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Review of Clevelands House

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Clevelands House
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Minett
Reviewed September 13, 2007

great rustic place to take a family. Try to get one of the bungalows on the water.
The main hotel rooms need some work. But...staff is great and it is a wonderful place to go to.

  • Stayed: July 2003, traveled with family
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1  Thank snowbird54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 31, 2007

I took my 3 children (14mo, 3, and 4yo) for a 5-day holiday this past week (Aug 26-31). We stayed in the North Lodge on the 2nd floor. Quite the hassle, since they don't have any elevators and my youngest child is 4yo. I found the decor to be dated and the accomodations small. The food was plentiful but nothing to write home about.

This resort's greatest attribute is the children's program. ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! The children have been in Bayview Glen Daycamp (last year) and Cresswood Valley Daycamp (this year) and this resort's camp is on par with these two. I even dropped off my 14 month old without any regrets. The nice thing is that you can see them and take pictures while they are at camp (unlike the other daycamps). They had a fantastic time.

Unfortunately, the resort has been sold and nobody seems to know how long the resort will be around which means no needed renovations in the near future. All in all, it was a nice trip. Not sure if we'll be back next year given the high cost.

Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
1  Thank HoangCheng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2007

This is one of Muskoka's last remaining classic family run resorts, on Lake Rosseau. Started in 1869 and run by the same family since the late 1960's.

This resorts caters to conferences in the off-season and families from June-August. It doesn't hide its family-focus and prides itself on what it offers families and children, so if this isn't for you, you've been warned. Their typical package includes three meals daily. Cleveland's House has an excellent children's program, is perfect for parents who love golf and tennis, just want to relax or take part in many of the other adult program offerings.

First off, the pictures on Cleve's (as people call it) website does not do the resort justice. It is far lovelier, in person. The grounds are well-kept. Tall trees and lovely gardens on a beautiful part of Lake Rosseau with a spectacular view. The main building is a classic 1800's Muskoka resort. Additions of cabins over the years are certainly modest but consistent with the look of this resort.

The website also doesn't mention there is a free WiFi hotspot that covers the main building, lodge beside it and marina area. This is well-used by many guests who bring laptops. It would be nice to see this WiFi hot spot expanded to cover all the accommodations.

The website also would benefit from updated links to dining room menus, along with recent adult program and children's program schedules. These schedules give a good sense of what you can expect, which is a lot.

Clientele: Given the prices, this resort caters to a upper-middle class set of educated professionals, for the most part. That said, Cleve's is a low-key, unpretentious resort and guests act similarly - polite, courteous, very casual dress and not snooty.

Staff: From when we booked, to children's program staff to dining room staff, we were surprised at just how pleasant and courteous all the staff were, without exception. Clearly, the family who own this resort have set a tone that filters down to all the staff. It is something that is difficult to quantify when setting resort rates, but it made a huge difference in our stay and just one reason we'll return.

Food: Standard mid-grade hotel food served en masse to hundreds of people over a 90 minute period at each sitting. I'm not knocking it, mind you, as we were always fully satisfied. It is hearty, with excellent choice but no one would describe the food as "fine dining," nor is it intended to be. However, you'll never leave the table hungry and if you don't gain at least five pounds after a week on the thee meals a day plan then you have excellent metabolism. Breakfasts include fresh fruit cups, freshly baked goods (baked on-site), eggs made to your liking, bacon/sausage/peameal and either pancakes or french toast, rotating each day. Lunches and dinners always have a number of options and are filling. There are always children's options, as well. Dress is casual but not sloppy. Some men will wear baseball hats at breakfast or lunch but not at dinner, when the servers put on whites and the cloth table napkins come out. But, shorts and short sleeves shirts are still fine at dinner. Tables are assigned and you get the same server each meal. They are trained to chat you up, typical of a classic resort, so expect to get to know them over the course of the week and tip them at the end of the week, even though this is not expected.

The dining room --as all places at this resort-- is teaming with kids. As one parent noted, "I like it here, as I don't feel I'm ruining another patron's meal when my kids act up during a meal, because everyone's else's are, too." Now, it isn't quite that bad and the dining room is surprisingly quiet, given the number of children, but you don't feel as if you're imposing on others during meal times when your kids start to get a little antsy. I'll also note there were many newborns at this resort, so new parents will feel comfortable.

