High on the Hill Top

WORDS Lindsay Jordan for Arkie Travels
IMAGES courtesy Brittany Kelly Photography, Premier Photography, Breehanan Photography, The Candid Collective

May 1, 2023 | Featured, Travel

Nestled amidst the stunning views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hill Top Lodging offers an unparalleled getaway experience for those searching for peace. The property is a perfect fusion of natural splendor and modern amenities, making it an ideal retreat for a romantic excursion, family vacation, or a rejuvenating break in nature’s beauty. Here you’ll find the accommodations are designed to cater to every need, with a spacious lodge for up to twelve guests, a cozy cabin for four, and ample space for primitive camping.

What sets apart Hill Top Lodging is its one-of-a-kind story. Brenda Harding, after experiencing a life-changing event at the age of fifty-seven, embarked on a cross-country journey to find herself and discover her purpose. Along the way, she stumbled upon an abandoned property in the Ouachita National Forest mountain area, on the James Fork River. With a vision to create a peaceful sanctuary for women in need of peace, she purchased the property and began restoration of the cabin and the surrounding land. “As I healed the property, I healed myself,” Brenda explains. Hill Top Lodging is a testament to her journey and commitment to helping others find calm and solace in a safe and healthy environment.

With a dream of providing a safe space for people to heal, Brenda knew she couldn’t do it alone, so she reached out to her cousin, Sabrina Cochran, for support. Sabrina, a life coach in Ohio with an eye for design, was eager to help women with their traumas and was inspired by Brenda’s vision. It’s Sabrina whom she credits with helping her regain her power. “I would’ve never made it through it without the support of Sabrina,” she explains. After witnessing the magic Brenda was creating, she relocated to Arkansas to partner with her on this venture. Recognizing the therapeutic effects of nature, they poured their hearts and souls into revamping the property, creating a tranquil setting where guests can disconnect from the stresses of life, reconnect with themselves, and rediscover their sense of purpose.

Having a shared grand vision for the property, Brenda and Sabrina discovered a passion for creating a space where people could come together during difficult times and moments of happiness to find solace and relaxation. To achieve this, they focused on renovating the lodge which they adorned with custom furniture and exquisite handmade curtains. “Brenda can make anything!” Sabrina says. They were determined to allow the property to reveal its potential and worked tirelessly to bring it to life. It’s due to this unwavering dedication to the vision that the cabin was fully booked within weeks of its opening in October 2020.

With its offering of a serene break away from the chaos of daily life, providing an ideal space to rejuvenate and the chance to reconnect with yourself, your partner, or your loved ones, Hill Top Lodging has everything. The charming cabin boasts a rustic and cozy ambiance that’s clean, comfortable, and well maintained. The living room sofas easily transform into twin beds, and the loft bedroom with its plush king-sized bed, ensures an intimate and comfortable stay. The fully equipped kitchen has everything you need to create delicious meals, while the private deck with a grill and hot tub provides a great romantic or family hangout spot. The cabin comes stocked with two fluffy robes, complimentary Wi-Fi, heating, air conditioning, and a hot tub to keep you entertained throughout your stay. From the front porch, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the idyllic Ouachita Mountains and find a wonderful refuge to indulge in the simple pleasures of life and experience the finest in cozy mountain living

If you’re in need of group space, you’ll find the lodge is ideal with its comfort and class, as a picture-perfect retreat for families seeking a memorable gathering place, corporate teams looking for a unique venue for team building and events, or couples searching for an extraordinary location for their dream wedding. It features four beautifully decorated suites and can accommodate up to twelve guests. The lavish suites boast a private bathroom and share access to the deck, well equipped kitchen, grill, fire pit, and a billiards room, offering an elevated combination of private and shared spaces for a remarkable experience. The Birds Nest suite is great for families with its two queen-sized beds and one twin bed, while the Rock Hollow suite is handicap accessible and offers a queen-sized bed for added comfort. The River Ridge suite is the epitome of luxury with its king-sized bed and private fireplace, and the Treehouse suite provides the ultimate bridal suite with its king-sized bed, private dressing/sitting room, and an additional private room with a cozy queen bed. It’s a wonderful location for creating lifelong memories.

Looking for an intimate and unforgettable elopement experience? Look no further! Hill Top Lodging offers a personalized elopement package that can be tailored to fit your unique vision, ensuring a truly enchanting occasion. This package includes an overnight stay in the Honeymoon Cabin, an officiant for the ceremony, a stunning bridal bouquet, a delectable designer round cake, a celebratory champagne toast, and a romantic breakfast for two. They also offer a range of add-ons, including the option to book the lodge for up to twelve guests, making it an excellent venue for an all-inclusive destination elopement. Brenda and Sabrina will work with you to make certain that every detail is taken care of.

While the beauty of the mountains and the ability to leave the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life behind are wonderful, Hill Top Lodging is so much more than that. With plenty of activities to keep guests entertained, including hiking, fishing, bird watching, picnicking by the river, and exploring nature trails, there’s something for everyone and every moment. If it’s rest and relaxation you’re after, you’ll find yoga, reiki, and massage services are available upon request. Guests can disconnect and unwind in this peaceful haven. These ladies go the extra mile to create unforgettable experiences for visitors such as s’mores by the fire, and an outdoor movie experience under the stars.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family retreat, Hill Top Lodging is the perfect destination for those in search of something more. The comfortable lodgings blend modern amenities with natural beauty, providing just the right balance of rustic charm and convenience. You’ll leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Experience the charm for yourself! Contact Hill Top Lodging on Instagram and Facebook @HillTopLodging or email hilltoplodging@gmail.com.

Do South Magazine

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