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“Tennis Camp”
Review of Total Tennis

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Total Tennis
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Saugerties
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Tennis Camp”
Reviewed June 27, 2010

Total Tennis is camp for adults who play tennis. 10 hours of tennis over Saturday and Sunday. It's a full schedule with lots of time to practice. The pros were good, the courts were in good shape and the balls were brand new (though, I heard they've been playing on dead balls for quite awhile before this weekend). You declare your skill level (beginner, 3.0, 4.0, etc and you are assigned into a group of four with one pro. The cabins are very basic. It was fine for a place to sleep and shower. The shower wasn't great - cold then hot, hard to manage the temperature. The food is cafeteria style and it was ok. Nothing fancy, but nourishing with lots of options for fresh salad and fruit. For those who want to drink at the end of the day, there is a bar and plenty of opportunity to have cocktails. I wouldn't recommend the cocktails if you came to play, though - most of the pros work the players to their max and everyone looked tired. Overall great experience and a great place to receive instruction with a small group. There is a pool and a hot tub. Pool looked nice and I didn't see the hot tub. There is a spa on site and my $80 one hour massage was outstanding. I'm definitely going back this summer and would recommend it to any tennis player looking to improve their game.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank sabell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Long Island, NY
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2010

Total Tennis is just what the name says… they offer midweek and week-end stays. I went up here Fri-Sun, 4/30-5/2, the first ‘summer’ w/e where the outdoor courts are open. with 3 friends, all in our 50’s. It was a full house with 65 people. I would say 90% were female, age range 30’s – 60’s, all from the tri-state area, with ‘many’ repeat guests. We did find it odd that one couple brought their 7-week baby with them. They also offer single week-ends (although my friend that went to one in Nov. said many were not single) and kid week-ends.

We got up to Saugerties on Friday afternoon and stopped in the town, which was rated by travel guru Arthur Frommer as “one of the 10 coolest smallest towns in the U.S.” It was very quaint, with LOTS of restaurants and antique stops. We had a fabulous lunch at Miss Lucy’s but Love Bites across the street looked equally appealing as well.

We arrived at Total Tennis around 4:00pm. When we made our reservations, the only rooms left were in the ‘cabins’ as opposed to the main lodge. All rooms are very basic, no-frills, 2 beds, 2 nightstands, a dresser, a closet, and a bathroom. We also had an electric heater which we used one morning (before it became 88 degrees outside) and a room air conditioner. I did hear that some rooms are bigger than others (ours was small) and one group of 3 we met had a triple room, but all are basic. Some of the reviewers here talk about the amazing room views or room dividers. Ours had neither – no room divider and the view was of grass and cabins. But being in a cabin, we had a porch and we liked our location, next to the hot tub.. .

There are 20 outdoor courts, 2 astro-turf, 11 clay, and 7 hard court, surrounded by the Catskills mountains. There are indoor courts as well, used when it rains and in the winter. The food as noted is delicious, included lots of vegetarian dishes, and the chef Dan I believe is from The Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. I also heard for a short time he had to leave, but he is back, so that could account for some of the people here rating the food as just adequate previously. It is buffet style and except for dinner, you bring your dirty plates back to the kitchen. One negative about the dining room is the very noticeable LOUD noise level. You can tell by the sound buffers installed on the sloped ceiling they tried to remedy this, but to no avail. Since on our w/e when the room was filled, it was difficult to carry on a conversation with a person sitting diagonal from you.

Some of what was offered and as my friend noted, mostly the same each week:

Friday night dinner: salad bar, lentil soup, roasted chicken, pasta stuffed with cheese, veggie dishes, homemade breads, chocolate cake

Sat breakfast: French toast, bacon, eggs, cereals, blueberry muffins, fruit

Sat lunch: salad bar, meat and veggie fajitas, Spanish rice, guacamole, chicken, tuna, and egg salad, oatmeal raisin cookies

Sat dinner: salad bar, roast beef, salmon , mashed potatoes, pasta with porcini mushrooms, brussel sprouts, ice cream sundaes

Sun breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, scones,

Sun lunch: pizza, swedish meatballs, roasted squash and beets, veggie dishes, chicken, tuna, and egg salad, brownies

24/7 you can get coffee and ice tea, cranberry juice, lemonade, and ice.

Saturday night there is a wine and cheese party in the main lodge which has a nice lounge, small bar, 1 computer with internet (wi-fi in the lodge), a piano, a library with games, and a small pro-shop.

Sat night was a DJ in the barn, along with foosball, ping pong and a pool table.

The indoor hot tub is small but then again, I suppose adequate size because it was never crowded. There is a BIG outdoor pool for the summer months.

