Travelled here in December. 2 families of 2 adults 2 younger children in 2 cottages.
The positives. The location is spectacular. Playing boot hockey on the lake whilst the sun sets with a glow the distance. Making your own toboggan run in the fresh snow. Something that for the most part is very tricky to do here in Oz. Wonderful. In the middle of winter it is certainly peaceful. Only a few people on site during our stay. Driving through roads with the snow on the ground and deer bouncing along beside the road (and sometimes on it!!).
There are things such as the boot hockey equipment, snow shoes and toboggans which are left around the cottages for general use. We found this to be a great idea and the kids enjoyed being able to grab and do something.
As noted in many reviews “Gord” certainly is a pleasant host who goes that little bit extra to keep the place running. We had need to call on him to fix a few things for us and they were done quickly and without fuss. We also needed a bit of help with some chores and again Gord was more than happy to assist.
There are a couple of nearby ski runs. From our point of view both offer fabulous value (compared to Oz not sure about Canada). My wife and daughter went for a ski after opening presents on Xmas Day - certainly won’t be many of our friends who have done that. Tick that one off the list. There is a tubing hill not too far away which was good fun too.
Negatives. The cottages we stayed in were, shall we say, functional - just. This was our first trip to the lakes area and maybe this is standard but we were expecting a lot more from the accommodation itself. The cottages were a bit more basic than we expected. To be honest the one we stayed in really did need a complete overhaul. The other family we travelled with had a cottage of a slightly higher standard but still some of the design elements left a lot to be desired. You could tell you were in a small personally run cottage resort where repairs and maintenance are probably completed in the “when we have enough money” timeframe. An example would be the old fridge positioned against the wall directly behind the head of the main bed which decided to run for long periods of time and when running made a tremendous noise which did impact on sleep during the night and the peace and quiet of the day.
Nearby Huntsville itself is a pleasant enough place to explore. A picturesque bridge over the river. A few local shops of interest. We did seek solace from the biting cold at a place called “Mill on Main” (I think) which had recently opened and provided some much better than expected food and drink. As can be the case we did not expect much and so our expectations were far exceeded.
We also had to visit Deerhurst which recently held the G8 to get picked up for a trip dog sledding. Whilst seeming very refined it did seem a bit like any other large hotel/resort type place. You could have been pretty much any major hotel chain in the world. The cottages certainly gave us a more Canadian experience.
So to the question, would I go back? If I was passing through this way again in the summer then maybe as you wouldn’t be quite so dependent on the cottage. Winter I am sorry to say but no I don’t think I would - it was just a bit too in need of updating for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 3 Stars Canada Select. Resorts of Ontario member. A small, quiet, friendly, unpretentious, cottage resort with six cottages on Lake of Bays, near Huntsville Muskoka, Ontario. Close to Algonquin Park. The cottages have kitchen, 3 or 4 piece baths, satellite TV, gas fireplace, A/C, wireless internet. Some have outdoor personal hot tubs. Canoes, water trampoline, kayaks, playground. Winter: snowshoes available to borrow, snowtubing, skiing, snowmobiling nearby. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Beauview Cottage Resort Huntsville, Ontario