I was hosted by Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls and Select Registry to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the Inn so incredible for folks visiting Hocking Hills. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!
I’ll give you one word to describe Hocking Hills: luxury. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
If you know about Hocking Hills, you know about the beauty of the area. If you don’t know about it, get thee to Hocking Hills immediately. Hocking Hills, about an hour south of Columbus, is an outdoor lovers dream. And that beauty is prominently displayed in its landmarks including favorites Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave. There’s repelling and rock climbing, ziplining, and hiking.
And most definitely luxury.
Mr. Locke and I spent a couple of days in Hocking Hills surrounded by luxury, amazing meals, gorgeous views, and beautiful accommodations at Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls– a Select Registry property. And, yes, we even managed to squeeze in a bit of the outdoors. The Inn manages to beautifully meld luxury with the outdoors in a rustic setting and made us feel like we were walking into an old friend’s home- all the while surrounded by comfortable lodging and super sweet staff.
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls- An Overview
If you’ve ever driven past Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls on your way to one of the Hocking Hills parks, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that, at first glance, its area is just lovely- and the parking lot across the street is always busy. Well, there’s a reason for that and it’s so much more than what you immediately see when you drive up.
The history behind the inn is quite fascinating, so let’s begin there. Ann Castle, once a highly-respected business woman, decided to throw in the towel and make a move to Hocking Hills where she could create a retreat for city folks. She worked on her dream for two and 1/2 years and by 1987, Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls was no longer a dream but a reality. Along the way there were plenty of obstacles to deter her dream, but perseverance prevailed and now at present day the property is run by her daughter, Ellen and her husband, Terry. They wanted to continue Ann’s dream and have built up the property considerably to include guest rooms, cottages, and cabins- as well as a spa, restaurant, and gift shop.
When Mr. Locke and I walked into Guest Registration, my first take was this: it felt like home. It smelled like home. The staff welcomed us like we were part of the family. The chef and staff at Kindred Spirits (Inn’s lovely restaurant. There’s details about our visit in a bit.) were more than happy to chat with us about meals and recipes. When we walked the grounds and learned about the property, I never felt like I had to tip toe around. I felt at ease and at home.
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls has three styles of accommodations: guest rooms, cottages, and cabins. The guest rooms are perfect for two guests, have comfy queen beds (or two twins), and are the closest to the main property area. Each room has a separate bath area, chairs and a desk, and individual climate control.
Cabins accommodate two or more guests, but there’s much more space to move about. The cabins offer a full kitchen, two-story accommodations, and a sizable porch to head on out and take in all of that glorious nature that Hocking Hills is known for.
Where did we stay? Our visit included a night in the Bittersweet Cottage. For the scoop on what we thought of it, keep reading.
Bittersweet Doesn’t Have to Be a Bad Thing.
A truer sentence has never been written- especially when it comes to Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. Each of its cottages are named after trees and plants, and Mr. Locke and my accommodations during our visit was the Bittersweet Cottage. As soon as we turned the key in the cottage door and swung open the door, I smiled. Once again, that theme of home and comfort prevailed throughout- and luxurious touches were easily spied. A whirlpool tub for two, large king bed, and nearly a 360 degree view of the woods was what I spied first.
Then I headed into the bath area. I loved the large vanity and had no problem placing all of my toiletries on it. The vanity extension included a microwave, coffee maker, and mini fridge (perfect for that bottle of wine we had!) and the entire space was immaculate. The cottage even provided wine glasses so we didn’t have to drink out of coffee cups or go hunting for some in the restaurant. LOVE that.
There were also two spa robes for our use and we really did get a ton of use out of them. It was fun sitting on the back porch swing, sipping coffee or simply just taking in all of that gorgeous nature. Early May is a great time to Visit Hocking Hills compliments of the moderate climate and we slept with the main porch door open, leaving the screen door locked so we could hear all of the night sounds. And we slept so well. All of that fresh air, combined with the laid back attitude the Inn provides, was exactly what we needed to rest and relax.
Dining at Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Kindred Spirits Restaurant is worthy of a stop even if you’re only passing through the area, but if you’re spending a night or two on property, it’s a restaurant worthy of checking out for each meal. The atmosphere is casual fine dining. Translation? you can feel free to dress however you see fit. Folks dine in both shorts and dressy attire. Never ones to pass up the opportunity to dress up, we jumped at it during our dinner visit.
So let’s talk about Chef Anthony Schulz and his staff. Chef is a true asset to the kitchen and his creative dishes and flavor combinations were a delight to try. A little background on this talented man: Chef Anthony attended and graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2003. After a two year hiatus as Executive Chef in Kindred Spirits, his recent return has brought new life to its menu, and his staff are elated that he’s returned. You can see it in their faces; they love their jobs. The Inn has several garden areas and their harvests are reflected in the meal menus. Chef also prides himself on using locally-sourced ingredients in his dishes.
For starters, we had to try an Inn favorite: Wisconsin Cheese Ball and Olive Tapenade with crackers and crostini. Both were so delicious that I asked the kitchen for the recipe- and they said yes! Stop back on the blog tomorrow for the full (and easy!) recipe including a print out recipe card for handy reference.
Having the chance to chat with Chef Anthony for a few minutes at our arrival, I asked him the in-house signature dish. His response? Oreganatta Diver Scallops. Mr. Locke is a lover of seafood dishes and whenever he gets the chance to dine on scallops he does. He knows that scallops can easily be prepared and cooked wrong, and this dish was absolutely perfect. The scallops were surrounded by Roasted Orange Pepper Coulis, Lemon Gnocchi, and Artichokes and were cooked to perfection.
My choice? The Strip Steak. What a lovely piece of meat. An Inn Cut 12oz. NY Strip, Black Garlic Butter, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, and Grilled Asparagus was a perfect dish for my palette.
As for dessert? The Inn’s famous Flourless Chocolate Torte. Each dessert on the menu is made from scratch daily and the menu changes depending on season and availability. If you’re a berry lover, now’s the time to visit for a taste of the Inn’s Berry Cobbler. So delicious and fresh.
Breakfast at The Inn
Remember that scent of home that I talked about earlier? I’m sure it has something to do with the freshly-made granola that was being prepared on our arrival. The dish is a guest favorite and, when we walked in to breakfast, I couldn’t wait to finally try some for myself.
Along with a beautiful table of granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit, breakfast includes muffins and cooked dishes, and as the owners and staff like to say, they’ll feed you until you can’t eat anymore- and that’s a true statement! Although we didn’t try “the best pancakes you’ve ever eaten” we overheard the compliments and declarations of truth to the statement. We have to save some surprises for our next visit, afterall.
The Spa Treatment
After a walk around the property and some down time in our cottage, we headed to the spa for a Couple’s Massage. Never ones to turn down a chance to relax and unwind, we were elated to try the spa’s services. Heated tables, luxurious linens, and skillful hands gave us 50 minutes of pampering that is perfect for couples wanting to experience the service together. The spa offers so much more than just massages and yoga classes can be incorporated right into your visiting schedule as well.
In a Nutshell
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is a perfect destination for folks looking to get away for m the hustle and bustle of all that big city living (or even folks that are already away but want to spend some “me” time in the surroundings of rustic luxury), want to reconnect with nature, and want to feel special all the while. Mr. Locke and I loved our visit to the property and seriously cannot wait to take our teen daughter back. Yep, Inn & Spa is great for kids and teens, too.
If you’d like to make a reservation or want more information, here’s the scoop:
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Thanks again to the owners, staff, and even the guests for making our stay so amazing!