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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 bubbles
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
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

We just returned from an overnight stay and can't wait to return. From start to finish the experience was relaxing and exceeded our expectations. Booking the reservation was was effortless as I received fast responses from both email and phone messages. As well, received emails just prior to the stay asking if I had any questions or concerns prior to my arrival. Upon arrival the staff was extremely helpful and enthusiastic. Thorough explanation of how to use all electronic equipment, hot tub, free wifi, etc. The room was fantastic! Spacious and clean. Large plasma equipped with 'Apple TV' including Netflix. Clean fireplace. Unlimited firewood right outside the door was dry and easy to burn. Five-person hot tub was crystal clear and heated to a hot temperature, ready to enjoy. Pull-out couch to cuddle on while watching a movie. Again, excellent communication regarding the timing of dinner and breakfast (which were DELICIOUS. The caesar salad is a must-try). We appreciated the phone calls to arrange the menu and to let us know exactly when it would arrive, and to coordinate the timing of the snowmobile rides. And then the little things...a quick call to the front desk to request a couple soft drinks resulted in delivery to the room within a minute. Large robes, matches, kindling and newspaper for easy lighting of the fire. This was our first of many trips. We will definitely recommend it to our friends and clients.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Lower Middle Lakeside Spa Suite and would definitely recommend it. Fireplace, king...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Schott416
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, March 20, 2013
Schott416, Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the Inn. We had so much fun hosting your little overnight escape and we were so happy you were able to fit in so much in just 24 hours - from Snowmobiling, to massages and candlelight dinner. Can't wait until your next visit - maybe this summer and we can include a sunset cruise! Till next time...

Cheers
Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ontario
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed at the Irwin Inn March 8-10, 2013. We were in the Lower East Lakeside Spa Suite. We had other family in the larger cottage - Garaden. We opted for "self-catering" so we did not use the dining facilities. We did, however, upon booking the Garaden, request a bbq for use. We were assured that it would be available. Upon arrival we had to re-request this twice before it showed up and when it did, it was absolutely filthy. Disgusting. The only way it could be used was to ensure everything was wrapped in tin foil or in foil trays.

We had selected the "spa" suite mostly because of the hot tub outside on the balcony. Unfortunately, it did not work on the Friday we arrived. It was set up to go, but the jets didn't work. We asked to be moved and were told that wasn't possible. We were told that the hot tub in the suite above us could be made available for our use, but that really wasn't feasible as it would take 4 hours to be made ready. Even if it had been ready, we would have had to go upstairs, use the hot tub and return to our own suite after use???!!! Um, no thank you. The whole point of having your own hot tub on your own balcony is so that it is easily accessible. It was fixed on the Saturday, so we did get use of it for that day.

On the Friday, when we realized that the tub would not be fixed until the next day, my husband thought he had reached an agreement with the owner on compensation for the loss of hot tub use. However, upon checking out, we were charged full for both nights. After further discussion, the owner said that the discount that we were led to believe would occur, was too high! We, reluctantly, agreed to a lesser compensation.

Now, as business owners ourselves, from our point of view, we should never have had to even suggest this compensation occur. Good, pro-active management would have automatically dealt with this and would have conveyed this to us at the time. And we certainly would not have had this surprise when checking out.

The linen on the beds was old and most unpleasant. As were the towels and "spa robes".

I was disappointed in the overall condition of both our suite and the other cottage. Somewhat run down - Garaden far worse than ours. Neither stove/oven worked properly - the thermostats must be off and it took hours to cook lasagna, tortiere and chicken pot pies. One burner on the Garaden stove did not actually have a minimum and maximum capability - if you turned in on to the minimum setting, what you got was red hot! It could not be used.

I burned my hands using the oven mitts provided in the suite as they were so worn they no longer provided proper protection.

We requested trail maps for hiking and they could not be located. So we took the verbal directions to the barn, then explored some on our own. We did venture up the road on foot just to increase our walk distance and found the most friendly residents. Enjoyed talking to them immensely.

