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Riverfront Lodge, Bandera, Peace/Quiet in the Hill Country

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,500 sq. ft.
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

4 BR, 2 BA, Sleeps 6 (actually sleeps 10 but we charge extra for more than 6)

This is a rustic stone riverfront lodge on a bluff above the crystal-clear Medina River, with steps winding down to the water. It sits on three picturesque acres overlooking the river; fireplaces in the kitchen and living room. This is an old house with quirks and character—if you want hotel perfection, this isn’t it. Awesome Hill Country atmosphere…swim, tube, canoe, fish, or sit on the patio or in the river and watch the water roll by. Near San Antonio, Austin, Fiesta Texas and Seaworld, Lost Maples State Park. Bandera is the 'cowboy capital of the world'...enjoy rodeos, horses, hayrides, and outdoor fun deep in the heart of the beautiful Hill Country.

We want all our guests to be happy! : Please read all the reviews before deciding to book, as they are quite enlightening. Most people love our place, but the ones who do not.....are typically expecting a more upscale, updated facility. It is quite comfortable, but it is an old house, and there will be 'issues' from time to time. So, we really love flexible people who will be cooperative and understanding when maintenance needs arise!

More Details

Cathy Dillon
Member since: 2006
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 27, 2017

About Cathy Dillon

We lived in Houston when we bought the house, as we spent many weekends coming to the Hill Country canoeing and camping. It's on a spectacular stretch of the Medina River, and we feel very blessed to have been able to get this great fun place. Our kids have grown up loving it just as we do.

Cathy Dillon purchased this cabin in 1980

Why Cathy Dillon chose Texas Hill Country

It is one of a kind! Like country houses were when you were a kid. Once you've visited, you won't have to ask.

What makes this cabin unique

Rustic, private, peaceful setting......perfect for families. Very very restful. The view out over the river is wonderful. There is no phone, no wireless, and no cable TV at the house.....but there are lots of books and games and inner tubes and wineglasses :) We encourage you to come to the country and live in the moment, divorcing yourself for just a little while....from electronics and fast-paced anything.

Guestbook comments from the owner

What a beautiful place along the Medina River! We enjoyed the white tail dear in the front yard, the sound of the water below, and the wood burning fire place. We had our morning coffee on the back porch and listened to the birds. The sign on the porch said, "Enjoy Life" and we certainly enjoyed our stay...You warned me of a kitchen mouse issue common in winter. You might ask all guests to put their food scraps in the refrigerator overnight so he can't have a meal! We live in the country too and that really helps....Hope your new year is a good one! Our visit to the Hill Country was just what our little family needed.
Dec 2015
  • 1 of 1


Bandera Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • River
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Fireplace ...
  • Heating ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Maps
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Toilet Paper
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Outside - outdoor shower
  • there is also an outdoor shower good for rinsing off when you come up from the river.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , sleeps 2
    Bedroom 2 - 1 king , sleeps 2
    Bedroom 3 - 4 twin/ single , trundles--sleeps 4
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen , sleeps 2
  • The house actually sleeps 10, not 6.......but we charge extra for any number in excess of 6. The main house (master bedroom + sunporch, sleeps 6) has central air and heat, while the Annex (1 king bedroom, 1 queen bedroom, sleeps 4) has fans and space heaters but no air conditioning. All you Houston people, don't panic! Believe it or not, the Hill Country is cooler and drier than what you're used to, and with all the windows open and the fans going, you'll probably find yourself reaching for a blanket in the night.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • Games
  • Radio
  • VCR
  • Barbecue
  • Child's Swing
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Patio
  • Terrace
  • Walkway to Water
  • 12 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • coin laundry
  • library
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
This is a semi-rustic lodge 5 miles out in the country - no real amenities except for the beautiful setting....guests bring their own! Lots of uneven steps including steep stairs down to the river, so not ideal for crawling babies or the orthopedically challenged. The main house (master bedroom + sunporch, sleeps 6) has central air and heat, while the Annex (1 king bedroom, 1 queen bedroom, sleeps 4) has fans and space heaters but no air conditioning.


Excellent! 4.4/5 -
(43 traveler reviews)

72% Complete
13% Complete
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2% Complete
9% Complete
Riverfront Lodge, Bandera, Peace/Quiet in the Hill Country
average rating of 4.372093 based on 44 reviews

The Absolute Highlight of our Summer Vacation!

