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“A Tail of Two Resorts” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Clevelands House

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Clevelands House
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   1040 Juddhaven Road, Minett, Ontario P0B 1G0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Minett
Buffalo, New York
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A Tail of Two Resorts”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Long time guests will notice vast differences to the no longer family owned resort from the reduction in staffing, the failure to maintain the formerly beautiful gardens, the lack of organization in the dining room (now a restaurant) resulting from ever changing policies ,the dirty public rest rooms (they seem like they're never cleaned), a corporate mentality that pervades the property and the feeling one gets that returning guests just aren't as important as they once were. Having said that, the staff was incredibly friendly and tried very hard to make our vacation a good one (we've been going there every year for 19 years) despite the efforts of corporate managers who have no sense of the feel and atmosphere of a once terrific facility and who have truly mangled what used to be the jewel of the Muskoka resorts. I feel very sorry for Jesse, the on-site manager, who has to deal with what must be tremendous pressure to generate more and more revenue from his bosses who look at this resort as just another part of their portfolio. However, to be totally honest, we still had a good time and we would consider returning. Gary, the new tennis pro is amazing, Duke's, the waterfront bar and restaurant, is a pleasure to visit, the resort remains rustic and somewhat tranquil and the kid's camp, despite the cutbacks, appears to be thriving. Changes can be good if they're handled and communicated properly,and resort policies and procedures are made clear to new and returning guests. I have a feeling that, unless they use what they learned this summer to tweak their product for next summer so guests feel welcome and respected, many of their new guests will be "one and done", never to return and they'll loose a lot of the long time guests who return from year to year. Changes should enhance one's experience about the property. Short sighted ownership may see its ship sailing away on Lake Rosseau, along with most of its guests.

Room Tip: Get a waterfront view, if you can.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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267 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brampton, Canada
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

Upon arrival which was in the dark and pouring rain.The lobby was disgusting and filthy.
Total confusion with the rooms.
When we arrived at the North lodge, the carpet was all rippled and it smelt old and musty, as for the room it was nasty, cleaners did not know how to clean , cobwebs allover.
The cleaning staff ,when making up the rooms, would put all the clean towels on the floor outside the door, on the dirty filthy carpet, no trolleys, i could not believe what i was seeing, i felt sorry for the person that got the last couple of towels.
Had a massage at the spa,the day and my face dropped to the floor when i walked in , it was like granny's house , old and dingy , no spa feeling at all, no candles, crappy old chairs in the living room, the waiting area, no nice lighting and for $90 waste of money ( RMT Crysal was good), very disappointed.
Had dinner at JT Minett's , service sucked and over it was over priced.''left NO tip, that's how bad it was.
We went to the Marriott up the hill for dinner on day 2 , to the ''Teca''', Italian restaurant, it was fabulous, ambiance was wonderful, next time staying there for sure.
The one highlight was walking to Abby's bakery, it was awesome, the breakfast sandwich was great, the owner was always smiling and friendly, loved sitting outside and having a coffee, looking at the water.
The whole area is fantastic, but it needs new management (GM is a looser) and a complete renovation, which i heard they are doing and will be done by May 2014.
The only thing this place has going for it is the location.

Room Tip: Bayview suites have the a great lake view , with a deck (close to Abby's bakery) right on the wa...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

The location is fantastic, but the rooms are terrible dirty outdated, and smelly. The service is the worse ever, they offer hall sitter, but the first two nights she did not arrive until we call the front desk, and we got the sitter 30 minutes late. Our last night was the worse the sitter did not arrive it all, and manager just said that they do not have enough people that night. I complain with the general manager and he just said sorry. The restaurant is the worse, the food is average, same menu everyday! So sad to see such a nice place to go down. Expend 50 dollars more a day and go to the Marriott around the corner

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pound Ridge, New York
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Clevelands House may have had glory days years ago but the new owners (four years?) haven't invested one penny in upkeep. The carpets were filthy and totally worn out. The furniture was ready for the junkyard. We had a cottage (three bedrooms) and two additional rooms. The cottage hadn't been cleaned at all when we arrived in the late afternoon. The housekeeper who came to remedy the situation was profusely apologetic and embarrassed at the state of affairs. She and everyone on the support staff were helpful and polite. It's the owner and top management who should be replaced. At age 76, having traveled to over 80 countries in a lifetime of wonderful travel experiences, this is the worst hotel experience...EVER. I spoke to a manager at the reception desk on the second day of our three day stay. While not offering any reduction in the price, she did tell me that they were planning on renovating in the coming winter. I said that they should have informed us of that before they accepted our booking. The ultimate insult was that they gave me a Guest Satisfaction survey form at check-out. The management must be living in "la-la" land. I simply cannot begin to adequately describe the filth and generally depressing look of the entire resort. If you want an enjoyable vacation, don't go to Clevelands House. Staying home or picking any one of several other properties in the Miskoka area would be wiser, unless you dont mind staying in a pig sty.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

