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“The Best Resort Up North - Hands Down”
Review of Couples Resort

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Couples Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The Best Resort Up North - Hands Down”
Reviewed March 11, 2008

This place is absolutely amazing. I've been here in both the summer and the winter, and quite honestly, both seasons boast their own luxuries. We just got back from spending four days up at the resort in March, and it was snowy and beautiful. You can sign up for activities without a hassle - we did cross country skiing and snowmobiling and the resort can outfit you for all your activities should you not have all the warm and cozy gear. They also offer dog sledding and horseback riding, which we heard is a lot of fun. The rooms are gorgeous. You almost don't have to leave your room to enjoy this place. Luckily the food is so good (breakfast and dinner included) that you are motivated to actually leave your room! They let you bring your drinks or an open bottle of wine from dinner back to your room, or offer you to bring your dessert back to your room should you wish to retire to your hot tub a little earlier than expected. This place has it right - luxury without pretension, staff that is easy going and genuinely the nicest people we've ever met, and the food is superb. Don't look anywhere else. This place is it! And we are from snobby Toronto...

  • Liked — The staff, the food, the vibe. The nicest people on Earth.
  • Disliked — Massages with the NON-RMT's...get the RMT!
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NancyH1333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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871 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 (280)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
131 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2008

We can only afford this trip once a year, but it's sure worth it! March has the cheapest rates I could find when you can still enjoy the snow and can count on at least half decent weather. This resort offers everything to enjoy the great outdoors. From snowshoeing, skiing, dogsledding, horseback riding, skating, snowmobiling...then back to the room for a wood burning fire and jacuzzi. Every meal is excellent and the service is above and beyond. They really do spoil you! When your not in the mood for the outdoors, you can enjoy the recreation room or just borrow a DVD for your room and if you don't feel like leaving the room, you can order room service. Tipping is not permitted due to the service charge so leave your wallet in the room. We went horseback riding in the snow and it was awesome. The rooms are elegant and relaxing. Life is short, save your money and treat yourself!

  • Liked — Service and Accomodations
  • Disliked — No recycling program
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ws34nipissing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2008

We were only there for 2 days, but it was the most relaxing and romantic 2 days we've had in a long time.
The suite was incredible - luxurious, very clean, ammenities over and above the usual soap and shampoo; we felt pampered and spoiled - a private hot tub on the balcony overlooking the water; jacuzzi tub in the room; steam shower - all furnishings of the very best quality.
For meals we were treated to gourmet selections, with a wine steward offering his suggestions for wine paring -
The spa treatment (chocolate body wrap and facial) the second day left me relaxed and invigorated at the same time - I felt wonderful for the whole day -
A lovely experience well worth repeating in the near future. I would highly recommend this resort and, although a couples resort, I would also recommend it for a "girl's getaway" for extreme pampering!!

  • Liked — the ambiance
  • Disliked — it didn't snow while we were sitting by the fire...
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dandmsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bear Trails
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2008

We began our stay in a Junior Suite. It was disappointing considering the price and it was our honeymoon. The room was dark, and outdated (everything from the bed coverings to the bathroom fixtures). We ended up switching to a Master's Junior Suite and it was AMAZING!! Well worth the price especially on the honeymoon.

PROS:
-food
-the activities: tennis, pool, hot tub, paddle boats, games room etc.
- hiking trails
-the art studio (very neat to see a live artist at work)
-overall mood and feeling of the resort (romantic)


CONS:
-very pricey especially considering parts of the resort look a little run down
-only 2 meals per day
-having to pay for activities such as: horse riding, mountain bikes etc. (when you are paying a great deal of money why is it necessary to pay extra for these experiences?)
-They won't throw in anything extra for your honeymoon unless you stay for a certain period of time (they are very rigid about this...we stayed one day less and they really didn't care)

**I'm on the fence as to whether or not to revisit....still not sure if it is worth the money.

  • Liked — the Master's Junior Suite!!
  • Disliked — The Junior Suite
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank honeymooners13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2007

