When your home-away-from-home is a hotel, you come to have high expectations. When you want a family getaway that is stress-free, you should go to the gorgeous Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri and you should undoubtedly stay at the Tan-Tar-a Resort.
Hotel Review: Tan-Tar-a Resort – Lake of the Ozarks Lodging
Imagine a vacation where family can find both the zen-like calm the adults crave AND the zany adventure and the kids require – all while never setting foot off property. The Tan-Tar-a Resort in the Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri has all the amenities with zero planning or logistics hassles. This is the epitome of taking it easy while at Osage Beach!
Tucked away on its own vast peninsula overlooking the man-made wonder that is Lake of the Ozarks, the Tan-Tar-a Resort in Missouri is an all-encompassing, total package for family fun. The resort sits adjacent to the Tan-Tar-a Estates, where you can own a piece of paradise. The entire area similar to a nature preserve, but instead of a sanctuary for critters, it’s the people who get to escape to this haven.
Being that we’re rural folks, we love that the Tan-tar-a Resort has a hometown feel on-property while being hidden away
from city influence. This is not a lodging facility perched on “a strip” of active tourist traps and bustling with noise and traffic. Perfect Lake of the Ozarks lodging!
The only motoring you’ll hear is accompanied by laughter and glee and generally some friendly waving, coming from the participants aboard wave runners or a family enjoying respite from the heat on a yacht cruise around the lake. Valuing peace and quiet but yearning for some fun and memory-making opportunities, we found the resort to be a perfect blend of both!
Perfect Lake of the Ozarks Lodging
There seems to be a balance between a laid-back business experience and a wholesome family getaway experience on-site. Everything exudes an upscale feel–quality linens, very professional staff and top notch activities, but set in a somewhat rustic, casual atmosphere. I simply could not shake the almost tangible feeling, standing poolside a quality about my surroundings that harks back to my rainforest adventures in Costa Rica.
While front desk staff were not much different than those at other properties across the nation, the stand-out stars of customer service at Tan-tar-a Resort are the lifeguards! The young adults that keep an eye on everyone in the hot tub, zero depth pool, swimming pool, and waterslide are some of the most friendly attendants I’ve EVER encountered in all of my travels, in all of my years. They were personable and instead of hearing whistles galore for rule-breaking, these lifeguards were able to get the point across and keep guests safe without being boisterous and rude or over-bearing. They were a delight to talk to and in three days knew my families’ names and a bit about us personally — and we knew which ones had kids, their ages, and some anecdotal stories about them as well. This rare perspective of staff in this industry was so refreshing!
The rooms here were spacious and comfortable, with ours (and many) offering an exquisite view of Lake of the Ozarks, perfect for evening sunset viewing! We appreciated the washroom area being partitioned with a sliding door from the rest of our living space. It was just the best way to start a day to waltz out onto the patio and sip coffee in the mornings as the humidity started to rise and the lake had a haze lingering from the night.
We enjoyed a two-king room with a lovely sitting area that had a tasteful loveseat-sized couch and coffee table, as well as two extra chairs and a smaller, taller table. The over-sized bathroom was something any mom can appreciate when sharing the room with three men (though two of those men are just boys, they still know how to make a mess of things in a hurry!) Nicer than normal bath products were an extra touch that didn’t go unnoticed. Relaxing while staying in is most definitely an option here, but for us, the real appeal was all that we could do on the property once we left out snug accommodations!
The beds at the Tan-tar-a Resort may have been one of my most lasting memories, after the enormous emerald waterslide. They were large and cozy but not too firm or soft. Simply divine. I slept the best those nights I spent upon one of the King size beds and can sadly admit that in the past few months I’ve not had sleep like it since! Lake of the Ozarks can be considerably humid during the summer months (when we visited) so the combination of the turbo-blasting air conditioning and the bed linens that are perfectly selected for the climate prove to be just what every traveling mom needs to catch her beauty ZZZ’s!
What Didn’t Work
We were on one of the highest floors which required elevator rides or stair treks each time we had to go to the parking garage, lobby, or pool area. There was construction being completed at the lobby level, which made things a little trickier for stroller use because the renovation was being worked on right near the elevator bank.
Escalators are adjacent, but it’s difficult to safely navigate those with an infant, preschooler, bags, and stroller! Without constant construction, navigation is a breeze once you wrap your mind around the resort layout. Because we were on a high floor we had fantastic views AND zero outside noise, so the trade off was worth it.
We stayed in the main building where many hundreds of guest rooms are located. But it would be worth noting there are poolside cabins available on-site which make such a convenient and memorable venue for a family reunion, base camp for a larger family or simply a multi-generational trip.
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No Need to Leave
There’s a reason that Lake Ozark was chosen as “Best Recreational Lake” by 10Best and USA Today. There is so much to do in the area! But, there is an endless amount to participate in (or not) right at the resort. One of the reasons we adore this resort is all of the options for the everybody to keep busy. Or melt away woes by doing nothing at all…..
Tan-tar-a Resort runs the gamut in all things family fun. Horseback riding, world class golf, yachting, spa services, kid activities, an arcade, a waterpark, and even a bowling alley await those who want to really experience the property to the fullest. Be sure to make reservations for cruises, rides, and tee times, especially during peak travel season in the area, as they will fill up.
Safe and Secure
My family loved the secure property. As dusk descended, we splashed in the outdoor pool and enjoyed the serpentine slide until the area closed for the day. We had adventures interacting with duck and geese as well as seeking out mantis and cicadas! The grounds are so lush and green and immaculately manicured, we strolled along the sidewalks constantly without a worry on-site. There are actually shopping opportunities INSIDE the resort as well!
We quite enjoyed taking an island-themed luxury yacht cruise around a proximal section of the reservoir on the Tropic Island. My son was thrilled to be able to steer the boat with the gigantic captain’s wheel! This fun afternoon activity is one you’ll want to make reservations to attend. It could fill up quickly and only runs certain times and days. A little cruise is the perfect reprieve from the heat and humidity. And you’ll be able to bask in the cool temperature inside the cabin. Drinks and snacks are available and the music makes you feel you’re docking in Margaritaville instead of somewhere in Missouri!
Dining Options at Tan-Tar-A Resort
Another area which the resort can please even the pickiest toddler or teenager is in its many dining options. We enjoyed a relaxing, early bird breakfast buffet in the morning at the Black Bear Lodge Restaurant. In the evenings, we’d take a balmy, summer stroll to the in-house Burger King for some ice cream treats. We also enjoyed a pizza poolside, since there is also a Sbarro next door to the BK.
If upscale with a view is what’s right for you, the Windrose offers guests a dining experience lakeside. The Jetty is a poolside snack bar that can be convenient to maximize time out in the sun and water. There are a few snacking options too. What we’re saying is: you will not starve. For us, there was no fear of losing weight and no attempt to diet while here either! We ate and drank and were merry the entire time.
For us, this was an ideal family vacation destination. We loathe traffic and crowds, so coming to an immaculate, friendly, off-the-beaten-path place like Tan-tar-a Resort was just the ticket! We’d make this a monthly part of our schedules if not for those pesky jobs! For a getaway that is economical, luxurious, fun for kids, great for multi-generational travel, and incredibly zen, this is it.