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“A Beautiful location, but ........”

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Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in McKenzie Bridge
Reviewed August 3, 2009

We have spent many long weekends in an RV at the resort over the last 12 years or so and have watched the resort be landscaped so beautifully with the addition of the steel bridge over the McKenzie, the Chinese gardens and of course the Secret Garden. We even rented several cabins, an RV site and a tent site for a special anniversary celebration. Then it seems about 4 or 5 years ago things started to go downhill. Was there a change of ownership? management? general downturn in the economy? Maintenance is NOT good - the beautiful gardens that once sported dozens and dozens of rose bushes and the fountain areas are hardly taken care of at all even though an effort has been made to plant annual flowers.

We love the 2 hot pools which seem to be maintained well - they were in fact completely redone a few years ago. But the bathrooms ....... oh my gosh!! The ones down by the lodge are OK but open showers with no privacy just for hot pool bathers, even though I heard the desk clerk offer that alternative to an 80 year old lady who had complained there was no hot water in her room!! The bathrooms by the upper pool defy description! They were so bad (filthy) that I took photos and took them to the main office. That did at least prompt maintenance to do some rapid cleanup but it's hard to expect campers to take care of facilities when obviously management doesn't care. We were even told that RV-ers are self contained and shouldn't need to use tose facilities!

That being said ..... the resort area on the Mackenzie River is absolutely beautiful and High Country Expeditions whose office is at the lodge offers awesome white water trips with excellent guides, There are numerous hikes within less than 20 miles to gorgeous waterfalls and many trails to wander around the resort itself. Hopefully owners and management read these various reviews and take note. Oh to have the Belknap Hot Springs Resort of 10 years ago back!

Would I return again - yes - to enjoy the location, but you can bet we'll not use the bathroom facilities!

For anyone planning a trip - make sure you gas up and if camping bring all the food you need - the closest convenience store/gas station is 10 miles south. WI-FI is only available in the lodge itself, downstairs, not in each room. There is a grill/outdoor eating at the lodge but the closest restaurant is again several miles away.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank CentralCoastRVer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 - 335 of 342 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2009

We recently stayed at the Belknap Hot Springs for a family reunion. The property is gorgeous, including a secret garden. I highly recommend investing in the white water rafting trip. We stayed in the lodge. The rooms were quaint and clean. Our room did not have air conditioners or screens. We slept in 95 degree heat.

When we asked for help, the front desk recommended that we open up the slider door. Opening the door would let in the bugs. The receptionist retorted - it's just like camping.
Personally, I love to camp but when someone is spending $125 per night, you expect a little more than a tenting experience. The front desk receptionist was rude, abrupt, and does not have an ounce of customer service skills in her body.

Unfortunately, I think she's one of the owners.

All in all, we had a great trip - this part of the country is a must see.

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