Saturday, December 6, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Scott and I are so grateful for such a fantastic season! Serenity House was booked more than last year and for longer periods of time. We are becoming experts in the three-hour house flip, and that's good because we have three groups back to back over the Christmas holidays. Of course, this has given Scott (aka Clark Griswold) an excuse to decorate the guest house.


Serenity House all decked out for the holidays.












Inside, you may notice a change. While we had a free weekend, Scott removed the fireplace. It wasn't safe to use anyhow, and I always worried that someone would see it in the photos and be disappointed when they couldn't use it. He was inspired by the fact that it was a perfect spot for a Christmas tree, so he wrestled the old cast iron fireplace out and put the tree up. 





Even the little tree in the TV room got some holiday spirit!



There are events in town all through December, so you should come stay for a while and do some shopping. December 13th the downtown shops have "Living Windows" and draw crowds to enjoy the show. The snow train village is open all month, and The Great Passion Play has a drive through Christmas lights event.

*********************

If you joined us for the 2014 season, thank you so much! We loved that there were not only new guests but some returning guests as well. Not much makes us happier than when happy guests return or tell their friends about us. That's the best compliment we can get.

For those of you considering a 2015 visit, we have already taken reservations for June. It seems early, but if you know that you are coming to town for an event don't wait to get your time booked. Another incentive is that our rates will increase slightly in 2015. Weekend nights will now be $325 each to help us keep the house stocked and running at the level of quality that you've come to expect. If you confirm a reservation before January 1, we will honor this year's rates. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ weekend anyone?

We hope that each of you had a fantastic 2014 and wish you piles of blessings for the year to come.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wrapping Up The Summer

Here at Serenity Hilltop Retreat we are so grateful for the busiest summer yet. Several groups stayed for a week, and so many happy families blessed us with choosing to stay here during their one vacation of the year. Most of the summer was booked up solid with only a day or two between guests here and there. Everyone left happy, and that's the most we can ask for. A recent family left this note in our guest book:

"Thank you so much for an incredible stay at your home. What a perfect retreat to come home to after a day of playing on the river, shopping in Eureka Springs, or exploring caves. We couldn't get enough of sitting on the deck swing and looking at the beautiful view. We also loved exploring the property with the kids. Thank you again for your hospitality! You have done an amazing job creating a beautiful retreat."

Because of changes at GoDaddy.com, Meg had to completely redo our web site, but it is much prettier now and easier to make updates too. In the hopes of being more visible for guest in the future, we have also added listings at FlipKey/TripAdvisor and Booking.com, though HomeAway/VRBO is still where our main calendar is located and the best way to find out about available dates and be sure you are not paying extra fees to the web site. Of course, you can always just call us.

Nearly all of our fall weekends are already booked, but there are a few openings if you are hoping to catch the beauty of our Ozark's fall colors. There are definitely some weekday options, especially in October. One big hole in the schedule is the weekend of the War Eagle Fall Craft Festival (Oct. 16-19). Those dates will end up being booked, so give us a call if you are hoping to come to town for that event.

Labor Day Weekend is still open as well, so give us a buzz if some Eureka Springs fun is calling you over that holiday.

Overall, there's not much else to say at the end of a beautiful summer but Thank You to everyone who has stayed with us over the last three years. We are open over both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and we would love to see you again.

Just in case you wonder what goes on around here when the house is empty, here's Meg's ALS ice bucket challenge video on the front lawn.

video

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Welcome, June!!

Summer is in full swing in Eureka Springs and here at Serenity Hilltop Retreat!

Our most exciting news is the addition of a new sofa bed and love seat in the lower level TV room area.

Razorback red new arrivals in the TV room
This means that we now officially sleep 10 guests with no one getting stuck on the air mattress--not to mention that these are much more comfortable sofas for your TV lounging enjoyment.

We also had to bid goodbye to the fountain next to the pavilion. Scott worked valiantly over the last two years to try to save it, but it just never worked quite right. Fortunately, it has now become a delightful flower bed that has expanded to cover some of the surrounding area as well.


As the flowers come in more it will be just another spot for beautiful photos!

