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“Needs some tweeking!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Windermere House Resort & Hotel

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Windermere House Resort & Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2508 Windermere Road, Windermere, Ontario P0B 1P0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Windermere
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Needs some tweeking!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Judging by reading other travellers reviews, this resort seems to have mixed ratings. My husband and myself stayed for one night on a dealfind coupon, paying less than half the regular rate. I am glad that we did not pay full price. Our room #323, was next to the spa, within a dormer. The day we arrived was definitely not the hottest day yet, Sept 13th, about 26 degrees at the hottest part of the day. However, the A/C was not turned on when we checked into our room, and the room was very,very warm. We turned the air onto high, toured the property etc. and returned several hours later. The room had barely cooled off at all. A call down to the desk promptly brought the maintenance man to our room. He checked the unit and said what my hubby had already determined. The unit being in a alcove of the room was unable to circulate properly to cool the room. He suggested that we could be moved, but at the same time stated that the other rooms ha older, noiser units. We figured we should just stay where we were, as it may be the lesser of two evils! I am not sure if we were placed in this room because we had a Dealfind coupon and they are aware of the issues in this room. Makes you wonder....

Nobody called us back to ask if we wanted to switch rooms or if we were comfortable. On a positive note, the room was very clean, the bathroom being the cleanest and best appointed that I have ever seen in any quality of hotel! There was however, visible chips and wear on the bedpost of the massive King bed, that needs to be touched up. When we informed the desk of the very warm room the next morning upon checkout they said we would have been entitled to a full refund if we had booked through the hotel
and not Dealfind. They did however remove the 7% hotel tax.

Lastly, the food in the Oliver and Bonnacini restaurant is only average. Our first meal was lunch which we ate on the front porch. My husband ordered a burger and fries, and the waitress had to "search" for the ketchup, while he waited and waited, his burger growing cold. They had to also "search" for a bud light lime! And wait for salt and pepper to be brought to the table. Just little things, but in the long run important. Also,the table right next to us ( with couches and coffee table) was littered with 3 plates of uneaten food. This mess was not cleared the whole time we enjoyed our lengthy lunch and had flies buzzing around it. The next morning, the breakfast (included) which was under chafing dishes would have been great had it been HOT! Even the coffee from the caraffes was cold.

All in all, we would not return to this hotel, they need to review the little things that make a ok hotel a great hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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106 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Picton, Canada
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Stayed at the Windermere house for a wedding this past weekend. I have lived in northern Ontario for a long time but never visited, but had heard about the place a lot. The pictures and the scenery were great so, as I operate a boutique hotel myself, was looking forward to being pampered myself.
I arrived in pouring rain and had no welcome at the front desk or anywhere to park my car to get out of the rain. There are no signs indicating where to park or enter the property either.
I was staying in a room with my father who arrived earlier, I guess he had gotten us another room with 2 beds, even though when I called to reserve there were none available.
The rooms....in one word.....were terrible! No water pressure, shabby rooms, dirty tables full of sticky gunk, and stained carpet. I know the place was rebuilt in '97 and it seems that nothing has been done since than....dusty rose and sage green were popular in the 90's but that was 15 years ago. The shower was almost comically terrible, barely a dribble of water and the head looked like it was from the original building.
The balcony overlooking the water was nice, but the chunks of roofing that had fallen all over it were not.
During the reception for the wedding, the service was excellent!!! Very friendly staff, attentive and talkative. (the staff is the only reason I am giving 3 stars). The food was not so great...maybe I am spoiled having a chef for a husband...but it was bland, boring, and small portions.
I think a little updating and attention to the rooms would benefit the experience and justify the insane high prices.
I hear the cottages which were new in 2009 were really nice, but didn't see them myself.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Burlington, Canada
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

We got married at Windermere House this summer and cannot rave about it enough! All of our friends & family had such a great time too. Beautiful surroundings, classic,clean,comfy rooms, friendly/helpful staff, yummy food & drinks. What is there not to like! Windermere was so accomodating to our requests and those of our guests. Highly recommend it...can't wait to go back to celebrate our anniversary!

Room Tip: floor 3 - renovated rooms or 2nd floor with balcony!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Spent a night here over the long weekend in one of the suites with a balcony over the water. (Room 306).

Here are my thoughts on the hotel in general.

- Some window frames are rotted and the building could use a good painting or cleaning
- The grounds are very nice, well kept and there is lots to do outside, you need more then one day to enjoy all there is to offer in my opinion (Kayaks, Pool, Tennis, Beach, Muskoka Chairs with Bar Service!)

- Nice interior on ground level. They have a great dining area
- The 2nd and 3rd floor felt stuffy and their was no A/C in the halls. Carpet let off a bit of a musty smell because of this. The day was very hot
- The gym is OKAY, but you're probably not here looking for a world class workout area :)

- Nice room overall, large and a great private balcony
- The A/C was old, loud, and not powerful enough to cool the room
- There is a fridge, but it's not a mini-bar
- No coffee / tea in the room
- Water pressure / heat had a mind of its own

- The pub is great downstairs and had great music, the restaurant upstairs had great music too. Way to keep the guests entertained at night :) It was great, we didn't get to experience it all
- The 7% additional fee on rooms on top of your rate and HST is ridiculous
- It was hard to buy a bottle of water in the hotel. A lot of the stores nearby close early, so make sure you stop on the way and pick up some late night snacks, and a pack of water to keep hydrated if you're playing tennis or out on the water for a day
- No early check in or check out was disappointing

I'll be back I'm sure.