Accommodation: Can be best described as "modest." Rooms are very clean but are tired looking and could use updating. The resort could stand pulling all the carpet across the resort (dining room, suites, etc.) and replacing it with new carpet or a hard surface. While rooms are modest, we didn't care at all, as clearly Cleveland's has something more special to offer. If Cleveland's was part of a huge resort/hotel chain, the rooms might look better but so many other things would be lost that this resort would lose its charm and many of its repeat guests.

Kids: This place is built for kids and staff are always two steps ahead of you. Without us even asking, they asked if we wanted a sidebar for the bed for a two-year old when booking, offered suggestions at meals to accommodate kids eating habits before we even asked and always chatted the kids up. When we turned up short a diaper at a critical moment, staff provided one immediately. This resort understands kids and caters to them with exceptional dedication, which allows parents to take a much needed break.

Pools: Four pools (three shallow for kids) and four hot tubs, all have lots of fresh towels, cold water to drink, floating noodles for the kids and large bottles of sunscreen SPF 30 to freely use, which was a nice touch. For families, this resort doesn't seem to miss those small details. There is a main beach with canopies over the lounge chairs and a very shallow, roped off swimming area for kids. It would have been a very nice touch to have a staff taking drink orders at the two main pools and beach and allowing you to charge to your room. This would not take away from the family atmosphere or turn it in to a resort where people come to drink.

Recreation: All the outdoor recreation facilities are in excellent shape - better than the rooms, in fact. Tennis courts: 16, all in excellent condition, an on-site executive golf course (I didn't use this so cannot comment), bike rentals (too bad you have to rent these but the prices were reasonable), ping pong tables, three well-maintained shuffle boards, oversized outdoor chessboard that our kids loved, badminton courts, basketball court, mini-put golf (could use a painting but otherwise excellent), older swing set and many other things I'm missing. This resort is also beside the The Rock golf club.

Watersports: free use of non-motorized boats (canoes, kayaks, paddleboats) and you can also purchase water ski lessons at fair prices. And there's a company on-site that does short hang gliding expeditions, with a rope attached to a speed boat (not cheap). There are also boat cruises of about 90 minutes (12 people per boat), at least twice a day that can be purchased - a little too pricey for us. I would have loved if there were a couple of sailboats for guests to use; staff said they used to have these but they had to keep doing rescue missions every time the wind died.

Children's area: Climbing wall, two swimming pools with slides, a huge jungle gym, a huge enclosed two-floor children's play gym similar to the ones seen in many McDonald's, plus a number of other things. Everything clean and well-maintained.

Children's program: our kids didn't take part in this but this is clearly the main reason families come back. The kids seem to love it and we'll try it next time. We witnessed excellent child:staff ratios and staff were kind and attentive to children. I should also note there were a couple of severely disabled children at the resort when we stayed; the staff who took care of them during the children's program seemed to be very kind and attentive to their needs. We were especially impressed by this.

Child care: At night, the two main buildings have free hall monitors who are posted in each hall while parents go out. Parents whose children are old enough to be left alone in a room can sign up by 10:00pm. Parents with younger children can get babysitters at $8/hour (Cleve's website needs updating on this).

Entertainment: classic family resort entertaining, including magicians, hypnotists, one-man bands, you get the idea. Plus, adult entertainment in the marina bar later on at night. The marina bar (Frac's) is a snack bar with a large patio overlooking the lake. This building could use a face lift and some higher-end patio furniture which is a bit more comfortable and more consistent with this resort's Muskoka look and feel. Otherwise, this is a great place to relax and grab a beer and enjoy a great view of Lake Rosseau.

Adult program: from yoga, to tennis round robbins, golf, to staff vs. guest ball hockey games, there are no shortage of things adults can do. There's also an on-site area where you can purchase massages and other spa services, but we didn't try this. Prices seem to be consistent with prices in downtown Toronto, though.

