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“Fabulous place for a relaxing getaway!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Couples Resort

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Couples Resort
139 (End of ) Galeairy Lake Road | Algonquin Park, Whitney, Ontario K0J 2M0 , Canada   |  
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous place for a relaxing getaway!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

This year my hubby and I decided to go on a little getaway instead of buying presents for Christmas. We wanted to get in some actual winter activities (since winter seems to be bypassing Toronto this year), so decided to try out Couples Resort - and we absolutely loved it!! The in room fireplace had been a big selling point for me and we made good use of it. The facilities were lovely and very well maintained. The staff were all really friendly and helpful when we had questions. The weather let us down a bit, but a bottle of wine in front of the fireplace helped make up for the rain! I would absolutely recommend Couples as a wonderful escape from your regular routine!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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568 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (193)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Blind River, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

My wife & I joined my son & Daughter-in-law for a wonderful, low key weekend at Couples. You can do as little or as much as you would like as they have cross country skiing, snowshoeing,snowmobiling, skating,ice fishing or whatever you would like in outdoor winter activities. The meals are terrific as are the staff as they will help with any request you may have. While not "all inclusive", they price the stay such that you pay what you see on the website-wine & drinks aren't covered but they do include tips on the bill. While some may not like this style, it makes for a very stressless weekend.

Room Tip: All rooms face the water & the higher end rooms are cottages with their own parking but further...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

My wife and I have been here at least once a year, usually twice, since our mini-moon week in 2005. We always have a fantastic time and great experience.

There's two main reasons we like to come here - the private hot tubs, and the fact that when we arrive we don't have to drive around anywhere unless we want to hit Algonquin. Come here if you're looking to relax and escape and get away from the city and commutes (and perhaps the kids). Lots of great on-site activities if you're into physical activities (hiking, canoeing, skating, etc). Maybe not the best place to come if you need to be super connected electronically, are in want of some live entertainment, or not at all active.

The food is very good. It's not Michael Mina's or Delmonico's, but this isn't Vegas, NY or SFO. It's not a Montana's or a cruise ship either, it's way better quality and variety than that. I'd say it's on par with a typical mid/higher end prix fixe meal in Toronto, something you might find in the theater district in the $69 range before a show.

As others have commented, their pricing is a bit confusing. It wasn't always this way. My belief is that they got hit really hard in the 2008 recession - as I'm sure many luxury accommodations did. I think they panicked and started to price things out like Airlines do - work it to advertise a low price, but then all the fees keep it about the same. Even the Las Vegas strip does this now, they advertise one price, but then there's a daily "Resort Fee". Bottom line, this kind of pricing model is not without precedence, and at the end of the day they haven't jacked the overall prices up over the past few years, it's really just a marketing gimmick.

The value is fair -- once you factor in the breakfast/dinner. When we go to Niagara, it's easily $200/night hotel, then easily $30-40 for breakfast, $200 for a comparable dinner and then easily another $50-100 for schlepping around to vinyards or a show. Here, we pay about 2/3 that, and are in something much better than a standard hotel room. I honestly don't mind paying for extra sides at breakfast, or coffee, or whatever -- they don't advertise it as a buffet and the prices for "extras" are trivial relative to any other hotel or restaurant. And, frankly, I've never felt the need - I'm a big guy and the breakfast does me good as is...

If a hot tub isn't a big deal to you, or you aren't into physical activities, or are more into "restaurant hopping", then this place might not have the allure for you. But if you're looking for a place to relax along with your partner and not have to do a lot of detailed planning, this is definitely a fantastic option.

Room Tip: Get a room with a hot tub!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Kingston, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

My wife and I bought and received gift certificates to use at the Couples Resort. We had called in advance to clarify if there were any restrictions on them. We were told "no restrictions". Upon check in, we were told some of the gift certificates could only be used on accommodation, and some only used towards spa treatments. And the ones that could be used on accommodation , had to be used on their most expensive rooms, not the one we booked. So basically , a lot of restrictions, our gift certificates were worthless and our room needed to just be paid out of pocket. Needless to say this was quite frustrating and upsetting. The girl at reception was as helpful and understanding as she could be, she showed me on their website where it listed the restrictions (to this day I cannot find it on my own, so if it is on their website , it is buried deep). She had to check with three other people on their gift certificate policies, and got three different answers. Nobody knew the policies. At this point my frustration was starting to show and the owner Jon Sorenson came out of the back room to confront me. He was pissed off from the start , no apology for the misunderstanding , no empathy for our situation , not willing to bend or compromise or do anything to make us happy. He accused my wife and I of lying to him and trying to scam them. At one point I was so upset with his attitude I actually said to my wife "I don't know if I even want to stay here anymore", his response was "you don't know if you don't want to stay here? Let me make this easy for you , we don't want you to stay here." I had to leave to calm down after that. When I cam back in , I had asked him "you would rather not take any of our gift certificates , have us leave unhappy , not want to ever come back and tell every one we know about what a horrible experience this was?" He said "absolutely. Because we turn people away , that's why we are the only privately owned resort in Ontario left." After a couple more accusations of us trying to scam him, he literally reduced my wife to tears. Only after he saw my wife weeping and her pleading her case to him about how we are honest people did his attitude change a bit. His only compromise was he was willing to raise the price of our room , to allow us to use the gift certificates , which didn't make any sense , we ended up just paying for the room and decided to try to have a good holiday despite this man, and this experience.

I have to say the rooms are quite nice , although I do agree with other comments on this site about gouging you for everything. Like the coffee and tea k-caps. $2 a piece. If you don't want people filling their suitcases with them , don't put 30 of them in the room , leave 2 a day. Also the breakfast we had in the room the next day was horrible. The eggs were rubbery, the toast wasn't toasted and the home fries were still raw. If you want any extra sides , you are $3 a piece , which I find to be a bit steep considering the price of accommodation. I had a better breakfast for $6 at the East Gate Motel just around the corner. Also , despite what the website says about being able to use Apple products with their free wi-fi. This is false. I had brought an iPod touch, and was not able to connect. I called the front desk and was told apple products, iPod's, iPad's and macs don't work very well on their server and if I wanted to buy the unlimited wi-fi package for $20 a day , it should work then.

The dinner experiences were very good. Food was quite good, and the service was exceptional. We decided we would get some spa treatments after we checked out. The day before we booked them with the front desk and she quoted us a price , the next day , after our treatments , when we went to pay , the price had changed. Apparently the girl the day before was incorrect and quoted us too low. So again , we had to pay more than expected. For a place whose tag line is "let us spoil you" , at the end of it , I certainly did not feel spoiled. I understand policies and procedures , but clearly not even the staff knows the policies , so how do you expect customers to understand them? I can get past all that , but to deal with a man as stubborn and rude as this Jon Sorenson (owner) is the reason I will never go back to the Couples Resort. There are several other resorts in the area , where hopefully you will be treated like a human being.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

It is hard to find a resort that compares! We have been to couples resort a dozen times! We have stayed in all the rooms, our favorite room is the master suites. Junior suites have aged. Love the piano playing on Saturday nights in the dining room. Food is amazing. Cons...cost of wine has increased, breakfast use to be served with extras now they are charging extra for everything. Staff is fantastic! There is only one older gentlemen in the dining room that is rude, which is too bad as he was sort of the greeter when we arrived. There's a $30 enviro fee that seems like a joke and the gym is not 5 star. Pros... Out way the cons, it is so relaxing, it is so nice to be surrounded by happy couples, front desk is fantastic. Clean rooms! Beds are so comfortable. Strongly recommend for couples that need a break. Just research the style of room you want.

Room Tip: Research the type of room you prefer.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Oakville, Canada
1 review
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

Part #2

After having some time last night to relax and calm down from our experience at dinner, and reading other reviews on trip advisor, we decided there was no way we were going to give this resort another dollar.... It was obvious they didn't care about their guest's experiences, nor the feeling they were creating by gouging you for EVERYTHING, at every turn. I won't go into all the details as other reviewers have already, but $15 for bath salts in the room, $2 coffee.. come on... maybe at a Motel 8.. But at a place where their tag line is "Let us Spoil You"... Maybe it should read.. " If you'd like to spoil yourself, bring lots of extra cash so you can enjoy the usual amenities you have at home." You know you are in the wrong place when a weekend at home is more relaxing than the resort you are at.

A few points that may have been missed out last night... When we returned to our room after the dinner incident, we decided to order room service as we were starving. Pick up the phone... BROKEN! Can't even call in to place an order!! We were booked in one of their supposed spa villas (HAHA) which as a good 5-8 minute walk down the road, so it wasn't as if we could just pop down to the front desk.. We resorted to our cell phone to place our order, which did come quickly I must say. We had calmed down a bit by then, so took the opportunity to discuss the situation with the so called manager MARY. She continued to be defensive about their strict policy, didn't offer an apology in an regard, but did end up getting an earful from both my wife and myself. Let me be clear. I have no issue with a strict dress code, even though it does not fit the resort. However if you want to ensure all guests are wearing dress pants, MAKE THAT CLEAR! A dark pair of black jeans with a dress shirt is acceptable in most fine establishments in Toronto.. this is Algonguin park!!!!!! Stating it on a section of your website , not mentioning it when placing the reservation, or having it posted on the confirmation e-mails, would lead this to happening over an over again. It was 100% the attitude and way the situation was handled which was the problem. Ultimately they can run their business however they want to, what they can't do is attempt to embarrass or humiliate people. Especially at $400+ per night!!!!!! Before going down for the evening, we found ourselves a reservation at Deerhurst Resort for the rest of the weekend...

