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“Terrible wedding experience at the Cabot Shores” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort

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Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort
Cabot Trail Indian Brook, Nova Scotia B0C1H0, Canada   |  
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Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Terrible wedding experience at the Cabot Shores”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

*Note that this review is from July 2009, but I am only submitting it now, because my parents did not want me to because they are from the area, and while, they completely agree with what I've written, they're not be on publicly criticizing people.... Here is the review:

We promised ourselves that we would write this letter, not out of spite, but out of a desire to prevent other couples from having to experience the same thing that we did at the Cabot Shores (though, I admit that I feel angry about the experience, as I write this). My partner and I recently got married at the Cabot Shores and because so many of our guests were traveling from far to attend the wedding, we also invited our guests to attend a barbeque the night before the wedding.

I will start with the barbeque - only one person was hired to prepare food for this event, to which approximately 85 guests had been invited – the same lone cook who had been hired left a few hours prior to the start of the barbeque. Paul had not assembled the barbeque and friends of mine who had arrived early from Newfoundland, noticed the complete lack of preparedness and realized that Paul was seriously understaffed and needed help and so pitched in. The cooks -two guests who had arrived at the Cabot Shores the previous day, (who were not part of the wedding) were invited by Paul to cook in exchange for their lodging. As they scrambled to prepare the salads and other food for the barbeque, my friends kindly volunteered (out of necessity, they later told me, not desire) to help in order to make the event happen. One friend made a potato salad (the same that was served the following night at our wedding meal as the main course to the vegetarians after the veggie option had run out), assembled the barbeque, chopped vegetables and prepared other salads, received a mop from Paul to mop up the vomit of my small niece who hit her head, washed sheets, as they were unclean, upon arrival.

Our guests who stayed at the farmhouse said it was very damp (so damp that their clothing would get wet upon sitting on any of the furniture) and the sheets had not been cleaned (hence the cleaning of sheets by my guests). When one of the guests staying at the farmhouse went to investigate the cause of the dampness, he discovered that the basement had flooded and was filled with 3 feet of water. My friend reported this to Paul, who did not offer any kind of compensation for the dampness/mold in any of the rooms. In general, Paul was stressed, appeared frazzled all of the time and was very unpleasant to deal with. I had actually been looking forward to meeting him, but when i arrived (the bride) he was very cold and unhelpful. We were told afterwards was even rude to some (like abruptly closing the screen door to the main lodge in the face of one of my friends when he requested a cork screw to help uncork wine bottles at our wedding meal).

All of this is unacceptable, but the thing that is most unforgiveable is that Paul was dishonest about the costs, telling our guests, when they questioned the cost of camping ($45/person/day which was supposed to include brunch) that the cost of their stay included the cost of the barbeque, which was a blatant lie, as he was actually charging us, $20/head. When some of our guests, who knew that we were paying for this, challenged him about this, he admitted that the cost only included the cost of brunch. Paul also advised other guests who had travelled 7 hours by car to attend both the barbeque and wedding, when they refused to spend $250/person for the weekend to share a chalet with strangers, that the cost was so high because it included all of their meals: brunch, barbeque and wedding meal, and in so doing, made these guests feel unwelcome to attend. Four of our guests did not attend the barbeque or wedding meal, as a result, and two of these four actually turned around and returned home on the same day that they arrived. My husband and I, upon learning about this after the wedding, phoned these guests to apologize and offered to reimburse them for their expenses and we still feel extremely upset and embarrassed about this. After this, we learned that Paul had similarly misled all of our camping guests about costs. We felt embarrassed that our guests were led to believe that we had invited them to a barbeque, and that they were expected to pay for this. Paul also lied to us about the reason for needing to charge such a high price for the barbecue was because we had requested organic hamburger meat. When we asked him directly afterwards about this, he admitted that he never did use organic meat, and did not offer to compensate us.

The wedding meal was not at all what we had agreed upon in advance and food supplies were inadequate, despite 12 less guests than we had indicated. The meal arrived 1.5 hours late, and as a result the liquor bill was much higher than we had intended and senior guests, who were diabetic, expressed concerns about the lack of food and their resulting low blood sugar levels, which caused my partner to become very stressed (he sheltered me from this info until after the wedding). The last four tables had no vegetarian option other than the potato salad that had been prepared by my friend the previous night for the barbeque and for which we were paying $20/head. We had agreed to fresh Atlantic haddock and we saw them taking frozen Highliner filets out for our meal. We had agreed to lamb shanks, which turned into some kind of lamb stew that ran out much before the majority of guests were served and the dessert never materialized. Besides inadequate and erroneous food served 1.5 hours late, there was inadequate lighting, no water served, not enough glasses, cutlery, chairs, wine glasses, etc.

