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Algonquin Eco-Lodge
GreenLeadersGold level
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Totally agree!”
Reviewed June 29, 2007

Agree with what's been said about Ecolodge near Harcourt. Website says there's a sauna and a hot tub. There isn't! "Sauna" is tumbled down shack at lakes edge which serves to store life jackets; hot tub was a broken down old thing from before the ark - looked very unsafe, tiny and gross. Like other reviewer, we thought the place had great potential, but won't be telling all our friends in Ottawa about it.

  • Disliked — beds, bedrooms, no lights, website description not accurate
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank moosemancanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2007

This log cabin type lodge could be very good, but the "bedrooms" and the lack of lights made it less so. There is no electric light provided, probably to emphasise the "eco" in the name. There are a few gas mantle lights and candles in the lounge/dining room, but elsewhere you have to have a good flashlight; one very weak battery-powered camping lantern was provided per "bedroom".
We had been promised "two single rooms", but had to share one tiny (6' x 12') youth hostel -type cubicle crammed with thin bunk beds and a matress on a pallet on the floor. Two "singles" had to share these cubicles, male, female etc., which made for some embarassing moments from several groups. Nowhere to hang anything, no cupboards etc., everything had to go on the limited floorspace . There were ants crossing the floor (luckily it was so dim you could hardly see them) and at least one mouse scrabbling around during the night. Walls were literally paper-thin and the aparently volunteer/friends of the owner staff talked loudly late in to the night.
Washing and toilet facilities were rudimentary; one shower for the women, one for the men; two toilet cubicles for each, with ill-fitting plastic concertina-folding doors that left very little to the imagination; not "eco", just crude and tacky.. The policy of leaving one's shoes in the entry way meant that visiting the old linoleum-covered toilets pretty gross. Lighting totally inadequate in the washrooms. Lounge area nice, but also far too dark to read anything or play a card game in the evenings, and roof leaked such that one of the sofas was getting wet.
Whole operation seemed to be run on a shoestring. Great idea, great setting and could be good with proper investment eg why not solar panels on the roof to provide electricity (and stop the leaks!). Why pack in so many people per cubicle? Advertised activities did not take place - such as Wolf Howl and Star Gazing. The owner says he is trying to do up the place bit by bit, one job a year, but in the meantime is misrepresenting the standard of accommo and overcharging. Folk who go to a remote lodge expect to be able to read a book, sleep comfortably, get wet clothes dry etc.

  • Disliked — tiny rooms and no lights
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank jackyskis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TravellingMan99, Owner at Algonquin Eco-Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2010
The Algonquin Eco-Lodge has undergone a major improvement/renovation at the end of 2009. We now generate our own electricity from our waterfall. We have invested over $80,000 to create electricity (we are too deep in the forest to be connected to "the grid"). And we have spent over $45,000 renovating the bathrooms, showers, lighting, and other improvements to the Lodge.

Several people have commented about "no lights" and "short showers". The Eco-Lodge used to be lit with propane lanterns and battery powered lamps in the bedrooms. I would like to take the opportunity to explain that guests are notified of this before they arrive, and told to bring flashlights. The Lodge had no electricity (but does now) and is on a well/sceptic system with limited water supply. This is an eco-lodge after all, and water conservation is a major global concern. People who truly want to experience a "low impact" holiday would generally enjoy the Lodge and it's amenities.

In regards to our pricing structure it must be pointed out that labour costs in Canada are rather high, and since everything must be done by hand, including carrying guests' luggage 2.3 km for them, these costs must be reflected in our room rates. So far 100% of the profits have been reinvested into the building, including a brand new roof, new bathrooms, new showers, plumbing, a deck, new windows, brand new custom built pine log beds, new mattresses, the micro-hydro generator, and extensive landscaping. Since our access is through Algonquin Park, and vehicles including delivery trucks are not allowed (or capable) of coming to us, all supplies must be transferred in by hand, and have required the purchase of expensive specially equipped small vehicles to aid in the transfer of materials over such distance through the forest.

This is a work of passion and vision. While staff must be paid the owner has yet to draw a salary. The Lodge is unique in this part of Ontario. No where else can you have such a complete wilderness immersion and still have basic cozy comforts. It is also a work in progress, and we do take suggestions and criticisms seriously, and make improvements where possible. While trying to keep the ecological theme, the concerns and expectations of guests must be considered. Questions relating to such things as repairing lawn chairs, or throwing them out and buying new ones because people expect new looking outdoor furniture are weighed in terms of safety, appearances, and ecological footprints.

Our remoteness is both a blessing and a curse. By being so deep in the forest and removed from all signs of civilization, we can provide an unrivalled wilderness experience. There is no other lodge in Algonquin Park where you are completely free of all cars, motor boats, TV's, cell phones, and even neighbours. We are on a private lake, and we have our own waterfall, and wolves, moose, deer, and bears that live in our area. The downside is that the remoteness makes it difficult and expensive to run the business. Groceries must be bought in the nearest town which is one hour away. Over one ton of propane for the cooking range must be brought in by hand several times a year. We also have to worry about the same animals that we delight in seeing. We must take precautions against bears coming in the middle of the night to get at the garbage, and porcupines chewing away at the wooden stairs have forced us to replace them twice. We have also had two cats eaten by wolves.

As is evident by the reviews, there are two types of people leaving comments. People who love the Eco-Lodge and what it offers, and those who hate it. Since the Lodge is so different from "mainstream" we will, unfortunately, receive guests who are expecting more of a "traditional" five star hotel. We go out of our way to have friendly and experienced staff who enjoy making your stay as comfortable as possible. However, no matter what we do certain people may be disappointed if they have "five star" expectations. People who are keen for new experiences, want to really see the wilderness, and who are easy-going really enjoy their visit.

We are constantly striving to improve the Lodge, and it is an ongoing project, which it will remain for years to come. The improvements are considerable and we know that you will appreciate them when you stay at our Lodge, which is one of the most unique places in this part of North America. For example, we are the first and only lodge in southern Ontario to generate their own electricity from a waterfall. We are in the process of putting reading lights in various locations (as well as the bedrooms). But we will never light the whole building up like a highway motel. That would defeat the purpose of coming to an eco-lodge.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Algonquin Eco-Lodge

Property: Algonquin Eco-Lodge
Address: 3594 Elephant Lake Rd | Moffat Pond, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario KOL 1X0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Algonquin Provincial Park
Free Breakfast Free Parking Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Algonquin Provincial Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — Algonquin Eco-Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Algonquin Eco-Lodge is an award winning property on the southern tip of Algonquin Park. Located deep in the forests the Eco-Lodge is a nature enthusiasts dream. Sitting on the shores of a private lake and a cascading waterfall the Lodge is run completely on alternative energy, yet provides all the basic comforts including an outdoor hot tub! It is completely "off-grid", yet the Eco-Lodge creates electricity with a micro-hydro generator running from the waterfall.Algonquin Eco-Lodge won the 2012 Ontario Tourism Award in the Sustainable Tourism category. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Algonquin Eco-Lodge Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

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