Updated: Apr 21, 2020
We made our way through the winding back roads in anticipation of a dreamy, relaxing September weekend far away from the city. As we pulled into gravel driveway of the cabin, I instantly felt relaxed. From the outside, the cabin is the perfect blend of a dreamy cabin escape mixed with a modern flair. Most cabins in the area don’t pay much attention to the landscape but just like every other detail at the cabin, it was well thought through and well-done. It had the most inviting ambiance. I have been to the Broken Bow/Hochatown area once before about 7 months earlier, but my experience was nothing like the one I’d have at Lake Life Cabins.
I’m from Oklahoma so I’m surprised I’ve never been to the area until this last year. However, after staying on both the Broken Bow side and the Hochatown side, I am definitely a bigger fan of Hochatown. The cabin group I stayed in Hochatown is called Lake Life Cabins and they are night and day better than where I stayed in Broken Bow. The experience is just unmatched from booking to planning, arrival and stay. Not to mention, Hochatown feels like a little lakeside mountain town you’d see in a Hallmark movie and the access to Beavers Bend Lake could not be more convenient.
When I walked through the front door of the cabin, I couldn’t stop smiling. We were only a 3 hour drive from Dallas but it felt like we were so much farther away. It was the perfect getaway. And boy was I in need of an escape and a recharge. It was brand new, modern, well-designed, luxurious, open, airy, welcoming and the perfect place to escape to from the city. It was quiet, secluded and had everything I would need for the next few days.
The cabin owner had previously sent me a link to the digital welcome book so I would be perfectly prepared and make the most of my stay. He urged me to try out the bluetooth speaker even though I brought my own. I listened to his suggestion and I was happy I did. The bar speaker was powerful and quickly filled the space. At his urging, I also opened the double doors from the bedroom to the covered patio and I was pleasantly surprised the music flowed effortlessly into that space as well. The rooms have high vaulted ceilings that give the space such a luxurious feel. The design is not only well-engineered but it is stunning. From the gorgeous soaking tub, the massive shower, the gorgeous bedroom, relaxing patio, fire pit sitting area, living room to the hot tub, every single touch point and experience was thought through.
The Lake Life Cabins are luxury one bedroom cabins. They are all in the Hochatown area. They are all similar but with various distinctive details. They are ideal for someone who wants to get away and work or write. This is a great spot for a small girls trip or a romantic couple’s getaway. They are also ideal for a small family - they sleep up to 4. There is the spacious bedroom and a very comfortable pull-out couch in the living room. If you had little ones, you could easily accommodate a blow up mattress or pack and play in the bedroom, there’s plenty of room.
For the next few days, I enjoyed starting my mornings quietly on the covered porch next to the outdoor fireplace. I listened as crickets, birds and other animals hummed a sweet melody and I sipped my steaming coffee. Living smack dab in the middle of the Dallas city, this was such a nice reprieve. As a coffee lover, and bit of a coffee snob, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well-done the coffee preparation offerings were in the cabin. Dave, the owner, supplies a Keurig machine and a few K-cups to get you started but he also supplies a french press and a pour over coffee maker. I was in coffee heaven. I love the quality of both the french press and the pour over. At home, I always use a pour over so it was nice to have additional options. When I say all of the details are thought through, I mean ALL OF THE DETAILS. The place is fully stocked with anything and everything you could need to enjoy your time. One of my favorite details were the drink tumblers and the coffee mugs. He has the cutest Rae Dunn coffee cups and the same goes for the drink tumblers.
He stocks the place with firewood, equipment to make s'mores, board games and more. I am a bed snob. I think a bed should always be incredible because sleep is so important. Lake Life Cabins does not disappoint in the bedding category. Not only is the bed itself insanely comfortable but the linens are to die for as well. They were so comfortable. The same goes for the bathroom linens. When you step out of the massive shower or relaxing soaking tub, you will find the thickest, coziest towels.
The first full day we were there, we explored a little bit of the town. My hometown best friend and her husband came into town to camp so we met up with them. We went for a hike around the lake. After that we drove into the town and found a few spots to check out. We started with lunch and beer flights at Mountain Fork brewery. It was a great, quick, casual atmosphere with great beers on tap. We walked around the little strip and checked out the Tasting Room and few other spots.
