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“Elmhirst-great little resort”
Review of Elmhirst's Resort

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Elmhirst's Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Let me start by saying that I usually only put in my reviews for resorts down south-Caribbean. Then I realized all the great resorts that we have in Canada and the resorts I visited over the last 12-13 years. I have visited the big resorts in Alberta (Kananiskis, Jasper) as well as a number of the big resorts in Ontario (Talisman, Horseshoe, Oakwood-Grand Bend, Nottawasaga, Holiday Inn-Ashton Resort and numerous hotels). I realize and understand that I cannot put in a review for most of them now as they were visted more than a year ago.

I have visited this resort (Elmhirst) on business 4 times over the last 7 years. The resort is right on Rice Lake with a dock area in front of each building. The first 3 times were during the winter of the previous 6 years. The resort is okay in the winter (February/March) but there is not a lot to do other than watch wildlife or hike in winter. This year we visted during the late summer (July 30-August 01, 2012) and it was very, very good as you get go swimming, fishing (Rice Lake is great for fishing), boating hiking (walking trails), etc. The building have several bedrooms, a sunken living with a fireplace (lots of fire wood split, ready to use), TV, etc. The living room furniture is a bit dated but still okay and clean. There is a kitchen to cook your own food along with a fridge, stove cabinets and dishes and cookware. We always ate at the restaurant with the beautiful view of Rice Lake. The food for breeakfats, lunch and dinner was always prepared to perfection and excellent. If you wanted extra soup, salad or fries, they gave them to you. The wait staff were excellent and friendly. The building (i.e. bedroooms, living rooms were cleaned very well every day. The only downside is that there is not good A/C at this resort. They have an excellent bar on site that also serves meals but we always ate at the main restaurant. The weather is usually very beautiful at this location in Ontario. The price is reasonable. This is a great family resort as well. I would not hesitate to return to this resort for a family vacation or business.

Room Tip: Bring some fans to keep the rooms cooler.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank CountryPat3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 - 164 of 204 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2012

My sister and her friends have been going to Elmhirst's Resort for a "girls weekend" for several years. And although I have been to the Resort on occasion, this is the first time I actually stayed over night.
Upon arrival we were greatly efficently and friendly, the Lobby was bright and cheery, I waited out front for my sister to arrvie.

Once in our Cabin I found it too be not too bad. The view from the balcony was gorgous, over looking Rice Lake. However I found the Living Room furnishings to be quite dated. My sister was disappointed because this cabin was much smaller then the one they had previously rented. It was clean, and pretty well stocked with dishes etc....

We were able to quickly get a fire going in the fireplace which made it seem quite cosy. The bedrooms were sparcely furnished, but I would later find the bed was very cofy. The other girls found their beds to be cofy also...

We headed to the pool area before dinner, the change rooms are in need of "freshing up" and the washrooms, were not very clean. the pool area was alright, the pool itself was clean and refreshing. The Hot tub, did not work which was extremely disappointing. I mentioned it to the front desk staff, and she assured us it would be fixed before morning.

We all went back to our Cabin, and changed for dinner. I was told we were going to have their wonderful Roast beef Buffet. Well major disappointment there. The Buffet was in the pub not the dinning room with the beautiful view, and i would call it a lot of things but certainly not wonderful.
We huddled around one small table waiting for the "Chef" to come out and saw off a piece of very very rare Beef. Two of the girls asked if there were any pieces a little more well done, the "chef" took a couple of shaivngs, brought it into the kitchen, and I believe "nuked" them for a minute or two. and broght those out to the girls. "Yuck" the remainder of the "buffet" consisted of luke warm mashed potatoes, saltly gravey, soggy mixed veggies. And for deserrt our choices consisted of squares. All this for the low low price of $15.00 plus tax, oh and don't forget the 2.50 for warm coffee. this is not my idea of a buffet, $5.99 would have been all that would have been worth to me. and that would have been pushing it.

the remainder of the evening was a lot of fun. Thank goodness we brought lots of snacks, since we were all hungry after our huge feast.