Other charges: at all these resorts, even when activities and meals are included, there are always other charges. From wine at dinner, beer at the snack bar, the gift shop, executive golf course use, water ski lessons - we noted that all prices seemed fair and reasonable and you never got the sense you were being gouged because you were stranded at a resort.

I'd give Cleve's 4.5 stars, but since this isn't an option, so I've given it 5. What it lacks in modest accommodation, and good but not superb food, it makes up in every other way. We loved our stay and the kids want to move there!

A long review, I know. But, I thought some people might find it helpful. Try Cleve's. It's a wonderful family resort. We'll be going back.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank Tripper2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2006

My wife and I (including our 18 month old son) stayed at this family resort over Thanksgiving long weekend. The resort is very child friendly and they have very good programs. The view from our room was breathtaking. The rooms are very out dated and not very clean. We found hairs on our sheets and pillows and had to call the front dest to get the bedding changed. When the lady arrived to change our bedding she had placed the sheets on the floor (in the hallway) as she searched for her key to open the door. The food is horrible..We travel alot and have never had such horrible food. All meals were included however we elected to eat outside of the resort as the food was so bad. Aside from the wonderful kids program and the location our experience was terrible and we will never stay at this resort again.

EAG
Toronto

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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3  Thank eag1002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2006

Clevelands House is by far the nicest place that I have stayed this side of Banff Springs!! And I am in the industry so my standards can be a little harsh.
My fiance and I booked our holiday through Resorts Ontario as a litlle 3 day getaway for my birthday and it was by far the best birhtday to date.
When we arrived it was raining, enough to put a damper on anyone's getaway to the Muskoka's but this was entireley NOT the case. I do not think that it is possible to have a bad time or experience at Cevelands House, even if the lake went dry! (it did not...that is an attempt at humour)
The property is absolutley beautiful and not too modernized, which we like especially because it more than suits the location. The whole property is gorgeous nesteled amongst tall trees and foliage overlooking the beautiful lake.
The front desk staff was amazing, very knowledgable and friendly. They were even able to accomodate us checking in 2 hours early without us even requesting it! The room was clean with lots of fresh towels and the beds were soft. Air conditioner and bar fridge worked fine. We stayed in the North Lodge and had a beautiful view from our 3rd floor window. The outdoor pools are clean and warm with lots of lounge chairs. Their dock is absolutley beautiful and there is always something going on, whether it is watching litte kids learn how to water ski or watching some wakeboarding. We were pleasenlty suprised when we learned that non-motorized boat rentals were free for resort guets and there was certainly no shortage of pedal boats, kayaks and conoes. The lake is lined with a long row of Muskoka chairs that are perfect for lounging lakeside early in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee (whcih was easy to obtain as there are coffee and pop kiosks all around the resort). Their patio bar was incredible, some of thenicest staff i have ever encountered, good snacks, standard prices and GREAT entertainment (he was a one man band that played classic songs by led zepplin, tom petty, the beatles, pink flloyd)
It is no wonder this resort has been around for so long, they are doing it all right. They cater to families, retired vacationers and young couples with no children like my ficance and I. I would reccommed this resort to anyone who likes to getaway for a few days. It was all around an amazing expereice. we plan on returning to the resort at least once a year.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Hip-EE-Chick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2006

let me preface my review by saying i would rate clevelands as 3.5, if i could. but it was either 3 or 4, so i gave it a 4. also, i havent run my review by the others, so if they want to post one, i say "bring it on"!

my extended family stayed at clevelands house the last weekend in july, and overall, we were pleased with it. there were 11 of us, ranging in age from 12 - 81. for a frame of reference, we have stayed at fern resort (the entire family), and my family has stayed at delawana, nottawasaga and muskoka sands.

the good points -

- the food was good to very good. there were a few comments that some of the meals could have been more plentiful, but for the most part, we were satisfied

- the staff was friendly and helpful. phaedra at the front desk is a gem! we also had fun with our servers, isaac and melissa

- there are a lot of activities, and we took advantage of most of them. the nightly entertainment was fairly typical of this sort of ontario resort - enjoyable, but not spectacular

the not-so-good points -

- when we emailed to ask if they provided beach towels, the answer was no. we figured that meant they also dont provide pool towels. they do provide towels for the pool, so they should have told us that