Room Tip: Our room was on the opposite side of the Pub. I think this would be the better option if you can ge...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Lovely resort and fantastic location. beautiful propery great view. heated pool (not a lot of shade around the pool area). Lake beach was clean and shallow with a dock, also a little deeper when jumping from boat dock. beautiful grounds hilly, and great spots for chairs with view. fire pit and at night if requested they arrange for the fire to get started, it was shawn and he was lovely. amazing fire and brilliant stars in evening. the room, large, great beds and fabulous linen. best location is overlooking lake but alexandria the room maid showed us a suite. it had 2 rooms, fab kitchen, living room and 3 decks one of them screened porch. jsut more than double reg rate, sooo worth it. front desk staff and servers in restaurant very nice adn helpful. we were loading bags in car ( they have a trolly but no porters) and paul from front desk saw me and loaded them for me, very nice service.

Room Tip: get room overlooking lake
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

This place burned down many years ago, and in the development of the new hotel/resort, it lost some of it's Muskoka uniqueness. The rooms are average - nothing for the price - but what makes this hotel/resort great is the location. We sat in the bar for a couple of cocktails, which were really great. The bartender treated us very well. During the summer, most servers are young university students studying hospitality who live at the resort to gain experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I had the luxury to stay at the Windermere House for the past two weeks. What a beautiful property. I for one am a person that enjoys getting out of the busy/hectic city, and have no problem parking myself on a muskoka chair for a few hours everyday to read a book. Yes, there is wifi (which was a nice treat in the afternoon if I needed to check my emails) but I didn't use it that much, because I preferred the fresh air of the outdoors.

If you prefer resorts with all the technological comforts of the city, stay somewhere else. The Windermere House Resort is for families and people who can entertain themselves without technology. There is a beautiful public beach, which my kids spent almost every waking minute in, and canoes, paddleboards and much more to rent through the hotel.

We did venture off the property a couple of nights to try some restaurants in the nearby town of Port Carling, but the restaurants they have at the Hotel are also awesome. My family loves sushi, so when we discovered we could indulge in spicy salmon handrolls on the verandah we were ecstatic! Amazing sushi with a unforgettable view.

We were also lucky enough to snag a couple tables at the Windermere Pub on the patio. Big Mill St umbrellas kept us shaded on the hot days, while we tried their milkshakes and the Muskoka Monster Burger! I tried a bite of my sons, and all I can say is wow!

My husband brought up his clubs, and was able to get a tee time at the Windermere Golf & Country Club. I stayed with the kids that day while he golfed, and he did the same when I check myself into the Sanctuary Day Spa on the 3rd floor. I booked a massage, pedicure and eyebrow waxing. All the girls in the spa are so great, and the services they offered were flawless. I will definitely be booking my next massage at the Sanctuary Spa near my house in Oakville.

Overall I would say that the Windermere House offers the true Muskoka experience. It has everything you need right there in the little village, while keeping the small boutique feeling of a bed & breakfast. If you plan on visiting Muskoka and really want to unwind and relax, this is your hotel. If you can't relax and need a million activities, a business centre, and someone to entertain you then maybe choose an alternative destination other than Muskoka. You make your own fun in Muskoka, and the Windermere House provides the space to do it. It's that easy.

Room Tip: If you like to stay in your room a lot on vacation, book a lakeview. They all have beautiful views...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Jefferye17, Guest Relations Manager at Windermere House Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Dear Helen F,

Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to write this review. We are very happy you enjoyed yourself while staying with us.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your family again next season!

Kind Regards,

Guest Relations Manager
Windermere House Hotel & Resort
705-769-3611 or 888-946-3376
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Windermere House Resort & Hotel

Address: 2508 Windermere Road, Windermere, Ontario P0B 1P0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Muskoka District > Windermere
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Windermere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Windermere House Resort & Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
“Lady of the Lake.”Windermere House Resort is an iconic landmark located on prestigious Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. The country's oldest hotel, it has welcomed guests for over 140 years. Fine dining, boating, tennis, golf, spa services and five star service make Windermere House a preferred destination. New at Windermere House is The Cottages at Windermere, a private enclave of 6 three bedroom luxury fractional ownership cottages.Experience everything Muskoka has to offer in unsurpassed comfort. Luxuriate in plush pillowtop beds, indulge in sumptuous dining and relax amid plentiful, carefree recreation. We're here to spoil you.Offering family vacations, romantic getaways, golf packages, weddings and conferences facilities, Windermere House resort on Lake Rosseau offers the ideal backdrop for your Muskoka getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Windermere House Resort And Hotel
Windermere House Hotel Windermere
Windermere House Resort & Hotel Muskoka District, Canada

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