  • 5 of 5

I don't even know where to start with the positives of this vacation rental, and I have absolutely zero negatives! The stone lodge is tidy and comfortable, and beyond charming. The family and I were completely enchanted from the moment we opened the front door! As awesome and comfortable as the lodge itself is, just wait till you get to the back porch. STUNNING!! And then, when you get to the bottom of the steps to the river....ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING!! Myself, my man, and my 12 yr old son had no idea what time it was the entire time we were there, nor did we care! We spent our early mornings watching the deer, and all the rest of the time on the beautiful, crystal clear Medina River. Even though it was later August, we were lucky there had been enough rain earlier in year that the river was more than deep enough to tube. If it hadn't been though, there are definitely deeper swimming holes to enjoy. We grilled out, lit a living room fire to toast s'mores, rented movies from nearby Lowe's market to enjoy in the late evening, played games, and just had a blast! It was the ultimate family bonding, fun experience. Although we didn't end up using the Annex House, we did explore it, and it was also clean, charming, and comfortable. It's an amazing value for the price, especially if you have a larger family or group. The only downside was that we couldn't stay longer! Cathy, we can't wait to come back! Thank you for sharing this unique and beautiful treasure with us. How soon can we book for next year?

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Debra, you are so sweet to write! I appreciate the enthusiasm and the compliments, but what I appreciate most is that you 100% captured the spirit of the river house, and took the time to say so. Mike's favorite saying has always been "there is no time in Bandera". You clearly plugged into that "rustic whole 'nother world" ambience, and I'm very grateful to know that's how it affected you! Re next year, just pick out your week and let me know. Our reservation system is about as low-tech as it gets LOL. (Although just to recap an earlier conversation, you guys lucked out with the open 3-day slot; normally during the summer we restrict stays to one week. You also lucked out with the high water in August. In recent years, that hasn't been the usual situation!) You might shoot for late June/early July, which is normally the premier time.
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Prettiest River Spot in the Hill Country!

  • 4 of 5

My husband and I recently rented this quaint place for a week early October. We were hesitant (for just a small moment) about being away from the Internet and having access to the nightly news during that time. It turned out to the the best thing for us. We relaxed, read history books of the area, conversed, listened to the quiet, while seated on the wonderful patio overlooking the gorgeous Medina River. The stone cottage itself was charming, we almost felt like we took a step back in time. While we took several day trips to surrounding State Parks (some gorgeous drives in the area), we were always happy to return to our private river spot, which we felt was more beautiful than all. We were also overjoyed, that our 7 yr old well-behaved labrador was able to accompany us. When it came time to leave, we wish we had booked for another week.

The cottage, like the description says, is not fancy, and if your standards are high-class resorts and five star hotels, then you might want to stick to those. But then again, you will miss out, on so many things found in this riverfront 'gem'. It has everything you need to be comfortable, offers privacy, quiet, reflection, and an escape from the entanglements of modern-day technology. There are ample State Parks and opportunities for daily outings. The actual town of Bandera is a quick 4 mile drive, and has several good restaurants and shops. We found this cottage to be right up our alley, and one of the most beautiful riverspots in the Hill Country.

  • Submitted: Nov 1, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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The Best of Bandera!

  • 5 of 5

This morning on our drive to the first day of school, I asked my kids (ages 4 and 6) what was the best part of their summer. Without hesitation, but with great enthusiasm, they both yelled, "Bandera!" Cathy's place is fabulous!!! Yes, as most of the previous reviewers will attest to, it is rustic, but that is what makes it great. It was so easy and fun to be at the Riverfront Lodge. The walk down to the river was easy. It never felt dangerous and I have relatively small kiddos. The river was AMAZING. We took a morning trip to Media Lake and we could not get back to "our river" fast enough! The lodge is clean and comfortable. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. How soon can we book for next summer? 😁

  • Submitted: Aug 11, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect Spring Break (Again)

  • 4 of 5

We just keep coming back to a good thing! This year for Spring break and my wifes Birthday we celebrated in the Texas hill country to a returned visit to this charming vacation home. Yes it is very rustic and the steps down to the river are an accident waiting to happen, it was GREAT. we made huge family meals together, swam, played on the rope swings, painted, went on nature walks, played games and just had a blast! we loved the fact that we were "out of the service area" and removed from the computers, phones and Internet. it created so much more time together as a family. My mother who is 80 loved the ol Texas charm of the environment, the kids again were fascinated with all that nature offers. Spended evening with cocktails on the patio, and early morning coffee with the deer. Thank you Cathy for sharing this with us. See you next year! and was a Birthday to remember for sure!

