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Couples Resort
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Little Hawk Resort & Marina(Algonquin Highlands)
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Reviewed July 12, 2011

We stayed at the couples resort during their discount week day promotional offer. It included a 5 course dinner and breakfast in bed.
The room was much nicer than expected (we stayed in the cheapest room), it was large, clean, more modernly decorated than shown on their website.
The food was fair, I wouldn't call it gournmet or 5 star as they claim, but we both enjoed it and were very full afterwards.
Hint, bring your own bath oils or bubble bath, the bath supplies that they have on offer for the in-room whirlpool tub is nothing short of highway robbery.
The salt water pool was open and refreshing and we enjoyed the use of their free activities (tennis, pool, paddle boat).
We would visit again, but only think it is worth the money when they have the promotional deals.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Ktowngirl89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2011

We recently stayed at this resort for 3 days in June. Excellent accomodation and resort activities. Dining room quality and service definitely a 5+ all around. Staff at this resort is the best we have ever encountered at resorts of this type. Keep up the good work.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Melnick11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2011

My husband and I booked a last minute two night, three day trip to this couples resort up on the edge of Algonquin park. We loved it and can't wait to go back - firstly because we didn't see nearly enough of the park and secondly because of this wonderful resort. What a little gem so close to home and yet so far. Every single staff member we met was wonderful - friendly, polite, helpful. We selected the least expensive accomodation as it was our first time but on checking out we asked if we could see some of the other accomodations. They have quite the selection - from the pretty basic which we had - which had a fantastic view of the lake, an in room jacuzzi, room service breakfast - need nothing more really - and the really opulent chateaus. We were taken into the Orion to have a look - wow!!! However, I do believe for us the price would be prohibitive but it was gorgeous. We also looked at the master suites - so named after the different master artists and decorated in the style of the country they were from - they had outdoor hot tubs, and then looked into the Ghea - which we believe we would select the next time - it had an outdoor screened in porch which we would have loved.
The food at the restaurant was exceptional - the five course dinner was absolutely delicious both nights. You can bring your own wine and pay a corkage fee of $10 which we did as we both wanted to try a wine we had picked up at the vintages section and decided this was a good opportunity to do so. Wine in the restaurant starts at around the $40 or so per bottle.
If you plan on going into the park the front desk will provide you with a pass to place on your dash that you return on your return to the hotel. Just another little feature that helps makes this place special.
We had a frozen margarita by the pool on our arrival - yes it was a bit pricey - but it was totally made from scratch down to the squeezing of many limes!! and it was delicious and worth every penny. A service charge of 15% is added to everything you purchase so tipping is discouraged and seems to work out very well as the staff is a happy bunch. Each night the written menu is the same - quite extensive in both vegetarian and meat options - but each night the chef does a few specials - either dinner, appetizer and always a dessert special. The first night we ate at 7.15 and we were able to get the dessert special - trio of chocolate, which was sensational - but the second night we had a late reservation due to a lake cruise (also included with a two night stay). They had run out of the chet dessert special and service was quite a bit slower that night and by the time we got our entree I was too tired, too hot and not really all that hungry!! It did look delicious however, and the taste I had was good!!! Prepare to allow at least two hours for dinner!!! It is the highlight of the evening. They have a "rec room" downstairs with pool tables and dart boards which were deserted most of the time. The outdoor pool was also not very busy, usually just one or two couples - and the pool is lovely - 85 degrees and salt water. My husband and I decided that a small bar or gathering/sitting area would be a nice addition although seeing as it is a couples resort we are not sure how many couples would choose to spend their time with others!!!!!
We are looking forward to returning and are really interested in going in the winter - I believe it would be beautiful with all the snow!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Thank StoneyCreekCymru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2011

The first and biggest disappointment was the location. We were expecting an outdoorsy cottage type of location and were surprised it is located just off a major highway in a residential neighborhood. We stayed in a junior suite and were again very disappointed – the room was very dated, dirty, and dark. The balcony was ok but the ‘lakeside view with towering pines’ was more of a small river and a residential community. Again, not the luxury nature experience we were expecting. The high point was the dining. Although the dining room décor requires updating, the food was quite good and the mandatory dress code made everything seem very impressive. With respect to service, again very disappointed! We were expecting high quality 5 star service. Checking in was ok- nothing special. They pointed out our parking area and location of room. Surprisingly we were not asked if we needed assistance with our luggage. After checking in, we asked for some ice and were told to go to the dining room and they would get it for us. We did not have a problem with this but the bar staff were very disinterested and a bit rude. We went back later and ordered a drink and again they seemed very irritated that we were bothering them. Dinner service was better, but on both nights we felt very rushed. I also did not like having to book our breakfast dining/delivery time and meal choice the night before. Keeping on the topic of service, the housekeeping service was not good. We returned to find towels draped all around the room, a pile of dirty towels and a bag of garbage left behind the bathroom door, and the bathroom floor was actually dirtier than when we left. We assume the staff left without finishing the job in error, but still very disappointing. As a disclaimer, I will say that most of the chalets and chateaus did look much nicer and definitely have a much nicer view. Regardless, I would still not recommend this resort.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
15  Thank member047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

My wife and I got an e-mail for special deals to the Couple Resort:

"Midweek: $69 pp Weekends: $115 pp Meals Included"

When I called to book them about their special, somehow for the two of us, it came up to $166 for Wednesday night and $166 for Thursday night. I had looked at the website and as they spoke of being a * * 5 star resort * *, I thought, hey, why not give them a try. An extra $28 dollars a night for something special is worth it, right?