We love having groups of families and friends pass through our doors, but one fantastic first this season was a lovely Indian wedding. The pavilion was covered with women in colorful saris, and I will forever remember the image of the delighted bride and groom exchanging their vows in front of me.

One of our big treats is finding the notes that guests leave behind in our book. A group of sisters from the weekend left us this note: "The most amazing thing we saw was a road runner. Couldn't believe how fast he was. Beep, beep, and he was gone." Yes, we have dozens of road runners, and they are enjoying the nice warm weather along with the rest of us.

They are hard to catch (just ask Wile E. Coyote!),
but you can see a road runner there behind our bird feeder.
Beep Beep!

Another group wrote: "Serenity and Retreat are the perfect words for your home. I needed to relax--and I succeeded mightily. Your unobtrusive yet available hospitality is extraordinary and uncommon. We all had a great time--and I trust we'll return soon. We will certainly recommend you highly!"

One group discovered the hidden fairy in Serenity House. They felt bad she was all alone in her hiding place and left her a friend. So sweet!

Serenity, our house fairy, and her new friend
Wonder who will find them next!
Some groups are quiet, and some groups are..well...not, but we love getting to meet all of you and sometimes even spending a few hours enjoying a beautiful night by the campfire with you.

S'mores with a view!
There are some random weekdays left this summer (call me, I'll make you a deal!), and the weekend of July 19th is available, but we are already looking toward fall bookings. Two full weeks in August are already gone, so don't wait too long to scoop up the fall dates that you've been considering. If you've never been to Eureka Springs in the fall, here's just a taste.

Fall view from the back deck
Can you see the red farm house?
You can find a full calendar of events in town at the Chamber of Commerce web site. Some of the biggest are the Bluegrass Weekend (Aug 14-16), the Bikes, Blue, and BBQ Weekend (Sept. 24-27), the War Eagle Fall Craft Fair (Oct. 16-19), and don't forget all the holiday fun starting with the Christmas parade on December 5. The weather is a bit chilly, but Serenity Hilltop Retreat is open all year. Groups enjoy spending Thanksgiving and Christmas here, so grab those dates early.

And just a quick note for those of you who have enjoyed Meg's books: Book 3 in the Cats in the Mirror series will be out September 12! You can find out more at her website/blog at www.megdendler.com. 

 Goodreads Link to "Miss Fatty Cat's Revenge"







Saturday, March 29, 2014

Flat Stanley & Springing Forward For The Season

It has been a long, very cold winter, but the first signs of spring are hitting Serenity Hilltop. The forsythia tree is starting to bloom, and daffodils are popping up randomly all over the property. Scott is making a huge effort to start all of our flowers and garden plants from seeds, and the art studio shed is full of his little babies.

Scott & Amanda tend to the baby plants. 
Some updates are also going on at Serenity House. A new kitchen faucet was installed, all of the carpets have been steam cleaned, and the railings on the front of the house are getting a refurbishing. That northern side of the house takes a beating each year, so some replacing and painting needs to happen every once in a while.

Scott with the railings torn down and ready for sturdy supports and a fresh paint job.
Safety first!!
We will also be adding a hummingbird feeder on the main level balcony this season. They arrive by the hundreds every year, and we hope that will attract them to Serenity House and give guests a chance to see the whole variety of fairy-like creatures up close and personal. By the way, did any of you find the fairy hidden in the guest house during the 2013 season?

Last week we had the honor of a visit from Flat Stanley. He came to us via the Holly Academy in Michigan (and our great-niece Sage), and he helped Scott all over the yard. He thought spreading out a truckload of fresh garden soil was a big job!

WOW! Stanley hopes we save him some summer tomatoes.

Caring for a huge piece of property and a guest house is a big job.
Stanley was impressed with the laundry and yard work.

Stanley thought the view was amazing. We agree!
We sent him back to Michigan with many a story to tell about life in the Ozark Mountains. Sage was happy that he had as good a time on his visit with us as she always does. We're only sorry we didn't have time to take him to Turpentine Creek to see BamBam's huge new habitat. Maybe next year.