  • Submitted: Apr 8, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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So Relaxing!!

  • 5 of 5

I was looking for a quiet place out of the city for my dog and I and we found it! It had everything I was looking for: rustic, relaxing, water close by. It was so quiet I forgot there were neighbors right next door. The walk to the river was absolutely beautiful, in fact the entire area was! We spent everyday by the river and every evening on the stone patio overlooking the property. At night, you could see large dragonflies over the trees. It was absolutely the most relaxing trip I've had since living in Houston! My dog even learned how to swim! I will definitely be staying again!

  • Submitted: Oct 25, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 4 of 5

Well first off the house was a very clean and tidy. We had a nice time at this property and our kids thought the river was just perfect. We had the whole river to ourselves, so it was just what we needed. The steps to the river are a little tricky my son almost lost his footing and would have fallen had he not held on the thin rope that was there. I can only suggest the owners to look into putting a more steady border like an iron or steel railing as it is somewhat scary and dangerous. The house air is the only complaint, for some reason it keep turning off and on. It would turn on and 5 minutes later turn off so it made the house a little hot. Other than that, the house was nice and appealing. Very tranquil and loved the 50 deer in the front lawn every night.Not to mention it thunder stormed

the 2nd night we were there and it was quite beautiful to see the lovely lightning show. We will for sure come again next summer.

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so glad you had a good time! The river is low, but still pleasant and pretty...I just hope we have a lot of rain this winter to replenish the acquifers. Regarding the air conditioner...someone had taken the cover panel off the AC unit and not clicked it back into placed properly. It's a brand new unit, works great, as long as it's assembled correctly. I'm sorry that happened to these people, and the ones just before them. But it was easy to fix once we knew about it. And regarding the handrail, we went for 30 years with no handrail at all, and steps that are about half as wide as they are now. But last spring we had the steps widened and recemented, necessary because that is a really steep hill behind our house! The handrail that was added at that time was really terrible workmanship, and it will need replacing altogether. But we had to wait until the summer was over, to avoid having guests be bothered by workmen on the property. It's on the schedule!
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Nearest Airport
45 Miles
San Antonio
Nearest Barpub
4.5 Miles
a bunch! All cowboy bars in Bandera!
Nearest Golf
5.5 Miles
2 courses
Nearest Train
45 Miles
San Antonio
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
Hwy 46 and Hwy 16, Bandera, Texas
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
watershkiing/Lake Medina
Car: necessary

Situated in one of the naturally beautiful areas of Texas, Bandera County beckons visitors to share a taste of the Old West set against a backdrop of the spectacular scenery of the Texas Hill Country. Bandera's title, 'Cowboy Capital of the World' originated when it became a staging area for the great cattle drives of yesteryear. When ranching fell on hard times in the 1930's, an enterprising rancher decided to take in 'dudes' to help him through the depression. An exciting new industry was born!

It continues to flourish today with a number of excellent Dude Ranches operating throughout Bandera County, Texas. Confirming Bandera as the 'Cowboy Capital of the World', a bronze monument, honoring the many National Rodeo Champions who call Bandera their home, stands on the courthouse lawn. Enhancing the western character, a working blacksmith's shop on Main Street recalls the horse-and-buggy era when the forge was the center of every town's activities.

Other Activities: Tubing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, snorkeling.....all things 'river'!


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $25
Pet Fee $50

For more than 6 guests, fee is $50 per person per stay. But this varies depending on the situation, so be sure to ask what affects your reservation. Fuel surcharges apply in winter. If available at all, holiday and special event periods have higher but variable rates. We rent it only by the week during the summer. There are occasional exceptions to everything, so always ask for specific quotes.

Reservation can be held briefly with a credit card number, but within (ask for time period, it varies), we require a check or money order equal to approximately 1/2 of the expected rental total. The second part of the rental total can be placed on a card, and is due prior to arrival at the property. Mail deposits to 1000 Burleson St., San Marcos Texas 78666.

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