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“Lovely retreat!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Briars

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The Briars
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely retreat!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2014

A beautiful quaint retreat just north of the city. Staff were so helpful and a nice note and bottle of wine was left in our room upon our arrival. If you're a history buff, you'll enjoy exploring the library and other rooms. The facilities are fading somewhat, and need some updating. But charming, nonetheless. We enjoyed using the bikes for a nice ride and had a quiet, leisurely day. The spa was wonderful, but the food was just average...the menu could use some freshening up.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CLJ7314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BriarsResort, Manager at The Briars, responded to this review, July 26, 2014
Thank you for passing on your kind comments about the
staff, we're glad you had a chance to explore the history
of our Resort in Manor House. I'm sorry the food did not
meet your expectations, we get mostly rave reviews, and
I would be happy to get more feed back from you at your
convenience>

Bob Law
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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474 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    237
    133
    51
    31
    22
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2014

We stayed over for the romance package including dinner, breakfast and a couples massage. The property is very nice with a beach and a dock over the road. There is a trail to walk and is a nice setting, overall there is not a lot to do. The room was average and the spa was average as the building is quite old it doesn't allow for a space for a normal spa.
The food was good but the service was rather slow as there didn't seem to be much interest in getting to us, about 15 min before we spoke to a server.
One thing that bothered us is that when you order from the pub area and put it on your room they charge a 15% service fee that doesn't go to the server so you have to bring cash around with you or the server doesn't get the tip...really dumb move. The night costs us around $700 because they charge an automatic 15% service charge ($65) that goes to the staff plus taxes and whatever else. We felt that the cost was far above the value... nice resort but wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Douglas E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2014

I don't know how a resort with this reputation could so massively screw up a much needed retreat - but it happened. We arrived at 10:30am and departed at 9:30pm after booking a 2 night stay. We didn't pay a dime.

Front desk staff were nice on the phone but then they were struck by lightening or something. Our reservation came in at $900+ even though $560 was quoted on the phone - no biggie, it was resolved quickly.

When we arrived (way too early) our room wasn't ready so we went to enjoy the facilities. First an art festival that was off the charts good - then the beach (Alex is one of those great employees). When we finally got to the Underhill cottage it was nice - certainly not puppyproof with wires all over the place - but we took care of that. The cleaner that assisted was also quite helpfull.

It took us a while to find the place - it was on a street that doesn't exist on my brand new GPS. That's okay. We then hung by the pool and Rachel the lifeguard was awesome. Always a smile.

Then things got really weird. Not a single local could suggest a place to go to dinner. After doing some research we learned that the golf course is completely unaffiliated with the resort - and that's a good thing. Alex and our server (she will kill me for not remembering her name) were great and I can't wait to return.

The Briar Resort? I will never return, and urge you to do the same. May I suggest the Little Inn in Bayfield, Ontario or Pinestone in Haliburton. That's where we are now - and it was 33% less expensive.

Go figure.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Basher22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BriarsResort, Manager at The Briars, responded to this review, July 17, 2014
Dear Basher22,

We are sorry that your stay did not start out as well as it could have, and as we discussed I appreciate your feedback on your experience before you departed., it was most helpful.
I'm glad that you did get to enjoy our lake front and pool areas, and do wish that we had a smoother start to your visit.

Bob Law
Resort Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickering, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2014

The Briars is a sprawling historic estate with old world charm. The property is spacious with lovely old style gardens, patios and garden chairs. All of the food fits in with the best I’ve ever had. Our room was apparently one of the nicest in the old house…. a mix of antiques with an updated bathroom, TV and a new comfy bed and bedding. We felt very relaxed and at home here and it was very clean. If you like modern, state of the art, fast paced resorts this won’t be the resort for you. The beach area was lovely as well. We thoroughly enjoyed 2 wonderful days absorbing all the beautiful surroundings, waterfront and charm. We brought our bikes and loved biking along all the gorgeous waterfront roads, to town and to the old church and historic cemetery. We have a few complaints. I don’t mind paying $178 for a room when we have the use of a beautiful, well maintained, lake front resort, but they charge a 15% resort fee on top of the room price which seems like double dipping in my opinion. And if you charge your meals to your room you pay a 15% resort fee on your meals too…… doesn’t seem right to me. Why don’t The Briars charge $205 for the room, as that is what we are paying anyway with a 15% resort fee? The 15% resort fee on the expensive room and meals feels like manipulative marketing. The front desk staff said the resort fee partially goes to the waitresses, and the waitresses say they don’t see any of it. As guests we don’t want to hear any of these problems and it gives us the impression that the management aren’t treating their staff fairly. And when I see a 15% resort fee on my dinner bill I assume it is a tip so I don’t tip. And I resent the fact that dinner guests who are not staying at the resort pay 15% less….. not right. These are all issues that I feel need to be fixed so the customers and staff feel treated fairly and are not being manipulated. We stopped going to the Taboo resort for these very issues.

