"My husband and I stayed at Winter Start Retreat the first week of October. We were blown away by the beauty of the property tucked away in the Black Mountains. Take the owners' word for it - You need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to SAFELY navigate the two or so miles of stoned road leading up to the property. The switchbacks have steep drop-offs that could do some serious damage, so it's not recommended to approach at night. (We've navigated Colorado mountain roads, so we have a point of reference).
The home is nicely decorated, roomy and CLEAN. The kitchen suited our needs. We grilled steaks out on the grill, used the oven to bake potatoes, and cooked up bacon and eggs for breakfast on the stove. All appliances are fairly new and clean and worked well. There is every comfortable amenity you could ask for, except cell phone service. There is a landline for emergencies, so if you're ok with being "off-grid" and more than 30 minutes to cell service, then this is for you. If you're a TV freak, there's only one TV in the main living area and it is small. I must admit, it's been a while since we've just experienced nature without distractions, and it was WONDERFUL. We enjoyed the waterfalls just in back of the property, and had a nice evening fire at the fire pit on the secondary deck above the falls. Very peaceful and serene to watch the fire crackle with the sound of the waterfalls. We spent a couple of days hiking to the recommended points around the property (waterfall further up and mineral mine). Bring your hiking boots. Suggest getting more detailed directions to the mine as there are some forks in the trail not mentioned in the directions. The hot tub felt WONDERFUL after a long day of hiking and the indoor wood stove was cozy. We stayed a total of five days and spent a couple of them driving to nearby towns and to places along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Linville and Crabtree Falls). If you want to see good color in the Fall, recommend waiting until the second week of October. Burnsville doesn't offer much, except for an Ingles Supermarket which is HUGE & WONDERFUL. As the owners advise, you really need to stock up on food and your choice of drink before heading up to the mountain for the first time - nothing between Ingles and the cabin. The hosts were accommodating, knowledgable and informative. We only had the pleasure of meeting Sandy, and she was terrific...she and John rescue dogs, so that's speaks volumes. Highly recommend!!!"
Guest: Annie N.
Date of Stay: October 2016
Review Submitted: October 25, 2016