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“A very chilled out holiday”
Review of Elmhirst's Resort

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Elmhirst's Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A very chilled out holiday”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Being from the UK, we had never been on a Canadian lakes holiday before. We were not sure what to expect, friends said to think of it as 'upmarket camping'. I'm glad that they had set the expectations for this type of holiday - I confess I was initially out of my comfort zone!!

We stayed in a deluxe cottage. It was rustic in decor, spacious and clean. A great size for our family of 4. We put the kids in the 2 upstairs bedrooms whilst we had the downstairs one. Big mistake. There is no air conditioning in the cottages and despite opening the window it was far too hot to sleep. The ceiling height, unlike in the other two bedrooms, did not allow for a ceiling fan. We ended up putting the kids in together and moving upstairs. On top of this, the seaplane took off at 0615, not a great first night!!! The kitchen was lacking a frying pan, grill pan & I didn't like the idea of a wooden chopping board as I had no idea what it had been used for previously.

The activities, especially for the kids, were fantastic. They cycled the trails, kayaked, canoed, swam, fished and best of all, went tubing (Emma in charge of this activity was great) !!!! This is a great place to let them have a little freedom. At age 9 & 10, we felt quite happy allowing them to explore on their own and come back at an agreed time. They had their first ever proper campfire making and 'smores' experience, and caught their first fish - they will remember this holiday forever. One improvement would be to have more bikes available - only once could we cycle as a family due to number of bikes of the appropriate size.

The additional, extra cost activities (ATV, riding, spa) were much more expensive than UK prices - 30 min massage cost approx $67, I'd get a 60min massage for the same price at home.

We ate in both the restaurants. The food was excellent, but a little on the expensive side. The best value was to buy the steaks and BBQ. They were fantastic & much cheaper than the supermarkets.

The resort staff were all very friendly and helpful .They told us of the local farm which had a trestle table & honesty box for buying corn. I've never tasted corn like it!!!!

Despite my initial reservations, we had a great time. It's a very laid back & relaxing place. The scenery was beautiful.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Helen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Markham, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2012

First time to this cottage and enjoyed my staying with a lot of fun facilities, including kayaking, swimming, chess outdoor, fishing, games room, tennis, basketball...... However, I need to complain on the kitchen that all cooking wares are not useable and should be garbage items. Don't know why they still keep it in the kitchen. Also, the BBQ stove is a very small BTU that takes me half hour to made 4 burgers. You can not see fire inside the stove and the fire die off sometime when a stronger wind blowing. The power level switch only have 1 side attached and I have to swap the switch from side to side in order to turn it on/off. This BBQ stove also, should re-cycle and should not be used. We gave up BBQ after 1st night as it took too long to have the meat cooked. The toaster not even work and all these do not seem a 4 stars cottage should have. I think the Cottage-resort.com should re-do their homework again as the in-cottage experience is one of the worst I have so far.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cyclist0093, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this review, August 12, 2012
Thank you first of all for bringing your family to stay with us and also for so much specific information about your experience on the property and in your cottage. We were really happy to hear you enjoyed the recreation facilities and your family had lots of fun here.

I apologize for the challenges you had preparing food in your cottage.
We purchased all new pots and pans for the cottages in the past year and we keep a stock of small appliances and other supplies. Of course we do our best to ensure all facilities are ready to go prior to arrival but are prepared to rectify such challenges quickly when we hear of them.

We replaced most of the bbq's on the cottage decks this spring but will make replacement of the unit in your cottage a priority.

I hope you will return for more fun on Rice Lake soon! ...and some Elmhirst's Own burgers (beef raised on site) will taste great from the new bbq.

Thanks again, best wishes, and enjoy the rest of the summer with your family....
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

My wife and I booked the Cycling Package special, which is meant for mid-week from July to September. We called in advance to do a mini FAQ to clarify what was and was not included, general questions, etc.

We arrived on Monday, July 9. We were greeted by Laura at the Front Desk. At the end, we inquired about the bonus bucks included in our package. She was not readily aware of the bonus bucks and would follow up the next time we were at the front desk. We went ahead and made reservations for the Dining Room for 7:30 pm as dinner was included in our package.
We were assigned Cottage # 52, which is towards the end on the east side. Cottage was fairly clean. No major issues. Not sure if A/C was on and/or working. Found it hot at first, but cooled down with windows open. Whirlpool tub works just fine.
We went back to main area to walk around and familiarize ourselves with the amenities. Laura stopped us and gave us the bonus bucks. She advised the Cycling Package is fairly "new" and she verified the bonus bucks.
We came back for our first dinner. We decided to dress up a little bit as we were booked in the dining room. Laura saw us and immediately advised us that our dinner is actually for the Pub area and she handed us the menu for our package. We had the option to use the dining room and stick with the menu, or order off the regular menu and receive a $15.00 per person credit towards the menu. We decided to stick with the included menu and eat in the dining room. It would have been great to know the details in advance.
My wife's soup, her first course, had a bug in it. We advised our server and she was given a new bowl. Was it from the same batch??? We both had sirloin steak and fries, with no issues. We both had a glass of the Cabernet Merlot Shiraz which was excellent! We bypassed dinner and coffee/tea.
On the way out, Laura inquired about our experience. We told her about the bug, and she was very apologetic and proceeded to offer us a free movie rental. At least she offered some sort of compensation and a genuine apology.

Our package included breakfast in the dining room again. Heidi was our server and she happened to be very well aware and versed with the "new" cycling package.
We came back for dinner and didn't dress up as much and went straight to the pub. It took a while for us to be acknowledged. Apparently, a group booking that was supposed to eat in the dining room decided to use the patio of the pub, which appears to have thrown everybody off. So, we stayed patient. Our server was not aware of our package, maybe because it's "new." We ordered the pulled pork sandwiches. It was excellent! The description on our menu does not do it any justice. We also tried the 2 local beers from Peterborough and Cobourg, and recommend the latter.