The brunch the following day was a fish chowder, which we had not asked for. We had requested a hearty brunch of eggs, french toast, fruit salad, etc. And following the brunch (and the day after our wedding), my husband was lectured by Paul about how we had not fulfilled our responsibility of informing guests about room arrangements, and that he intended to try to charge us for guests who had cancelled their reservations at the last minute (some of whom simply cancelled upon seeing their accommodations and others did not appreciate the idea of sharing a chalet with complete strangers, especially at the rate of $250/person for the weekend). My husband tried to explain to Paul that we were unaware of his cancellation policy and that it was up to him to inform guests about his cancellation policy and room arrangements when they booked with him. Following my husband’s over-an-hour long lecture from Paul, he informed me that Paul asked him to return the piano, which had been rented in Sydney for the wedding weekend (and that failing to do so would likely result in him losing it). I reminded my husband that we had gotten married the previous day; that we were on our honeymoon and that we were NOT heading to Sydney. I told my husband that I would alert Paul to our inability to return the piano. When I told Paul that none of my friends had room in their vehicles for the piano and that my husband and I were also unable to take it, as we were heading north around the Cabot Trail to begin our honeymoon, Paul put his hand to his head and let out an exasperated sigh and quite honestly made a big deal about having to return the piano himself that day.

All in all, we were completely dissatisfied with the level of service, the food - the quality, the amount/inadequacy and that the choices we requested were not served, Paul’s organization (or complete lack thereof). But the biggest disappointment was Paul’s attitude and dishonesty/unethicalness in his dealings with us.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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311 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013 via mobile

We discovered the Cabot Shores wilderness Resort when looking for a campground with our RV. It is not the typical place to stay for camping with a RV. They provided us with electricity but they have no water or sewer. We decided to stay there anyway because we really liked the place. I would call the style "alternative". They have a big common room: dining room, living room with large stone fireplace, bar and a elevated stage with different instruments, all in one room. Very cozy and comfortable! Free wi-fi is available in the common room. Then there is a game room. There is also a laundry room which was very convenient for us after 2 weeks of camping.
We had a stroll on the extensive grounds of the Resort and would have liked to have more time to stay and explore them. Unfortunately it was the last day of our trip and we had to head back to Halifax so we couldn't really enjoy all the possibilities the place offered. For just staying a night, the price was relatively high, but if we had had more time to enjoy the surroundings and activities offered I am sure it would have been justified.
The people there told us that they often have groups for courses. It looks like the ideal place for children.
It seems to be a place for people who like to spend time together with others. If you prefer to be on your own and not meet anyone, I think it wouldn't be the right place for you.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Halifax, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

We arrived on a very chilly long weekend in May to a lovely, warm reception and a cozy, rustic retreat. Our room in the lodge had a lovely view of the ocean, over the salt pond and the yurt! My husband and I both enjoyed the morning meditation, and the healthy comfort food was especially welcome. Sitting out on the deck, reading and mediating, drinking coffee and watching the Canada geese and eagles fly by was truly invigorating. We walked around the property’s trails but my more-adventuresome husband went with Paul and some others staying at the lodge up the river to a waterfall.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Took the kids to Cabot Shores for March Break. Decided to break the kids from their various devices. No iPads. No iPods. No DVD player. They thought the world would end. Once we arrived, they didn't even notice.

We went exploring right away, and they tuckered themselves out running over the snow. The ocean was a sea of ice, which was beautiful. We decided to get up extra early to watch the sun rise over the islands just off shore. It was spectacular.

Then five bald eagles flew overhead towards the sunrise to the beach. This became our morning ritual. It's a family memory that we now all treasure.

Loved every minute we were there, and look forward to visiting again in the summer. Also, it was pet friendly, which meant a lot to the kids. They love being our dog along.

Room Tip: The chalets are great for families.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

What a pleasure it was to stay here. The vegetarian/vegan food was amazing. The property was beautiful. Dr. Paul and Barbara were so accommodating right from the start, and made us feel at home right away (I joined them for morning meditation in the main lodge). We explored the property (and beyond) on snowshoes and was blown away by the frozen ocean!

If you are looking for a relaxing getaway with tons of options for exploring the amazing sights and sounds of the Cabot Trail- look no further. I can't wait to return in the summer to experience the kayaking, yolo boards, camp fires, camping, hiking and whatever else Dr. Paul has in store...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigonish
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We were blessed to find this special place, right here in Cape Breton..... in February ! Fifty of us encamped the cabins and main lodge for a family birthday party, and were delighted to spend a few hours cross country skiing and snowshoeing on a beautiful beach approach, with tons of snow ! The main lodge has a huge room, with a fire place, for large functions, which served us so well. We skied by light and danced by night !!! The host were perfect, just the right balance of being there and giving us the space we needed to unwind. I highly recommend you check this spot out as an excellent weekend get away or business retreat. We'll be going back for sure.

Steve Grady

Room Tip: I enjoyed the cabin.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Excellent Vegan food, nice location, great spot to camp and really nice people! Definately plan on going back. The location is great if you enjoy a relaxed natural environment. We especially enjoyed the pizza made in the outdoor pizza oven.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort

Address: Cabot Trail Indian Brook, Nova Scotia B0C1H0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Nova Scotia > Cape Breton Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 65 Specialty Lodging in Cape Breton Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cabot Shores is a 4 season adventure wilderness resort and retreat centre on 55 acres along Indian Brook and the Atlantic and on the Cabot Trail of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Lodging includes: for 4 seasons-a Bistro restaurant in a 4 star lodge and chalets; a cedar yurt for all seasons; 3 Mongolian yurts; a unique cedar yurt, Japanese cedar ofuro soaking tubs, as well as a 4 bedroom farmhouse, a western yurt, Pacific dome, and wilderness camping. Activities include live music, guided hikes; canoe and kayak and yolo board rentals; boat tours; special events and conference locations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cabot Shores Retreat Hotel
Cabot Shores Retreat Resort
Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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