Reviews of Mountain Retreat
I have been an owner at Mountain Retreat since the late 1990s. Beautiful place with a cabin-like feel right down to a wood fireplace in my spacious unit. This condominium is larger that my first home and has more amenities including an upstairs deck and a covered wrap around porch on three sides with a dining table and barbecue included. My unit has a master suite and a second bedroom and full bath upstairs and a spacious open living area downstairs on the main floor. Things have changed over time, so the renovated main pool house and recreation center now has a theater instead of a racquetball court, the pool has been upgraded, computers are available and furniture has been replaced from time to time. It is still likely that raccoons, deer or bear will walk through the area at some point in your stay and golf balls may collect on the porch from out of bounds shots coming from the well kept golf course next door! Iron Stone Vineyards has enhanced their facility in Murphys, so there will be world class performers at their beautiful amphitheater during their summer entertainment series. And they host a world class quilt show and sale there in the fall, as well. Down the hill to the west, Murphys is a delightful shopping village and up the hill toward the east is Lake Alpine, where canoes and kayaks reign. Bear Valley Resort and Calaveras Big Trees State Park offer winter sports and summer hiking respectively. To the south is a portion of the California State Railroad Museum in Jamestown, historic Columbia and Yosemite is about a 3 hour drive on Highway 49 through picturesque old gold mining towns and villages. Yes, Highway 4 will take you across the top of the Sierras to Lake Tahoe, Mono Lake or Carson City, Nevada and it is a beautiful mountain drive, even in snow. Although the CHP will close the road beyond Bear Valley if it becomes icy or the snow is too thick. The remote location is not so far off the beaten path that special vehicles or arrangements are required to get there and the setting is really woodsy, calm and restful. Arnold has Big Pines Market, which is a well-equipped grocery with a really good butcher and is located near the vbnm drug store and a number of eating establishments bncvbndfgyhuissdfghj. The local ACE Hardware store has everything else you might need including seasonal decor items and a good gift selection. Artist galleries abound in Arnold and other businesses tend to flex with the seasons. I have visited my condo on occasions just to relax, get away from stress and to enjoy the mountain ambiance while reading, sewing, crafting or watching movies on the satellite system. I have been to far more exclusive, distant and expensive timeshares, but Mountain Retreat is "home".
Great get away in the Sierra foothills, a couple miles from the Big Trees State Park. Resprt is across the street from a lovely 18 hole, mountain golf course. Two rounds of golf included for owners. This year the Lodge is being rebuilt with indoor swimming pool, billiards, and spa. At the 4000 foot level, it is cold in the winter hot in the summer. Recommend May - June and Sept-Oct for best weather.
We spent a week here in early June. It is fairly easy to find and very beautiful. Arnold is quite a nice little town. We used the condo as a base for exploring Calaveras County and Yosemite. The condo was very spacious and had plenty of room for myself, my husband and our two teenagers. What we found very nice was there was a half bath upstairs as well as a shower downstairs, flanked on either side, by two half baths. The wood burning stove was a nice touch. The condo had a nice rustic feel - perfect for the surroundings. All the staff we interacted with were very friendly and helpful. There is a nice grocery in town as well as several nice restaurants. Be sure to see Big Trees State Park (about 4 miles away) as well as Black Chasm Cavern and Sutter Gold mine (each about 1 hour away). If we are in the area again we would definitely stay here again.
We have visited this resort on two occasions. The units are large and clean. The staff is most helpful and the indoor pool and other recreation areas in the main building quite nice. There are lots of stairs in all units. The only drawback we found in the units were the sleep sofas. On both visits and in two different units we found that not even a small child would be comfortable on the sleep sofas. Seriously, no one could sleep on the sofa beds in either of the units we were assigned. We took the cushions from the sofas and put them on the floor for the kids to sleep on and it worked out fine. You might want to bring along a blow up bed if you are sleeping more than four people. All in all, however, the sleep sofas were a small inconvenience for a week in this magnificent part of California.
The area is lovely! Don't miss Alpine Lake about an hour's drive east of Arnold. Calavaras Big Tree State Park is of course a major draw and the town of Murphys is delightful. Columbia State Historic Park was fun and interesting.
We stayed at Mountain Retreat for just the one night, Friday, prior to the annual meeting, Saturday, September 25th. The resort is under new management and is now part of the Grand Pacific Resorts family. Everything looked absolutely great and we had a very clean, comfortable unit. The beds are very comfortable and the staff is the same as before, except for the new manager and new maintenance chief. We learned of many new improvements on the horizon as a result of the change in !
Absolutely some of the most spacious timeshare units you will ever find. You could literally move in and be thrilled to stay forever.
Picturesque location surrounded by one of the most beautiful golf courses you have ever seen. Something for everybody from panning for gold, playing fabulous golf courses at reasonable prices, visiting real gold mines, window shopping in old gold rush towns (nearby Murphys' is a must!), visiting numerous wineries and tasting their great wines, fishing and swimming in pristine Sierra lakes.
And by the way, can you believe that green fees are included so you can play at a nearby golf course for free as a guest at Mountain Retreat !!!
What more does one need, or want???
I own a week here, so I will tell you what our guests said...Didn't know the area existed...This is a little hide-a-way close to the SF Bay area...easy to get there in two to three hours...but a thousand miles away as far as a way of life.
The Big Trees start the process...you quickly realize you are walking in the primal forests of hundreds of years ago...maybe 500 years ago...
The next exploration experience was the Stanislus River basin...It was roaring...and it was only January...before the major snow melt...some experts say you can run this river...not without certification and a local guide say I....Both of these are about ten minutes from the resort...and the further you go up the mountain the more remote it starts to get.
Just 25 minutes away is real Winter, with the largest stretch of unbroken trail any nordic skier would ever want...about 12 miles to South lake Tahoe on the closed route 4 highway with miles of groomed trails alongside... no wonder we heard many European languages at the small cafe for lunch at Bear Valley...the fresh organic food was great....Moderate downhill facility with moderate lift ticket costs.
For a $5 parking pass you can just take the kids to the nearby State recreation area and play all day...snowshoes worked fine for all of us and sledding hills were great fun...then down the mountain to grassy areas with no snow...and the sidewalk cafes and shops in historic Murphys...and a day underground at the Caverns...Big deep caves...had a couple of beers at the local microbrewery...and even Played 9 holes at the club next to the resort one day as well...
OK, where else can you do all that...within 45 minutes of each other...so maybe I shouldn't be writing this but I believe in telling the truth...
I love this place! The ski area is about 20 minutes drive and family friendly. There is a great sledding area about 10 minutes and it rents tubes right there, there is also a place for lunch. The indoor pool and sports area is really nice.