This resort has many advantages other housekeeping cottage resorts or single cottages don't have: the grounds are very well maintained and very clean, the cottage that we stayed in was very clean and cozy, and it was pleasant to be there; the resort has extra amenities as a pool - true, small, it doesn't work for laps, but for playing with the kids is fine; the pool area is tastefully done with lounge chairs, flowers, bar plot, thermometer, clock; there are people who clean and maintain the resort hired by the owners; there are a number of interesting things to see and do in the area (they can be accessed from another resort/motel etc); there is a kid's playground, sand box, table tennis, horse shoes.
The obvious disadvantages for me:
- too close to highway 400 - about 500m. I could hear the hum of the highway from my bedroom and had to sleep with window almost closed;
- motor boats leaving and coming or hanging with their motors on by the dock: the smell of gas penetrates around the resort, as well as the noise. If you are looking for a calm place surrounded only by nature, that is not your best bet;
- the beach is small and the water is full of weeds - unswimmable, if you care for that (I do).
- And the Core of the Matter: dealing with Shirley. I did not appreciate the way Shirley does business from the very beginning - she had sent me confirmation for two nights instead of one, for double the price, which she corrected after I called her second time. That was OK. Next, she specifically indicates on her web site and confirmation email, that they prefer payment in cash. In many places like that, when you pay in cash, you can negotiate not being charged tax - the tax is for the government after all, but the government will not know about those cash payments that people prefer because they don't have to declare them as income. Shirley collected all the cash, the price + the tax, and didn't even give us a receipt! Since we were leaving on Monday of a long weekend, and it was likely that there weren't people coming after us, I asked her if we could stay a couple of hours longer past the 11 am check out time. She said she will check and will let us know. I was wondering where she would check, because we were already in the office, and one would expect that any booking information was kept there; but of course I couldn't know for sure. When I called her initially on the phone, she knew right away she had available cottage for the two days/one night I requested, and which number the cottage was. My friend and I decided to go back to the office and at least ask for receit. Shirley wasn't pleased about this, said we cannot use the receipt for tax purposes, and gave us a piece of paper that you and I can print out of our own printers, and wrote the amount we paid on it - no number, no copy for her, basically just a fake piece of paper to shut us up.
She also said after that, she checked and there were other people coming to our cottage after us - so we do need to leave the cottage at 11 am, but we can stay in the resort. We already doubted that, but decided to follow the rules - we were out of the cottage the next day by 11; however none of the cleaning staff rushed into it to clean it and no other people showed up until we left about 12:30...I thought that our request wouldn't cost them anything extra and will make it more convenient for us to use up the morning, have lunch and then leave - it it appears that we had annoyed Shirley with our request for a receipt and she had reciprocated by refusing a simple convenience for us.
I am definitely not going back there - Ontario is huge and there are so many other nice places to stay.
If you mind being charged tax that is obviously pocketed by the owners, and dealing with an unpleasant woman that doesn't seem to care about your impression of the resort, then you'd be better of finding another one of the multitude of choices in the area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- OPEN ALL YEAR - Enjoy the area’s favourite waterfront housekeeping cottages with full kitchens stocked with everything to cook and eat with, gas fireplaces in most cottages, deck, picnic table and barbeque on park-like surroundings with in-ground swimming pool perfect for a relaxing get-a-way. We offer some of the best sport fishing for bass, pike, walleye, huge muskey or pan fish, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, outdoor games, bon fires, lots of relaxing and lots of family fun. Activities include 14' boat rentals, kayak, canoes and paddleboats, beach volleyball, children’s playground with ping pong, basketball, tetherball, lawn games, horseshoes, bon fires, and many near-by attractions including boat cruises, riding stables, ATV Trails, golfing, historical sites, Casino, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Ste. Marie, The Martyr's Shrine, Big Chute Marine Railway, great restaurants and much more. Free WIFI available. Bus service by Ontario Northland.In the winter enjoy ice skating or hockey, try some ice fishing, go snowmobiling from your door, try some snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding or dog sledding, there are 2 downhill skiing or snow tubing locations minutes away and Wye Marsh Wildlife Center in Midland which are both great for the kids! So come on up to Muskoka where our friendly staff are here to serve you and make you stay most memorable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sunnylea Resort Port Severn, Ontario