After a very disappointing attempt to celebrate our anniversary in style at Sir Sams Inn we arrived at Bear Trail and were greeted with smiles.
When my husband phoned them 2 hours previously to see if they had any vacancies, Amber was able to book a Junior Masters Suite for us. Due to poor cell service we had a hard time getting the Visa number to her but that was not an issue. This suite is beautiful. According to the hotel info it is 1000 sq ft including the balcony. It has a king size bed, plasma television, dvd player, satelite receiver, small table and chairs, an amazing steam shower, in room jacuzzi as well as a personal hot tub and 2 padded lounge chairs on the balcony. There was a coffee maker, microwave oven and small bar fridge with water, juice and soft drinks in the room as well. Nice touch. The room also includes dinner for 2 each night as well as breakfast.
Upon check in we noticed a sign in regards to the dress code for dinner. We mentioned this to Amber and she said that they are rather strict about this but would check with Gordon and see what he had to say. If worse came to worse we could order room service for the first night. Not exactly what we wanted to do but totally understandable. We both respected the dress code and started making plans to go clothes shopping the next day. We had packed thinking that we were going to a country inn for the weekend, not a resort of this caliber.
Gordon told Amber that our dress was not an issue and that under the circumstances we could go in and book the time that we wanted to have our dinner. Thank you Gordon!!!!
We were taken to our table by Stacea who immediately realized that we were the ones with out the proper dress. She was great about everything as well.
Dinner was fantastic!!!! You have a choice of appetizers, then either soup or salad, an entree and dessert. The presentation was beautiful and the food was delicious. The first 2 courses may seem small but you definately would not want them any bigger. The entree is huge. I wasn't able to finish any of the meals that I had there.
Breakfast was just as good as dinner. There were many choices as you can see on their website. Once again the presentation was very nice and the taste was incredible. They have the best Eggs Benedict I have ever had.
We did not do any of the spa treatments this time but we definately will the next time that we go. Instead we made a point of using our hot tub after dinner both nights and in the afternoon. It was very nice to sit in the hot tub with a beverage of choice and take in the view. We did go and buy some dress clothes on Saturday but I don't think we would of been turned away at dinner. We did feel underdressed at dinner on Friday night and after how great the staff had been we wanted to make sure that we were dressed properly on Saturday night.
My husband and myself greatly appreciated the way that we were treated by the staff from the time that we got there to the time that we left. We will definately be back and hopefully soon!!!!!

  • Liked — Steam shower and the hot tub on the balcony
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank beloro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2007

We have 3 teenagers, and we just needed an “escape” to have some time to ourselves, and our stay at the Bear Resort exceeded all our expectations. We were looking for a private setting with good food witha comfortable setting. We had, just a fantastic time at the resort (5 nights in Chateau). All the staff are a real credit to the resort, everyone from the first person that greeted us upon arrival, to the “room fairies” who looked after the room, the hot tub people and even the grounds keepers were very professional and courteous. The meals were some of the best meals we have ever had, the kitchen staff even cooked a special request omelette for my wife (spinach, mushroom and feta cheese) which they did a great with.
Needless to stay we were very excited and looked forward to our 5 night stay, and shortly after arriving, I had a few scotch and waters, and headed off to dinner in shorts and flip flops, despite my wife’s urgent pleads to dress appropriately (like she did). I didn’t change, and despite my flaunting of the dress code, I was still “well behaved” at dinner. The next day while picking up ice in the afternoon, very discretely I was asked if I had dress pants, and I had to reluctantly admit that, indeed my wife had packed me a few pairs. He politely reminded me of the dress code, and I arrived for dinner appropriately dressed, much to my wife’s satisfaction for the remainder of the stay. This has now become a fond memory of the vacation instead of a sour taste.

The question has become, not if we will stay again, but, when and how soon !! Unfortunately the cost will dicate the how long.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank aanorthbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2007

Pros: Couples concept, friendly service, meals, location
Cons: Pricey, given that it's not a true 5 star resort.

