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“Rude... Unhelpful... and... Oh Yeah... Rude”

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Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in McKenzie Bridge
Reviewed July 17, 2009

I was very excited to take a trip to Belknap Hot Springs as I had heard it was a beautiful place. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep my reservation so I called to cancel - fully aware that I was canceling the reservation a couple days late, therefore incurring a cancellation fee. No problem. However, when I called I had the misfortune of speaking to Sandy who was so extremely rude I thought maybe it was some kind of joke. I understood about the cancellation fee so I was not even one of those customers who try to argue about it. I simply tried to ask a couple of quick and easy questions just to fully understand all of my options, which I think is perfectly understandable for someone spending $100 on a cancellation fee. She was so unwilling to give me information and again.. just so rude.. that I decided I would not stay there regardless. Anyhow, I have traveled quite a bit in the U.S. and abroad and I can't say I have ever experienced anything like this... I know they don't HAVE to treat their customers that well (which is apparent when reading other posts) because they are fortunate enough to have a lovely and desirable location, but come on...

Stayed: June 2008
4  Thank brewco321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 12, 2009

We brought our kids here for a long weekend in late September. Overall we really enjoyed the trip and our stay, and would come back. We stayed in Lodge Room #10, which had a King bed and adjoining room with two twins. Things we liked:

Spacious room with adjoining room and two twin beds for the kids.
Loved the setting alongside the gorgeous McKenzie River
Miles of walking/running trails on the grounds, very scenic (though some parts looked run-down (e.g. fountains that didn't work, trails that led to nowhere)
Literally adjoins the McKenzie River Trail for gorgeous hiking opportunities
Loved the hot springs pool
Excellent jumping-off point for day trips to do waterfall hikes in the area or visit Clear Lake
Comfortably large room with dining room table, mini fridge
No TV in the room is a plus in my book, and there is a large screen tv in a common area downstairs
Nice common area for breakfast overlooking the main hot springs pool

Things we didn't like:
Room could have been cleaner, though no major complaints
Food is an issue. There is no restaurant on the property and our room had a mini fridge but no way to cook anything. There is a toaster and microwave in a common area downstairs, but it isn't practical to try to feed your family this way. Main desk sells convenience foods/candy/pop, etc, but again, no real food.
Board games are available, but are in poor shape/missing pieces
Pretty thin walls; we heard our neighbor's kids loud and clear, too early in the morning for me
Parking lot view from the window

Overall we were happy with our 2-night stay. The lack of ease in feeding our family was the biggest drawback. We toured several of the other rooms at the Lodge and next time we'll opt for one with a full kitchen. They are quite reasonably priced ($155 for King suite in 2008), are set up as suites so Mom and Dad can have privacy, and have nice river views. The appliances and cabinetry are modern. You can see them here (suites are #15 and #19): http://www.belknaphotsprings.com/lodgeRooms.html

We ate several meals in McKenzie Bridge, about 10 miles west of Belknap Lodge. We loved Takoda's! We enjoyed two lunches there - great menu, good prices, decent service and wonderful outdoor garden patio seating. The Rustic Skillet is a diner style cafe. We were less thrilled with that for breakfast. It was just ok, and we usually love diner food.

If you haven't seen this part of Oregon it is a real treat. From Belknap Hot Springs you are a very short drive from some stunning waterfall hikes. All the hikes we did (Sahalie/Koosah loop, Upper and Lower Proxy Falls) were short and easily done with a tends-to-be-whiny 8 year old. Clear Lake is perhaps 20 miles away and the McKenzie River is just breathtaking.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sneezy_in_OR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2009

A shout out to the hardworking "crew" of apparently two over the 4th of July weekend. The gal at the front desk, Sandy, was simultaneously checking people in, answering the phone, answering questions and selling items for the store all at once. She worked nonstop her entire shift, maintaining her poise on what must be one of their busiest weekends. She was also helpful and kind. A great improvement over previous years!

We did feel that there was not enough staff on for a holiday weekend. The poor folks who were there were working the jobs of two or three people.

My overall impression of this resort is positive, though there are nickel and dimey kinds of charges everywhere and not enough staff.

The location is unbeatable and the amenities at the resort could be out of the park awesome. The McKenzie itself and nearby hikes cannot be improved on. Glad to see improvement in the front line staff. Thanks again to the heroic Sandy for all she did this weekend.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank lollifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2009

Spent a few night here last year, huge mistake! Overpriced, incredibly hot stuffy room with a broken fan and dirty sheets. Asked 3 times for a replacement fan to be brought up. Asked 2 times for pillow for bedroom (no pillows on bed), reception kept promising to have items sent up, but it never happened.

