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“Family Day”
Review of The Irwin Inn

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The Irwin Inn
Ranked #3 of 4 Lakefield B&B and Inns
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Family Day”
Reviewed September 11, 2012

Every year we take our kids away for family day. We decided to try the Irwin as we had never been. We stayed in the Rockwood East. I thought the accommodation was fine. We enjoyed the wood stove but had to hunt around for wood. We too had problems filling the whirl pool. I was looking forward to relaxing in the whirl pool but after filling it up for the kids there was no water left. We also didn't get to take a shower before dinner because of this. Had I known I would have waited until later for the whirlpool. I was expecting "gourmet food" which was not what I got. It was okay, but not gourmet. My seafood pesto pasta had way too much pesto on it which made it very bitter. The chef did come out and apologize, but when you are looking forward to a yummy dinner..it was a little disappointing. The sleigh rides were cancelled due to muddy conditions. I found Jennifer very friendly on the phone. But not as friendly in person. The Irwin is on a beautiful lake with lovely scenery but I did not feel it was worth the money. I don't mind spending the money as long as I get what I paid for!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tammy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 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 (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Alliston, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

The hubby and I spent New Year at Irwin Inn. I wanted to go dancing, but courtesy of a bad back, we ended up there instead. Couple days of R&R...

The food was awesome. The room blah - old and kind of dated with a musty smell, but what really ticked me off was when I went to fill the jacuzzi (selling feature) I ran out of hot water 1/3 full. So I called the front desk who told me to wait 1/2 hr. - HALF AN HOUR???!!! Are you serious??? I'm dripping wet and cold... half an hour my a... Not a good start to our trip.

The weather was iffy - not their fault. Great view of the lake, nice staff, but not a whole heck of lot to do unless you ski. Very quiet New year. No cable or satellite tv... ended up playing angry birds on my cell for entertainment until ready for food - again, great food.

Room Tip: Lake view is nice.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MrnMrsGraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
MrnMrsGraham,
Thank you for taking of your time to share your comments, feedback is essential to the Inn and although it would have been great to know of some your concerns during your stay at the time, it is appreciated just the same.
I am so happy to hear you enjoyed the food, as the food, along with our hospitality is the hallmark of the Irwin family's long tradition. I apologize for your lodging not being up to par, the water supply is something we are trying to correct, but often the individual hot water tanks just can't meet the supply needed. We do suggest now for guests with the large capacity whirlpools, to fill 1/2 way with cold or luke warm water and finish with hot to bring to temp, most guests don't understand that you actually don't need to use 100% hot water during the filling process, and it often ends up being to hot to use and they have to waste water by letting it out and filling with colder water to cool down.
New Years is a difficult time of year, almost now an in between season when it comes to recreation. However, we do offer a bit more than you have described, including live entertainment New Years Eve night until 11pm, we have extensive hiking and walking trails throughout the property, a recreation room with billiards, table top tennis & darts, access to an extensive movie library, board games, novels and magazines. In addition, we have this season initiated the installment of apple tv for almost all of our year round suites, this will now allow guests to access their own Itune accounts being able to bring in Netflix, Rogers on demand and many other program files.
With these changes and more on the horizon, we hope you will join us in ringing in another new year !

Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 7, 2012

July 30 - Aug 4 at Irwin Inn with our three granddaughters aged 4, 6 and 8. We all enjoyed our time. I can't say enough about the recreation staff, they knew their jobs, they related so well with kids of all ages. The organized activities were well thought out, original and fun. The facilities for non-organized activities were fun for the kids as well, play structure, beach with slide and trampoline, badminton, etc.
The location is quiet and the lake is beautiful. You can't get a better vista than from the dining room during breakfast or dinner.
Dining:
It is not a 5star restaurant. I would not say it is even 4stars and that is mostly due to the service, not so much the food. The food is very good even if desserts were sometimes repeated. (I wondered if they were leftover from yesterday?). However, everything we ordered was as good or better than you would expect at a 4star restaurant. But we had a different server each night and had to repeat our preferences/needs each time. I wished it could have been same person but I guess I'm being picky now.
Cabins:
We checked in to Upper Middle. Just GEORGOUS! King Size bed lower. Upper level has Queen Size and Twin. Fantastic view of the lake from inside or from the expansive deck that has a hottub. We also stayed in Upper Spring Cove 3bedrooms; 2baths; very comfortable even though a bit dated and no hot tub on the deck. Everywhere was clean, room was refreshed and new towels each day. Perfect.
Checking out, our 8 year old granddaughter would not let us leave the front office until we put a week on hold for next year. Guess that says it all.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pamboo57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
PamBoo57,
Thank you for sharing your family vacation at the Inn, we can't wait to see you next year!

Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

For a true Canadiana cottage wedding - this is the place for you! My sister's wedding here was wonderful! The staff were super friendly and helpful, the location is perfect, the lakefront amenities are great fun, and Jennifer is the most superb manager around! She could plan and execute a wedding blindfold! She was a delight to work with, even with all the pesky little extras we included - adding extra work for her staff. They all worked with smiles on their lips and with excellent service.
Sure, there are more luxurious resorts around, but none beat the Irwin Inn for terrific hospitality and great lakefront fun!
Thank you for making this wedding so memorable!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BenWig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, August 5, 2012
Dear BenWig
Thank you for your kind words, as we have replied once before as an operator you look forward to not only meeting but hopefully exceeding guests expectations. Your family, friends and all the guests of the wedding were truly exceptional, when guests like yourselves come along and see & experience the true nature of the Inn - in your words " a True Canadian Cottage experience" we know we have done our jobs right. I will pass your comments on, and we will keep striving to meet & exceed every guests "cottage experience".
Sincerely;
Jennifer Craig
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2012

My wife and I spent three days here on our honeymoon. We had a great time and have no regrets about going to the Irwin Inn. It seems though that they are not quite sure what they want to be and it may disappoint those who want to see the negatives (we didn't). So here's the good parts:
- We had a SPECTACULAR room (upper middle) that was worth the cost
- Nice private balcony with hot tub
- Lots of fun activities to do such as badminton, canoeing, golf, hiking
- Loved being able to borrow movies from their library. Very romantic and I like that there is no cable TV to distract!

Here's where it doesn't quite gel for me:
- For what it costs the food doesn't quite live up to it. It's like the meals were intended to be great but just lack a bit - like underdone pancakes, overheated sauce at the pasta bar, desserts that had been in the fridge too long... that type of thing.
- We had fun golfing but man they have the WORST greens I have every seen. Forget putting. It does not work. Maybe this is only intended for first time golfers and kids?
- There are a number of dilapidated looking buildings on the property. It needs a serious investment in upkeep!

Overall we loved our experience. It was in a beautiful location, had friendly staff, lots to do, and just overall a good atmosphere. It seems to me that all that is lacking is a manager who sort of sees all the details that need attention and decides what they want to be: either cheaper and more of a "rustic" old-time place, or upscale family and couples resort that truly delivers on that front. Right now it's a bit of a mix of both.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Simon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, August 5, 2012
Dear Simon S,
First let me thank you for staying with us to celebrate such a wonderful occasion, and also for taking the time to share your review of the Inn. Absolutely, I would agree with your comments that the Inn is in a transition phase, and as such we have facilities, accommodations and services that are in a state of flux. However, our long term strategic plan is an exciting one and will see the Inn transform in the next few years to the greatness that we desire. Unfortunately, with any transition there are some items which will be viewed as neglected until we can accomplish all we want to do, this is an unfortunate situation but a necessary one to ensure the develop of the Inn down the road.
Our plan from a facility and accommodation side, will be to eventually replace as you've termed the dilapidated cottages - but until then due to strict building codes, and waterfront set backs we are unable to do much at this time. We have discontinued selling this units, and have removed all mention of them in the last year from the website and any literature. However, until such a time we are ready with that phase of develop the original cabins will remain in space. You will be happy to know we have made effort to clean up their exteriors', including paint and trellis work . As you note your accommodation was outstanding, which is the style of accommodations we are moving toward, so far our renovations have including the 6 unit building you were staying and the majority of our waterfront units, including 2 accommodations with their own private pools.
The Golf Course, as you mentioned is not advertised, along with the cabins we are trying to hold off on any direct action until the property develop of the Inn is accepted. Until such, time we truly encourage the guests just to enjoy it as a golf field, a nice open area for all ages to have a bit of fun!.

Our menu, we are ever trying to expand and update , I will certainly review your comments with our chef and these will help us as we move forward. However, you can also see that many reviewers have raved about our menu and are very complementary of our selection and variety , even in the face of trying to accommodate so many varying tastes and needs.