When last we stayed at Clevelands House the place had more of a "lodge" feel. There was a meal plan and a set table every time. The food was quite good and reasonably priced. The place was tired no doubt but we looked beyond that.

This year management is changing the place. First, it is more of a hotel. You can book for as many or as few days as you want. You can arrive and leave mid-week. They are phasing out the meal plan. We were told that next year they will be 100% pay as you go by meal versus a set meal plan.

The place is tired. It needs about $2 million in removations. Don't get me wrong, the property is outstanding and the waterfront beautiful, but the buildings and physical plant need serious work. There are visible signs of wear and age everywhere. When you are paying the sorts of rates they charge you don't want to see rotting wood, peeling paint and disintigrating indoor outdoor carpeting.

The renovated dining room is "interesting". Lots of distressed wood and funky decor. The menu is expensive and by the end of the week we were bored with it. The entrees were priced right up there with what you see at white linen restos in Toronto. When I pay these prices I expect professional and attentive service. Sorry, the college kids try hard but they are not quite there in terms of the quality of their service. The bar in the main lobby is sort of an afterthought.

The breakfast buffet is a shambles. Don't bother. Try as we might to give these guys the benefit of the doubt, the buffet was always picked over and missing stuff. Go to Abbey's and get a muffin a massive yogurt/granola/fruit partfait or a breakfast bun and sit on the dock. Much better value.

Dukes is a good value. Service is ok and the quality of the food is very good. Don't expect to waltz up and just get a table on the patio a 2pm on a sunny Saturday or Sunday. The place is hopping and you will have to line up.

We stayed in one of the cabins by the beach. It was fine. A little tired but very clean and tidy. I did walk around the lodges but did not see the rooms so I can not comment on their quality or how quiet they are. I will tell you when we asked for assistance the housekeeping staff were all over it and addressed issues immediately.

Bottom line? We would stay there again but we would scope out other places to eat for dinner.

Room Tip: Do not take a room overlooking DUKE'S. The place is open till 1am and it is loud.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornhill, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

The good, the bad, the ugly of Clevelands House

Since the Delawana Inn went out of business earlier this year, much to our family's chagrin (and many others), we made the decision to try Clevelands House this year with our two sons, age 4 and almost 8. Here is my review/opinion.

Overall: Resort is lovely, spacious, great outdoor facilities/services. Lots to do for adults and kids alike.
Things are changing this year, as Cleves was also losing money of late. They decided to do a few things differently, like not offering a meal plan to newcomers. This left, so to speak, a bad taste in the mouths of many guests. More on that soon.

Kid's Camp: Pretty great. Various age breakdowns, including a 7-9 Recreational and a 7-9 Sports. My son did the rec, and our friends' kid did the sport. Both enjoyed the camps. The rec was more girls, more crafts/art, less active, but both had sports to some degree. The sports was a lot of competitive kids. My little one was in the 3-4 group, and the counsellors were great. The kids were kept busy with outdoor play, clinics, swim time, snacks, lunch, water breaks, water sports and more. Cleves has a great "colour cube" indoor-type playground, that is outdoors, but covered and has a ball pit. The kids could have stayed in that all day if we had let them. There is also a large wooden playground with slides, climbers, bridges and the sort. Also a toddler playground, a large sports field, a climbing wall, a toddler pool and a larger pool, plus craft rooms, games rooms, and the the large gathering space where they eat and do camp-wide programs like Mad Science, Wildlife shows, talent show, etc. They had face-painting and a parade one day, which was cute. There was a talent show at end of week, but our kids opted out. We spent out last day there at the pool with our friends and their families.

The kid's club costs $65 a day, and certain items are additional, such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and banana boat rides, which they do once in the week, and range from $15 to $35. To their credit, they work really well with the kids and most kids get up on the skis and stay up. My nervous child opted out, and went only on the banana boat (non-tip) ride, which was $15 for once around (a long ride though). Also additional are pontoon boat rides and ice-cream cruises, which we did not pay for. The Delawana had several pontoon boat rides for free every day. Perhaps a contributing factor as to why they went broke, but it certainly was nice.

