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“The Staff have taken Over!!”

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Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Staff have taken Over!!”
Reviewed August 7, 2010

There were many great things that cannot be argued...great views, clean wonderful waters and the really the only lodge in Strathcona Park.
BUT this is a very tired place and I am sure at one time was fantastic. Unlike other review i found the rooms clean but the grounds around the Lodge could use a serious clean up. The beach had not been cleaned all season. The outhouse toilet were soo bad that is was almost impossible to walk by them without gagging.
The food was fine but way too expensive (i.e. Burger night is $25.00). They also recycle the same dishes again and again (we saw the same rice dish @ 4 meals in a row).
The young staff seems to be completely unsupervised. They played loud music, lined up first for all meals and took prime seating overlooking the lake. Two meals in a row we were not approached by our waitress because she was too busy hanging out with the staff table.
We were also very surprised by the condition of the kayaks at the lodge. They were in terrible condition. Not only that the lodge charges you an $$ hourly rate to rent them. We were in fact overcharged.Because of the cost and condition was the kayaks we kayaked alot less than we would have liked to.
The lodge overall completely nickel and dimes you during you stay. I was very surprised that the planned afternoon activity was for a fee.

Would I go back? yes...But i would bring my own food...my own BBQ and maybe my own kayak if possible (likely could have rented one for the week in Campbell River)

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank marmot39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 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 (27)
Date | Rating
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English first
Waterloo, Canada
1 review
Reviewed August 2, 2010

We came to Vancouver Island for a friend's wedding in Campbell River and decided to extend our stay into a small vacation. We selected Strathcona Park Lodge for its location and natural, easy-going feel and couldn't have been happier with our stay. We used SPL as a base for a variety of trips around the island to explore the surrounding area, and were always happy to retreat back to the lodge to recharge. The location is beautiful and the staff are very friendly and competent.

It seemed like there was something for everyone there; we spent our days kayaking, sailing the beautiful lake, rock climbing, hiking, or just laying on the beach and swimming. It seemed like everyone was having an enjoyable stay, and we would love to go back again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fcampbell86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2010

We went to Strathcona lodge for our close friends wedding in July 2010. The only thing going for this place is the absolutely beautiful scenery around it.
I requested a room with a mini fridge for my father in laws medication before arriving and it became a HUGE ordeal. I was willing to pay more for a room with a fridge and kitchen, and was told I would have access to a kitchen. Upon arriving we discovered they had locked us out of the kitchen adjoining our suite, but put a mini fridge in our room instead. They did not discuss this with us.
When dining in their "a la carte" restaurant, we arrived upon opening time at 6pm. We were asked to share one menu between all 5 of us eating there. There was only 4 tables being served, and although we arrived FIRST we recieved our food last. The other tables had eaten and left before we even recieved our meals and hour and a half later. We paid $25-$30 plate. We didnt order anything difficult to make, in fact 3 of us ordered salads!
On the evening of the wedding we returned to our room to put our children to bed. It was already late and they are very young and were tired. We went into to "common area" between our suite and another one, and discovered the door to be locked. We did not have a key to this door, only to our suite. My husband walked up to the front desk and asked for someone to please unlock it. We were told they didnt know what door we were talking about, and that there was no maintenance person available to unlock the door. The lady said "good luck with that!" to my husband, and we were forced to remove the window from its tracking and climb through it.
There were dead spiders in the light fixtures and we saw a mouse running around in the common area beside our bedroom. (in the college building)
We have never had such a difficult time while travelling and will NEVER reccomend strathcona lodge to anyone we know.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Travelfamily777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
acclarke, General Manager at Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre, responded to this review, August 1, 2010
It's unfortunate to hear your experience at SPL wasn't more pleasant. There was beautiful weather for the wedding - 28 degrees C and blue sky. I saw many of the patio doors wide open throughout the weekend, which provides a cooling breeze as well as inviting the 'wilderness' indoors - hence the mouse and spiders attracted to the lights.

The small fridge in your room was in order that you might keep your medications secure. The common area in this chalet is available for people in all of the 8 suties to enjoy. The waterfront cottages do have full kitchens, however they had been set aside by the Bride and Groom's families.

We have a manager 'on call' at all times who should have been availble to assist you with your key problem. I am not clear on which room you were trying to get into? I presume you did have keys to your own room or the office staff member would have happily given you a replacement set.

I do hope that you still managed to enjoy what was from every report a wonderful wedding. I am sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you and deal with your concerns directly during your stay.

Regards,
Christine Clarke
Co-Executive Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2010

A delightful respite in one of the lodges for 3 nights. Beautiful area, very tranquil. did a great hike up to Colonel Foster on the Elkhorn trail. Superb flowers at Buttle Lake and Lupin Falls. Also great canoe session on the lake.
Good food and very reasonably priced food in the dining room.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank byegreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2010

Great variaty of organic healthy and tasty food.

Wide choice of outdoor adventure activities in a magnificient prestine setting.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chti596280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 5 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2009

My husband researched, planned and organised our holiday to Vancouver Island, and after reading the reviews of Strathcona Park Lodge, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
We had a cabin on the edge of the property, on the shore of Upper Campbell Lake. The cabin was obviously not new, but had its own rustic charm. The compact bathroom was quite adequate, opening off an open plan bedroom that was on a bit of a mezzanine from the main living area. The mattress was on a ledge, at the same level as windows that gave a fantastic view of trees and the lake - almost like sleeping outside!

