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Cypress Bend Resort Review

Nestled among the trees on the top of a bluff with unbelievable views of a couple of the fantastic looking golf holes leading right into beautiful Toledo Bend Lake, Cypress Bend Resort immediately captures your attention and you sense that you're in for a special treat. Just south One of the golf holes at Cypress Bend Resortwest of Many, Louisiana and right across the Texas border, Cypress Bend Resort sits on 600 heavily treed acres of rolling hills leading to the banks of Toledo Bend Lake. I know, it's not in Texas, but it's ok to escape across the border every couple of months or so to experience something special, fun, and unique - which is what we did in May 2010.

We kept hearing good things about the Resort and when we saw a picture of some of the golf holes and checked out their excellent Golf Stay & Play packages, we booked a reservation, packed our bags, threw the clubs in the back of the SUV, hooked up the boat, and hit the road. What a scenic 3 hour drive from just south of Dallas through tall trees (why don't they grow that thick and tall in the Dallas area?) on roller coaster back country roads past beautiful farms and pastures with grazing cattle and horses, and quaint little east Texas towns. Ten minutes after crossing the border, which runs down the middle of Toledo Bend Lake, we arrived at

One side of the Lobby at Cypress Bend ResortWe were in awe at all the colorful landscaping (stuff we plant never looks this good) and serenity as we walked from the parking lot to the front lobby to register, where we were immediately met with warm smiles and offers to help. It felt like a homecoming and continued to feel that way for the rest of our visit - service was fast, courteous, and country friendly. But I didn't like being call "Sir" all the time, made me feel like I was still in the Army or very old (one of which is true). The lobby was warm and comfy with two fireplaces, a variety of soft cushy couches and chairs, a game table, a pool table, and an outdoor veranda with a 6 million dollar view of a couple golf holes and Toledo Bend Lake.

It was too late to golf but not to late to sit on the veranda, sip a drink, soak up the view, play some dominos, and plan the next couple days. What a fantastic way to wind down the day and get excited about the next couple days.

Cypress Bend Resort lobby overlooking the courseThe veranda has a million dollar viewView of the lake and golf course from the veranda at Cypress Bend Resort

Cypress Bend Resort Accommodations

We could have sat on the veranda for hours, but we needed to drop off our bags and then feed the growling tummy. We were staying in the Golf Villas, which are a across the street from the pro shop and a two minute walk up to the lobby. The 28 Golf Villas are the way to go if you have friends or family joining you, want a little more space, and want to cook all the fish you'll catch in the lake. Or if you just want to be closer to the pro shop and a fantastic 18 holes of golf.

The golf Villas are fully furnished and approximately 1250 square feet. The central living area has a leather theater style cushy sofa, gas fireplace, and TV, VCR/DVD and a kitchen area which includes a full sized refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and 200 year old Pecky Cypress cabinetry that has everything you need to cook a gourmet meal and then serve it on the glass dining table and four chairs.

On each side of the living and kitchen are the two suites. The master suite, or owners suit, has a his and hers vanity and a large jacuzzi tub, two comfy double beds with pillow top mattresses, TV, and a work station with internet access. If more friends or family are joining you, then you can get the adjoining lock-out suite which includes two double beds, TV, coffee maker, mini fridge, work station, and full bathroom. The Villas are clean, seem new, well appointed, and very comfortable. The only thing we found missing was a balcony or patio. The Golf Villas are available for sale if you interested in purchasing one.

Living area of the Cypress Bend Golf VillasKitchen area in the Cypress Bend Golf VillasMaster bedroom in the Golf Villas at Cypress Bend Resort

The hotel rooms overlook the course and the lakeThe lower rooms have a patio with a great viewIf you don't feel like cooking and don't need a living room, then one or more of the 70 hotel rooms are perfect. Next to the lodge, the hotel rooms are nicely done standard hotel type rooms with a king bed or two doubles, full bathroom, mini fridge, coffee maker, TV, high speed internet access, and a work desk with and an ergonomically designed chair.

If you're staying in the hotel, I'd recommend the lake side bottom floor rooms which have a small outdoor patio and chair - a great place for a drink and watching the golfers trying to par the 18th hole or enjoying the sun set over the lake. There are 3 king suites in the hotel which have a little more room, kitchenettes, and mini fridges.

The hotel room is next to the pool and other resort amenities.