Massages are $40 for 30 minutes (I think) and they book up early. If you want a massage, I suggest reserving it before you arrive. We were one of the first to arrive and most slots were already taken.

The tennis w/e program starts on Sat. morning at 8:45am. After a demo and announcements, you are grouped by ranking (2.5-4.0+) or if you come up with your own group. Many come up in groups but there are also a good number that come by themselves. Everyone seemed happy with their tennis pro (there were about 20 since our w/e was full) and from what I could see the format is similar….warm-up with min-tennis, drills, games, mental strategy. Everyone also gets a 30 min. private lesson. We ‘reserved’ Vic – he is VERY nice ! On Saturday afternoon there is an optional round robin if you want to participate. Other posts mention being videotaped and strokes analyzed and one of my friends had this done on a previous midweek trip, but this was not done this w/e. (maybe because it as a full week-end?) I would have liked some time to play tennis with other guests and more than 1 round robin opportunity.

The w/e we went it was 88 degrees. You walk down a hill to get to the courts and you are on the courts a couple of hours each session so you should be in decent physical shape.

Things to bring:

1. something insulated if you want to have ice on the court with you. At check-in everyone gets a cup and there is water and Gatorade on the courts and you can get ice in the kitchen. But the ice in my cup melted very quickly in the hot weather.

2. sun tan lotion

3. hat and sunglasses

4. bug spray

5. shampoo (they have blue liquid they call soap and shampoo) and hair dryer

6. casual clothes – even on Fri and Sat night, dress is very casual

7. bathing suit for hot tub and or pool

My group had a great time and we all want to go back and 2 have been there before. It was announced that we save $100 if we return in the summer session which is a nice incentive since the w/e did cost over $500 each. Going mid-week is a better deal and less crowded. Some previous posts made comments about Ed, the owner. We found him to be pleasant but had no direct dealings with him. Ellen who runs the front desk and managers the place is friendly and efficient.

If you want an intensive tennis get-away with great food, then go and have fun !!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank RhonaP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oyster Bay, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2010

I had a great time at Total Tennis. I went for 2 days(Mon.,Tues.) and accomplished what I set out to do: Improve my game, make new friends, and have a pleasant time. I am a men's singles 3.5 player. I needed to take my game to the next level and TT did that for me. I went up alone to TT after getting a recommendation from a tennis buddy. The lodge was very nice and charming, my room was simple, but clean. My back porch overlooking the valley and the large swimming pool was excellent. I fully enjoyed relaxing on my porch in my rocking chair looking out at the deer and the mountain views. I was here for great tennis and I was not disappointed. My instructor, Guillermo, was top notch. He was a major part of my weekend and improving my game. He consistently identified areas to be improved and gave me the perfect instructions to fix my flaws. I was in a group of 4( 2 women, 2 men), we got along great and had fun playing mixed doubles after our 5 hours of instructions. The food was very good and bordered on Excellent. There is food for any type of eater, so don't worry, you won't starve. I enjoyed the dining room, the barn rec. room and the very nicely equipped hot tub room. I did not book a massage, although several ladies did and recommended it.
I will say that there were only about 24 guests during my stay so nothing was overcrowded. I can see how there maybe issues iof overcrowding if the hotel is fully booked. Everyone I encountered was enjoying there stay, the only complaint I heard from one woman was that she was in a group below her skill level. It is my advice to know you ranking level when you attend your first "player's meeting", so you can be placed in the correct group.
A few other important points:
You will be playing a lot of tennis, so bring at least 2 pairs of tennis shoes and expect some blisters.
Nights are cool so bring a sweatshirt or jacket. Bring a swimsuit for the hot tub and the pool. Bring sunscreen.
I read negative comments about management on here. I experienced the exact opposite. Ed and his staff were very nice and polite, and that goes for the Kitchen crew, the Chef, and the teaching staff. One of the pleasant things about my stay is that the management leaves you to enjoy yourself. I prefer this "hands off" style to allow the guests to enjoy themselves and the other guests. The most interaction you have with staff is with your pro. There is very little interaction with management.
There is no fridge in your room so bring a cooler if you plan on keeping cold beverages in your room. There is a convenience store a few miles down the road.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank P-Gunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2010

It's been over 10 years since we visited Total Tennis as beginners. Now as intermediates, we want to continue our learning process and go back to our roots. The main building look the same and still has that "summer camp" atmosphere. No TV/cable in the rooms. Some don't have AC. The meals are cafeteria style but very tasty and healthy. Outdoor pool. But we are there for tennis, not how many thead count the sheets have. Compared to the tennis camps in Killington, Sugarbush, and Westhampton, this is the most bang for your buck. Also only 2 hours from NYC. Maximum 4 students per instructors and they make sure you have plenty of court / hitting time, drills, and games. They also have indoor courts if it rains. I would take weekly lessons if it was closer.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BklynFung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2010

