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.
- 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