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“Disappointed and personally offended by staff” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Briars

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The Briars
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   55 Hedge Road, RR 1, Jackson's Point, Georgina, Ontario L0E 1L0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Toronto
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Disappointed and personally offended by staff”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2009

I've been to the Briars many times, so you might expect a positive review. Sadly, I can no longer recommend the Briars and will not be returning. I can't really explain the drop in quality except to report the facts.
Started out badly... about a quarter of the room's carpet was sopping wet and smelled moldy; the A/C unit was leaking. They placed some towels under it and that was it -- no follow up or apology for the mess despite having a wet carpet for the entire weekend. My next wet sock experience was in the bathroom... the toilet was leaking at the base. Called it in but no follow-up.
Then it got worse. I'm not a real stickler for room cleanliness so you would likely not see a post from me except for this next bit. A bit of background... I have nut/peanut, peas/beans and seafood allergies. I routinely sign up for dining plans where possible because it allows a rapport with the staff around my allergies. In 34 years, I've never been treated so badly. I spent 90 minutes at Saturday lunch ordering various items from the menu, only to be told piecemeal and eventually that there was nothing on the menu that I could eat. I was told that I should have brought my own food (huh? would have been nice to know at booking time). I was told that other guests are "good about it" and quite happy with their allergy policies because "they aren't dead". I was incredulous, starving and getting upset when the dining room manager finished the discussion with "maybe this isn't the place for you". Despite a promise that Saturday dinner would include something I could eat, nothing changed except that no manager spoke to us after that point. My take: the dining room manager was unprofessional and uncaring and the upper management took her side of the story. For completeness, I should divulge that I fought for and won a $20 discount on the week-end because of the lunch wasted being insulted by the manager. Honestly, I would have preferred a sincere apology.
The take-away for you: if you have an allergy, avoid the Briars, period. It is neither safe nor supportive in any meaningful way. If allergies aren't an issue for you and your family, you might take note of the treatment I received and ask yourself if it is indicative of a resort that cares about people.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sweeties97, owner at The Briars, responded to this review, September 27, 2009
Dear Guest, Thank you for taking the time to write your comments. We were very sorry about the frustrations you encountered during your stay. We appreciated you letting us know at the time about the repairs needed. What should have happened at our end was a prompt repair, and we are sorry. Both the problems were easy fixes - no excuses here - and we're using this occurrence in our training. Sometimes, for even the most dedicated team of staff and managers, things go awry - and that's the only way I can understand your food frustrations. We are sensitive to the challenges faced by allergy sufferers. Managers have been trained through a respected program associated with Anaphylaxis Canada, and assisting allergy sufferers is part of every meal. Normally at booking, guests are asked if they have allergies and this information helps us prepare for your arrival. Occasionally a guest may bring a special food item which we have difficulty supplying, but this is generally unnecessary. We had the pleasure of speaking by phone in response to your letter you sent, and trust that you will take comfort in knowing that the suggestions you gave on menu presentation and communication will be most helpful. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back. Your hosts, The Sibbald family
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347 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (101)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2009

There is very little that one can be negative about concerning the Briars. The room was freshly redecorated with outstanding appointments including provided robs, swim towels, coffee maker with supplies of coffee and tea. All appliances were fresh and worked perfectly.
The food is very, very good with a good selection at each meal. Portions are very generous and special alterations to menu items are allowed and welcomed. It seems to be impossible to eat your way through the menu in a week since it is always supplemented by specials at both lunch and dinner.
The resort provides activities for folks of all ages-everything from lake or pool swimming to nature walks and star gazing. All facilities, equipment and activities (except golf as the golf course is a separate organization) are included in the per person room rate. This in itself adds to the good dollar value one pays to experience the Briars. One important point is that no one must take part in any of the organized activities. One could be busy and active from 8 am to 11 pm or they could simply relax at their own pace.
The staff (from the grounds keepers to the owners) are the most congenial, polite and attentive people we have ever encountered in our travels throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. They seem to be very happy in their employ which could be due to the fact that they are on contract with a bonus paid on completion of their contacts.They don't have to worry that they would only be employed depending on market factors.
The Briars is much more than a"Hotel'. It is a resort and conference centre located in a beautiful setting. The accommodation varies from lakeside cabins to deluxe suites in the Manor House and main buildings. Of course, prices vary depending on the accommodation that one chooses. All and all the prices at the Briars are typical and competitive for this type of resort.
We will return and would encourage anyone to relax at the Briars.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sweeties97, owner at The Briars, responded to this review, September 26, 2009
Dear Guest: Thank you for taking the time to write your comments. It is very good to hear that you enjoyed so many aspects of The Briars. We try to give a an excellent and well-rounded experience in the food, activities and accommodation and we are pleased to see you enjoyed it. It is interesting that you mention the different types of accommodation - we sometimes have guests who stay in a room for their romantic getaway, and visit later to stay in one of the private lodges for a family reunion. Thank you for mentioning the staff - they will be very pleased to read your comments, too. We look forward to welcoming you back, your hosts, The Sibbald family.
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Seattle, Washington
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

I was so excited for my three-day vacation to The Briars. Their website made it look like a heavenly oasis and, due to the price, I figured it must be. Upon arrival, however, I was very underwhelmed. This place is definitely nicer than some hotels I have been in but the price does not meet the level of accommodation. The rooms had poor lighting which made it difficult to iron my clothes with their rusty iron and see what I was doing. The bathroom towels were small, rough, and so thin I could see through them. Our air conditioning did not blow cold air so we were slightly miserable in the August humid head. The exterior of our cabin was less than charming and not maintained to the level of a typial resort. The food was good, but another expensive aspect that did not meet expectations.

