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“Good, but not great”

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Windermere House Resort & Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Windermere
Reviewed September 12, 2011

The one thing that is for sure, the people and service here is great. We didn't meet a single person that wasn't nice

This place does lack a few things I would expect from a resort:
newspaper at my door
pool with a few
place with lounge chairs (there is no place on the water to sit)

When i go to a 'resort', I typically want one spot where I can go and spend the entire day and relax if I want...and ideally go for a swim. There is a pool, but without scenery, what is the point in going here? Muskoka is all about being on the lake.

Room are spacious, but the bathrooms are very cramped, and seem dated.

The hallways and rooms also have a musty type smell

It is a nice spot, but relative to most luxury resort spots we have visited, it doesn't compare. If you can get a deal, go. But I wouldn't spend top dollar.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Saku_Koivu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 186 reviews

Reviewed September 11, 2011

It's been a few years since we visited Canada but after seeing a great seat sale to Toronto we flew there and then rented a car and headed north to Muskoka, which is a pretty cottage region with lots of lakes. A friend had recommended we try out Windermere House Resort, so we booked a stay there for three nights. We were glad we chose a lakeview room of Lake Rosseau, because the lake views were fantastic. The rooms were not quite as luxurious as we expected but everything that was important was top quality, such as the bed, the linens, toiletries, etc. The room was spotlessly clean and it was very quiet. We loved bring able to open the doors and enjoy fresh, clean lake air. It was very peaceful and relaxing at the resort. It's about a 15 minute drive to the closest town, so you really feel like you have escaped the tourist crowds there. We would have liked to see a few more things to do in the area, but having said that we enjoyed the spa, the golf course, the outdoor pool (could be updated) and it forced us to relax, enjoy some leisurely meals and spend a lot of time swimming in the lake. The staff offered to help us plan more activities but once we started to unwind we didn't want to do much more! The food at the resort was very good and apparently the company that manages the restaurants - Oliver & Bonacini - is quite popular in Toronto. We would have liked to have had a coffee maker in our room but otherwise we felt we were well served and got great value at this historic resort.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MariaLorusso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

I stayed at Windermere House in August of this year and had a fantastic time. We were looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway in Muskoka and this resort did not disappoint. My husband and I stayed in one of the Lakeview rooms on the second floor and were quite happy. Although the Lakeview rooms on the second floor have not been renovated the large balcony definitely makes up for this. If you are going to book a Lakeview room I would recommend the balcony over the renovated floor. I also had a chance to visit the spa on one of the days and have a manicure. The spa was amazing, I understand it’s new this year, and quite beautiful. My husband and I tried all the restaurants and Wasabi, the sushi restaurant was our favorite! All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, we got directions to one of the local towns (Port Carling) and I would recommend a visit, there are a lot of unique stores that we really enjoyed.

Really enjoyed our vacation here and would recommend it to all our friends and family.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Viola L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

After reading some of the reviews, we were a bit hesitant to book a stay at Windermere House, but our desire to try out Oliver & Bonacini's new restaurant there made us take the risk and we are glad we did! We found the staff to be very friendly and accommodating. Yes, many are summer students, as to be expected at most Muskoka resorts, but they were all well trained and very willing to help with any requests we made. We loved the fact the hotel was restored to its former glory and yet is very modern at the same time. Oliver & Bonacini did not disappoint! One night we had an amazing meal in the Rosseau Grill, and then the second night we went more casual (my husband was tired after golfing) and ate in the pub. We didn't get a chance to try the sushi bar - we'll save that for next time!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LisaClap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2011

I recently stayed at the Windermere House in Muskoka and had an exceptional time. We stayed in one of the Gardenview rooms on the 3rd floor. These rooms were well appointed and had been renovated recently.
I enjoyed all the restaurants on site, particularly the Sushi. I would definately reccommend their food to anyone.
I did not have a chance to visit the spa but did look through the list of services they offer. I hope to have a chance to visit again and perhaps book an appointment at the spa.
What a wonderful, relaxing, vacation

