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“Even better!”

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Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Stratford
Certificate of Excellence
Durham, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Even better!”
Reviewed July 22, 2014

The Forest is under new management and the property improved. Simply one of the most beautiful properties anywhere in southern Ontario. I recommend it to all my friends going to Stratford for theatre and one by one they have become regulars.

My only complaint on my last visit. Not enough water pressure in the shower.

Great place.

Room Tip: the villa is great if you can get it. The other rooms are fine, though
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BennettG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, June 8, 2015
Thank you for appreciating the yearly changes. We are not under new management but have made substantial changes to the property and rooms over the past 10 years and each year something new takes place. Thank you for your support in making this a special place.
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164 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2014

My husband and I and our adult daughter had tickets for a play in Stratford and I'm so pleased that we chose to stay at the Forest Motel for the weekend. It is a beautiful spot right on the outskirts of town with lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. We used to go camping with the kids when they were young so it was ideal to be able to relive those days by canoeing, kayaking, and sitting around a camp fire (prepared by the staff!). Each morning we went to the breakfast room, chose our items, and used the trays provided to carry our meal down to the dock where we sat and enjoyed the peaceful setting. Although the lake is small, it's perfect for a short canoe or kayak ride which we enjoyed a few times. I especially liked taking pictures of the water lilies. There is a clean and well organized equipment hut by the dock where guests help themselves to life jackets (various sizes), fishing rods, nets, croquet, ring toss, soccer balls, etc. There is also a good selection of bicycles including a bicycle built for two. Helmets are provided, but we brought our own and loved pedalling in synch up and down the quiet road. It was lovely to look outside our window and see the green of tall trees (right at the edge of the parking area). It was also very nice to sit and read in the sunshine in the comfortable chairs outside our unit. I appreciated that we were able to get a breeze through our room with screens on the front window, door and over the bathtub as I much prefer fresh air to air conditioning. This cooled our room down nicely for sleeping. The ambiance of the room with its black leather couch, dark wood furniture, comfortable beds and exposed cut beams was natural and homey. Everything was immaculate and we loved having a fridge for our drinks. The outdoor landscaping was very nice. Plants and wooden dividers were used effectively to separate various sitting areas along the shore to give guests some privacy. The staff and the owner were very friendly!
The peacefulness of this accommodation is obviously dependent on the other guests who you would be sharing the outdoor space with. If you want to avoid sports teams who may be in town for a weekend tournament I would recommend staying from Monday to Friday, but we didn't mind the added busyness from a baseball team that joined us on our second day because the players and their families were polite and everyone looked like they were having a good time. If you like to be close to nature but want the comfort of a hotel room, this is the place to stay when you come to Stratford. It would also be an excellent choice for a family reunion.

Room Tip: Unit #10 has been newly renovated for anyone with mobility issues. It has a walk-in shower, air cond...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, July 24, 2014
Thank you Joanna for your detailed and kind review. You have completely captured the ambiance and nature of the Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat and we appreciate the time and energy that you have put into explaining your wonderful experience here. We look forward to your return! Kim & Conroy
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Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2014

If you are visiting Stratford and are looking for a very modestly priced and convenient option this motel is a great option - for some (please keep reading). While the rooms feel like you are in a charming rustic cottage - they are fully equipped for most needs: microwave, fridge, flat screen TV, decent shower, iron/ironing board, umbrellas, coffee maker, etc. The breakfast is nothing special but certainly covers the basic to start your day. The motel is a very convenient 5 minute drive from the centre of town (and the festival's theatres). The motel's private grounds boast several gazebos, many chairs, a bbq, walking paths, kayaks & a paddleboat on a small lake, and several bicycles. This motel - for what is tries to be - would have received an excellent rating but for "the train."
Be warned - there is a 6:15 AM freight train that passes within 50m of the motel (weekends included). The trains appeared to run every two hours starting at approximately 6:15 AM. While one person indicated that one "gets used to it" - clearly one cannot "get used" to anything if they are staying there for a night or two or three. Being adjacent to a crossing, every time the train passes the "whistle" or horn is extremely loud. So as long as you do not mind being up by 6 AM or are content to try to fall asleep (until the next train) - this is an excellent option for visitors to the area. Sadly, while this might be small quirk for some, despite all the good aspects of this property, I (personally) do not think that I would return.