Ok, let's get the cons out of the way first, so I can concentrate on the good stuff. We booked a three night stay in the basic accomodation - a 3rd floor Junior suite in the lodge. The room was fine although there was obvious smoke damage from the fireplace on the wall and the ceiling. The carpet had several burns. The staff informed me that they knew about the damage and repairs were on their to-do list. The basic room is a little dark and reminds me of a rec room with the cedar tonge and groove. It is well equipped with a Jacuzzi and fireplace; a king size bed, a fridge and nice furniture. We were generally happy, especially given that we spent very little time in our room anyway. We visited the Master Junior suites and they offer a major upgrade (definitely 5 star). This might be worth the price if you plan to spend a lot of time in your room.

The lodge itself is nice and comfortable, but not five star. The chairs in the dining room are threadbare on the arms. The floors are uneven and the carpet has been soiled beyond repair in places. It needs replacing.

The price to me is a bit stiff. Our basic room(with breakfasts and dinners) cost us nearly $1500 for mid week and by the time we added wine, some extras and lunches the price is up there. (note: the price at the Couples includes all gratuities.) Some of the extras (bikes, wind surfers) should be included in the price. A 6 night stay in prime season will likely cost close to $4000 - more if you upgrade the accomodation. That kind of money will get you a 1 week cruise or trip to a true 5 star resort down south including air fare.

Still, we plan to return. Why? The overall experience is more than the sum of the parts. First, this is a very quiet, small resort that caters to couples. No screaming kids, no wild parties, no drunks, no jerks. Our balcony was only a few feet from the pool and the hot tub and we still had blessed quiet. The other guests were delightful - considerate and friendly. The staff was fantastic. Friendly, helpful and sincere. Unlike a major hotel where the smiles and the greetings seem to have been implanted directly into the staff's brains, the Couples Resort staff are genuinely friendly and chatty. Some other reviewers have noted that the servers are not professionals. This is true, but expected. It's hard to imagine how they could hire truly professional waiters in the midlle of nowhere. The servers will do everything they can to ensure you are happy (including changing your entree if you don't like it). What more can you ask?

The dinners are 4 course and top notch.

The lake is lovely, the canoeing and kayaking are great. The fish are abundant and the location is very close to Algonquin Park. The salt water pool and hot tub are a delight.

Lovely experience. Whether you feel it offers you sufficient value likely depends on your budget and priorities. We don't make a habit of spending large amounts on vacations. So to us the cost is a factor. To others it might seem fine.

  • Liked — Couples concept, quiet, sevice
  • Disliked — Price
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank EdwinOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Couples Resort

Property: Couples Resort
Address: 139 (End of ) Galeairy Lake Road | Algonquin Park, Whitney, Ontario K0J 2M0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Whitney
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Whitney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Couples Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is here that couples celebrating birthdays and anniversaries as well as honeymooners and recently married couples come to relax, embrace love, enjoy the organic spa and find the time to share an adventure. This is quite literally the hottest place to be in all four seasons, with 10 saunas, 27 walk-in steam rooms, 21 walk-in euro-showers, 23 outdoor hot tubs and 48 in-room Jacuzzi tubs each in front of a wood burning fireplace. All accommodations at the Couples Resort Exceed 5 Diamond standards, North America's toughest standards. Ontario's Couples Resort is situated on the shores of Galeairy Lake and the Madawaska River, with Algonquin Park as our backyard. The village of Whitney, Ontario is a short 15-minute walk away. We are surrounded with breathtaking wilderness, pure fresh air, secluded forests, pristine waters, an abundance of sunny days and a blanket of stars at night. This priceless peace and tantalizing tranquility is all yours for the taking.Those of you who need to escape from the bustle will find us calming and rejuvenating. There are many ways to do nothing if that is your wish. On the other hand, unlimited activities will keep the adventurer active all year round. Ontario's Natural Algonquin Park is ideal for the sport enthusiast or avid adventurer who will be delighted with the extraordinary activities available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Couples Hotel Whitney
Bear Trail Couples Resort
Couples Resort Ontario/Whitney

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