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“Okay.....not great”
Review of Elmhirst's Resort

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Elmhirst's Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 2, 2009

We stayed at Elmhirst on Jan 30/31. There were 6 of us, 4 adults and 2 children 13 & 9. We were looking forward to a weekend of snowmobiling, horse drawn sleigh ride, tobogganing, and swimming.

When we arrived we were impressed with the cottage. It had a full kitchen with a dishwasher (even though it didn't work very well), 3 bedrooms, one with an ensuite, a sunken living room, flat screen TV and a nice fire place. It comfortably accommodated the 6 of us. Our only complaint was that the downstairs bedroom is not insulated making it very cold and you could hear every noise made in the cottage.

I wish we could say the same for the activities advertised. My sister even drove to Elmhirst the week before to check it out and inquire about the activities offered as advertised on the web site/ brochure. They said they could accommodate everything she asked about and recommended we book the activities upon check in. When we arrived it didn't take us long to figure our there really are no planned activities, with the exception of kite boarding. If someone asks, they will make an attempt to arrange it but don't get your hopes up. We did manage to get a horse drawn sleigh ride with some effort. We didn't get to go snowmobiling however. They kept telling us to call later, or they will call us, or maybe tomorrow. The wine tour isn't really a wine tour....which was another event that was not scheduled but they did it somewhat begrudgingly after we decided to do that when we couldn't go snowmobiling. They take you to a wine cellar and will answer your questions about wine. The wine cellar is very impressive.....but I wouldn't call it a tour. The gentlemen that took us to the wine cellar wasn't friendly and clearly wasn't interested in doing the so called "wine tour". However he did offer to see if they could arrange the snowmobiling for the next day and they would extend our check out time. Of course nothing came out of it. We weren't surprised.

On a positive note, the tobogganing hill was fun for all ages once we found it. From the 9 year old to our aunt in her 70's we all had a blast. The kids had a great time swimming. The horse drawn sleigh ride was short and sweet. It was 15 minutes but when it is 20 below that is long enough. They take you through the woods which was really nice. There is plenty of firewood readily available.

We didn't use the restaurants so I can't comment.

In spite of our disappointment with the activities we still had a good time and we will probably go again because the location is good for us and now we know what to expect. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend and enjoy activities that you do not have to depend on the resort to book such as skating, swimming, cross county skiing, and tobogganing, I would recommend it. If you are looking for more....I would go somewhere where they take it a little more seriously.

A couple of tips: take your own frying pans (the one's in the cottage are dated and will make a mess of your eggs!) and snowmobiles also use the toboggan hill so it is necessary to have someone stand at the bottom of the hill to watch for snowmobiles.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank GoinPlaces47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cyclist0093, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2009

I have contacted the guests who forwarded this review to apologize for the inconvenience we inadvertantly caused them While delivering our annual Kite Boarding Festival.

I would also like to express my gratitude for taking the time to mention the things they enjoyed. Fair and objective feed back helps us improve the experience for guests of Elmhirst's Resort.

I look forward to guiding these guests on a snowmobile or ATV tour on their next visit!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 - 197 of 204 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2008

We saw an advert for Elmhirsts in a travel brochure and then checked it out on their website. Something about it felt right and luckily we chose to go with our instinct and overlook some previous Trip Advisor reviews.
Firstly I have to say how friendly, cheerful and genuinely willing to help all the staff are. Our cottage was great with king size bed, bathroom with jacuzzi tub/separate shower and full kitchen and living room facilities with everything you could need. All cottages look directly onto Rice Lake and have private decking with BBQ and deckchairs. We ate a couple of nights in the bar and once in the restaurant. Food quality & price was very good in the bar, restaurant was good too but obviously more pricey.
We originally booked 3 nights in the middle of a 3-week holiday, but loved it so much we stayed on an extra night and would've stayed a few more if we could have. They have everything onsite that you could possibly need and most facilities are free.
We took a seaplane ride which was good value at $40 pp and also had a great massage. For us, this was a great few days and we drove away feeling completely relaxed and happy.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank ZellBarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2008

We arrived at Elmhirst Resort on Sat. 23rd August & were immediately made to feel at home when we checked in with Wilma ,who was great !
We loved our cottage, location, amenities & the peaceful ,relaxed feel of the resort.
Being English we used the bar a lot & found the food lovely & the staff especially Holly, Lyn & Meagan really helpful & friendly. We had a great laugh !
We would love to visit again, it was a brilliant holiday,thanks to all at the resort. Karen, London, England

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TakethatLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

This place has potential but no delivery. I would definitely NOT recommend it for a relaxing getaway. Our first evening was a nightmare of bad service. At dinner, two people in our party didn't get their entrees until everyone else was long finished. Our server was stressed and seldom available and offered us a bottle of
"housewine" to compensate us and when we opted to move along to dessert instead, she forgot to take 2 orders and took over 1/2 hour to bring desserts. We gave up and walked back to our cabins for a fire and our own snacks and there were no matches for a fire. The front desk told us we would have to walk back to the reception (in the snow) to get some. After we dug up a lighter in one of our vehicles, the food and bev manager brought matches and a cheese tray to placate us but most of the cheese had gone bad. (yes we understand cheese...it was bad) Beds are aging and linens need replacing. No luxury there.
Next day service was better and the food generally good but we were left with a bad feeling the rest of our holiday.
Only positive things I can say are that the pool is great and the price is reasonable. Lesson learned: pay a little more and get competent staff and nicer accommodation.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank bevanskawarthaLakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

the place is living in a time warp in major need of total face lift acually you cant bring the dead back to life i cant say any more without geting to upset so i leave it there

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank paulsmartcare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2006

Came across this resort on the web, looked up their website and everything about it seemed perfect for what we wanted.

Having stayed in a cottage previously in the Haliburton area we knew what to expect but we needed to be within an hours drive of Oshawa and 2 hours from Toronto and this place was just perfect.

We booked in for 5 nights (Mon - Sat), the 3 bedroomed detached cottage was well equipped with everything you could possibly need and if the weather gets cold enough (which it didn't) then there is a good old fashioned wood burner to keep you warm, just help yourself to the logs (No Charge). This is in addition to electric heating.

The cottage was right by the lakeside (Rice Lake) with its own jetty, overlooking a central island and the views were stunning. A heron decided to go fishing by our jetty one evening, there was an Osprey that regularly went hunting over the lake and on 2 evenings we even had a pair of Beavers come to see us which appeared to have no fear of us whatsoever.

The first day we arrived here we hastened to the bar for liquid refreshment and a meal. There were 2 other familys in the bar at the time and to our astonishment, they were all English and it turned out that we had all originated from within a 20 mile radius of each other back in the UK - Unbelievable!

Although the resort is in a pretty isolated area there are plenty of things to keep you and the kids occupied. There are canoes, kayaks & pedal boats (No Charge). There is motor boat rental, fishing equipment hire. The girls loved the horse riding which costs $40 (less than 20 quid ) for an hour and the greatest thrill of all was a sightseeing trip in a boat plane which takes off and lands on the lake, holds 2 people at a time (plus pilot) and also costs $40 - what a bargain for that experience. Take off to landing takes around 25 minutes.

All in all, a wonderful experience and highly recommended to everybody - the only downside, the games room and equipment looking tired although this too is free to use as are the tennis courts.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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6  Thank The_natural_world
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Vielleicht gibt es renovierte Bugalows? Dann wären diese zu bevorzugen.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled with family
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Thank ursula_ursula
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 - $293 (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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