There's a difference between rustic and old, and unkempt and neglected. The Quarterdeck's owners, however, are oblivious to that distinction. The cabins are old, with peeling paint, dingy and cramped bathrooms, old, broken appliances and ridiculous furniture. Think 1970s revival. The cabins are set on a bluff above the lake. However, they are very close to the edge of the bluff, which causes problems. First, we discovered that the other guests at the resort walk along the edge of the bluff instead of behind the cabins, so we constantly had other people walking through "our space". Lest you think I'm oversensitive, that literally meant having other people walking within 2-4 feet from me as they tramped by for much of our stay (for almost $1000 for four days, we thought we could expect a small amount of privacy and consideration - the resort does nothing to discourage this practice). Second, the area where our cabin was located was very uneaven, so the chairs, picnic table, etc. all ended up being on a slope. The resort did nothing to situate the picnic table in a flat area, and it was very heavy.
The beach is only sand to the water's edge, where the rocks take over. By the way, the beach itself is set on a steep hill, so be prepared to lounge at about a 30% grade. The tennis courts are cracked and have not been maintained; the playground is in the same condition. All resort vacations have a certain amount of dirt and sand involved, but this problem is magnified at the Quarterdeck, where most of the paths are unmaintained dirt.
The restaurant was repeatedly bragged about by the owner as "a three diamond restaurant". I'm not sure how many diamonds are on the scale, but in this case it meant food that was not made from scratch (Kraft macaroni and cheese for the kids, boxed gravy, boxed pancakes etc.) and steaks and walleye that were o.k. but not memorable. There are other restaurants in the area where you will get a better meal.
Like most resorts, you get nickel and dimed, however, we thought renting grills separately from the cabins rather than providing one with the cabin, or at least upon request at no cost, was chintzy. Especially when the multi-unit buildings on the property have park-style grills installed next to them. By the way, none of the cabins have fire rings, so you can forget any romantic notions of sitting around the fire as the loons call to one another (o.k., there's one fire pit set well away from the lake for group get togethers with all those other resorters you get to know and love during the week; we couldn't take advantage of that opportunity because it would have meant leaving our small children sleeping in the cabin by themselves - a firepit outside, or at least closer to, the cabin would have been nice).
The staff may try hard, but these are not hospitality professionals (despite the owner's professed 32 years of resort ownership). They are helpful to a point, but don't expect them to go to great lengths to accommodate you. The childrend's program is a joke - when the number of kids fell due to check-outs, the girl who administrated the program as much as told us that if it was all the same to us, she'd rather not waste her time - oh, and it was her boyfriend's birthday, so apparently she had big plans for that, which required her to leave early...
The Quarterdeck's web site is a masterful work of fiction - don't take the pictures at full value because they really do not represent what you find when you arrive (even the rates aren't accurate). Overall, you can do better.
- Also Known As:
- Quarterdeck Resort And Restaurant
- Quarterdeck Resort & Restaurant Hotel Nisswa
- Quarterdeck Resort Nisswa