I have stayed at Deerhurst many times over the years. I traded my timeshare for a 2 bedroom suite the first week of March. Coming from Toronto I requested an early Check-in as I had my stepmother (79) with me. Was assured it would be no problem. When I arrived at 1:30 pm I was told the suite wasn't ready and come back in an hour. Tried to get a drink at the bar which was nearby but it was closed until 4:00 pm - during the next 2 1/2 hours of waiting, over 30 people tried to get drinks at the bar on a Saturday afternoon with no success - huge loss of revenue. We were told there was another restaurant downstairs but as we were staying close to reception in case our room became ready, we did not want to go downstairs. Staff at reception were unaccommodating and in friendly, "sorry about that but checking is at 4" we were told every time we tried to see if the room. Was ready. When we actually did get to the room about 4:15, several families had already checked into the Birchcliff before us, although reception told us the entire building had to be cleaned before anyone could be allowed in.
The suite we had was clean, but very dated, tiles, carpeting and furniture. The gas fireplace in the master bedroom never worked and the one in the living room was temporary and needed the attention of maintenance. The bathtubs were badly stained and should be replaced.
Swimming presented another challenge. There are lockers but none of them can be locked - no keys available. A sign says your belongings are left there at your own risk. No towels in change rooms -- they are kept upstairs where you go after changing into your bathing suit. Towels are in bins and some have fallen out on the floor - messy and untidy. Once finished, there is no place for wet towels so they are left lying around on benches in the change room. The hot tub clearly needs "defamer" as the suds were spilling over the sides. The entire pool area looks neglected with water dripping out of the shower head, seat cushions need to be replaced, etc. Signs leading to the pool area have been composed on a computer with tattered paper edges and these should be reprinted daily if that's the type of signs they wish to use - however they do look cheap.
The small store that in the past has provided essential food items has been greatly downsized and one must go into town for most items that previously could be purchased here. There are no signs indicating what hours the store is open, and when I went to get cream at 5:50 pm on Sunday, it was closed. The hair dressing salon no longer exists and the hours of the spa have been reduced.
There was previously a shuttle bus with a driver who took the time to point out local interest items. This year, you must drive yourself to the dogsledding activity down the road.
Basically, it seems the resort is cutting costs and the services one would expect from a 5-star facility are no longer in existence. Many of the small details I've outlined could be improved with friendly welcoming reception staff, a reorganization of pool supplies and lockers, more staff to assist with directions and information. However two maintenance/housekeeping personnel were very efficient in small items in the unit.
With the Marriott Resort at Rosseau and the Christie inn at Port Severn being also 5 star resorts, Deerhurst needs to quickly update its standards in order to regain its status of years ago.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover Deerhurst Resort's idyllic lakeside setting in Muskoka cottage country. This 760 acre, year-round retreat is minutes from Algonquin Park and historical, culinary, sporting and cultural attractions like Huntsville's Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery and neighboring Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area. Known for its two 18-hole golf courses, Deerhurst offers the most on-site activities of any Eastern Canada resort, from indoor rock climbing, Treetop Trekking, paintball, ATV tours and snowmobiling to water sports, spa and a live stage show. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Deerhurst Hotel Huntsville
- Deerhurst Inn Ontario
- Deerhurst Ontario
- Deerhurst Resort Huntsville, Ontario