The Inn appears to be trying to promote some of the suites as romantic getaways - special, spa experiences. Unfortunately, in order to actually pull that off, you have to be providing that experience.

Suggestions:
- improve/replace both the beddings and the towels - they were thread bare and pathetic
- replace oven mitts and other worn household items
- improve the quality of the "spa" robes - 1/2 length waffle robes don't cut it - floor length, plush terry robes do
- make sure the equipment is in good working order - stoves, small appliances, bbq's, hot tubs, whirlpools etc., BEFORE your guests actually arrive - not knowing that something isn't working is not an acceptable excuse for the Inn image that is being advertised
- have available information about hikes, trails, other activity options - this should be available in every room
- staff should remove outer footwear before entering our suite (especially when it is muddy outside as it was this weekend) - we, as guests live there for the time we reserved and we, as guests, try to keep our environment clean (good for you as owners, good for us as guests), so please, staff and owners, remove muddy rubber boots before walking through the suite
- perhaps consider upgrading the roadway - gravel would work wonder on that mud lane
- declutter the grounds - remove the junk and eyesores - improve the exterior look for the whole place

The Inn has potential for the location it is in, but it needs some serious care from owners serious about making it happen.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HardCurves
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, March 13, 2013
Dear HardCurves,
First, let me thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience (however, disappointing). We do strive at the Inn to create an memorable experience for all guests, similar to the one describe in the review just previous to yours - unfortunately in your case this just didn't seem to be the case. We apologize once again (as we did throughout your stay) for the inconveniences you experience, however we are happy that we were able to rectify all of the maintenance items during your visit. We hope your group enjoyed their gathering none the less, and we will certainly continue to followup on the items you mentioned.

Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Lakefield hotels

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2013

We spent last weekend (March 2/3) at Irwin Inn and absolutely loved it. Stony Lake is truly the gem of the Kawarthas and it was at its breathtaking best on this crisp winter weekend. A few hours outside exploring the lake and the Irwin property made for the best sleeps in ages (although the five course dinner and bottle of wine might also have contributed).

Some have commented that it's dated. If your standard is the manufactured "charm" of an Intrawest experience then you might feel that way too. If you are looking for an authentic Kawartha inn experience, though, it would be hard to beat.

Room Tip: The Lakeside cabins are very charming.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Graygo98
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, March 13, 2013
Dear Graygo98
Wow! Thank you so much, you truly capture and appreciated the true nature of our business. We are so happy that you were able to enjoy this experience, and appreciated a true "authentic" property who over 65 years has remained to true to themselves.

Till your next visit, cheers
Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Went to the Irwin for a winter weekend getaway. Had a lovely time. Found the food to be good and plentiful. Totally stuffed after the first 5 course meal and the second all you could eat appetizer buffet before the second meal. Staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The grounds are lovely... went for a hike on the in house snow shoes and explored the 21? acres. It was gorgeous.
We were in a room with a lake view. People say it's dated.. well the furniture isn't modern and the buildings a bit weathered.. but it's comfy and warm and not ratty. Not every suite has a modern TV.. but if you don't then you probably have the totally amazing two person tub.
A great selection of dvd's to borrow since there is no TV signal.. but I wanted to get away anyway.. and the wifi is free.
The furnace in the lakeside suite was a touch noisy at night.. but it didn't disturb me much.
And the resort was close to some great cross country skiing at the Kawartha Nordic ski trails as well as having on site ski trails.