Stanley also had a chance to meet the famous Kimba
and hear about Book 3 in the Cats in the Mirror series.
He promised not the share any spoilers.
She promised not to eat him.
Eureka Springs has a fantastic season ahead. You can check out the Chamber of Commerce calendar here and see what events look like your cup of tea. The weekend of April 26th is open, and that is the annual Yards and Yards of Yardsales event. Seriously, there are hundreds of them around town--not to mention the normal array of antique shops. If you love looking for that perfect find, that's your weekend to come to town.

May in Eureka Springs brings all kinds of art festival and gallery strolls. It's a perfect time to enjoy all of the unique artist that call our town home. We have the weekend of the 10th and the weekend of the 24th still open.

Memorial Day Weekend and the July 4th Weekend are still available here at Serenity Hilltop, but the rest of spring is filling up fast. There's only one weekend left open in June! Give us a call to plan your 2014 trip. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Facebook has made it nearly impossible for us to use it as a form of communication. Only about 3% of those who follow us actually see any given post--unless we pay to boost it. Meg promises to use this blog more during the year, so this will be the best place to follow for updates and special offers. Our goal is to post twice a month.

If you tweet, join us at SerenityHilltop or follow Meg on her author twitter account at MegWelchDendler.

We hope you have a warm and wonderful weekend!








Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is it Spring yet?

It is hard to imagine it, but Spring is right around the corner. We have already started preparations here with cleaning up the flower beds and sorting the seeds that will grow in our greenhouse and be planted to make Serenity Hilltop beautiful in just a few weeks. Winter boredom has also caused Scott to come up with a few projects that he didn't quite expect. If you remember our "Lorax" tree stump from the last two years, you'll notice a big change now. Because rocks had grown up inside of it, we couldn't take the tree down any farther than this. Scott felt it could be put to better use, so...

A chainsaw and a chisel later, and Scott made us a nice initialized welcome stump.
Most of this crazy winter in Eureka Springs it has been so cold that we haven't been able to do much but hibernate and wait for the season to start, but that hasn't stopped the inquires and bookings for 2014. We have added a listing at Flipkey this year, so a lot of new faces will be on the scene this season. If you know of a time that you want to visit, don't wait to be in touch. We have already had several inquires for Bikes, Blues, & BBQ Weekend in September!

We had enough snow this year to actually do some sledding. That's rare around here, and Scott took full advantage.



We hope the rest of your winter is not too snowy and very safe and that you'll be joining us this season in Eureka Springs.

And PS -- For those of you who follow Meg's writing and books, both "Why Kimba Saved The World" and "Vacation Hiro" were honored with Silver Mom's Choice Awards for excellence in products for children. Very exciting! You can read more about it here at Meg's writing blog.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas From Serenity Hilltop Retreat

It has been an exciting December here in Eureka Springs and up at Serenity Hilltop Retreat. The same winter storm that caused trouble across the US hit us hard. We saw 9 inches of snow in Eureka Springs, which is apocalyptic around here. Schools were closed for over a week, and everyone just hunkered down to avoid the freezing temperatures and icy roads.

9 inches of snow blanket Serenity Hilltop
Snowy Serenity
 But now the weather has warmed to more normal winter levels, and we are looking forward to only a dusting of snow for Christmas to greet our holiday guests.

Merry Christmas in Serenity House
Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care
 As we close out our second season, we are so grateful for all of the guests who have stayed in Serenity House or simply come to attend a wedding or reunion. We hope to see many of you again in 2014, and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with blessings, much joy, and mountaintops of serenity.

Scott and Meg Dendler

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thank You

We are so grateful for everyone who has joined us at Serenity Hilltop Retreat over the last two seasons. We literally could not do it without you!

You can read our latest newsletter here http://t.co/a0W3ii7aEO

There are still some openings over the holidays and some fun things going on around town. We'd love to have you come for a visit year round!

From today's newsletter:

We are open year round, so off-season rates begin December 1 and last through the end of February. It's pretty quiet around here, but if you are looking for a place to tuck in with friends and family we would love to have you join us. The house is full for Christmas, but we still have openings around Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. We are also still open for the December 6th Christmas parade and historic home tours downtown that weekend. The Great Passion Play is having a lights display for the first time this year that should be amazing, and the Historical Museum is holding the "largest Christmas snow village and train exhibit in the South" until December 22. 


We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family and love.