Cypress Bend Resort Amenities

Some of the amenities at Cypress Bend Resort include:

  • an indoor/outdoor pool with comfy pool furniture that is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the rays
  • a pool table in the main lobby that doesn't require all those quarters or allow you to take your opponent's ball back out of the pocket
  • an outdoor pavilion that is a great social gathering area and includes a ping pong table, air hockey, a basketball hoop, and fire pit with a fantastic view of the lake golf holes - the fire pit is an excellent place to end a fun day roasting marshmallows for s' mores, singing, and giggling under the stars
  • an exercise and fitness room overlooking the indoor pool with a variety of equipment to help you lose some of the calories from all the good food you've enjoyed during your stay at Cypress Bend Resort
  • a jacuzzi and steam room under the same roof housing the indoor pool
  • a short paved nature trail that runs up and down some hills and through the trees
  • a portion of one the parking lots that has electrical hook ups to keep your boat battery charged as well as water for washing and cleaning your boat

Paving walking and hiking trailOutdoor pool at Cypress Bend ResortExercise room at Cypress Bend Resort

Start of the hiking and biking trail at Cypress Bend ResortTrail thru the treesIf you enjoy hiking or mountain biking, you're going to love the new trails that just opened at Cypress Bend Resort. The trails are the creation of the new Director of Resources, Kerry Bennett who recently joined the Cypress Bend Resort team in late 2009. Just a short distance from the lobby, Kerry blazed 5 different loops up and down the rolling hills and through a variety of terrain from open meadows to dense forest. The loops are from 1.1 miles to 6.1 miles with easy to steep climbs of up to 600 feet. The trails are suitable for intermediate to expert mountain bikers and the single track trails are bumpy with tight twists and turns and some technically difficult ascents as well as descents.

Kerry took me on a tour of portions of the trails to give me a sense of the challenge, beauty, and variety of the trails - I was impressed and know that hardy hikers/joggers and expert mountain bikers are going to love these trails. It will test your biking skills and your stamina!

I talked to a couple of bikers, dripping with sweat, who had just finished a 60 minute ride and were beaming - they are avid bikers and said these trails are some of the best around. For the grand opening of the trail in May 2010, Cypress Bend sponsored the "Fast Lap Challenge" which they described as "approximately six miles of grueling climbs, wicked downhills, and a wildly diverse mix of land characteristics and elevation changes! Winning will require brute strength, mad skills, healthy doses of courage, and a finely tuned two-wheeled steed!" Sounds like fun and a good description of the trails.

After hiking, biking, 18 holes of golf, or a tough stressful week of work, the Cypress Bend Spa is the perfect place to head to eliminate the kinks, relax the sore and tired muscles, and get rid of some of the stress. The Spa offers a variety of services including:

  • Massage Therapies - Swedish, Tandem, Sports (would this help my golf game?), Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Reflexology, and the standard neck, back, and foot massage
  • Body Treatments - Cleopatra's Milk & Honey Body Wrap (now that sounds interesting), Anti-Cellulite Peel-Off Body Pack, and Aromatic Body Polishing
  • Body Detox - Aroma therapy/Algae Wrap and Spa Slimming Wrap
  • Facial Treatments - Hydrating Facials, Lifting and Firming, Acne Treatment, Anti-Aging Facial (I need this one), Bio-Cleanse Energizing Facial, and Men's Hot Towel Facial
  • Spa Packages - a variety of packages that combine some of the above, for example, the Recharge Package is a 2 hour package that includes a 50 minute massage of your choice and a body wrap of you choice plus an optional Anti-Cellulite Pack

Plus you'll find the typical Salon services like hair care, waxing, and nails and there are even massages, facials, nail, and hair service for kids 5 to 10 years old.

Cypress Bend Resort Golf

One of the holes at Cypress Bend Resort Golf Course

A lot of the holes play along Toledo Bend LakeBut the best amenity of all from our perspective is the fantastic 18 holes of golf at Cypress Bend. The course was designed to take advantage of the terrain and as it meanders through the rolling hills and dense hardwood forest you'll find elevated tee boxes and greens, roller coaster fairways, colorful landscaping, and some fantastic views of Toledo Bend Lake. Several holes play along and over the lake - make sure you bring your camera to capture some stunning scenery. No homes line the course and as such it's peaceful and quiet except for the birds and other wildlife noises, the occasional fishing boat heading to the next hot spot, the woodpeckers pecking away, and the sounds of unhappy golfers as their ball ricochets off the trees or plops into the lake. The fairways and greens are in very good condition and the landscaping is beautiful with a variety of colors - green, red, purple, pink, and white flowers and shrubs.

