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Unplugged Tranquilty - Pontoon Included

Bedrooms 7
Property type house
Minimum Stay 1 - 2 nights


Minimum Stay
1 - 2 nights

About the property

Former convent nestled in 57 acres of woods, yard on semi-private lake

Whether you bring a large group to the Olive Branch or your group is more intimate, do ordinary things together that make extraordinary memories:

Private home retreat is on 57 acres and sleeps up to 22 guests.

- Catch fish on Fuller Lake with complimentary use of pontoon, paddle boat & canoes.

- Share stories around a crackling fire outside, or the wood-burning fireplace inside.

- Craft meals to remember in the large kitchen.

- Be surrounded by lush natural forest.

- Roam the large yard with outdoor entertaining space.

- Explore nature filled walking trails.

- Larger celebrations at this magical place are as unique as you are. Dine alfresco, dance under the stars, imagine your wedding photos straight out of a magazine.

- Connect with nature as you breathe in its abundance.

- Go on a canoeing adventure to connected Lake Hennessy

- Dangle your toes off the dock.

- Coax out your playful side.

Whether it is with a loving crowd or your dearest loved ones, make time to be intentionally joyful.

More Details

Member since: 2009
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
21 February, 2017

About Marla

The Olive Branch was once a retreat destination and home to the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. In 2008 this extraordinary place was passed to the care and keeping of Marla Waseka and Jessica Town-Gunderson. They now offer this destination to the public for use as their own private destination. The Olive Branch has been renovated and restored into a cozy yet upscale retreat for all to enjoy. It includes light-filled rooms, incredible views, and vintage furniture all wrapped into a cozy ‘old world’ aesthetic.

Careful attention has been paid to preserving the character of the home while updating it for modern comfort. The nun’s chapel has been maintained and is a welcoming spiritual place. The original footprint of the home remains. Its unique horseshoe floor plan creates many different spaces – a welcoming landscaped Courtyard upon entry, a large social gathering space, private bedrooms and cozy meditating spaces.

In warmer months, the expansive patio offers ultimate outdoor dining and entertaining options. The nun’s chicken barn has new purpose – to beckon and entertain. Located closer to the lake, it is loaded with atmosphere. It provides additional gathering space with bathroom, wet bar, fire pit, and the original wood burning stove from the Convent.

Nature is abundant at the Olive Branch. There are walking trails for contemplative strolling (pay attention to the wild flowers). The extensive yard is perfect for play and relaxation. The lake invites you to experience loon watching in a canoe, trophy bass and pan fishing from the boat, leisurely cruising on the pontoon and a quick swim off the diving dock.

Marla and Jessica are dedicated to creating a unique and peaceful experience with unexpected surprises.

The getaways you could plan here are limited only to your imagination. But a word of caution: whatever you plan to do here, be prepared to return to the regular world a little transformed, and more than a little relax

Marla purchased this house in 2008

Why Marla chose Minnesota

Grey Eagle offers a quick access to being on vacation yet easy accessibility to major areas for entertainment outside of the retreat. Once you are at the Olive Branch - you won't want to do more than relax and enjoy the nature setting.

What makes this house unique

The Olive Branch has been renovated with old world charm and loaded with Character. There are several rooms for guests to enjoy their own space yet larger gathering rooms for certain times of the days. 2 wings are designed for sleeping so that your guests are not disturbed while others stay up late. Campfires and barn dancing is a wonderful time at the Olive Branch. A favorite hangout by many day and night. Nature is the key to enjoyment. 57 acres private plus another 1100 acres of attached state land offer the most in every nature activity. The lake is ready for you with a fishing boat, vintage pontoon, two canoes and swim dock.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We have reserved the Olive Branch several times with family and friends. The attention to detail and environment are among the best I have had the opportunity to enjoy.

This is truly an experience you do not want to pass up. It is quiet, beautiful and truly relaxing place to stay with a very warm atmosphere.

The partners do a wonderful job making sure our accomodations are perfect.