I value your feed back, and your open and honest comments. I'm so happy that regardless of our transition you were able to experience a "true Irwin Inn' stay including the outstanding hospitality of our staff. As we continue to evolve we look forward to your return visits, and getting your valuable feedback as one of our guests.
Sincerely;
Jennifer Craig
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ont
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

The inn is nicely situated on the lake and our accommodation in an upper cottage was very nice. Unfortunately, the balcony railing was such that we were not able to see the lovely view of the lake. the dining room is very tired and in desperate need of updating. I would guess it was last decorated in the 70's. Our dinner was very good except for the crab cakes, which were terrible. We had a five course meal, and with that exception, we enjoyed the food. The grounds are not well maintained and the look is that everything is overgrown and overlooked. The accommodation near the small golf course looked awful. The inn has a small par 3, 9 hole course and we understand why the inn does not advertise it. We 'played' it in 30 minutes and one cannot use a putter as the so called greens are totally overgrown. It was fun though to use only one club on all the holes. It is a shame that the property is so neglected as I'm sure in its day, the place was very nice. One could also see that the building exteriors and the walkways are in need of replacing. I would use the word 'rustic' to describe the place. The staff were few and far between and the feel is that it is mostly a self catered lodge. Breakfast was a buffet and OK - nothing out of the ordinary, but ok. Unless you get a great deal, are ok with a fairly basic lodge type experience, this would not be a place I'd recommend.

Room Tip: stay with the cottage style rooms on the lake side as the buildings on the 'field side' look...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ontmajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
Dear Ontmajo;
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences at the Inn, feedback of all types is very important to us. As you mentioned the Inn and it's surrounding are very nicely situated on scenic Stoney Lake, and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your Premier Spa Suite with it's own private spa. Unfortunately, due to the height of your balcony we are required by law to have a railing that is at the height that inhibits your view when seated, however food for thought you have spurred the idea of replacing our Kawartha Chairs which sit lower, with something that sits a bit higher so guests can enjoy the view. As you will see from some other responses, the Inn is in a state of transformation - Although we would love to conquer all in one day , there are some items which during this transformation will seem old and dated, I wouldn't use the word neglect as we do keep the exteriors tidy and pleasing to the eye -but the style and decor of some of the areas will be a bit more rustic or traditional lodge, this adds to the charm of the Inn , a true classic Cottage getaway. As we transform into the future with new developments and opportunities we do hope you will reconsidering joining us again.
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Travelers are raving about these Lakefield hotels

Brockville, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2012

In September of 2002, my wife and I had our honeymoon at the Irwin Inn and enjoyed the entire week and what was included...this year we decided to go back and just spent 4 days there with our kids who are 6 and 2...we were very excited and happy that we were able to have the same, memorable experience with our kids...we stayed in the Cedarview cottage, which included a personal, unheated pool on the deck and a full kitchen...the cottage itself was in great condition and had plenty of room for the whole family...the beach was in very good shape and the 'extra's' like, tubing, paddle boating, badminton, play structure and kid's events added to our enjoyment...as much as i could be critical and pick at some things, as some have in thier reviews, i don't think anything said is major enough to stop anyone from coming...I can't wait to visit again with my family and will be recommending the Irwin Inn to friends and other family when asked

Room Tip: recommend a cottage facing lake for the scenery and accessibility to beach...make sure to due full r...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, General Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2012
Doug,
Thank you for taking the time to review the Inn, and share your experiences with the public. It was fantastic to see you both again, and this time with your growing family - We will forgive you that it took 10 years to get here, but we hope to see you sooner next time around!
All the best!
Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Irwin Inn

Property: The Irwin Inn
Address: 1390 Irwin Rd | Douro Dummer, Lakefield, Ontario K0L 2H0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Lakefield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Lakefield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Irwin Inn is a perfect family Kawartha vacation resort destination and ideal waterfront resort for couples getaways. Amenities include: a 9-hole golf course, full English riding stable & equestrian centre for horseback riding lessons and trail rides, tennis, outdoor pool, sandy beach, and countless fun and interesting activities. Accommodations range from traditional, cozy rooms in the Inn to luxurious lakeside cottages and waterfront suites with private swimming pools or hot tubs."Every once in a while you come across a place where the service is extraordinary, the food is delicious, and the staff are warm & welcoming. Once you find this place you want to return again and again." ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Irwin Hotel Lakefield
The Irwin Inn Lakefield, Ontario

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