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Algonquin Park Access Point #1, Kawawaymog Lake, Ontario P0A 1X0 Canada
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GreenLeaders Platinum level
A leader in transformational travel, Northern Edge Algonquin creates & hosts all-inclusive nature retreats for small groups of 10-35 pax. Our guests unplug in nature for multi-day experiences that reconnect, recharge, and re-inspire. Sleep comfortably in eco-cabins designed in harmony with our forest home, nourish yourself with organic & locally-sourced foods crafted with care, and participate in tailored experiences with locals including storytellers, artists, musicians, naturalists, yoga and wellness facilitators, food growers and chefs. Guests leave the edge feeling renewed & transformed, ready to live their extraordinary life.
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Free parking
Free breakfast
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
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Non-smoking hotel
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Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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Algonquin Park Access Point #1, Kawawaymog Lake, Ontario P0A 1X0 Canada
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North Bay Airport33 mi
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152Reviews2Q+A42Room tips
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Popular mentions
I attended the Quest for Balance retreat in Aug 2019 along with two good friends and approximately ten other participants, with age ranges between early-20s and late-50s. My friends and I stayed in a well-built, clean cabin with three beds and a bathroom with a composting toilet and sink with potable water. The facilities were amazing, and the family has obviously built up the retreat amenities at significant expense over the years. The main building where we ate meals and did indoor yoga, the “Points North” building where the showers, common area, and “café” were located, and sauna were lovely. Outdoors was even better. A gorgeous lake with soft, sandy bottom, beautiful dock, plenty of Muskoka chairs, comfortable outdoor furniture, and sports equipment including stand-up paddle (SUP) boards, canoes, and kayaks. However, my friends and I were disappointed to discover that this was a dry weekend. The website indicated that local beer and wine would be served at meal times. The food prepared by chef Gregor was incredible, and we were expecting wine and beer to be paired to compliment his dishes. But unfortunately this was not the case. A limited amount of very inexpensive wine was served with one meal only, and only for one hour. It was very odd, and the staff seemed extremely uncomfortable discussing and serving alcohol. In my opinion, to better manage expectations, the owners should consider advertising this retreat as completely alcohol-free. We also ran into issues with regards to hot beverages. Carafes of coffee and hot water were provided in Points North at approximately 7:30 am each morning. A kettle and cups, coffee, filters, tea bags, etc. was also present in the common area, however there was a sign indicating “staff only” were to use this kettle. When asked for hot beverages outside of the early morning, staff would state that afternoon was too hot, evening was too late, etc. Also, guests were scolded for bringing ceramic mugs outside, or for not immediately washing their own cups, spoons, etc. I was scolded like a child in front of other guests for using the kettle early one morning. When I attempted to discuss the issue to determine if it was a safety or electricity concern, the facilitator stated “the Lucier family is very strict about these things” and stormed out of Points North. Guests were also scolded for borrowing towels for the sauna (“the Lucier family does not appreciate people using their towels”), for attempting to borrow water glasses from the main house (“the Lucier family insists that glassware stay in the main house and not be used outside or in cabins”), etc. It became a running gag for the weekend to see who had gotten in trouble that day from “teacher”. It was embarrassing for grown women to be treated in this manner. As these incidents increased, I retreated. Retreated away from group meditation and yoga, away from common areas. I did my best to enjoy the company of my friends and the other guests, and appreciate the nature around me, but I was happy to leave and return to the relaxation and ease of my home in Toronto. I have a few recommendations in these areas. Firstly, I would ask that the owners remove things from common areas that bring them anxiety. If you are worried about a broken mug, or towels being used, it would be best to leave those items in areas in accessible to your guests. Also, retreat facilitators should use respectful, mature language with guests. Issues are best dealt with as they arise. Attempts to discuss any of the issues listed above during the weekend were met with silence, or limited responses with no resolution. On the last day, I spoke with the owner about a few of my concerns and, while he acknowledged that we had been “policed” during our stay, and that was not his intention, in other areas he simply said “well, we do things a little differently around here”. I sincerely hope that the owners do some soul-searching, and take time to reflect on what hospitality means and what kind of experience they want people to have on their property.
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Response from toddlesbycanoe, Owner at Northern Edge Algonquin
Responded 1 week ago
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on the final morning of your experience at the end of Quest for Balance and for sharing your story about your disappointments. Indeed we do quite a bit of soul searching as a regular practice in ensuring our programs, promotions and facilitation of guest experiences is what we and our guests dream it to be. We also provide guests with an in-room guide book that explains how and why things are different here. I invite you to read ‘The story of the Edge’ on our website or in our guide book to gain a fuller appreciation for the magic we create here. Indeed, prior to and upon guest arrival we invite guests to help shape our programs based on your desires. As I mentioned to you, our guest orientation on arrival day is a big part of understanding how we co-create meaningful, memorable experiences with our guests. When we spoke we agreed that your late arrival and failure to understand the reasons behind some of our procedures created problems for you. As you indicated hot water, and complimentary tea and coffee are available to guests all day, every day and that there is no need for guests to operate burners we use to provide this service. As I explained to you the gas burner that was in use in the cafe was dangerous to operate because it does not have a proper safety switch. Our gas service technician advised us to not allow guests to operate it - our host facilitators did the same. (The burner is scheduled to be replaced.) That you repeatedly chose to turn this burner on despite this instruction from our host staff caused considerable undo stress. Guests are invited to use any and all mugs for personal use during their stay. We do ask guests to clean and return mugs after use and to not leave them unattended. Like most retreats or outdoor restaurants we prefer glassware remains indoors for the safety of all. Broken glass and bare feet do not mix. As part of our sharing and caring culture, we invite guests to share with cleanup after meal time. While we take great care in providing delicious group meals with special considerations (such as providing you with gluten-free options at every meal) we live on solar power. We do not have commercial dishwashers. Many guests remark that this intimate sharing and caring for others and chatting with others over a basin of warm suds hearkens back to a time when everyone gathered in the kitchen at grandma’s house. It is a warm and vital part of our culture. You will have read our policy on alcohol (which you agreed to as apart of the registration process) and come to understand how we serve complimentary/free locally crafted ales and wine from Viewpointe Estates Winery as a celebratory accent to many of our programs like Quest for Balance. You will have noted that our solar powered facility is dark at night and trails can be uneven. We also occasionally present guest experiences at all times of the day and some of those experiences are unsafe if guests are not fully present or their senses are compromised. Complimentary alcohol is served at times and places it is safe to do so and doesn’t interfere with delivering our transformational retreats. Our wood-fired sauna is unlike any most guests have ever experienced providing seating for up to twenty around a central Finnish sauna stove. We provide extra towels for guests who need them, but we provide a packing list that invites our guests to bring a personal towel from home. Because we live on solar-power we do not have commercial laundry service on site so we appreciate guests reusing towels or using their own from home. Our host facilitators do their best to help guests have a special stay while minimizing their impact on energy resources. You found yourself retreating. Indeed, you created quite a wonderful painting of the lakefront as part of your experience. I hope the blue water, trees, but especially the little duck bums bring you much joy as it hangs in your bathroom over the coming years. Once again, thank your for taking the time to write, providing me an opportunity to explain why things are different here. The best is yet to come.
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Northern Edge Algonquin is a beautiful and powerful Eco-resort which provides wilderness opportunities for creation, adventure, and rejuvenation. It is a truly special place where dreaming is encouraged and everything is possible. Your group may dream of painting from a canoe, sleeping on the dock under the stars, walking a labyrinth of candles, or making music in a sauna... Overall the past several years I have felt the pull to the Edge over and over for various roles and experiences. Each time my heart and eyes are opened wider and I see the world with more understanding and beauty. The Edge has shown me how to support a deeper level of connection and unity within groups and to listen deeply for the threads being woven and the ways in which we might invite them forward during an experience. I enjoy working with the Edge team in planning and unifying the pieces we all contribute to the overall experience. The team is supportive to work with as you move through regular discussions on guest dreams, creating a schedule which supports the unique elements of an Edge experience, and holding check-ins throughout the retreat for real time review of the experience, ensuring you may adjust and align as needed. Leaders, here's how you'll know the Edge is calling you.. - you're seeking to explore and move through your points of growth - you're craving deep nourishing breaths to support play and rest - your mouth is watering for a delicious culinary experience - you're called to bring people together in community - you're looking to learn new ways of leadership and of being - you're ready to ignite transformation - you believe in living in harmony with the earth - you wonder what it would like to be supported by the elements of nature - you dream of co-creating an experience where everyone's gifts and contributions are welcome
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Northern Edge is a secluded spot on the edge of a beautiful lake in one of the most beautiful areas of Ontario. The staff is attentive, passionate about creating a restful experience for you and have thought of everything. The buildings are spotless and cozy and the facilities are beautiful, well laid out and fit into the natural environment. And the food -- the best, most plentiful, creative, delicious, organic local food imaginable. The equipment is fantastic, for paddle boarding and canoeing. Hiking trails nearby are spectacular. The sauna was the highlight for me, dipping into the lake and back into the sauna all afternoon meant my body was fully renewed. The yoga studio overlooking the lake and the meditation room are peaceful and lay the groundwork for a wonderful transformative retreat. It was also compact enough and well lit with very safe trails so my elderly mother could enjoy the weekend. I hope to be back!
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Response from Todd L, Owner at Northern Edge Algonquin
Responded Dec 14, 2018
Hi Anna, Thank you so much for taking the time to tell your story. We hope to host you and your mother again soon. Todd
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Northern Edge Algonquin is for you if you want to breathe fresh air, swim in a clean fresh water lake, eat fresh organic food, meet like minded people. In our particular case, we chose the Quest for Balance retreat, which included yoga sessions and stand up paddle boarding. No activity was ever mandatory. The priority is to respect oneself and each other. No judgments here. There are planned activities and also free time. It is a place to get unplugged totally. I highly recommend it, and will definitely return.
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Response from Todd L, Owner at Northern Edge Algonquin
Responded Aug 13, 2018
Hi Zianne, Thank you for sharing your encouragement to pay us an unplugged visit. We have been offering Quest for Balance each summer for almost 20 years and we are already planning for August 2019! Custom yoga group visits are our specialty and can include a variety of unique year-round activities.
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I feel so grateful to write a second review for this unique and authentic facility, its programs, its values and its spiritual grounding. Once again, the physical setting was so ideal for this retreat, which was focused on shamanic practice. We drummed, danced, dined like kings and played in the water to reconnect with our inner selves and our collective power to support and care for one another. All the superlative adjectives in the world would barely scratch the surface of how special this place is in so many ways. Make time for it, if it calls to you. You won't be disappointed. Big shout out to: - the Lucier family for sharing their paradise with us - Chef Gregor for knocking my gluten-free socks off with support from Eric, Megan and Luke - the participants for being so open and generous - the powerful energy of the Finnish Sauna, Grandmother Cedar, the birds and the bees, the flowers and trees, the full moon up above, visible Mars and Mercury in retrograde...it was amazing.
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Response from Todd L, Owner at Northern Edge Algonquin
Responded Aug 3, 2018
We are humbled at your appreciation for the care you received. Thank you for sharing the specialness of your time with us.
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CanadaOntarioNortheastern OntarioKawawaymog Lake
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