Since there are so many kids at the resort, each age group had a lot of kids, ranging from 10 or 12 to 30. Made for more variation and the ability to make new friends. Delawana had smaller groups. My sons liked both resorts, but admitted Cleves camp was somewhat better.

What I felt lacked at the Cleves was a cohesive feeling... there was no one central place to gather on a rainy day to play games with other families, or to lounge and read a book indoors or meet other folks and strike up a conversation, aside from the bar or the pool or beach. But it was harder there, I thought. We went with 3 other families and met a few new people, but people really did tend to keep to their own groups. It wasn't a "family camp" feeling. It was definitely hotel/resort. There was no indoor pool table, ping pong nor computers to use, although there was a bar with some live music each night, and a big-screen tv. Also a games room/arcade. Indoor stuff would have been nice for a rainy day, or for evenings that were chilly. The Delawana had both.

Activities: LOTS of tennis courts, they specialize in tennis clinics, etc., plus the pool (and a toddler one), two hottubs, badminton courts (two), several outdoor pingpong tables, giant chess board, shuffleboard courts in nice condition, bikes you can rent ($15), free canoes and kayaaks at the beach, and paddle boards. The inflatable water park out in the lake was available for a daily fee ($12), as were waterskiing, wakeboarding, etc. (extra fees). Also a small 9-hole mini putt (free), and lots of adult golf (cost).

There were organized tournaments every day at 10 a.m., and other stuff in the later afternoon. We participated in several, some with better turnout than others. Frisbee golf was fun with 12 of us participating. Another kind of tournament had about 15. According to staff that was average turnout. Some weeks they get 20+ coming to everything.

Evening entertainment was 2 nights of the 5 we were there. A waterski show which was fun, but very crowded and hard to find a spot to see. People come from all over the lake (Rosseau) to see it. Another night was an excellent juggler who we've seen at the Delawana twice, but never tire of him. Bob Kates. Excellent and entertaining. He also did a juggling workshop for free during the day. Movies were shown at 9:15 every night, but we never made it to one.

One thing I liked about the Del were their family workshops and activities... movie nights for kids right after dinner (and the grown up movies later in the evening), evening entertainment of some kind almost every night, drumming workshop, craft workshops, chocolate making workshop (for a small extra fee), Geocaching, guided hikes, guided bike rides, pontoon rides and every day a pool party or beach party.. with dancing, contests, giveaways, sandcastle building competitions, etc. It really made for a fun-filled family time and a chance to meet other guests too. I really missed that at the Cleves. My husband and I were a little bored at times.

Accommodations: We stayed in the North Lodge, which was conveniently close to the pool, tennis, shuffleboard, badminton, beach and dining room. It offered free hall babysitting after 8 I think in the evenings. I think the main lodge/hotel also offered that. THe rooms were much smaller than what we had at the Del. Two double beds, a bit of extra floor space (we had a corner room, so it was bigger, but our friends were tripping over each other), a TINY bathroom with no counter space, a large closet and two dressers, plus a fridge, a tiny table with 2 chairs and a utility/phone table. Livable, but tight. Thankfully we didn't spend much time in the room.

Friends of ours used to stay at the individual cottages, and we popped in to one that was vacant, to have a look through. MUCH nicer, but was outside our budget.

One other thing... in the North Lodge, you are right by the club/lakeside terrace, where there is a bar and dancing and VERY loud music and people meandering about until 2 a.m. We were not facing that direction, but since we were on a corner, we still heard it loud and clear. Our two other friends were facing the water, and thus the club, and they had to leave their windows closed, and it was still very loud. I'm sure you could hear the music around most of the resort.

Food: Kids had free lunch in the kid's camp. There was a breakfast buffet every morning ($10 for kids; $17 for adults) that I didn't think was worth it for adults. Otherwise, order off menu, and nothing was cheap. It wasn't until our last day we found out you could order breakfast from the kid's menu, and get plenty of food (kid's items came WITH cereal and juice, plus the mains...), for about $7. We did that on our last day and it was plenty. We brought our own food for lunches in the room, or just snacks, and also brought lots of healthy munchies and a few treats too. My son is allergic to nuts and eggs (and more) and most of the desserts and baked goods were not safe for him. Especially the "take out" ice cream (Kawartha Dairy) at the lakefront bar/resto, and the Bakehouse which was a walk down the main road. We couldn't go to either of those. There was a safe ice cream at the kid's club, and the main dining room, so he was happy, plus I had other treats with us for him.