That being said, all of the staff was very friendly and helpful, and some activities such as kayaking and canoeing are included in the price of your stay.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sweeties97, owner at The Briars, responded to this review, September 20, 2009
Dear Guest,

We are very pleased that you found the staff friendly and helpful, but we are very sorry to hear about your other disappointments. Our objective is to delight each of our guests. Each of your comments is carefully considered, shared with staff and management, and investigated with the aim of making improvements.

This summer was very rainy and outdoor painting got behind. We are working hard now in the sunny September to catch up and have redesigned our exterior building maintenance program for next summer to assure more consistency. After investigating we have made several other improvements to the cabin based on your helpful suggestions about the lighting, cooling and iron. There are many things we can also do during a guest's stay. I hope that the things you asked for we were able to help.

We thank you for visiting The Briars. We enjoyed reading your other reviews and wish you all the best in your travels.

Yours truly,

for The Briars Team and Sibbald family, owners,
Hugh Sibbald
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

We are a family of 4 looking for a relaxing vacation with activities. Other than golf the activities are lacking . The lake is beautiful but with only 1 broken paddleboat and minimal kyacks and canoes . The kids activities are meant for small children. The pools are small and with few water toys. Our cottage is fine but the ac is either freezing or off. The refrigerator froze my milk and water and the house alarm beeps nonstop. The food has been fine but shockingly expensive. This trip was very expensive and not worth the money

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sweeties97, owner at The Briars, responded to this review, September 26, 2009
Dear Guest, You wrote this from your cottage on the second day of your week here, and we were very sorry about the frustration. This was the first time the telephone line connecting the 'off season' burglar alarm had been damaged and, unfortunately, the alarm company gave us incomplete instructions on how to silence the trouble signal, so it started to beep eight hours after silencing it - awakening you. This, after the fridge being turned down too low, and the air conditioning difficult to operate, was a very tough start. The cottage was completely gutted and redecorated in 2008, and we were most pleased that you accepted our special offer and some help getting settled in. Thank you for noticing the beauty of the lake - it was extremely popular this summer and we will be replacing the fleet of kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and sailboats for the 2010 season. The kids club, for ages 3 to 10, was perhaps a bit quiet for your two lovely boys. We are looking now at what we might introduce for older children to complement our schedule of family activities. The food, accommodation and recreation were all included in your package and we trust that when all was said and done you felt that you had received good value. We hope we may welcome you back, your hosts, the Sibbald family.
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Waterloo, Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

The service was excellent and the room (one of their inexpensive rooms) was great. The staff were friendly and always greeted us. The rooms were pristine and the mattress (I'm a little fussy) was great. The only complaint is the beach is small and rocky. We had a wonderful time and would defintely go there again.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sweeties97, owner at The Briars, responded to this review, September 27, 2009
Dear Guest, Thank you for your helpful comments. We were pleased that you enjoyed the service, room, bed and the friendly staff. We agree the lake front needs some extra attention. You'll be pleased to know we are working on the following improvements for the summer of 2010 - add some sandy areas, improve the seating and swimming, replace the fleet of kayaks, canoes and sail boats. We look forward to welcoming you back. Your hosts, the Sibbald family.
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

We stayed here with friends for a reunion, our first visit to this property. My first impression was that the premises were not tired and worn, as properties like this too often are. Everything seems well maintained. The rooms our group stayed in were in very good shape. Perhaps there has been a recent redecoration. The fireplace in the room was a pleasant surprise.

The food ranged from good to excellent. We were quite happy with lunch and dinner, but the star of the show was the outstanding buffet brunch on Sunday. There is a place to get complimentary coffee throughout the day, in an elegant library that would be a great place to curl up and read a book. That is in the original manor house that has a wide veranda looking out over the lawns toward the lake.

We didn't use the sports facilities or spa, but we say both and they seemed very nice, particularly the spa.

The main building has a fascination tower with a two story 'pod' at the top. Each floor is a room that could evidently be booked for dinner or a small reception, or would be a great place to sit and talk, read, or enjoy the view over the grounds and Lake Simcoe as we did. While in the tower we saw one of the cooks picking fresh produce from a vegetable garden on the property.

We're very skeptical of a recent review that had absolutely nothing good to say. None of it matched our experience.

I can't really think of any negatives, except that we booked our group in what turned out to be the rainiest July in memory.

Unfortunately we live too far away to come here often, but we'll try to make it back when we can.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

My husband and I recently stayed at the Briars for our wedding anniversary and had a wondefully romantic trip! The spa services were great and were a good value, along with the golf pacakge. The food that was also a part of our package was very good. The rooms were very clean and well maintained, as for the service we were a little nervous based upon some reviews that we had read. We soon discovered that there was no reason to be nervous, the Briars is a very relaxed environment and the service is good just a little slower than a big city hotel. Overall I would definitley recommend the Briars for families or a romantic weekend escape!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
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Additional Information about The Briars

Address: 55 Hedge Road, RR 1, Jackson's Point, Georgina, Ontario L0E 1L0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Georgina > Jackson's Point
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Briars 3.5*
Number of rooms: 91
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Also Known As:
The Briars Hotel Jackson`s Point
Briars Jacksons Point
Briars Hotel Jacksons Point
The Briars Ontario, Canada

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