Big downhiller to a dog leg right green on the lakeCypress Bend Golf Course is not your typical wide open very easy resort course, in fact it's just the opposite - it will challenge every part of your game from drives to approach shots to your putting. To score well here you'll need to deploy your "A" game and best course management skills. During your round you'll need to:

  • figure out how much club to add or subtract thanks to large elevation changes
  • manage the blind shots, sloping fairways, and sharp dog legs
  • keep the ball in play through some tight fairways and tough approach shots
  • avoid the trees, water, and bunkers

But do not let all of that discourage you from playing this course - you're going to find it tough but fair and manageable and a heck of a lot of fun.

This is the kind of course you won't forget and you'll want to play again, and again, and again. A variety of wildlife; a unique, very challenging, and fun layout; peace and quiet; a good pace of play; very good course conditions; and breathtaking views make playing Cypress Bend a very memorable experience - all at a reasonable price. The rates are fair and best of all the Stay & Play package is very affordable and includes unlimited golf! To learn more and see pictures of this fantastic, fun, and challenging course, read our review of Cypress Bend Golf Course.

Cypress Bend Resort Dining

After all that golf, biking, hiking, swimming, or lounge chair exercise, you're going to be very hungry. And you won't be disappointed with the food or food prices. The dining room next to the lobby is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual setting with a fantastic view of the 18th green and Toledo Bend Lake - it doesn't get much better than dining on their veranda. The breakfast buffet was very good with scrambled eggs, pancakes, fruit, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, and more. Or you can order from a full breakfast menu - I loved the Eggs Benedict. Dinner selections include a variety of items from steak, fish, chicken, and pasta to sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. Everything we sampled was good and best of all, the prices for everything at Cypress Bend are reasonable and not your typically highly inflated resort rates!

After a good dinner, we headed across the lobby to the Sabine Social Club, a cozy sports bar, for a nightcap and a game of pool - I lost but had fun and didn't mind buying a round. Sabine Social Room is the place to hang out, grab a bite to eat or enjoy an appetizer, catch some of the scores, play some video games, or have a drink on the veranda overlooking the 18th hole and reminiscing about your fun round of golf or enjoyable day at Cypress Bend Resort.

Veranda dining at Cypress Bend ResortFree pool on a great table with a viewSports bar at Cypress Bend Resort

At the turn from the ninth to tenth hole or after your round of golf or if you just want a good burger and view of the golfers warming up on the range, then try the food at the Cypress Cafe at the Pro Shop. They serve sandwiches and salads and burgers, in fact the burger, with double cheese, was very tasty and again, everything is reasonably priced. We enjoyed sitting outside on the veranda with a burger and cold libation overlooking the driving range and wishing that we had spent more time on the range before we headed out - we may have saved a few of the golf balls that decided to go for a swim or a hike in the woods.

Nearby Fun Things To See and Do

The main reason to come to Cypress Bend Resort is to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of life, enjoy some fantastic golf, and take advantage of the resort amenities. But after you've lost all your golf balls or set a new record score (high or low doesn't matter because the course was so much fun to play) or had one of your most memorable golfing moments ever, why not put down the clubs and grab your pole and go fishing! The Resort sits on the north east end of Toledo Bend Lake and is a perfect place to stay if you want to catch some big fish, ski or wake board, or just enjoy a day on the lake. So bring your boat if you've got one or at least your fishing poles and tackle - Toledo Bend Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in the United States and it's loaded with trophy bass, deep water stripers, crappie, bream, and catfish just waiting for you to land them for a fish fry or a wall mounting in your study. If you don't have a boat, then here is a link to Toledo Bend boat rentals and a list of Toledo Bend fishing guides who can help you land a big fish. Check with the front desk and they can also line you up with a knowledgeable fishing guide who will take you to his secret fishing holes or they can rent you a trail boat or take you on a barge cruise. See this Cypress Bend Resort fishing link for some details.

Toledo Bend LakeSunset at Toledo Bend Lake

Toledo Bend Lake is huge - over 181,000 acres, 60 miles long, and 1200 miles of shore line. One Texas resident told me that Toledo Bend would be the biggest lake in Texas if we didn't have to share it with Louisiana. And it's beautiful - gently rolling heavily treed terrain, sheer 100 foot bluffs to nice sandy beaches, small protected coves, some nice homes, and lots of open water with plenty of big fish waiting for you. The lake is full of stumps which means it's not conducive to night boating and can be dangerous for skiing/boarding if you get outside of the recreational boating areas. Boating lanes, marked by buoys on two sides (red and green) will guide you around the lake safely and there are several recreational areas that are good for skiing. If you are going out on your own for the first time, make sure you get a lake map and pay close attention to the buoys.