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2011

We were so excited to take our family vacation here, as we had heard good things about Windermere House, but were very disappointed. As we were a big group (one family of 5, and 2 families of 3), we rented the Windermere cottage as well as a Gardenview Suite for the last week of July. The suite was okay, but the cottage was in such disrepair, we were shocked that they could charge what they do. Aside from being quite old and obviously dated, the cottage needs A LOT of repairs, big and small. For example, toilet paper holders are falling off the walls, floors creak, some windows don't open, while others are broken in the open position, some window panes are cracked, the screened in porch has so many holes in the screen that not only did mosquitoes and other insects pass in and out freely, we had chipmunks visiting frequently (and defecating on the porch) ... the list goes on.

As well, their website is deceiving, in that it seems you will arrive and find a plethora of activities to do as a family. This was definitely not our experience. It turns out that their 'sandy beach' is actually a public beach across the road that is about 40ft long and very close to a marina (boat fuel). The pool area is quite small and not lovely at all - it looked like a motel pool.

Our biggest problem was that, because we had several young children, we brought along a lot of food. Unfortunately after we arrived and unpacked our food into the fridge and freezer, we realized they weren't cooling properly. Someone came to take a look and (even though you could easily feel that the fridge was not cool) he insisted they leave a thermometer inside and check back in an hour. An hour later, the fridge was not cool, so he insisted we give it more time and he'd check back an hour later (all the while, our food is not being properly refrigerated/frozen). Finally we convinced them that the fridge wasn't working, but because it was sunday, no technician was available to look at it. They took our food and stored it in their main fridge/freezer overnight. The next day, a technician came and 'fixed' the fridge, which finally felt cool ... until we put our food back in it. After half a day of back and forth, thermometer, temp checks, etc., they replaced the fridge with another one. Guess what ... also not a very efficient cooling machine. The same can be said for all the appliances in the kitchen because everything is so old - the kettle that heats water, but never comes to a boil, the oven that takes at least 2-3 x the normal time to cook ...

I will say that, with the exception of one individual, the customer service was good, but this didn't make up for our complete disappointment. We definitely would not return to this resort, and wouldn't recommend it to friends.

If this vacation were half the price (or less!) we might not have been so disappointed, but if you check their website, you will see that this is not a cheap place to stay. For 4 adults and 3 children, the cottage was $800/night!! Breakfast was included but despite it being an Oliver and Bonacini restaurant, the quality of the food was mediocre.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Nami E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

Our family just stayed at the resort during the heat wave this week. Windermere was the perfect place to be. The staff were so welcoming, our room was spotlessly clean and the grounds were gorgeous. It was a great place to bring our kids and have a family getaway. We had an awesome time at the beach and our kids loved the pool. We will return.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank ETNtci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Windermere House Resort & Hotel

Address: 2508 Windermere Road, Windermere, Ontario P0B 1P0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Muskoka District > Windermere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Windermere
Price Range: $160 - $601 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Windermere House Resort & Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
“Lady of the Lake.” Windermere House Resort is an iconic landmark located on prestigious Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. The country's oldest hotel, it has welcomed guests for over 140 years. Fine dining, boating, tennis, golf, spa services and five star service make Windermere House a preferred destination. New at Windermere House is The Cottages at Windermere, a private enclave of 6 three bedroom luxury fractional ownership cottages. Experience everything Muskoka has to offer in unsurpassed comfort. Luxuriate in plush pillowtop beds, indulge in sumptuous dining and relax amid plentiful, carefree recreation. We're here to spoil you. Offering family vacations, romantic getaways, golf packages, weddings and conferences facilities, Windermere House resort on Lake Rosseau offers the ideal backdrop for your Muskoka getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Windermere House Hotel Windermere
Windermere House Resort And Hotel
Windermere House Resort & Hotel Muskoka District, Canada

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