Room Tip: The air conditioning in the rooms are being modernized. My family had two rooms: one had a silent, c...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Xmtler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Thank you for reviewing your stay with us; we appreciate it.
We are sorry to hear you did not appreciate the train for the minute it takes to pass by and we thought we should clarify your comments for the benefit of others.
The Goderich Salt Mine train rumbles in the Stratford yard each morning and leaves town every morning between 6 and 7 AM passing us by. It returns each evening around 5 to 6 PM.
Two Via trains leave Stratford and pass us by at 8:30 and 11:30 AM and return before dark each day.
The unique part of the Forest Motel property was that the Grand Trunk Railroad used to own it. The property had the Steam Engines stop here to fill up with water from our lake and we have discovered the pipeline that delivered water to the Steam Locomotive repair shops in Stratford as well at the turn of the century. Our complete history is found written with pictures in each motel room for your enjoyment and this seems to add lots of character to our place.
For the most part the 'one minute' train passing by is viewed as a minor annoyance to some of our guests and reviewers but no different than living or staying in any noisy downtown or city centre. Quite honestly, the 32 acres of scenery, forest & lake, birds, wildlife and the actual character of the Forest Motel as a whole are what make us the very unique destination that we are, especially being located one mile from Stratford City limits. Thanks for allowing us to add to your very good review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2014

No, I don't mean the sleeping accommodations are outdoors:) We stayed in their chalet (a duplex) just down the lane from the main office and motel. It was a beautiful, placid setting. Perfect for getting away from work and the rat race. Inside, the room is perfectly clean, had plenty of space and solid pine furniture, and the bedding was fresh. However, it being nestled in the trees, expect some mosquitoes. We encountered only a few during the day -- nothing much to worry about. In the evening,some areas were pretty bad, (but not all areas) and you'd either want to cover up or spray yourself. Well, my husband and I solved this problem by hunkering down and not going outside at night, except to the salt-water hot tub that was on the deck of our chalet. In the evening, as the sun set and then under the stars, with our bodies immersed to the neck in the water and the heat rising around us, the mosquitoes stayed away. Could have been worse :).

One note about the chalet: there was no sink in the bathroom. Rather, the sink is outside the bathroom, and doubles as the mini-kitchen's sink. That was the only disappointment in the room's appointments. This is a well-cared for ('tenderly cared for', perhaps) retreat motel with super-friendly staff and a very very small but lovely lake. If you stay here, do read the binder they provide about the history of the place. It adds to the experience.

We did not try the restaurant - other than the modest but cleanly presented continental breakfast.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Thank you so much for your kind response. We hope to have you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2014

My friend introduced me to this lovely motel. He has stayed there many times since he was a boy. The room was rustic yet renovated. The wood ceilings are a highlight and I loved the rain shower showerhead. We came to Stratford for the plays, but I wish we could have stayed longer and taken advantage of the lakeside seating and hiking trails. The option to bring your free breakfast back to the room was nice and I liked the large fridge and microwave. I would love to stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wendy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Thank you so much for your wonderful response. We hope you return soon to enjoy more of the outdoor activities!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarkston, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2014

Three of us have been coming to Stratford for...longer than we can remember, and by far our favorite place to stay is the Forest Motel. We stumbled on it many years ago, to be honest, because we couldn't find a room closer to town. Ever since then it's our first choice. We usually come in the fall, when the colors are striking and the woodland setting is serene and relaxing. There's a little gazebo to sit and enjoy the view.
If you have the chance, stay in the McCarthy House (little 2-suite guest house through the woods from the main building) and enjoy the hot tub with the lake view! The innkeepers are friendly, helpful and obliging in every way. The continental breakfast is wonderful - homemade pastries! We're heading back this fall and look forward to another wonderful stay.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LLB56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, June 15, 2014
Thanks LLB56, we appreciate your wonderful review and hope to see you back soon again! Kim
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Fort Erie
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
Reviewed June 10, 2014

We like it so much this is the 3rd time in 2 years we have been. We have stayed in both the B&B and Motel parts. The accommodations are all lovely and the Motel rooms have all been refurbished recently and are lovely. The breakfast area is very cozy and provides a full variety continental breakfast, including home-make muffins. It is a family owned and operated facility and you really do feel that you are visiting friends. The location and facilities (private lake, canoeing, kayaking, cycling to name a few) make a few days away feel like a very long vacation. You return home completely refreshed. This last trip (June 1 - 3) we were lucky enough to enjoy singing with a friend playing the guitar around the campfire on Sunday night. Would absolutely recommend it to anyone, and can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KAMMY12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ForestMotelStratford, Owner at Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat, responded to this review, June 15, 2014
Thanks Kammy, we enjoyed singing around the campfire with you and can't wait till you come back again! Kim
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat

Property: Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat
Address: 2941 Forest Rd, Stratford, Ontario N5A 6S5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Stratford
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Stratford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 19
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Also Known As:
Forest Motel & Woodland Retreat Stratford, Ontario

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