Volleyball and sandy beach at Cypress Bend ParkBeautiful scenery at Toledo Bend LakeAbout three miles south of Cypress Bend Resort is Cypress Bend Park which has camping, a great day use park, lighted fishing pier, a sandy beach with volleyball, and an 8 lane boat lot with plenty of parking. For a change and an enjoyable afternoon, have the resort pack you a lunch or stop by the grocery store and pick up some stuff for a picnic at Cypress Bend Park. The kids will love the playground and the sandy beach and you can round up or join a group for a game of beach volleyball. Or bait a hook and try to land a fish off the fishing pier or along the shore.

Check our our review of Toledo Bend Lake and our Toledo Bend Clickable Lake Map to find ramps, restaurants on the lake, boat rentals, fishing guides, party coves, and more. Check out this link to Sabine River Authority to get more information on the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend Lake.

During our stay at Cypress Bend Resort, we kept asking a number of people at the Resort what else there is to see and do nearby and the response was mostly blank stares. We did get a few answers including: "well, Many has a street light," "we don't get out much," "go fishing," "the lake is great for fishing," and "try fishing." And our search didn't reveal a lot of options, but the good news is that the Resort amenities coupled with the lake have enough to keep you entertained for a few days. During our meeting with Kerry Bennett, the Director of Resources, he was explaining some of the exciting plans for some fun new amenities that will be coming in the near future. We were very impressed with his plans and would love to share them with you but he swore us to secrecy! What he told us made us excited enough to want to schedule a return visit to Cypress Bend early next year!

If you do need to escape from the resort, then you might check out:

  • Many - this is the closest Louisiana town (about 15 miles northeast and 2755 population) has a farmers market, movie theater, and some annual events
  • Lufkin - across the lake and 70 miles west in the heart of the East Texas Piney Woods, Lufkin has shopping, a zoo, a couple museums, and easy access to Angelina National Forest and Davy Crockett National Forest both of which are good for birding, hiking, 4 wheeling, picnicking, and other outdoor activities
  • Nacogdoches - about 70 minutes over the lake and north, Nacogdoches is home to a good golf course (Woodland Hills), a quaint cobblestone square with shops and restaurants, historic homes, Stephen F Austin, Mast Arboretum, museums, and more
  • About 10 minutes west of Cypress Bend is Fisherman's Galley (318 256-0757) which serves a pretty good all you can eat seafood buffet for $14.95 - crab cakes, frog legs, fried shrimp, grilled fish, Cajun corn, catfish, hush puppies, fried oysters, stuffed crab, and more plus a large salad buffet - the chicken fried chicken was very good and included two huge filets, texas toast, and the salad bar - all that for $9.95
  • at the turn to head south to Cypress Bend Resort there is a Mexican restaurant and a cafe but we couldn't find anyone who would highly recommend either and we didn't have time to give them a try
  • Hodges Gardens is 20 minutes away and it is the nation's largest privately owned horticultural parkland and wildlife refuge

Cypress Bend Resort Conference & Event Facilities

Cypress Bend Resort is a fantastic place to hold a reunion, corporate retreat, business meeting, or special corporate function. In addition to good food, comfortable accommodations, a huge lake, and fantastic golf, Cypress Bend has everything you need for a productive and fun event for up to 350 people. The staff has years of experience in ensuring your meeting is perfect as well as a variety of meeting packages that can be customized to your requirements. If you do have to work, there is over

  • Amphitheater meeting room at Cypress Bend Resort11,000 square of meeting and function space
  • a state-of-the-art 82 seat amphitheater with tiered seating, ergonomic chairs, wireless internet, rear screen projection, and a built in LCD projector
  • a very well done and professional Executive Boardroom plus 8 additional meeting or breakout rooms

If you're planning a wedding or a reunion, Cypress Bend is perfect and the staff has the experience to make them a memorable event. The pavilion or ballroom are excellent locations for the ceremony and reception and the bridal party will love the saloon services and the grooms men and guests can go fishing or golf or just hang out at the pool.

Bottom Line - we found the pricing to be very reasonable for lodging, food, and golf - not your typically inflated and expensive resort prices. The staff was very friendly, courteous, and prompt. The rooms are clean, comfy, and adequate and the grounds are beautifully landscaped with a variety of colorful plants and shrubs. The resort amenities are adequate and suitable for all ages and the future plans for amenities are fantastic and will make you want to come back. From our perspective, golf and the lake are the main attractions and the course is a must play and the Stay & Play packages are a pretty good deal. Cypress Bend is also excellent for corporate meetings, a golf outing, a first class fishing excursion, a destination wedding, family reunion, or a weekend getaway. We can't wait to get back next year.