Room Tip: Decide on the amenities.. A view means the lesser jacuzzi tub.. no view you get the faboo tub.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tgurlto
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, February 27, 2013
Dear Tgurito
Thanks for taking the time to review your cottage getaway here at the Inn, it's great to see you enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the Inn. As you say there are several different accommodations to choose from, and each have their own unique amenities and services - truly a design your own stay to suit what is important to you during your getaway. The Kawartha Nordic Ski trails are a true gem in our area and I wish more of our guests would venture out to enjoy them, maybe next visit you will try the trails at the Warsaw Conservation area - I hear they are delightful as well. Happy to let you know we fixed the squeaky furnace pulley - sorry it was noisy but thanks for letting us know so we could look after it. You will have to come for a visit in the summer, and try paddling around the 1,100 islands of Stoney Lake - whether winter or summer there is something for everyone. Till your next visit.

Cheers

Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterborough
Level Contributor
208 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

This resort is very dated, some of the cottages look like they are going to fall down. They do have updated town house style buildings though on the lake (stay in those).

It has a beautiful setting on Stoney Lake, especially the dinning room ,which is dated and in need of a check up, or a face lift.

As for the food, we went as a family for dinner, the main course, well wasn't much on the plate good thing they had a pasta bar, it was fantastic the chef made whatever you wanted right then and there.

I just don't think that there is value in the dining room for the dollar amount.

Cheers

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atti2ud
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, February 27, 2013
Dear atti2ud,

Thank you for taking the time and reviewing the Inn, true the dining room is a bit dated to some but to us it's the perfect example of a traditional Resort lodge, true gems that are hidden away. I apologize that you didn't fill you received value for your dinner, however the menu we offer is by far more substantial then you mentioned, for a price range of $ 35 - $40 our summer guests enjoy an all you can eat Soup, Salad & Appetizer buffet featuring many locally sourced items, along with our fantastic pasta bar you mentioned, on top of that we have a 7 item entree menu to choose from and finish off with a selection of Inn made desserts. We are always happy to offer 2nd helpings if needed but don't often get a request as the buffet & entrees combined are so filling.
As dining guests, you wouldn't be aware of all the accommodations styles available at the Inn, nor that the Cabins you refer to are actually not rented in the summer months anymore - if you are ever in the area we would be happy to give you a tour of the suites and cottages, many with unique features like personal hot tubs, pools and whirlpools.

Cheers

Jennifer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nord de l'Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

Just returned from our stay at The Irwin Inn. We left Sudbury on Friday hoping to arrive at the Inn at a reasonable hour. Mother nature did not cooperate and when we called the inn from Bracebridge, they advised us not to proceed and to stay the night in Bracebridge because the weather was just that bad. We arrived Saturday around lunch time and were greeted by Jennifer. The accommodations were exactly as portrayed on their web site. What a beautiful place. The staff were very kind and accommodating. The rooms very clean. Dinner was great and breakfast was served in our room ! I love being pampered and although we could not benefit from the outdoor activities available here our stay was a very pleasant one. Please note however that if you intend on wanting to watch TV...there are no satelite or cable channels so bring your Netflix info with you or your laptop....we missed the Toronto Montreal game on Saturday. Hope to visit again soon ! Thanks to all the staff for a wonderful experience !

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank byejake
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, February 27, 2013
Dear byejake,
Yes, mother nature is the one thing we can't control - especially this winter! Although snowy outside today, our January was a bit more mild than expected. I'm happy to see you enjoyed your stay regardless and truly "Snuggled In to the Inn" for the weekend.

Cheers
Jennifer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklin, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

Excellent resort for business, family etc. Directly on the lake with well appointed cabins. Food was very good, and lots of variety and a very friendly staff. this resort is open all year round with varying activities. Riding, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and just the scenery.

Room Tip: all rooms were clean and the cabins were very nice
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank paul g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General Manager I, Manager at The Irwin Inn, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Paul G

Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your group's stay at the Inn. We had a fantastic time with your group and enjoyed your "out of the board room" day with us. Games and outdoor activities create a whole new element to retreats and meetings and create a very inclusive atmosphere for team building. Can't thank you enough for selecting us as your hosts and we look forward to your return visit.
Cheers

Jennifer
Report response as inappropriate
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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