- the housekeeping service was fine, but there was one thing that bothered us. as the "maids" were preparing to service the rooms, they laid the bed sheets on the floor in the hall - right on the carpet. we have never seen that before, and were a little taken aback. i dont think anyone wants to sleep on sheets that have been lying on the carpet in the hall

- our toilet (one of the five rooms) seemed to spring a leak, on the saturday afternoon. i called the front desk, and was told someone would come out to check it. when we got back to the room that evening, there was no indication that anyone had been by, so i called again. i was told someone had checked it, and that they needed to call a plumber. i felt they should have left a note for us. i asked for more towels, to sop up the water

would we return?

yes, but...there are so many resorts in ontario, so...we just may try another one next time.

thank you for your hospitality, clevelands house, and i hope this feedback will help you to continue to provide good customer service to your guests.

if you have any questions, please email me at dbltrbl@rogers.com

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank dbltrbl05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2006

We have gone to Clevelands House 3 summers in a row. It is a great, relaxing resort for families with young children (our kids are 6 and 3). The staff are very friendly, and they lean over backwards to please. 3 meals a day are included - the selection is great - the quality of the food varies. The kitchen will accomodate any reasonable request - your toddler only eats pasta wtih "no sauce" or wants yogourt for dinner - no problem! The rooms are plain - the resort is old, and sometimes its age shows. The location of the resort is lovely - right on the lake, with good beaches with shallow water for kids. There are also pools. The big attraction of the resort is the kids' program which is fantastic from baby to older kids - the counsellors and supervision are great. Adults can play tennis, golf etc. while kids are in the program (they will call you in your room or on cell phone if the need arises). The kids do sports, swimming, arts/crafts, games etc. The resort brings in kids' entertainment groups (singers mainly) who were really good and the kids and adults had lots of fun watching them. Local wildlife shelters also come and show the kids animals. (I would not recommend the resort to someone travelling without kids - I don't think you'd get real value, and you'd probably feel overrun by families, babies etc.).

Stayed: July 2006
2  Thank Toronto22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clevelands House

Address: 1040 Juddhaven Road, Minett, Muskoka Lakes, Ontario P0B 1G0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Muskoka District > Muskoka Lakes > Minett
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Minett
Price Range: $200 - $441 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clevelands House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clevelands House Resort is the perfect place for your summer getaway with 408-acres of family fun! With 3,000 ft. of prime waterfront, this Muskoka resort has something for every age! Clevelands House Resort has many different types of accommodation from standard rooms, suites and cottages. The cottages offer one to three bedrooms - space enough for the whole family! The onsite nine-hole Easy Golf 2.0 course, 16 tennis courts, sandy beach and picturesque veranda are just a few places to relax. For the grown-ups, there's bocce ball tournaments, welcome parties and beach volleyball, Clevelands House has every activity covered. WELCOME TO A NEW ERA It’s a new era here at Clevelands House and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. We’ve been busy over the winter season with a multi-million dollar investment into this historic resort on the shores of Lake Rosseau. These renovations are aimed at restoring our iconic summer resort's main building to it’s original splendour. Big changes have taken place in the main building's interior and new guest rooms invoking the original charm of Clevelands House are now available and are some of the most desirable here at Cleves. With the renovations of the main building, comes The Lakehouse, a new dining experience here at Clevelands House. Founder and celebrity Chef Randy Feltis says “The Lakehouse will follow a few simple rules: fresh fare, heartily cooked, with zero processing.” On the water, PIE Wood Fired Pizza Joint will be a welcome addition to the Boathouse at Cleves. Within walking distance is Abbey's Bakehouse location to help satisfy all your sweet cravings. Home of the famous Cleves Kids program, there something for kids of all ages to enjoy. With experienced councillors and lots of water time, our kids camp are sure to be the highlight of any kids summer. Whether you are looking to relax outside, play a round of golf or take in our famous waterski show we have something for you to do this summer. Memories are made at a place like this. Experience the incredible this summer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clevelands House Hotel Minett
Clevelands Hotel Minett
Clevelands House Ontario/Minett, Canada

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