the Next day we ventured to the pool again, only to find the hot tub still was not working. I guess my request had fallen on deaf ears.
Went back to the Pub for lunch, since the Sunday brunch was in the main dining room, at a cost o$24.95,,,,and after the night before didn't want to take the chance of getting so little for so much.
the Lunch menu did not have a single sandwich on it, and the prices began at $13.00 for mac and cheese. The Waitress who was wonderful, gave us the breakfest menus which worked out great. My over easy eggs had been pan fried in what tasted like veg oil, and were a pretty shade of brown, but the yolks were perfect, the roasted potatoes were excellent, peameal at no extra charge was great. At least for brunch we were full. and that only cost $15, (tip included)

All in all my 24 hours at the resort were ok, I was with wonderful people. I felt the cost of the cabin for an off season weekend was Crazy expensive for what we got. The food was horrible not only in taste but in value.

would I come back, more then likely if the same people were going to be there, I would certainly bring my own food for dinner, and I would ask at the front desk before check in to make sure the hot tub and pool area were in good working order.

I hope that in the future the owners would look at the Cabins and common spaces, and give them a little spruceing up. God knows they could use it, and with the amount of Money that is being charged for the place, you should have the money to do it.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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8  Thank dpost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

My family and friends and I are lucky enough to frequent this very special resort often. I've stayed at the resort a few times when I can, but having a cottage near by allows me to take advantage of the spa and restaurant too on their own! ..... lucky me!

Spa ...... today I had one of my most memorable/great massages ever! Martina has magic fingers I think. Considering I went for breakfast and ended up having a massage too ...... a good example of how you never know how your day is going to play out! ...... lucky me!

Sunday Brunch ...... I often get to enjoy Sunday brunch at the Elmhirst. I've taken family and I have taken friends (what a great place to celebrate a significant (or otherwise) birthday with girlfriends). The brunch menu is amazing ...... salad table, seafood table, b and e table, waffle/crepe station, omelette station, roast beef and all the fixins' and veggies etc. station and DESSERT! Oh ..... and they MAKE THEIR OWN DOUGHNUTS!!!!! ...... the Maitre d' suggested we start with a doughnut when we were seated ...... such a perfect way to start our eating extravaganza! ........ lucky me!

I LOVE this place!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank LeslieWood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My wife and I and our 4 children (Girl - 12, Boy - 10, Boy - 8 and Boy - 4) recently spent a week with my Uncle and Aunt who live on Rice Lake approximately 200 yards from the Elmhirst Resort and we used the resort facilities on a daily basis throughout the week, so I feel I can confidently comment on every area accept for the accommodation. My first statement has to be the beauty of the entire setting; it is positively breathtaking, peaceful beyond belief and with wildlife to interest and excite even the hardiest of urban dwellers - the children were particularly taken with the bird watching and the early morning fishing.

The second statement has to centre around the children. It was immediately obvious that the location was safe and the activities put on for them were well organised and well controlled and as such it enabled my wife and I to give them a level of freedom that we can rarely give them at home. There were lots of other children there that they made friends with and met up with each day to do the daily water sports, including the children of the extended family that own and run the resort, this was great beacuse they used their extensive knowledge to help all the holidaying children gain the most from the experience without taking over. The water sports on offer are many, but the tubing was an absolute winner for children and adults alike. It was such inclusive fun that saw my wife on a double tube with all of our children, a treat they will not forget. The speedboat and over all control of this activitywas run by a relatively young girl who was an absolute star with the children and maintained a sensible grip on the queue without being overbearing. While waiting for the tubing queue there is a sectioned off area of the lake to swim in with some excellent inflatables, buoyancy vest provided for all and really great fun. Our 4 year old absolutely loved this area, it was large enough to bring kayaks into and paddle around as well.

The indoor and outdoor swimming pools also kept the children entertained when they had had enough of the lake.

