My crazy family loves to travel. Most of us have been from the Atlantic to the Pacific and we have all been up and down the Eastern coastline, as well as throughout the Midwest. Every time we start to plan an excursion, we look for a great place to stay ~ somewhere close enough to some activity, affordable and won’t break the bank, provides us enough space and may have even been recommended to us for its great customer service. Word of mouth means the world, right? Well, normally, we have our favorite “brands,” but I have to tell you about this place I stayed in while on a media trip to Branson, Missouri ~ the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center. What a fun and unique experience it was staying in a place with the word “castle” in its name!
Disclaimer: I attended a media event as the guest of Niccole from The Creative SAHM. While this was a sponsored event, all opinions listed below are 100% authentic and mine alone.
Above, I mentioned four (out of many) things that we take into consideration when looking for travel accommodations. The location of the hotel, its value and affordability, the space it provides and the attitude of its staff. So, how did Stone Castle match up?
Location, Location, Location
Quick overview about the area ~ Branson, Missouri, is a small town about four hours southwest of St. Louis and less than an hour from the heart of Springfield. It is home to over 100+ shows and some amazing restaurants and theme parks. To be honest, it has been on my bucket list for years!
The Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center is perfectly situated just off Green Mountain Drive in Branson near Hwy 76 (famously known as Branson’s “strip”). Its location provides guests easy access to a plethora of entertainment venues, delicious restaurants and family attractions. It is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from a day of laughter, smiles and memories. If you are looking to see the Hughes Brothers, Clay Cooper or The Baldknobbers on stage or if you simply want to spend the day playing at The Track Family Fun Park, you don’t have to stress about driving long distances or utilizing multiple modes of transportation once you’re exhausted. When ready, you can simply retire back to the room within minutes and rest up for the next day of activity and exploration.
When traveling as a family, it is no secret that a budget must be (or at least should be) set in place. Between lodging, food (and I have three boys ~ you KNOW there is a lot of food consumed on trips) and finding fun things to do, it becomes important to save a penny here and there where you can. Since the hotel is typically the place where you spend the least amount of time during a vacation, this is one area most might try to save a little cash.
The Stone Castle management has dedicated itself to keeping their prices set at value rates in order to accommodate families and those traveling on smaller budgets. In fact, the room my friend, Myrah, and I had was a standard room with two queen sized beds and it was priced at less than $80 per night! That’s a pretty good price right there! (for more pricing, check out the rates here)
Even though they are priced at value rates, there are many amenities and perks that raise the quality of one’s stay. Let’s take a look, shall we?
~ Amenities ~
- A free hot complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning: This is a huge hit for those hoping to save a little on food. In fact, this is the first thing my middle son asks about a hotel! During our visit, we had fresh, piping hot biscuits, sausage, gravy, scrambled eggs and pancakes. Yum!! I love me some biscuits and gravy!!! Everything was hot and ready when I visited the dining area each morning. There was also freshly cooked oatmeal available for those craving it, as well as juices, water and coffee.
- Free Wifi: Oh, my goodness! If a hotel doesn’t have this, it won’t attract anybody these days! Not to mention, being able to access the internet is kind of a big deal for a group of traveling bloggers.
- Two indoor heated pools and hot tubs: A little swim before bed? Perhaps an opportunity to let the littles burn off some extra steam before settling in for the night? There are two pools, one located in Building 2 and the other in Building 3, and two indoor hot tubs. The area is clean and spacious, providing a nice respite from a day of exploring.
- Business Center: The hotel has a business center in the lobby of Building 2 and a business center computer available for use on a first-come, first-serve basis. If printing services are needed, a complimentary printer is available. If by chance you are WORKING on your trip (who would do that?), both confidential fax and copy services (fees apply) are located at the front registration desk.
- Track Game Room: Need a break from exploring? The Track Family Fun Park has supplied video games to the hotel for its guests. These are located in Building 2.
Whether traveling as a family of four or five, taking a solo trip or traveling with one other, Stone Castle has the space to accommodate a variety of traveling party sizes. During our stay, my friend, Myrah, and I were in a standard room with two queen beds. It had the standard features with a flat screen TV, iron and ironing board, mini refrigerator (to hold our sweet edible loot we gathered around town) and a separate sink and shower / bathroom area. We had enough space to work, sleep, get ready for the day and prepare for bed at night. It was a very spacious room and we never tripped over each other ~ not once!
Something unique to Stone Castle is the themed room or suite. There are 36 rooms and suites in the hotel decorated in a fashion that creates a unique experience for those staying there. Guests can choose to sleep in a room fit for royalty, 20,000 leagues under the sea, under the watchful eye of wild animals living on the walls or even in a room placing you in the middle of a major league baseball game. In addition, there are two very special rooms at Stone Castle ~ the Dolly Parton Stampede suite and Clay Cooper’s Crib. Both of these rooms highlight two (of many) prominent shows among the talented Branson entertainment.
Of note, there are also two guest rooms that have kitchenettes. These are perfect for families trying to save money on food or have a group that likes to eat at varying times throughout the day.
Okay ~ I have to show you “Clay Cooper’s Crib” – check this out!!
Now, this is HUGE. Pay attention. Yes, Stone Castle is located in a convenient spot. It’s affordable for traveling families. It has the space to accommodate parties of varying numbers. All of those things are key elements in why Stone Castle would be a good place to stay. In addition, what really made this a place I enjoyed visiting was the heart behind the staff.
While there, our group had the opportunity to work closely with Jay Wilson, the General Manager, and Sam Howard, owner of the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center. Sure, this was a sponsored event and it would make sense to put their best foot forward, but it was more than that. We saw authentic southern hospitality shine in their interaction with other guests at the hotel. Smiles, conversation, going out of their way to make sure guests were comfortable ~ it all came naturally for these guys.
Stone Castle aims to make their hotel a home away from home. They want families to feel comfortable and as if they can interact with the staff effortlessly. Connecting with their guests is important, going so far as to post live updates on occasion on their social media channels. We found them very personal, extremely hospitable and truly genuine. That’s unique and, sometimes, makes all the difference in the world.
I think that’s the key word here about Branson ~ they are genuine. During our few days at Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center, we saw true southern hospitality in action. I would think that, should you choose to stay here during a visit to Branson, Missouri, you would experience the same authenticity and the same kind of heart and personality.
To make a reservation at Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center in Branson, Missouri:
Book online at:
Book through the hotel itself:
- Main: 417-335-4700
Toll Free: 800-677-6906
Address for directions:
- 3050 Green Mountain Drive, Branson, MO 65616
To learn more about Branson, follow along on Social Media using #BloggingBranson or #footprintsinBranson
Courtesy of the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center website: