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“Loved the place and will return!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fern Resort

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Fern Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   4432 Fern Resort Rd, RR#5, Orillia, Ontario L3V 6H5, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in Orillia
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London, Ontario
1 review
“Loved the place and will return!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

My mother in law actually bought a 4 day package for my family (3 kids). We did not know what to expect, and were pleasantly surprised. We felt like we had been invited to a friends cottage for the week, except we did not have to do a thing for ourselves! The staff were courteous and friendly and helpful. The staff working with the children went above and beyond. They took the time to know the kids (Hillary, Caleb, Matt, Colin, Brian, James and all the staff at the Playvillage, Heather, and many more) and I felt very comfortable leaving the kids in their care. The activity programs were incredible. My husband and I partook in the adult program and had a blast. People are very relaxed and receptive while on vacation and in talking to different guests, we made friends and even met people from our hometown! The meals were gourmet fare and plentiful. The children loved the buffet idea. The fact that the playvillage was open at dinner time meant we could feed the kids and then have a relaxing dinner to ourselves. OUr children are 5, 8 and 11. None of them were ever bored, and can't wait to go back again next year. Our server, Trevor, was fun and professional. He took the time to know our names, where we sat at the table, what the kids liked. The selection af dinners/lunches was greatly varied, and ther was something for everyone. The staff taking care of our rooms were professional and prompt. They were aware of any problems before we were and the matter would be taken care of immediately. The entretainment was great. My son actually ended up playing with Jamie Williams and loved it! The Thursday show was amazing. The staff did a great job and I can't believe they do it every week! I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, we loved it and are looking forward to being repeat guests. (P.S. we ended up staying for another day!)

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — The beach area (good for little kids)
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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200 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mississauga, ON
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

If you are looking for a fun, ACTIVE, family vacation, Fern Resort is a great place for that. It has something for all generations and you will find families coming back to the resort year after year during the same week to enjoy seeing familiar faces (we've been twice in the summer and once in the winter). Being a single parent with one boy it has been a fantastic experience for the two of us - my son can do activities with other kid's his age while I did activities with other adults and then there was time to do things together.
This is not a 5 star hotel with 5 star service - if you are looking for that, you will be disappointed but for someone that like's a family experience with all meals and almost all activities included, I highly recommend the resort - lot's of things from tennis, pitch and putt golf, reptile and animal shows, water sports, nature trails, extreme climbing, arts and crafts, interactive games, bocce ball, shuffleboard, basketball, badmington, X-Box, ping pong, billiards, volleyball, mushball soccer and mushball baseball, trampolines, free evening entertainment like magicians, musicians and comedians and the list goes on and on - no shortage of things to do - pace yourself.
Given the use and amount of things that need to be maintained, the resort is constantly challenged with keeping things fresh and working and this can be cause for some disappointment. They also do use a lot of younger people for food service and again this has it's limitations. Long story short, if you like to be active and to participate, this can be an extremely enjoyable vacation experience for adults and kids alike.

  • Liked — Activities
  • Disliked — Food Service
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Fairport, NY
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

We started staying at Fern eight years ago, when the kids were small. Each year the kids look forward to returning to their favorite activities and the friends they've made over the years. I do agree that they have changed over time and the dining service isn't what it used to be. They used to have a GREAT gift shop with lots of original, local items-which is no longer offered (it's only sweatshirts and t-shirts--more like expensive souvenirs then unique affordable souvenirs--I mean how many mugs can one family own?)
However I tend to think it's a SUMMER CAMP FOR GROWN-UPS and don't expect four-star service (three is fine for me). The kids have plenty of supervision and enough activities to keep them entertained as little or much as they want. They LOVE that we let them have a run of the place without us (since we feel so comfortable with the surroundings). The Extreme Adventure area is great to experience different types of climbing and acrobatic stunts (in my case). The bikes and pedal carts are well-cared for and the paths are great for a family walk or ride. The pools are heated and clean the beach is groomed daily and the property is clean and presentable, the bar staff is helpful to kids and adults. The points system is very under publicized--make sure you ASK about it the first day to get it's maximum benefits. The evening shows are nice for the family to attend together, however they have DEFINATELY lost the luster they used to have five years ago. They had TWO ventriloquists and TWO magicians the week we went-while their shows are different, how many do we really need to see? What happened to the Cruiseline style shows we used to have?
Even with that said, We will continue to visit Fern for many years to come.

  • Liked — The comfortable atmosphere lets the kids be kids and the adults be kids too
  • Disliked — The dining service has great food, but the level of service over the past few years has definately decreased
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2008

This is a wonderful place for families. There are age-appropriate activities happening all day in which you can choose to participate, or not. The Play Village and staff are wonderful with children and you can drop off children as young as two weeks if you want to; it's a real break for the parents. This might not be fanciest resort around - and it could use some updating - but for a fun family vacation, it's a great spot. One caveat - don't go expecting a 4 or 5 star resort hotel. There are a few 'old-timers' there who are top notch at their job, but the majority of the staff are young and somewhat inexperienced.