Dinners were pricey, and we were tired of the menu after 5 days. The dining room is now a restaurant, owned by the Jack Astor's group, and there were a lot of glitches to work out. That said, service was friendly, sometimes very fast, but other times super slow (depended on the time and the kitchen), and the food was very tasty, albeit they went a bit heavy on the spice and heat on some dishes, and that wasn't mentioned in the menu, so came as a surprise. I had a few really great meals, AND they had gluten-free pasta and hamburger buns. Yay! They didn't handle large groups too well, so after one night of a fiasco with 19 of us at two tables and one waitress (and a 1-1/2 hour wait for food), we decided to stick to our own families booking separate tables for dinner. Oh, you had to make dinner reservations too, or else you might not get a table when you wanted one. We didn't find out until our last night there, that there was a soup offered every night (no one offered it to us!), and two specials every night, not on the menu or any board anywhere. Also not offered to us. That would have been nice to know. The format of the dining room was all new to the serving staff, so I think things fell through the cracks. ALSO, those returning guests who had booked in advance of Feb. or March, were grandfathered and allowed to be on the meal plan still (the last year, rumour has it), but they still were brought a bill to sign at the end of meals. That confused and displeased a number of people to whom we spoke.

Outside of the resort options were in Port Carling and Bala, or on-resort at Duke's Refresher, the resto/bar on the docks. Their food was a little less pricey, and pretty good on the one night I tried it. But, a longggggg wait to get a table sometimes.

All in all, we spent less money for 5 days at the Cleves, than we did at Delawana ($1800 vs. $2300 I think). However, there were things I liked much better at the Del, like the buffets (kids' nightly, breakfast everyday, adults several times a week), the bbq dinners, the salad bar, and the meal plan; the sense of "community" or at least "family", the family-centred planned activities, the on-site store and not being charged for extras like the water park and pontoon rides, the big lounge area and library, games area, computer area, etc.

Would we go back to the Cleves? Probably... if the Delawana doesn't come back (be bought by someone), or if it comes back but changes too much. Our kids did have fun, and we stayed mostly busy. It was a definite plus being there with friends. People to hang with and talk to was nice; doing yoga with friends, or attending the pool party (one day... one hour, kind of lame), or just chatting at the beach. But, we all agreed there was something "family resortish" missing.

Thanks for reading!


Room Tip: If you have light sleepers, don't face the water at the North Lodge or Manor House. The noise fr...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We stayed in the one bedroom cabin. It's pretty basic and rellatively clean.The hotel is showing its age. It doesn't appear that they're staying on top of the maintenance. She is looking tired. But overall, we enjoyed our stay. There's plenty of activities. We went hiking. They have a water ski show (last one of the season).
They have a few things going for them. Abbey's Bakery is close by (yummy sausage bacon egger sandwich) as well as Duke's Refresher Restaurant (great burgers).
Cleveland House is a great family venue.
One final note, the cleaning staff forgot to clean our room, but the night staff was gracious enough to step in and clean our room.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clevelands House

Address: 1040 Juddhaven Road, Minett, Ontario P0B 1G0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Muskoka District > Minett
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Minett
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Clevelands House 3*
Number of rooms: 151
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Muskoka's most memorable experience! Clevelands House Resort is the perfect place for your summer getaway with 408-acres of family fun! With 3,000 ft. of prime waterfront, this Muskoka resort has something for every age! Clevelands House Resort has many different types of accommodation from standard rooms, suites and cottages. The cottages offer one to three bedrooms - space enough for the whole family! The onsite nine-hole golf course, 16 tennis courts, sandy beach and picturesque veranda are just a few places to relax. They offer many different dining options from the newly renovated C.J. Minett's Kitchen and Tavern to Duke's Refresher, serving gourmet burgers and shakes! Send the kids to their one-acre Cleve's Kids Club for hours of learning and fun, the largest of its kind. For the grown-ups, the Adult Social Program puts on over 120 events weekly! From bocce ball tournaments, welcome parties and beach volleyball, Clevelands House has every activity covered! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clevelands House Hotel Minett
Clevelands Hotel Minett
Clevelands House Ontario/Minett, Canada

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