Is your resort truly All Inclusive?
It’s a question we get asked frequently, so here’s our answer. Yes, it is very inclusive. There are two different kinds of stays at Stonewater Cove.
1) Standard Inclusive; intended for a more leisurely, relaxing stay, where the greatest number of guided activities (such as ATV tours or water sports) you’re going to want to do is 1 per day.
2) Adventure Inclusive; intended for our active guests who will want to be out doing zip lines, boating excursions, ATV tours, archery, etc. a lot during their stay.
So many resorts call themselves all inclusive when all they really include is use of a kayak, buffet meals, and minimal selections of inexpensive alcohol. On the other hand, there are a few resorts out there that truly do include nearly everything they have to offer. Stonewater Cove is one of those.
We don’t offer alcoholic beverages or specialty drinks such as virgin strawberry daiquiris in our rates, but everything else is included (soda, bottled water, juice, etc.). We made this decision based on the fact that people have such widely varying levels of consumption (especially in our adventure resort environment), that, really, it made more sense to us not to include it for now.
Because there is such a stigma of the phrase “all inclusive”, we were very hesitant in the beginning to use it. We even tried to do room-only rates with options for adventure and dining packages you could add onto your stay. However, because our resort is quite literally in the middle of a national forest and not close to other restaurants and amenities, we decided it just didn’t make sense not to include food. Moreover, the entire philosophy of the resort stems from the owning family’s compiled list of the best things about the best places they’d ever been to, wished for, etc., and one of those was an all inclusive dude ranch. You knew what you were going to spend before you arrived, and exactly what you might want to do that was an extra cost (e.g. a massage). Therefore, after a few different trials of rate plans and packages, we finally settled on the rates we have now: Standard Rates and Adventure Rates. They make room for more flexibility and individual desires than the strict weeklong schedules that are more typical of guest ranches and beach all inclusives. There is no minimum number of nights required to stay at Stonewater Cove, similar to a traditional hotel, but there is also somewhat of a scheduled stay such as breakfast is served between 8am and 9am every morning or ATV tour leaves at 1:00pm, similar to traditional all inclusive resorts and cruises.
Some of the greatest resorts in the world try to make it as easy as possible, so you’re not thinking about money every time your child asks you to go for a boat ride or do the zip line, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. A service charge is added on all resort charges so there’s no tipping activity guides or servers or housekeeping. It’s all taken care of and upfront.
For many, the thought of booking the fully inclusive Adventure Rates is perhaps too much of a risk because there’s no set schedule for everybody at Stonewater Cove. We’ve found that people usually only tend to fully understand all that our adventure rates include when we get the chance to speak to them about it. They include motorized activities and others such as zip lines, although the average amount of activity that won’t leave you completely exhausted is about 4 ½ - 7 hours per day. We’ve planned the rates that way, so that the average number of activities you’ll probably do each day is 2-3 activities, most an average of 2 ¼ hours long. If you want to go for an ATV ride after breakfast, and then hit the lake for a full afternoon or something similar nearly every day of your stay, the Adventure Stay is for you.
However, if you just don’t know, or think you’d much rather just relax and enjoy the pool and swim dock (‘lake pool’) most of the time, and just go hiking or kayaking at other times, our Standard all inclusive stay can certainly keep you pretty busy. Two other examples of why you might want to choose just the Standard all inclusive rates are, 1) you own your own boat or plan to rent one from the nearby marina for the duration of your stay, or 2) you intended to go to a spa resort for nothing but great food, spa services, and relaxation. Stonewater Cove has a boat dock with 12 slips, and there is a private boat fee of $30 per night. The resort does not currently have a spa facility, but we have a partnership with a group of highly trained and intuitive specialists that can provide custom massages, hot rock massages, bamboo treatments, and deluxe lemongrass foot treatments in the privacy of your room. Keep it ultra-mellow or “all natural” by choosing the Standard inclusive stay.
The last question we are asked quite frequently is, “can you just book a Standard Stay and then book guided activities once you get there?” Yes! All of the on-site activities are available a la carte if you choose just Standard inclusive rates. The goal is to make it as simple as it gets. When you arrive at the resort you will receive an itinerary of your full stay that lists meal times and what’s for dinner as well as which activities are available at what times each day. All you have to do is let someone on the staff know what you’d like to do, whether you want to plan your whole trip right then with the concierge, or wait until breakfast that day to decide what you want to do that afternoon, it’s completely up to you.
Canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, dock fishing (poles and bait), and (of course) hiking, are always included with your stay. ATV tours, zip lines, leisure boat rides, water sports, clay shooting, and archery can be included with your stay. Additional a la carte items that are not included with either inclusive rate are: helicopter tours, in-room spa services, private moonlight cruises, pre-determined forest picnics, and professionally guided bass fishing trips with Pete Wenners.
All “inclusive rates” also include made-to-order breakfasts, casual lunches, gourmet barbeques, Italian nights, 5 course dinners, snacks such as chips, home-made sweet potato chips, ice-cream, s’mores, and non-alcoholic beverages, including bottled water and sodas.
The resort is also happy to arrange car service from one of the 3 nearby airports (SGF, XNA, or BKG) without charging a huge concierge fee to do so. Helicopter transfers and boat taxi service are also available from the Branson Airport (BKG).
Are we really ALL inclusive? -As best we can be, and much more so than most- We leave just a few things available for optional extra cost (listed above), but the entire goal of the resort is to provide a beautiful, fun, and relaxing vacation where you don’t have to worry about expenses going out of control or carrying cash in your swimsuit to tip your water guide. We want to make it easy and fun, and worth every penny…always.