Now to Adult activities; due to the children being so well catered for, I was genuinely able to relax by the outdoor pool and read! My wife and I also used the double kayak and went off around the islands nearby the resort (all gear provided, Kayaks, Paddles, Buoyancy aids etc were all in good condition). We both used the Resort Spa and have to recommend this as an absolute must! Martina, the Spa Director is an absolute master of her trade, incredibly knowledgeable and professional, she identified with long term ailments without having prior discussions on the subjects.

We used the Wild Blue Yonder Pub most days for lunch. It has a reasonably priced and interesting menu. Food was always good and delivered in a timely fashion by genuinely attentive staff. The outside patio was a great mid-day meeting up point for all of us. We also had dinner there on a Friday night for eight of us; menu was very good, local ale (Steam Whistle .. I think that was the name) was excellent, there was a great atmosphere and the cost was very reasonable indeed.

Before the Friday evening meal my wife and I attended the Wine Tasting event (I think it may be a weekly activity and as with the Spa it is an absolute must event - truly excellent). Greg (another member of the extended family running the resort) ran this event and is very knowledgeable but not not overbearing and particularly adept at understanding guests individual knowledge levels and working with them to make the experience wholly enjoyable and satisfying for all. His cellar is a real joy and you sense his pride in it from the off.

So, to conclude; this is a resort run by many generations of the family owners that are genuinely committed to making it work, right the way down to Hunter the dog (the children adored him!). From our perspective this commitment permeated throughout every element of the resort that we used during our wonderful stay a Rice Lake.

This family of 6 will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MRMLS68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

I have been to Elmhirst for Sunday Brunch a number of times and have always been impressed. We went 2 weeks ago and it was very lack lustre. Donuts for dessert, mashed potatoes were rock hard, salads were very basic. It is not a cheap lunch at $25.00, they need to keep the quality up or people will not return. It was not busy, so I wonder whether they do not put on a full menu if they are not fully booked, which is unfair to those who have booked in good faith.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Debbie1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greg E, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2012

Thanks you very much for this helpful feedback. I am very sorry you didn't enjoy your brunch visit. We are aware of some of the challenges with the brunch service you mentioned.

We feel badly when any guest is disappointed with their experience at Elmhirst's because they are often special occasions which can't be replaced. When the feedback comes from a repeat guest who has enjoyed the experience before we feel even more personally attached.

My perspective may be biased but I believe the challenges with the brunch service you mentioned were an isolated occurrence caused by a few factors we have already remedied. Our Thanksgiving Brunch the following week drew many compliments.

I hope we will have the opportunity to be of service to you in the future and also that you will ask for me when you call so I can make the arrangements myself....

Best wishes until next time,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

This was our third time going to Elmhirst Resort. Last year I took my two daughters and four grandchildren, and then my husband and I went on our own. This last weekend, our three adult children, their partners, and our six grandchildren came with us to Elmhirst for two days. We were a group of fourteen, sharing two cottages.

Imagine waking up in the morning and having coffee with your son on the deck listening to the birds and watching the lake in front of your cottage; hearing the laughter as your four youngest grandchildren fish off the dock in front of your cottage, or seeing your son-in-law leading a bike group while you play tennis with other grandchildren. These are just some of the memories in my head.

Of course there were glitches. In my experience, things are never perfect. What matters is do people care enough to fix the glitch. What I can tell you is that everyone at Elmhirst, staff and family members work very hard to ensure that things are the very best they can be for each and every guest. What more could one ask for? It is a warm, welcoming place for a vacation. And one we plan to go back to again and again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank GrandmaB_6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greg E, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Thanks you so much for the wonderful posting. The sounds of of families getting together and having fun is one of the most satisfying aspects of being on a resort. I remember hearing you and your family on the playground and on the lake and it still brings a spontaneous grin to my face.

We hope to see you again soon...

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed September 17, 2012

Just spent two days @ cottage 52.
Loved the location of the cottage near the end of the resort. Very private.
Cottage was very clean. We prepared three meals in the cottage, found everything we needed to do so. Beds were large and comfortable, fireplace was a real treat as September is cooling down.
Enoyed one dinner @ the dining room, food & service were excellent. Found all the staff to be very friendly.
We will return

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank penroy1965
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

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: $192 - $292 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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