Then we headed over to Girls Gone Wine. I cannot say enough about this winery. First of all, they have THE CUTEST, sassiest gift shop. And their staff is exceptional. They were so sweet and friendly. We made our way through the gift store to the tasting area and sampled all of the great wines. They have cute names, fun branding and so many wines that benefit a great cause like cancer and animal rescue. We tasted and had a great time. We each left with a couple of bottles. My favorite was the dry red, Spicy Sheila.
After that we checked out Beaver’s Bend Brewery. We shared flights and sat on the top deck. It was the perfect September day with sunshine and a breeze. There are TVs available and at the time there was great classic rock piping through the speakers. They have great year-round and seasonal options. I loved their citrus and raspberry options. The Fleucy Creek was great, too. I was really impressed with their fantastic customer service team. When we were there it was a mother-son duo and they were so kind, welcoming and helpful. It was the perfect afternoon.
The next morning, I sat on the patio with a cup of coffee and my laptop. As I was typing on my laptop, I looked over to see the steam waving from the cup and heard the lull of nature in the background. I thought to myself this was one of those most relaxing and ideal places to work on my writing. I was already thinking about planning my next trip there to retreat and write for a few days.
Not only are the cabins well-thought out and executed but the owner, Dave, is incredible. He goes absolutely above and beyond. For someone like myself who owns a branding and advertising agency and harps on customer experience, I was floored by his customer service. Not only did he prepare us and chat with us through any questions, he also came in clutch when we got ourselves into a sticky situation.
My girlfriend and I drove her Jeep Cherokee to Hochatown. The area is full of rolling hills and parts of the driveway are a little steep. We weren’t really being the smartest when we parked on a declined gravel part of the driveway. We decided to go kayaking and when we got in the jeep, we tried to back up and immediately heard the tires spinning and realized we weren’t going anywhere. We googled every solution. We are both very stubborn and independent so we decided to try our hand at getting unstuck. We realized we needed to create traction of some sort. We tried using pieces of wood, digging away the gravel, using rubber floor mats. It was a very hot day. We were hot, sweaty and exhausted after an hour and a half of trial and error. Finally, I broke down and asked the cabin owner, Dave, if he knew of a good local tow person I could call. He gave us a little teasing - which was warranted - and then he jumped into action. He reached out to the guy who built his cabins and also owns a local zip lining group, Rugaru Adventures. Terry got there and so kindly pulled us out with a tow strap. We tried to pay him but he wouldn’t let us. I was sad that we didn’t have another day to check out his zip lining excursion but I have that on my list to do when I go back. He was such a nice gentleman. Thankfully, we finally got out of the situation and got on our way to kayaking.
Even though we were out of our sticky situation, we quickly realized it was not going to be a smooth day. The first three kayaking companies we went to in Broken Bow along the river were listed as open but when we got there, there was no one working or answering the door. After an hour of trying to find a place to kayak, we got ahold of Beaver’s Bend River Floats, which is just down the road from the cabins in Hochatown. The winding drive through the trees and across the lake was gorgeous. We got out to the lake about 2:45 and quickly got set up and on the lake. The young man running the shop was very helpful and it turns out we had both spent some time at Northeastern State University. The lake was smooth and there was almost no one else on the water. It was tranquil and relaxing. The sun was beaming and it ended up being a pretty warm day. We sipped on our drinks we brought and slowly paddled along taking in the scenery.
That night we checked out the Abendigo's restaurant. We sat on the patio under the stars. It looks like during the weekend they often have a band playing but with it being a weekday, there wasn’t as much going on. The food and wine was great. I had their filet and a glass of red wine.
There are so many things we ran out of time to utilize at the cabin, like the fire pit area for s'mores or just sitting around and talking, the custom corn hole, local excursions like zip lining and horseback riding. There are also quite a few places I want to go back and visit like other areas of the lake, a few other breweries and wineries. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed our mini-getaway. I love that it is a short 3-hour drive from Dallas. It's also a short 3-hour drive from the Tulsa area as well. This would also be a quick and easy trip from Arkansas.
We spent the last night with the doors open, music flowing through the space, in the hot tub with a glass of wine. At one point I sat on the stairs and gazed up at the stars. Living in a big city, I hadn’t seen that many stars in quite a while. Being out away from any real lighting had the sky full of stars lit up so brightly. I couldn’t get enough. It was the perfect way to end the trip. I can’t wait until I have the chance to get back to my new favorite escape.