Found a fan on stairwell which I wheeled into the room to cool it off a degree or 2 (no working air conditioning). I finally tracked down a cleaning lady (?) who pointed me to the direction of there supply closet. Got my own pillow, finally.

There were broken glasses in the kitchen cupboard. Fridge was making a LOUD humming noise, and not very cold. They had a supply of board games, but the 3 that we picked were missing numerous pieces, and were unplayable. No TV in room, for a few bucks we could 'rent ' one for evening to watch a movie. Ridiculous.

Most of the grounds were pretty nice, however one hiking trail I followed, ended abruptly (blocked by rusty construction equipment) after half hour into it; wish they had bothered to post a sign at the trailhead.

What a joke, don't waste your time or $$ coming here. One of the worst.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank dpaPortland_OR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2009

So, we took what we thought would be a relaxing family vacation...boy were we surprised! Hmm, the pictures on the website just make the lodge LOOK nice and inviting, but wait til you actually pay the money to stay here. There is dust everywhere, rat feces, rat traps (they're quite "reassuring"), cramped living quarters, and unpleasant odors. It looks like the "maid" doesn't exactly do what she/he's paid to do. The cleanliness is unsatisfactory.
When you pay the price of a Four Star hotel, you expect a much cleaner and comfortable place, as well as above-average courtesy and hospitality. The staff wasn't very friendly and courteous.
Also, they don't provide the basic amenities that you would expect when you take a VACATION. If we wanted to buy our own utencils, TV, dining table, Wi-Fi connection, and appliances, we would have stayed home. A vacation is usually a getaway from the everyday life, but this one was not. It was uncomfortable on so many levels.
Sure, they provide a free continental breakfast to the lodge guests, but who wants to wake up at 7:45am on their vacation??? Breakfast only last until 8:45am. They should allow at least 2 hours for breakfast. There are guests with young children, and it is much tougher to get them up on time to make sure that they don't miss the most important meal of the day, and it's not like there's a restaurant close by to provide your meals. You are expected to provide your own meals, but how much room can your food take in your vehicles to last more than a day or so?? Besides that, there is hardly any room in the scanty refridgerator that they decided to provide.
The only REAL attractions are outdoors. It smells better outside, too. A lot of upgrades need to be made to the lodge to be able to charge such a large sum of money.
Hopefully this review can be used as constructive criticism that may be a wake-up call for the managers there. The location itself has more to offer. Their lodges NEED A LOT of improvement before we ever decide to come back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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6  Thank mosu_gujulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2008

I wrote a letter to the owner and manager about how awful our stay was and got absolutely no response. Here is the letter I sent:

Dear Mr. McDougal,

As a first time visitor to Belknap Springs, I was excited to experience the enchanting place my friends had told me about. This was our annual family get together. My sisters' families, my brother, my mom, my dad and my family all meet up from as far as Portland, fourteen of us in total. We paid for an extra campsite to accommodate all of us. We usually camp at one of the campgrounds up Hwy 242, but the road was closed still from snow fall damage and bridge construction, so we decided to take our reunion indoors this year.

We rented cabin #7, across a footbridge and only accessible by trail which we didn’t mind, as it would mean we’d be away from the RVs and be more secluded. They had a very helpful young man that helped transport our belongings in an ATV. As we rounded the bend in the trail and our cabin came into view, our eyes were not disappointed. The four bedroom, two story cabin surrounded by trees, sunshine splashing though the leaves, and the sound of the McKenzie river rushing by was indeed enchanting at first glance.

The facade came crashing down when we entered the cabin. First we noticed the dirty floors, spots where something sticky had been dripped followed by dirt adhering to make splotches of dirt that don't go away without a good mopping and the built up grime by all the baseboards, the telltale signs of no thorough cleaning. As we unpacked, we started noticing other things. All the carpets were dirty, stained and crusty in spots. There were spider webs in the corners of every room, a used Kleenex peeked out from under one of the easy chairs and all the window sills had dozens of dead bugs. The cupboards were streaked with grime in both the kitchen and the bathrooms. (They are much cleaner now, my sister couldn’t stand the filth and cleaned all of the cupboards in the kitchen except one.) The dishes were put away dirty, some were so thick with grease you could see the puddle of white grease in the bottom of the bowl. In one of the bathrooms there was something black on the tub, that easily wiped off.