Room Tip: Ask for an updated room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank enid r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2014

What a lovely Ontario resort! Set on beautiful Lake Simcoe, The Briars is a great place for a quick weekend getaway or a more extended vacation. Lots of activities for kids but also a great place for romance, a girls spa weekend or even business. I was there for a week and there were 2 weddings during that time. The food was superb and great also if you need gluten free options. Golf course is beautiful too. 3 pools (1 indoor), water activities at the lake (kayak, paddle boats, canoes, cruise around the lake. On the one rainy day there was ping pong, billiards, darts, shuffleboard table, fooseball, puzzles, board games. Extra activities like yoga & zumba, exotic animals, drum circle & ice cream making depending on the day! Lots of fun for my 11 & 13 yr old, they loved the campfire each night & made s'mores! Above all else, there was impeccable & friendly service by all staff including the Sibbald family owners!!

Room Tip: Stayed in Governor Simcoe Suite - 2 bedrooms, sofa bed, large living room. Comfortable.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2014

This was our first visit to The Briars. We were attracted by the prospect of a "luxury" resort so close to home, and after seeing it was a member of Ontario's Finest Resorts and reading the reviews posted here thought we would give it a try. What a mistake.

We were billed nearly $700 for only two days on their bed & breakfast only package - no lunch or dinner. While we normally have no problem spending that or more when we travel, the room was honestly worthy at best $120 a night with breakfast. That's being generous.

We requested a lakefront room with a king; the room was just that, a small room within an old cabin type structure; the bed was simply two twins pushed together and accompanied by the cheapest foam fill pillows available for sale. Terribly uncomfortable.

The room was not well cleaned; there were spider webs everywhere and the entry carpet had clearly not been cleaned at all. The shower/tub combo is equipped with an old yellowed shower head and the tub was stained from water and whatever non-slip materials they previously had applied. The handle to the bathroom blind fell off on first use. The air conditioning, an old faux wood unit affixed to the interior wall, was beyond disgusting; the filter had clearly not been cleaned or replaced in years.

The room's outdoor area was only large enough to accommodate two chairs and offered zero privacy. It lead down a set of crumbling stairs, overgrown with weeds to a small grassy area.

The resort itself is likewise in need of a desperate makeover. Very, very dated. Not charming, just in disrepair;

The restaurant has no ambience and the service was consistently slow, and worse it was simply rude one morning. The breakfast "buffet", and I use the word in the loosest sense, was an anemic display and we would for the money spent expect at least an omelet station. The dinner menu is limited and the food was just competently prepared, and like everything else at the resort at least twice as expensive as it should be for what they offer; as an example, the weekly BBQ buffet is $45p/p, though we couldn't try it because the service was rained out.

As for "amenities", the golf course looks nice, but we didn't play. The pools, like the room itself, look like what you might find at an old motel; the available watersports were not available throughout our stay despite one day offering the calmest water we'd seen on a lake that size, because we were told by the attending staff that the management is very concerned with liability.

Speaking of management, the highlight of the service we received was our introduction to the matronly owner, Barbara, who was kind and charming and full of intriguing stories from days past. Unfortunately, the service was otherwise like the resort, in desperate need of a makeover and a far, far cry from being one of the finest resorts in Ontario or anywhere.

Bottom line, the expectation set by the resort and the rates commanded are simply not aligned to the reality of the amenities and service they offer; either drastically reduce prices to align, or invest heavily in significant updates to the resort and staff training.

If you're well travelled and have any expectations at all, this resort will not appeal to you. Feel free to view the few pics we posted to help visualize our experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank privateuser1909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2014 via mobile

We recently visited with our team from work. The location is beautiful right across from Lake Simcoe. Rooms were Very clean, although somewhat dated. Spa is located in the tower and is small and quaint. Lake Simcoe facial was awesome. Grounds are well kept and lots of walking areas. Private beach had quite a bit of goose droppings - not very enjoyable having to clean it out of my shoes afterwards. We had a bonfire on the beach at night which was lovely. Food was good. Service was somewhat lacking in the dining area which was disappointing given how much we enjoyed everything else. All in all a lovely spot.

Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Miabos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Briars

Property: The Briars
Address: 55 Hedge Rd, Jackson's Point, Georgina, Ontario L0E 1L0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Georgina > Jackson's Point
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Briars 3.5*
Number of rooms: 91
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Briars Hotel Jackson`s Point
Briars Jacksons Point
Briars Hotel Jacksons Point
The Briars Ontario, Canada

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