I would recommend this retreat to anyone who wants to get back to nature and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Dec 2011
  • 1 of 4


5/5 -
(1 traveller reviews)

Unplugged Tranquilty - Pontoon Included
average rating of 5.0 based on 5 reviews

The wedding of our dreams at The Olive Branch Retreat

  • 5 of 5

My Olive Branch guest book entry as we were headed out the door following our wedding weekend:

"I'll try not to cry as I write this... We held our wedding here yesterday and it could not have been more amazing! The weather was perfect! We truly fell in love with The Olive Branch and would love to make it an anniversary tradition to stay here. Thank you for helping us make our wedding weekend so wonderful!"

Our family cabin is in Grey Eagle and has been for the last 90 years. We had planned on getting married there but we needed a suitable place for our guests to stay. After a little google search I came across The Olive Branch Retreat. I couldn't believe this place was in the same town as our cabin and yet I had never heard about it! I set up a tour and instantly fell in love with it. Even though it's right on a country road, there's very minimal traffic and it somehow still feels like you're tucked away from all humanity. To make a long story short, we decided to have the entire wedding at The Olive Branch Retreat instead of just using it for our guests! We had 70 guests and made an entire weekend out of it! Grooms BBQ dinner Friday night, wedding Saturday with the ceremony on the side of the house and the reception (dinner and dancing) on the grass in the back with a beautiful view of the private lake. Then, we all woke up together Sunday morning and enjoyed brunch plus the gift opening. The Olive Branch had all of the tables, chairs and linens we needed. The Hub in Grey Eagle catered for us, brought all of the dishes we needed and then took them back to their restaurant to wash them. Everything went so smooth! I remember having so much down time the morning of my wedding just sitting and relaxing that I almost felt like it wasn't my wedding day! Aren't brides usually super stressed and constantly on the go the day of their wedding?!

We not only had a wonderful weekend but our guests did as well. People raved about the place!

A huge 'thank you' to Marla and Jessica for helping us make our wedding everything it was! Especially making a last minute call to get eco friendly mosquito spray on the lawn the morning of the wedding! We didn't think it would be needed since this was the end of September but thanks to the abnormally warm month we had those bugs were still around! We didn't get a single bite the day of our wedding!

We think about our wedding weekend constantly and we can't wait to get back to The Olive Branch for another stay!

  • Review Submitted: Dec 15, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
122 Miles
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Grey Eagle
Nearest Golf
12.6 Miles
Sauk Centre, MN
Nearest Train
50 Miles
St. Cloud, MN
Nearest Motorway
12 Miles
Highway 94 West
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Grey Eagle, MN
Nearest Beach
10 Miles
Legion Park, Upsala, MN
Car: necessary

Just 10 miles from the Lake Wobegon Trail in Melrose. Adjacent to 1100 acres Wildlife Reserve. 57 acres of abundant wildlife and massive private yard.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Grey Eagle, Minnesota

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Retreat Seaon
1 Jan 2017 - 18 May 2017
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Resort Season
19 May 2017 - 2 Sep 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Relaxation/Reflection Season
3 Sep 2017 - 6 Jan 2018
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

Tax Rate 6.88%

Advanced Purchase Special: We offer a 10% discount if paid in full (plus 6.875% sales tax) at time of booking with no refund offered.

Flexible Rate: Half down at time of booking (plus 6.875% sales tax). Balance due 30 days prior to arrival. Full refund minus a 3% processing fee for cancellations up to 60 days in advance. No refunds after 60 days

Rebooking always offered as available.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Available arrival


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Grey Eagle, USA

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 3500 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Lakefront ...
  • rural ...
  • Away From It All
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Catering Available ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Dining Area
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
  • 7 Bedrooms, Sleeps 22
  • King size beds (1) Lake View Suite, Queen size Beds (3) Courtyard View Room, Peter's Room & Garden View Room, Twin or Single Beds (6) Three twin beds and one trundle in Grace Room, one twin bed in Rita's Room, two twin beds in Children's Hideaway Attic , Baby Cribs (1) Portable play pen available in the garage, Sleep Sofa or Futons (8) Three queen pull out couches and two twin pull outs
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Table Football
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • cinemas
  • Health/Beauty Spa
  • live theatre
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • Shopping
  • sledding
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • swimming
Renovated Chicken Barn with 1/2 bath, large yard, walking trails, orchard

Partner Offers

Portable wifi hotspot

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