Just back from 3 nights 4 days at Fern Resort with our group of 10, including 5 children ages 9 mos and up. A family tradition, at Fern we always know what we will get- family friendly meals, comfortable accommodations and activities for all age groups.
Our 4th year in a row, we had a main inn room and 2 edge water cottages. As far as size the main inn rooms are very bright and spacious with more modern furnishings. The main inn rooms can only be accessed by a large flight of stairs which make it totally inaccessible for those with mobility challenges. As a matter of fact, many areas of the resort are inaccessible; the spa and upper levels of all buildings require walking up a flight of stairs . Carrying multiple bags up a large flight of stairs with 3 small children is a frustrating start to a get away. The cottages on the other hand are very cottage like, but could use a facelift; old bedspreads, furnishings, and bathrooms. The view though is lovely, right in
front of the lake.
The food is family friendly and fresh, and baked goods are certainly the specialty. The kids buffet of course is a hit with the kids, but tends to always be the same, and is not always replenished.. Soups on the menu are bland and this year especially I noted food served at times was cold. Prime rib and
turkey dinner were excellent,as
were the desserts.
The wait staff range from horrible to excellent. The first day our server was slow, disorganized and not overly friendly. We switched tables our 2nd day and Charlotte was excellent! Very tolerant of the mess with 5 kids and most accommodating to our requests. Some other servers walking around barely cracked a smile- in previous years we have always had great service.
The activities for the kids are great- there is something for all ages. Some of the staff in the play village are less than enthusiastic but perhaps that is because its the last week of summer and they are tiring. I will say with Sunday being a turnover day, the activities are
poor. For a family staying Sat to Tues we were in need of
entertainment for kids and
adults on a rainy Sun afternoon .There was really nothing to do- quite disappointed.
The best entertainment by far was Jamie Williams on the Mon night- he sang and played multiple instruments- fabulous!
The exterior of the resort is showing its age and we noticed a lot of areas badly in need of a fresh coat of paint, esp the Fireside building and staff quarters which are not very attractive from the parking lot.
Fern is not cheap and I really think in order to keep guests coming back year after year, some updating is needed.
All in all a great family time together at Fern but we may consider another property next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fern Resort and the Conference Centre at Fern are located along the shores of Lake Couchiching in the city of Orillia. We offer all inclusive packages for both vacation stays as well as meeting and conference stays. All meals, use of facilities and at specific times of the year, we offer activity programs for all ages, children supervision and nightly entertainment. Established in 1895, Fern has a long tradition of offering our guests with good olde fashion hospitality in a professional and friendly manner. Whether it's the traditional family vacation, a little getaway weekend or a sales meeting or corporate seminar, Fern Resort and the Conference Centre at Fern should be your venue of choice. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fern Hotel Orillia
- Fern Resort Orillia, Ontario
- Fern Orillia