Upon waking up in the morning at 7:45 eager to get outta there. We called again on our cell phone (their phone still broken) to order some breakfast before heading out. We were told it would be brought to us at 9:15am!! lol... what....? I'm ordering at 8am and being told the first available time to bring it to us was an hour and fifteen minutes later.. I should have expected that... I was told, "well everyone wants to have breakfast, how can we make it for everyone at the same time..?" Now let me just say in the 33 yrs I have been on this planet, the many many spas and resorts we have travelled to around the world, I have never heard that.. Everyone wants to eat... huh? How in #$%# is that my problem? Get more kitchen staff, do whatever, but don't tell the guest that.. At this point this experience has somewhat turned humorous.. Sometimes when you end up in a situation such as this, you can only laugh...

After a mediocre breakfast at best, we packed up and went down to the front desk to check out. I had been trying to contact the owner JON from about 8am to discuss the situation with him. We are business owners ourselves, and at most I thought that he should be aware of how his guests are being treated and the condition of the rooms. I was told he would possibly be at the front desk at 9am. We arrived to no Jon as requested but did manage to speak with a visibly dis interested DEBORAH who apparently is the office manager. At first she expressed some understanding to the situation and let us know that Jon was in fact aware of what had happened but was no longer available for the morning.. Really...? An owner knows a guest is unhappy and doesn't make time to discuss and attempt to rectify..? Really...? It became clear to us at that point that the whole resort operates in the same manner. Somehow (and I have no idea how) this place has been placed in a 5 star category. We have stayed in 3 star establishments that are better than this disaster. The staff here must think they are naturally 5 star people, as they work in such a fine establishment, and therefore can treat people and their resort as privileged to be in their presence.

One last experience to send us on our way.. Upon checking the room for all our stuff, my wife noticed a bag poking out from under the bed. A lingerie bag from another guest.... Diiiirrrrrrttttttyyyyyyy! You try to convince yourself that despite the 30 year old decor, the room is clean, and there are no "left overs" from the last couple. .... Ummm yeah, the left over bag from La Senza, not going to help with that visualization.

We are off now to Deerhurst to start this weekend over. Reading the reviews posted i can see many have had a similar experience to ours. There are some positives as well which leads me to believe that either they are writing them themselves, or the guests posting these reviews have never been anywhere other than this place to compare to. I will finish by saying, save your $450 per night, and treat yourself to White Oaks in St Catharines, Deerhurst, or a host of other resorts who value your business and truly want you to relax and enjoy your time with them.

Attn Jon (owner of Couples Resort), it seemed you had no interest in approaching us or the situation we experienced. We gave full opportunity for this to be rectified. No interest....You knew where we were, and that I was looking to speak with you. Your staff have my e-mail address and tel #. You are welcome to contact me. I am embarrassed more for you and you staff than anything else. We have learned our lesson, and will make sure all our friends and family never make the same mistake.

Room Tip: Don't go...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

We have been twice now. The first time we stayed in a gorgeous room with a hot tub on the deck and loved it! This past week we signed up for their January special and got their armpit room. The first time we had a couples massage; this time they were fully booked when we got there. Both times we ate very well, had fires in the fireplace, went for lovely walks in the woods (paths cleared by staff), and played in the games room so we really did have a nice couples-oriented time. I just wish I'd realized what I was giving up by getting the deal.

Room Tip: Don't reserve online - call to ensure you get the type of room you want.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Couples Resort

Address: 139 (End of ) Galeairy Lake Road | Algonquin Park, Whitney, Ontario K0J 2M0 , Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Northeastern Ontario > Whitney
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Whitney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is here that couples celebrating birthdays and anniversaries as well as honeymooners and recently married couples come to relax, embrace love, enjoy the organic spa and find the time to share an adventure. This is quite literally the hottest place to be in all four seasons, with 10 saunas, 27 walk-in steam rooms, 21 walk-in euro-showers, 23 outdoor hot tubs and 48 in-room Jacuzzi tubs each in front of a wood burning fireplace. All accommodations at the Couples Resort Exceed 5 Diamond standards, North America's toughest standards. Ontario's Couples Resort is situated on the shores of Galeairy Lake and the Madawaska River, with Algonquin Park as our backyard. The village of Whitney, Ontario is a short 15-minute walk away. We are surrounded with breathtaking wilderness, pure fresh air, secluded forests, pristine waters, an abundance of sunny days and a blanket of stars at night. This priceless peace and tantalizing tranquility is all yours for the taking.Those of you who need to escape from the bustle will find us calming and rejuvenating. There are many ways to do nothing if that is your wish. On the other hand, unlimited activities will keep the adventurer active all year round. Ontario's Natural Algonquin Park is ideal for the sport enthusiast or avid adventurer who will be delighted with the extraordinary activities available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Couples Hotel Whitney
Bear Trail Couples Resort
Couples Resort Ontario/Whitney

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