This was my fourth trip to Total Tennis, I go at the beginning and end of each summer. As an avid tennis fan this place has everything I want in a tennis camp plus more. The accomdations while spare are desgined to highlight the surrounding beauty of the mountains, each room comes with a private balcony and breathtaking views. I was blessed to be placed into a double room alone, so I had plentyu of space for my sweaty clothers to dry! the tennis instruction was great, our pro "Bob" was patient and fun. The food was amazing and there was plently of it so i always felt full. The best thing about the camp is thr friendships formed on my first visit i traveled alone and meet two people whom i consider to be great friends some 3 years later!!

Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank GregNYC123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2010

Although my room in the main lodge was very much in the “old camp” style (very basic,
run down, ill equipped), I had a porch with a rocking chair right outside
where I could view the magnificent sunsets behind the Catskill mountains. The room
was kept clean and very generously supplied with towels, soap, tissues, etc.

While many praised the food (one camper thought the pancakes were the best she
had every had), I felt the meals were good but certainly not excellent. In all fairness to the chef and his staff, the meals were varied, interesting and the food plentiful. The meals were much better than I expected from a buffet style in a camp setting and the wine that was available with dinner the first night and the wine and cheese party prior to
dinner the second night were thoughtful and appreciated. The chef and his staff
made great efforts to please and seemed to take pride in their work.

Those who came in a group played games (such as Scrabble) in the evening and seemed to have had a grand time (especially the group that brought along their own large bottles of wine). Otherwise there is little to do in the evening except watch the one TV that’s available, play games (if you can find someone to play with), read, or use the one computer. I visited the barn with a fellow camper to play ping pong and in the dim
light of the empty dance floor, bar, old hand carved beams, and sparkling disco ball,
we both envisioned a flashback to an earlier time when “this old place” must have been
jumping.

The staff is wonderful (Manager Ellen Neilly, especially). They were helpful, efficient and courteous and made you feel welcome. And in contradiction to some of the adverse
comments about director and owner, Ed Fondiller, I found him to be interesting, friendly
and professional. He really did direct -- briefing us, channeling us in between the indoor and outdoor courts when necessary due to rain and giving demonstration lessons. And due to his excellent organization, everything works smoothly.

And finally -- the tennis is great. First of all, playing on clay courts in that setting -- at the base of the Catskills is glorious. But the heart of any tennis learning experience is
the quality of the instruction and as a 3.5 player I found it to be excellent. My pro was Mateo whose teaching and playing were not only extremely helpful but also very enjoyable. He really is an excellent teacher (and a great guy) and when I volleyed with him my game improved significantly. Mateo and the great tennis program behind him made my stay a “smashing” success. The tennis in Total Tennis was great and you tend to become comfortable with the ageing facilities as they “grow” on you. I certainly would go again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Albo007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
Reviewed December 8, 2009

I've been to Total Tennis 3 times now, twice in the outdoor season and once for an indoor session. Each time has been a different experience, but the quality of instruction, great people (both staff and 'campers') and really tasty food has been consistent. It's not a luxury resort...but the rooms are clean and functional, and after all, you're there for the tennis. They do have on-site massages, and I highly recommend ending your day with one.

Ellen (runs the desk and I think manages the place) is great, very helpful, friendly and nice. I highly recommend Chase for a pro, and have heard great things about Vic, Lidia and just about everyone there. Alan the bartender is great, takes great care of the guests. And in the outdoor season, DJ Goldie makes for a really fun scene in the barn.

The crowd is varied, but I've found the people there to be very friendly and fun for the most part. Ages range from 20's to 60's, and a pretty balanced mix of men to women. Lots of groups of friends, but if you come alone, you'll have no problems making friends and finding people to hang out with. I would have no issues going by myself.

You get a little more play time in the outdoor season, and it is admittedly less than ideal if there's rain and you have to move indoors. But they've got it down pat in terms of split sessions in the morning and afternoon, and it works out just fine for the most part.

I'm an intermediate player and have gone with total beginners -- we all feel like we learned/improved while there, had a great time and would go back again and again. It's a great deal - lots of tennis, high quality food (surprisingly so!) a pretty setting relatively close to NYC. Can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stephinnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Total Tennis

Property: Total Tennis
Address: 1811 Old Kings Hwy, Saugerties, NY 12477-4183
Location: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Saugerties
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Saugerties
Number of rooms: 42
Also Known As:
Total Tennis Saugerties
Total Tennis Hotel Saugerties

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