you will not find many opportunities for distraction. In fact, many discover that visiting the Hocking Hills area is a serene, relaxing experience that allows families and couples-or individuals-the opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect to one another. How? In the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, there are no TV’s bringing in all of the typically grim news of the world. There are no telephones in the rooms-nor radios. In fact, while guests have locations available on site for wi-fi access, even cellular phone reception is virtually non-existent.
What if you have an emergency with no phone? This was my first question. What if you need local emergency services? Should an overnight emergency arise, the cabins and cottages are within an easy walk and a minute drive to the main Inn and Office space where there is a working payphone outside. If you are travelling alone, this could present a drawback-but, staying at the main Inn in a room may provide the most peace of mind.
The Inn does have a modern, state of the art, spa facility–but, unfortunately, we did not visit the spa during our trip and cannot offer any insights on it.
The Staff and The Innkeepers.
The Innkeepers, Ellen Grinsfelder and Terry Lingo are two of the most personable hosts I have ever experienced. It is evident in their dedication to the Inn and the Hocking Hills community that they want guests to experience the area at its best. How was the service? The staff met everyone with smiles and helpful advice. Rather than just giving curt directions, office staff offered to escort us to various locations on the property.
I could honestly pen pages about dining at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. Rather than going for the renowned “specialties”-or a dish common to many menus, my husband chose the scallops & gnocchi, a dish of pan roasted scallops with haricot vert and gnocchi with herbed beurre blanc, which after a full weekend of Hocking Hills dining and exploration, he deemed his favorite meal of the trip. I opted for pan roasted pork chops with a pear and raisin compote-and finished with a seasonal dessert of pumpkin bread pudding. Executive Chef Anthony Shulz, who is just as charming as the Innkeepers, prides himself in creating his specialty dishes from local produce and resources-and that effort shines through in the quality of each meal presented. The Innkeepers have also established relationships with some of the best wineries and breweries in the region-and offer a number of excellent drink options to serve guests.
Overall Review and Final Thoughts.
Literally, after years of travel, both with and without children, there are only a handful of places that remain in our mind for a revisit-and the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls tops our list. My husband and I felt at home. We felt that we belonged-and are expected to return.