My Wife and I with our two boys 18 and 19 years old wanted to go away for a short jaunt of family fun as it is getting harder to time our schedules to be together. We used to go to Deerhurst years ago, and we had great memories, when they were little, but we hadn't gone for years preferring generally to go south.
My older son wanted to snowmobile as he is now old enough to take one on his own so we figured we should go to Deerhust again if we could (at the last minute) get a couple of snowmobiles for a few hours
Booking was great and Kim at Back Country Snowmobile Rentals went out of her way to get us two sleds for Saturday from noon to 5pm. Once the snowmobiles were booked, I reserved a two bedroom condo which suited our needs perfectly. We would arrive on Saturday at 10am but check in was at 4pm. I requested both a renovated room and an early check in when I made the reservation. I also pre booked the show for the family at 8pm.
Once we got there, reception was fast and accommodating. They did switch things around to give us a room early but it was no longer a newly renovated room. It was ok because we valued getting into our room early more than waiting for a renovated room. That was great and certainly met our expectation. The room was perfect for our needs, was clean and everything worked. Yes it was in need of a refresh but everything was clean and working. Really no complaints about the room. It was perfect for our needs. We were also very well received at check in.
My son and I soon went to get the snowmobiles. The snowmobile set up looks and feels like an add on and rather awkward area in the store. Everyone was nice enough, but little things looked they need more office/management support. Paying by credit card depended on how the stars lined up to get internet reception. Just expect a more structured sign in/ get your gear set up. Looks like its running out of someone else's store, in a corner to save money. The clothing available for snowmobiling was in poor condition, dirty, and smelly. I used my own coat. The gloves they had for us were cheap and low quality and my hands were cold. I've rented before at other places and the quality and sizes available were way better. This needs improvement. Once gone on the 5 hour ride on our own, despite getting a map that was from last year and being told it was so easy to get around and we would not to get lost, we got lost. Many other resorts have signs all the way around on the snowmobile trails but not Deerhurst. We wasted an hour and much stress and a few phone calls to find our way back a half hour late. Why not have Trail #1 One hour ride, Trail #2 Three hour ride, and Trail #3 five hour ride and all we would have had to do is follow is trail number 3 and it would get us back to the resort by just following the signs for the trail number.
The 'road' numbers show the same road going left and right with the same exact number...wtf...Locals may know what that means but for many of us city flolk, so to speak, once off roads and into the woods, its a recipe for disaster without a guide. The map just doesn't do it. Get a guide if you can.
We talked to others who were out the same day and most got lost and were frustrated in what should have been just a fun (but expensive) activity. Not much fun when you're lost in the woods. Thank god there were great people who went out of their way to get us back on the right track.
Had supper in Eclipse. 3 of us enjoyed our meals. My older son did not like his steak. We have had steaks in the best restaurants, and well this was a disappointment for him. We've paid less for much better steaks. Not that it was badly cooked but just average and not memorable. The lamb was good but I don't think I'd come back just for it again. Service was very good. View is really nice at night.
Show was excellent. It was nice. Service at the show was average and sporadic, but the show was actually lots of fun to watch. Performers were great.
In the morning I went to the hot tub in the pool area. Should have stayed in bed. Went down to the pool area lockers, changed and went to the pool area to get a towel. No towels, I ask others where they got towels, Upstairs they said. In my bathing suit, walk back up the stairs , look around, no towels, walk in my bare feet in my bathing suit, to the store around the corner to find someone, some guy in the store tells me that they are out and they will bring me some personally in the pool area. Great, I walk back down frustrated but hopeful.
I Get in the hot tub for twenty minutes, no towels. I notice people coming down with towels so it looks like no one came down to give me any towels but there are some available. Wet, I go back up the stairs in bare feet, while others are coming down the stair with snow boots, grab two towels and walk back down to the lockers, stepping in salty snow from others boots. Pissed off completely at the stupid and inconsiderate set up of a neglected pool area, focused on streamlining towel operations to save a penny while compromising the experience of their guests bringing the level of service rating for this hotel much lower than it can be. Great resorts become great by the little details. Here the little details are holding this place back. Wishing to be the best and actually setting up your resort to be the best are two different things.
Brunch on Sunday morning was excellent. Huge selection and variety, great service. Some of the food that I would expect to be hot was disappointingly only warm. But all in all a great brunch. Best meal of the weekend.
We were actually looking at the opportunity of buying a condo at Deerhurst, but If I've been so annoyed on a few items in a short 24 hours, how badly would it be if we spent allot more time there. just not confident.
We will go again because we like the place and the area, but certainly not as great as it could be. Too bad because they do many things very well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover Deerhurst Resort's idyllic lakeside setting in Muskoka cottage country. This 760 acre, year-round retreat is minutes from Algonquin Park and historical, culinary, sporting and cultural attractions like Huntsville's Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery and neighboring Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area. Known for its two 18-hole golf courses, Deerhurst offers the most on-site activities of any Eastern Canada resort, from indoor rock climbing, Treetop Trekking, paintball, ATV tours and snowmobiling to water sports, spa and a live stage show. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Deerhurst Hotel Huntsville
- Deerhurst Inn Ontario
- Deerhurst Ontario
- Deerhurst Resort Huntsville, Ontario