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Stonewater Cove Resort and Spa

Rustic Meets Elegance

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Article by Angela Broockerd

Originally published in Johnson County Lifestyle

Set in the majestic woods of the Mark Twain National Forest along the shores of Tablerock Lake, Stonewater Cove Resort and Spa is sure to surpass your every expectation. It certainly did for me and quickly moved to the No. 1 spot on my list of favorite vacation destinations.  

Upon arrival, the serene setting boasts pristine landscaping, gorgeous topography and the tranquil sound of trickling water from countless babbling brooks and waterfalls that immediately transports you to a world that feels isolated and exotic. This is not your typical Tablerock destination, folks, but instead makes you feel as if you are half a world away. There is a quiet peacefulness throughout the entire 471-acre wooded, handcrafted luxury resort property that invites guests to sit back, relax and truly unwind.

Whether guests are looking for a relaxing get-away or an action-packed adventure, Stonewater Cove Resort offers something for everyone. Lounge poolside with a breathtaking view overlooking the lake and unwind at the spa, or enjoy a game of miniature golf or one of the many games on site. This all-inclusive resort has countless activities available to guests and includes zip-lining, ATV riding, watersports, boating, fishing excursions, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, swimming and more. It is the perfect mix of luxury at its finest and outdoor adventure. The on-site guides are patient, highly skilled and knowledgeable, and safety is of utmost importance.

“One of the many things that made this vacation experience stand out to our family was the attention to detail from every single staff member,” explains Brad Guthery, a recent guest at Stonewater Cove. “They met each one of my children at the skill level they were at and helped them participate in the onsite activities comfortably. My teenagers felt challenged and loved the thrill of learning tricks from the guides on their adventures, and my youngest felt secure that they would have patience and keep her safe at the level she was comfortable with. The staff truly felt like family and got the vote as favorite vacation from every family member.”

This family-owned and operated resort was carefully crafted for more than 10 years by the Bond family, and that clearly shows the moment you enter the gates to the resort. 

“The inspiration for Stonewater Cove came from emulating our favorite family vacations to create a destination that incorporated those fond memories. Boating, fishing, ATV rides, skiing, golfing, horseback-riding and playing board games were all activities we enjoyed as a family,” explains Ruth Bond. “We also appreciated fine dining, warm and comfortable lodging, spa treatments and interacting with friends.”

Everything is done with complete perfection, which is evident throughout the entire stay. The expansive property houses only 25 uniquely custom designed guest homes, which allows guests to feel as if they are the only ones staying at the property. “Rustic elegance” best describes the overall theme. 

“The vast majority of our furniture was handcrafted by local artisans using cedar, juniper, oak, pine, hickory, walnut, sassafras and metal,” Bond says. “The bedding was custom-made, and every accent piece was found by scouring craft stores, antique shops, roadside stands and more in a seven-state area. The intent was to mimic the comforts of home but also incorporate the fun and whimsy of a vacation home.”

The lodge boasts a movie theater, workout facility and family game room filled with comfortable seating. Once the sun goes down, enjoy a sunset cruise and come back for smores at one of the many fire-pits. They cater to each guest, so the needs and desires for the duration of your stay consist of what you enjoy. 

“We were so impressed with how the general manager, James Bond, catered to our individual family needs without us even asking,” Guthery says. “We decided to watch a movie in the theater late one night, and once he noticed, he quickly made gourmet popcorn and brought us drinks to enjoy. This was after he took my family out for long day boating for hours, teaching my kids how to ski and kneeboard. It was this attention to detail and extra care that was reflected during our entire vacation that made every single person in our family want to make this an annual trip. The icing on the cake was the gourmet to-go lunch that they made for us once they learned we would be traveling back home before lunch. They packed drinks and sides as well, and if that couldn’t be topped, they included a bag of car snacks for the kids just in case they were hungry after lunch on the drive. This consideration and care was consistent during our entire stay.”

Fine dining is of utmost importance at Stonewater Cove, and the renowned on-site chefs are sure to entice your taste buds with their four-course meals and five-star dining. Choose from an ever-changing menu of gourmet options for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, and I assure you, these meals do not disappoint as I savored every bite. The produce and fresh herbs come from their very own organic garden. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a happy hour at the clubhouse bar, and dine in the scenic dining room, poolside or take a boxed meal-to-go to enjoy on the boat or on a hike.  

“It is hard to pinpoint my favorite part of our vacation at Stonewater Cove Resort, but the exquisite, gourmet food was at the top of the list,” Guthery says. “Each day we were presented with a new menu of delectable options, and after every meal I was sure that I could not have a meal that would top what I just enjoyed. And then the next meal would contend.” 

Stonewater Cove holds the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure and is truly a place for anyone. Whether you are looking to sit back and enjoy beauty and nature in a luxurious atmosphere that truly makes you feel half a world away, or if you want to explore and have an action-packed vacation full of adventure, Stonewater Cove Resort has it all and is only a short drive away. 

Stonewater Cove Resort and Spa

1257 Sunset Timbers Trail, Shell Knob, Missouri, (800) 792-3956

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