The reservation e-mail came to me and I got "Jr. Suite Top Floor". Sounds really romantic doesn't it? Well, the top floor is the 2nd floor! That's called great marketing! Maybe that's where the extra $28 / day is for? If you're given a choice, save the money, the view an extra higher is probably nearly the same.

The drive for us, from Toronto, is a little more than 400 km. I don't usually drive and sit for so long, so my butt was killing me by the halfway point and I had to have my wife drive the rest of the way. If your partner doesn't drive and you are of the sore butt type, you'll get there with a sense of huge relief, otherwise, take some breaks along the way.

Prior to our arrival, we got a call from the resort stating there would be some construction and as a result, our first night's stay was reduced to $138. They stated to my wife, "Don't worry, you won't hear any of it." They were fixing the walkway along the edge of the road.

Our room was spacious, had a king-sized bed, jacuzzi, tv, radio/alarm clock with iPod dock, fireplace, hairdryer, mini-fridge, balcony with deck chairs, mall dining table with two chairs and a sofa in front of the fireplace/tv area.

We got there around 5-ish and for 6:30 pm, we went for dinner. 6:00 pm is the earliest time for dinner, we were hungry but missed that time slot. The dinner was really mediocre. I was not impressed and neither was my wife. To be honest, we were both expecting to be "wow-ed", how is this 5-star rating given out so willy-nilly? Maybe those Canada Select people need to get out more or stop taking bribes. The food at "Muskoka on the Rocks" was much better, check that review I made of it.

The first dish includes a small bite-sized appetizer and really it IS one-bite sized. The second dish is another small appetizer, but a little larger. The third is soup or salad, which my wife could have made better. The salad is somewhat small as well, have you ever been to those Japanese restaurants in Toronto and they give you a small bowl of salad? It's about that size. The entrees are more filling but they really lack that something special you'd expect. Desserts are probably the best part but no better than going to a dessert store. Tea or coffee at the end of the meal. Food here is a real disappointment.

Everything else costs extra. A specialty coffee goes for $8. This place makes its money on extras. The jacuzzi items in the room, such as bubble bath, massage oil, bath salt, all cost money. I went through their hotel binder and movies cost $15, yes, it's unlimited but who's going to watch movies all night anyway? The binder has spa services but no pricing, that's a little odd, maybe they change the price when it suits them? Buyer beware.

The fireplace was one of the highlights of our trip as we live in a condo and cannot own a wood burning fireplace. There's lots of firewood available at the end of the hall and they included 2 firestarters which are very handy. I can stare into a fire for hours. Make sure you do not place logs horizontally over the starters, it seem to cause a lot of smoke, make a tee-pee/pyramid-style formation for better results. The alarm clock/radio with iPod dock was handy, we got to listen to our music rather than searching for non-existent radio stations.

The next morning, what did we hear at 7 am? Can't figure out? Construction noise! They had some saw going as well as one of those flat things that you push around with its sole purpose of flattening whatever is underneath! Brack-a-brack-a-brack! Luckily, we were already awake, but if you wanted to sleep in, good luck!

Breakfast is only served from 8:30 - 10:30 am. You get your choice of juice, all you can drink coffee and an entree. If you're not full, have another entree for $10, which doesn't feel too unreasonable. No wow factor in breakfast either.

My wife and I felt like going onto the lake with a canoe and so we went down to the sports centre. Kayaks and canoes are $20 / hour or $35 for the whole day. I felt this was somewhat of a rip-off. Other places we've stayed at, these items are free with the stay, unless things have changed everywhere else too, or maybe I've been more choosy.
We took a row-boat, which is free of charge. The water barely has any current, so it won't be tiresome to get around. There are paddle boats, but don't take those unless you want to go around the water really slowly.

After that we went to the games room, ping-pong, billiards, darts, foos-ball and shuffleboard. We played a little of each but skipped the billiards. We walked through the fitness area just to see what it's like. They have 3 rooms for spa treatments, hopefully they have music going on in there, otherwise, I think you'll hear people as they walk by in the hallway.

We tried going for a hike, but there are a lot of mosquitoes around, so we ended checking out the art gallery on the resort. We met the artist very briefly and sat for awhile reading some of her art books. If you can appreciate art, these books will appeal to you.

Dinner and breakfast were the same, nothing new to report on that.

If you plan a trip here, bring your own mini-DVD player, movies and alcohol. Don't forget the bug spray and warm clothes. My wife and I did feel chilly when walking around outdoors, as we thought it'd be warmer.

Expect to pay 15% tipping on your total bill. I find this a little out of the ordinary. They should separate the room from the food on your bill and only charge 15% on food. Heck, why even enforce a mandatory 15%? If the service is good, they'll get the 15% and if someone works extra hard, they'll end up with even more.

They've dedicated a whole webpage on discussing why things cost so much, make sure you read it, as a balance to what I've expressed here.

Then there's a $30 "eco-fee". Felt like the Bell cell phone "system access fee" that I used to pay and felt was a big time rip-off.

It may sound like I've made a lot of complaints, but I'm really just trying to point out things to you that you'd want to consider. My wife and I had a great time, simply because we always do, almost no matter where we are.

I will probably not be back and choose something a little closer with less of a drive.

Finally, this is NOT a 5 - star resort. If you do go, bring your wallet! And refuse room #51 because trees block your view of the water. Honestly, aren't there enough trees elsewhere?

Room Tip: Say "no" to room #51
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank easyHwolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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