We had breakfast prior to checking out and again received exceptional service from Heidi.

Overall, it was good. We contemplated a 3rd night prior, but found the rate without food included for the extra night to not be as good value, but would highly recommend doing so after our experience. If you are used to a hustle and bustle pace of a big city, then don't expect the same speed and remind yourself to be patient and there's really no big hurry. We would like to come back during off-peak seasons which would make the package a much better deal.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cyclist0093, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this review, July 26, 2012
Hello and many thanks for such a thorough and constructive posting. I'm happy to hear your cottage stay was comfortable. The climate control was not inoperative, our cottages are not air conditioned by any means other than the fresh lake breezes. The cycling package is indeed a new offering for us but is based on a package we have offered for many seasons with some specific components specifically for cyclists. I'm glad you enjoyed many of our service team members, we can focus on the rest of our service team to quickly improve the experience for cycling package guests. Your feedback provides us with an excellent teaching tool.

I hope you enjoyed the cycling in our area; I am an avid cyclist myself and love the beautiful roads with so little traffic.

Thanks again for staying with us and for the valuable feedback.

Happy cycling for the rest of your season......
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, VA
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

Friendly staff and great service. Beautiful views and lots to do for the entire family. Cottage was dirty and appeared to not have been cleaned in awhile. Bedrooms are tiny but living area is roomy. Spa was adequate and staff were friendly and attentive.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Patty G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cyclist0093, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this review, May 29, 2012
Thanks you for taking the time to offer such a clear and constructive posting. I'm glad you had a pleasant stay with us (yet another gorgeous weekend) and I will work with the housekeeping team to make your next stay even more enjoyable. If you have the occasion to visit us again we offer cottages with a variety of floor plans and a cottage with larger sleeping areas could be available if it would make your stay more enjoyable. We hope to see you again soon....
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elora, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2012

Fantastic destination within a couple of hours drive from the GTA.
Staff are welcoming, happy and friendly. Dined for breakfast in a beautiful dining room overlooking Rice Lake and watched the wildlife play, had dinner outside on a patio surrounded by fresh Lilacs in a setting that looks like a private garden and the staff were great on each occasion. A nice selection of wines and we had delicious roast beef with salad, wonderful vegetables, potatoes and dessert in the form of a buffett and it was only $14.95. A magical evening.
Lots of info on the wonderful cabin below in reviews. Nothing like sleeping with the birds singing, a gentle breeze coming off the lake and through the trees.
Internet, TV and mini stereo for keeping in touch with the real world if you like?
An air strip if you fly ( so quiet my partner never knew it was there, to the North, on the farm behind). A float plane if you would like a flight over the lake.
Free canoe and sit-on kayaks, reasonable boat rentals ( rent while you book).
We paddled down the lake towards Hastings and enjoyed Loons, fish jumping, and a Bald Eagle watching the lake on the top of a shoreline tree.
Overall a park like setting with lots of trees along the waterfront pathway and connecting roadway.

Room Tip: The further towards the East you go, the further apart the cottages are.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thomas A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cyclist0093, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this review, May 22, 2012
Hello Thomas A. and thanks so much for your thoughtful review. We are so glad you enjoyed this glorious and summer-like Victoria Day Weekend with us. If I were to try and write the experience we truly want guests to have at Elmhirst's I couldn't have written it better myself. Of course it helps when Mother Nature helps out at every turn as she did this weekend....

I hope to see paddling on Rice Lake again soon. Once again many thanks; feedback that mentions all the things you like best about your own property makes one feel more thankful than ever for great guests' and happier than ever to be in the resort business.

Best wishes for lots more fun through the summer....
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Our group meets at Elmhirst every May. Great set-up with conference facilities and break-out rooms available. Great for relaxing afterwards with the bar, spa and restaurant. The cabins are clean and well-laid out. Have just enough amenities to make you comfortable and allow for some 'down' time. We always enjoy it. Heard some grumbling about the food this time but mine was fine and I found the service staff to be very friendly and accommodating.

Great place to go for a cost-effective staff retreat.

Room Tip: if the cottage has a basement room - grab it - more privacy
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ralu25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

We stayed at Elmhirst Resort this weekend and had a lovely time. Lovely accommodation, with great beds, linens and more than enough towels. There is adequate cooking utensils in the kitchen, you might want to bring a couple of extra pots and pans if you intend bigs meals and the oven is on the smaller size (just so you know LOL). Free firewood at your disposal as is the stunning view. The Sunday Brunch is a must !! We had a couple of issues with our cabin and a quick call to the front desk and they were sorted out immediately. This is our 3rd year going and 8th Sunday Brunch....

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elmhirst's Resort

Property: Elmhirst's Resort
Address: 1045 Settlers Line, Keene, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Ontario K0L 2G0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Otonabee-South Monaghan > Keene
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Elmhirst's Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lakeside cottage resort open year round. Fully equipped cottages with fireplace, kitchen, TV & DVD, wifi in cottage; BBQ deck & dock. Dining room & Pub on site; indoor & outdoor pools; boat & motor rentals; fishing guides; golf next door; tennis; sightseeing flights; horseback riding; walking & biking trails. Massages & Spa services. Guided ATV & snowmobile safaris; wine tasting & farm visits. Ideal for family vacations, getaways, weddings, groups & corporate meetings. Family owned & operated. Catering to international guests. Pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elmhirst`s Hotel Keene
Elmhirsts Hotel Keene
Elmhirst's Resort Ontario/Keene, Canada

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