The beds were mostly dilapidated. Many of them sagged badly in the middle. The roll-out beds’ sheets had crumbs and what appeared to be rat droppings in one of them, and obviously hadn't been changed. Upon request the front desk gave us extra sheets so we could put clean sheets on the rollout beds.

On the balcony and back porch there was a ton of confetti. There was a lot of trash (confetti, plastic toy parts, a bottle, a can and a few forks) around the fire pit area outside as well. Many of the Adirondack chairs were cracked, you had to be careful how you sat on them.

For a place that claims to be fully equipped to accommodate 12-16 people, the largest fry pan was a 6" sauce pan. They only provided two dish towels and a dirty, worn out sponge with no scrub left in it. The coffee maker was missing as well, but the front desk gave us one when we inquired about it. Wine glasses would be a nice addition.

It was a slow process realizing how filthy the place really was. As we found new dirty things we complained to the front desk. We were told that the group before us had left the place trashed and they had worked hard to clean it up. They sent someone to clean up the confetti and trash as best they could. I also overheard the cleaning woman telling the front desk receptionist that she had mopped our cabin. If this is the case, then she needs a new mop or lessons on how to mop. Overall, the attitude of the front desk made us feel like they thought we were overly picky and it was an imposition to them that we found the condition of the cabin so deplorable.

The first night we also ran into electrical problems. My eleven year old son plugged in a lamp upstairs and it flashed blue, made a popping sound and went out followed by an electrical sizzle sound zipping through the walls which sent the kids running down the stairs in panic. My sister heard the noise zip all the way downstairs in her room where the breaker box resided. My sister went upstairs and could smell that telltale electrical burn smell in the air. When the front desk was alerted the next day, they seemed unconcerned, numb and unresponsive as she jotted down our complaint. No one ever came to check the situation out. We just avoided that outlet and used other lights in the room.

The 1 am sprinklers were also a surprising sound directly outside our windows. Make sure you don't leave anything out around the campfire ring outside, it will get wet.

We spent the next day deciding if we wanted to try to find a place to move to for our remaining two nights stay. I even spent awhile on my cell phone trying to find some place that could accommodate all fourteen of us on short notice. I actually found a place in Sunriver, but that would mean packing everyone up, a 1 1/2 hour drive and then unpacking all sight unseen, not to mention having to convince Belknap Springs management to refund our money. We decided it would be too much trouble to try to relocate at this point. We stuck it out and enjoyed our family time in spite of the squalor. It was akin to staying in a frat house at $400 a night.

I filled out a comment card and left it with the front desk. I’m not sure the comment card was passed on to you and I didn’t have time to fully express our disappointment of our visit. We took pictures of some of the dirty aspects of the cabin. I assure you these are not isolated areas of filth but just a small sample of the squalor that is in that cabin. I have included the pictures in this letter to the McDougal Brothers’ address. I do have the pictures in digital form and can email them on request.

We wanted you as the owner to know of our experience and the general dilapidation of cabin #7. We thought perhaps you might not be aware of the down turn things have taken. We wanted to give you the opportunity to make things right. For starters, we would like a refund of our stay. We stayed for three nights, July 30th, 31st and August 1st. We also hope that you will provide more staff to service the resort and train them to follow a higher standard of cleanliness. It would also be advisable to refurnish some of the cabins with beds and house wares or do not advertise as being fully furnished and equipped. I’m sending a copy of this letter to the manager of Belknap Springs as well. I hope that this reaches the right hands.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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12  Thank tribejohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2008

My rating is an average of the great outdoor space and the room, which was below my expectations.
The garden is amazing, and huge (you need a map). The hot water pools are also pleasant.
Room 9 is one of the cheapest rooms, although not that cheap in absolute terms. It was very basic and quite small. The curtains had a few stains and the radiator was rusty and had some loose parts. Initially I thought that perhaps I was just unlucky with that particular room, but now I see that other people were disappointed too. I guess the best deal then is to get a daily ticket for the pool also to admire the garden, but sleep somewhere else!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank eurotourist75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens

Address: 59296 N Belknap Springs Rd, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413-9651
Location: United States > Oregon > McKenzie Bridge
Amenities:
Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in McKenzie Bridge
Number of rooms: 76
Also Known As:
Belknap Hot Springs Lodge And Gardens Hotel Mckenzie Bridge
Belknap Hot Springs Oregon
Belknap Hot Springs Lodge And Gardens Oregon/McKenzie Bridge

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