Friday, February 15, 2013

Forrest Hills Mountain Resort In Dahlonega, Ga!

A few weeks ago, my family had the pleasure of staying at a beautiful resort. It wasn't anything like the resorts I've visited recently. I didn't find marble baths and balconies overlooking the ocean. I didn't find elevators in the halls and fresh flowers in my room. I did find something I haven't experienced in years. Peace. Quiet moments with my family without mention of work and no tourists rushing about. I escaped from my laptop and smart phone during the three nights and four days I spent at Forrest Hills Mountain Resort. I didn't have to of course, but I was so inspired by the beauty around me to just stop and put it all away and enjoy each and every moment. It was wonderful!

 We drove several hours north and found the resort without any problem. We found a cozy little office and had a very easy check-in. The office was great. They had a nice selection of DVDs that we were able to rent (no charge) and they even had a little gift shop!

We were given tickets (as part of a family fun package) to visit Dahlonegaattractions. Outside the office we noticed bundles of firewood which could be purchased for a small fee for those staying in cabins with wood burning fireplaces. We stayed in a cabin with a gas fireplace and it was quite a treat! I'm not so great at lighting fires so a gas fireplace was wonderful! We were given a choice of two cabins and we chose a lovely two bedroom cabin (Robin's Nest) and it was a short drive up the hill. We were given a map and we found our cabin without any problem. The roads were paved and maintained and the scenery was delightful. There were trails throughout for horseback riding and walking. I want to go back when it's all covered with snow!

The cabin wasn't secluded but it wasn't right next to another cabin either. I could see other cabins through the trees, but the trees were bare. During other seasons, I'm sure there would have been even more of a secluded feel. Regardless, I had a complete sense of privacy and it felt like we had the woods to ourselves! The exterior was plain but had been maintained. Everything was kept up on the exterior and it was quite nice.

Inside the cabin, we found everything we needed for a great stay! Our family package included a welcome basket with snacks. We did a quick walk through before bringing in our belongings.  When we opened the door, it opened into a large open area with kitchen and dining to the left and a living room with a cozy gas fireplace on the left.

The living area was very spacious and even though the sectional wasn't as firm as I would have liked, it made the perfect place to curl up with my family each evening. We couldn't get the gas fireplace lit, so we called an after-hours number and we were talked though the process. There are instructions on the handouts (given at check in) but my husband NEVER reads directions. Our cabin was charming. It was rustic with the wood paneling and the gorgeous ceiling beams. There were so many touches that made it feel like home.

We called ahead and found out we could reserve a grill. It was delivered by a friendly gentleman. We found out he was one of the owners. He delivered the grill while we were gone and then he left to get a grill brush.

 We met him when he returned. He made us feel so welcome, kind of like distant cousins that you see once a year. Make sure you bring your charcoal and lighter fluid! The kitchen is also fully equipped with a stove, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher! I did notice there wasn't detergent for the dishwasher so you may want to pack a little if you hate washing dishes. There was plenty of dish soap and paper towels. There were also plenty of pots and pans, dishes, glasses, and flatware. We even noticed a selection of herbs in a spice rack!

The cabin had everything we needed to feel at home. There was a CD player, TV and DVD player, alarm clocks, and a nice assortment of books. It was tastefully decorated and we were very comfortable there. There were two matching suites and they were separated by a hallway off the living and entry area. The beds were beautiful and my husband was so happy they were not covered in floral linens! I also love the ceiling fans in the bedrooms!

Everything was very neutral. The bedrooms were spacious and so were the en suite bathrooms. It was a three piece bath complete with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soap samples. There was a hair dryer too. There was also a wall heater to keep you nice and warm!

There were plenty of towels for our three night stay. The hidden gem was a hot tub! It was located past the kitchen in an enclosed room with windows that allowed you to enjoy the view while relaxing! There were towels hanging on the wall. I enjoyed the fact that there was a wall heater!

I didn't get chilled as I was getting out and drying off! There was also a table and chairs in this room. There was a door leading to a gorgeous deck. There were plenty of chairs for everyone to hang out and enjoy the view and the wildlife. We saw three deer during our stay. Maybe you will see a few too!

Breakfast. Oh my goodness! Two mornings we were there, breakfast was delivered to our door. There was an amazing selection and so much of it! You definitely won't start your day hungry here! Waffles, bacon, sausage, gravy, fresh fruit, potatoes, eggs! AND more!!!!

If that isn't impressive enough, we went to the dining room one morning and we had a buffet that was fit for a king! On cold mornings, it would be nice to cozy up next to their wood burning stove and enjoy a memorable breakfast!

Want to know the best part other than the great tasting food? It was free with our package!!! My husband fell in love with their delicious cheese grits. I couldn't stop eating their light and fluffy pancakes! My youngest enjoyed the assortment of fruit and my oldest wanted it all! The servers were really nice and made sure we had everything we wanted and needed. I was really impressed! My kids took time to admire the aquarium and the staff took the time to talk to them about the fish. 

There were so many gardens and beautiful places to walk or take a break. We stopped by the wedding gazebo one afternoon. It's a charming area that is private and tucked away. It's the perfect place to have an intimate wedding or renew your vows!

Gold City Corral was wonderful! We were given a carriage ride (if your kids are old enough you can go on a trail ride) and my kids enjoyed it. They didn't enjoy it as much because they were upset that they couldn't ride. My kids have never been on a horse. Our neighbors have horses and my kids get as close to them as possible, through the fence of course. They have ALWAYS wanted to ride and we were thrilled to find out that we could pay for pony rides!!!

I think it was the highlight of the trip for them. After leaving, they both said the trip was better than Disney. I never thought I'd hear my kids say that. After all, that was the ultimate trip for them. Turns out, Forrest Hills Mountain Resort has them beat. At least in my children's eyes. While in Dahlonega, we went to the Gold Museum. That was included in our ticket package. We toured and stayed for a short film. It was very interesting and the kids did not get bored. All the gold excited them!

We toured Consolidated Gold Mine. We found bats in the mine and learned about the history of the mine. We learned about different tools too. We panned for gold and browsed their shop! They had so many cool things! We also went to Crisson Gold Mine and did a little gold panning and we also found gemstones. I learned it's a lot harder than it looks!!! The kids had a blast. We all did! We learned so much by participating in these activities. My kids enjoy hands-on learning and this was one of the best educational experiences we've had! These tickets and experiences were included in our ticket package!

We also went to Amicalola Falls. We enjoyed driving up and walking along the trails! I wouldn't recommend taking small children up and down all those stairs, but get out and enjoy your surroundings if you are in the area! It's a short drive from Forrest Hills Mountain Resort!

If you are looking for a special homeschool field trip, family getaway, or couples vacation, this resort has something for everyone. We enjoyed our stay and we would love to go back. It's on our list for a future visit! Check out their site for great rates and specials. I hope you will consider Forrest Hills Mountain Resort for your next adventure!

Disclosure: We were given a Family Fun Package and a three night stay in order to complete this review. Honest opinions were given and a favorable review was not required.

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