The living area was heated by a free-standing wood heater, with a plentiful supply of firewood. I gather that there was some electric heating as well, but we didn't bother with it. We only used the wood heater on the first three nights of our 10 day stay, because of cloudy/wet/cool conditions, and it heated the cabin beautifully. For the rest of our stay we had fantastic summer weather, and didn't need any heating.

The view from the front of the cabin, overlooking the lake, was fantastic.

The only drawback was that the kitchen was just a little bit too compact - there was a stove and a sink, but no bench space for preparing food, so our culinary activities were a bit curtailed.

We didn't dine in the Whale Room, which offered buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We preferred to have our own simple breakfasts in our cabin (and the limited kitchen space was fine for that), and we packed our own lunches each day. We also found the timing of the dinner in the Whale Room too inconvenient (5.30 to 7.00) - much too early. There was, however, another dining room on site, the Canoe Club, with a quite adequate menu and very friendly service.

The location of the Lodge was wonderful - we spent our days either exploring trails within the lodge property, canoeing on the lake, swimming, or venturing into the adjacent Strathcona Park to explore the vast number of easily accessible trails. (I think my favourite was the day walk to Bedwell Lake, with fantastic views of permanent snow on Big Interior Mountain)

We found the level of service quite acceptable - not intrusive, but adequate. The rooms were serviced every second or third day, with new towels etc, and the staff at the resort, mostly young, and from a range of different countries as well as local canadians, were polite, hospitable and friendly.

I would recommend the Lodge for anyone who wanted a relaxed holiday with a focus on nature and physical activities (walking, swimming etc), rather than a high end luxury resort. On balance, one of the most enjoyable and relaxing holidays I have had.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susannah_m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2007

We stayed in the lodge in one of the rooms on the top floor. There was a lovely view of Upper Campbell Lake with a small balcony out front.

There was a comfortable sofa and sitting chairs in a living area. It was all very comfortable (especially the beds after a week camping)

Food is available in a dining room with a self serve buffet.

We also rented a motor boat for 2 hours to go around the lake.

The lodge offers various day events (particularly for kids) - learning ropes, climbing techniques, kayaking etc. We didn't try those activities this time but did one of their adventure trips.

Enjoyed it immensely

One caution - the lodge is out of cell phone range and there is no regular telephone service. The lodge has a satellite phone but it is expensive to use. Make any phone calls before you get to the valley or go into Gold River to make any phone calls

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank VagabondVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre

Property: Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Address: 41040 Gold River Highway | P.O. Box 2160, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 5C5, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Campbell River
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Campbell River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Living on the edge since 1959, Strathcona Park Lodge pioneered self propelled and off the grid wilderness experiences on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. From the lake side cabins, chalets and rooms experience wilderness inspired summer holidays, guided trips and group gatherings. Home base for WYLD youth summer camps, the COLT leadership training program and outdoor education programming, SPL is a leader in experiential education and wilderness vacations. The setting The Boulding family chose well when they picked the site for Strathcona Park Lodge. From almost every room on the property you can get an amazing view of glacier carved valleys, big pristine lakes and rocky/snowcapped peaks. There are several hikes, viewpoints, protected bays and beaches, climbing bluffs, old growth trees, high ropes courses and zip lines -- and that's just on the property. Strathcona Provincial Park, B.C.'s oldest protected area, is just down the road. Within 30 minutes go whitewater paddling, mountain biking, more rock climbing, or lace up for interpretive walks, hikes and mountaineering routes. A little further is world class sea kayaking and whale watching on both sides of Vancouver Island. Summer vacations Perfectly poised between the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park and a sprawling lake chain the Lodge is an ideal base for exploring the heart of Vancouver Island. Hike, paddle, climb or just sit back and relax on the beach. Stay in lake-side cabins, mountain view chalets or hotel style rooms overlooking it all. Refuel on delicious and healthy food. Disconnect from the wired world and return recharged. Group Gatherings The Lodge loves groups. Big or small, 200 to 10, we have the capacity, facilities and experience to make any gathering unforgettable. Every year we host multiple weddings, family reunions and other large groups on our picturesque and family friendly setting. With a dedicated staff we take care of every detail. Outdoor education/school programs In the spring and fall schools visit Strathcona to learn outside of the classroom. Removed from their everyday, challenged mentally and physically and exposed to new experiences, our specially trained leaders help students gain confidence, leadership, teamwork and camaraderie - skills that can't be learnt from a desk. These are experiences students remember forever. WYLD summer camps A summer camp like no other, Wilderness Youth Leadership Development (WYLD) Expeditions are 8 to 12 day expeditions for adventurous teens, 12 to 17 years old. Based out of the Lodge's lakeside location, the camps explore the hiking trails, lakes, inlets, beaches, islands and mountains of Vancouver Island by foot, sea kayak and canoe. COLT Leadership Semester We believe COLT is the best outdoor leadership program in Canada. Founded in 1977 by Canada's oldest outdoor education centre, COLT is a learn-by-doing program with the best job opportunities, instructors and learning environment. And for the price no other program comes close to offering as much. Participants graduate with hard skills, like sea kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater paddling, but even more soft skills, like leadership, group dynamics, teamwork, confidence and determination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strathcona Park Lodge And Outdoor Education Centre
Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre Hotel Campbell River

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