Hilltop Restaurant and Herb Garden

Inquire for current offerings.



Swimming, Fishing, Canoeing, Hiking, Disc Golf


Plan your romantic getaway!

Log cabins nestled in nature set the tone for your relaxing weekend away!


Log Cabin Rentals

Log cabins and log homes to fit any size family.


Family Vacation!

Nature focused activities...
Plan your Fall Getaway Now


Log Cabin Rentals

Authentic Log Cabins, Log Suites
& Private Homes

Hilltop Restaurant & Garden

Currently closed to outside guests. Resort guests, contact front desk for schedule.

Sassafras Meeting Room

Conference Center

Group & Corporate Retreats
Meeting Rooms
Challenge Course


Artesian Lakes Property for Sale

Purchase a waterfront home or waterfront lot in the adjacent Artesian Lakes Community.  The perfect place for a second home for today, maybe a retirement home for tomorrow.


The Retreat at Artesian Lakes (formerly Chain – O – Lakes Resort & Conference Center) is a uniquely designed, nature-focused facility with authentic log cabins and log suites, ideal for weekend getaways, family vacations, romantic getaways, garden weddings, group retreats, corporate retreats and business conferences.

Located on the edge of the Texas Big Thicket National Preserve, about one hour north of Houston, The Retreat at Artesian Lakes offers overnight accommodations in authentic log cabins, log suites, and private log homes.

The Retreat at Artesian Lakes is also home to Hilltop Restaurant and Garden, a famous East Texas landmark founded by renowned herbalist and cook, Madalene Hill.  Hilltop’s exquisite cuisine is based on the herbs grown in the adjacent garden.

Please note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant is not open to the general public. For guests staying in the resort, please contact our front desk at (832) 397-4008 for the most current information on available offerings. We also encourage you to follow us on social media for the latest information.
The health of our staff and guests is our first priority. Thank you for your understanding and support, we look forward to serving all of you in the future!

James D Smith Sr. 1969ish

Our History

| History | No Comments
Every so often, across this great and bountiful country, Mother Nature is especially kind to a certain small slice of her landscape. These special places are distinguished by their visual or geological esthetics as well as an intangible “energy” or “feel” about them. The Retreat at Artesian Lakes is such a place, and for over a century has served as a retreat for outdoor and nature enthusiasts, a special place for respite and rejuvenation. The story begins eons ago when this land was in the center of an “ox-bow” of the Trinity River for many thousands of years. What this means is that the river made a sharp 180° reversal of its direction; literally a u-turn. When heavy rains upriver…

San Jacinto Cabin

Large log cabin have living/dining areas featuring fireplace, sofa, coffee table, side chair and dining table with 8 chairs. The kitchen area has a full-size refrigerator, stove, sink, microwave, coffee maker and toaster plus dishes, silverware and glasses for eight guests; cookware is not included.

The cabin has two identical bedrooms with queen bed, nightstand, closet, and vanity with sink and mirror and one full bathroom downstairs. The loft features two queen beds.

In keeping with our nature-focused environment, the cabins don’t have television sets.

San Jacinto is not located directly on the water.

Everything was great. Wonderful food, friendly service. I will for sure make more reservations.


The home was perfect for our family. The children loved the fishing and alligators. I love what you did with the swimming pool and fish pond.


Quiet and peaceful visit. It was nice to get away from everyday life and be close to home.


The community is beautiful......far enough from the big city but close enough for a weekend getaway. It's our choice....quiet and relaxing.

JaneStayed in The Lake House

Our cabin was fantastic, it was tucked away and private. Loved being able to fish off the deck whenever we wanted, canoeing was awesome we had never done that before and my kids loved seeing the gators, snapping alligator turtles, and our nightly visits from the raccoons lol.