  • Liked — cleanliness
  • Disliked — needs updating
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

This was our second year staying at The Fern Resort and we have already booked for the same time next year. The Fern is non stop fun with programs from morning until night. Since my daughter is only four years old there were some limitations but we did manage to take advantage of the Sunset Cruise, The Banana Boat (last year), Play Village (which she talks about endlessly), Tea Leaf Reading (how enlightening!), the Jewellery Making Class (boy have I been overplaying for accessories), four wheeled bikes, zip line, mini golf, trampolines, etc. The wait staff is friendly and very accommodating as are the front desk staff. One word of advice, make sure you lose a few pounds before going because you will definitely bulk up with all the great meals! We love our Edgewater Cottage!

  • Liked — The proximity of our porch to the shore of the lake.
  • Disliked — The out of date decorating.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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GTA Ontario
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

Our family needed a REAL family holiday, and we got it in spades here.

The kids needed FUN, to play with other kids doing KID things (not endless DS or Wii or Playstations) but real summertime Ontario fun like watersports, fishing, swimming, pool splash contests, feeding baby ducks on the shores & having them follow us, playing soccer, high ropes, low ropes, archery, bingo, watching the evening resort live shows, going out in boats on the lake, holding live wildlife like snakes and hedgehogs (a supervised event with a professional) and so much more. Endless fun, in a camp with kids their own age, or we can opt to do it together, both are excellent choices.

My hubby and needed to flake out & completely relax,. We got that knowing the kids were in perfectly good hands, the counsellors were all fun & caring. The food was fine (a tiche too bland for me but everyone else loved it), the choices were excellent and portions were sizable. A nice touch is some of the staff were international, being from France etc, good exposure for the kids, an interesting aspect to the stay. There were lots of things for adults to do such as golf, tennis and more but I relaxed with my Sudoku and hubby found his perfect place hanging in the hammock by the shore. Now that's a holiday. Casino Rama is 5 minutes away if you like that, or their shows that have big name talent and the patio bar overlooking the lake and pool is just r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n...ahhh....

Our cottage was outstanding and also simply perfect. We were 10 feet from the shores of Lake Couchiching. Apparently it was recently renovated, it had 2 floors, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fireplace, 3 tvs, fireplace and a patio to sit and watch the lakes go by, watch people fish and more. Overkill probably but that's how hubby likes his cottage, so we go for the big one....to each their own.

Staff was courteous & extremely helpful at all times. Caleb (the staff on the fishing dock) was especially awesome with the kids, teaching them the love of fishing & with the healthy respect for the hooks and nature. Little girls and boys learned the love of the sport which is a very special lifelong gift, wherever you go. A nice bonus about the lake is that it has an average depth of 18 feet so it warms up very quickly for early summer use.

Every family should do Fern at leat once and we have started our new family tradition & go back again next year. We are telling friends too because it's the kind of place that's great to share.

The only thing is the price is a bit high since it includes everything. BUT... when I saw my neighbour completely frazzled, packing her family van yesterday to the roof with patio chairs, all their bedding, towels, books, toys, drinks, to go to a "bargain" rental cottage up north that made her bring EVERYTHING there....then she was going to spend this next week on holiday, buying food, cooking cleaning, then REPACKING, coming home and doing all that UNPACKING and doing cottage bedding LAUNDRY etc....where is the holiday in that...especially for the MOM???!!!

We feel it was worth the extra $$ to get a REAL holiday for everyone and the whole family benefits from a happy rested Mom and Dad too.

  • Liked — everything included, well run, happy helpful staff, TONS to do
  • Disliked — price a bit high
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

I have lived in the Kawartha's for years and never realized what a hidden gem the Fern Resort was. I planned for all of my 134 managers and Home Office staff to participate in a 3 day retreat in the middle of a very snowy winter. The staff, accomodations and food (especially) was phenomenal. I completed all of my corporate details and communications with John who is the most accomodating and pleasnat host anyone could deal with. I enjoyed myself and my team was ecstatic with thier stay. We are taking the company back this September as well. On a personal note I took my husband patrick and my children Jacqueline (9yrs) and Carter (4yrs) in June for our anniversary weekend. The days were full of events and the staff were absolutely amazing. It will definitely be an annual event for us both personally and professionally. Cheers to everyone at the Fern, you are what makes cottage country so great!

Stayed February 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fern Resort

Address: 4432 Fern Resort Rd, RR#5, Orillia, Ontario L3V 6H5, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Orillia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Orillia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Orillia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fern Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 103
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 family 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

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