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“Very nice overall.”
Review of The Irwin Inn

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The Irwin Inn
Ranked #3 of 4 Lakefield B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 9, 2013

My best friend and I got a deal to stay here for one night in May. Our log style cabin was clean and well organized: kitchen area, leather sofa, nice coffeemaker, Apple TV and DVD player with movies available, woodstove, deck, big jet tub and comfortable bedroom with two beds. Very friendly reception, walked us right to our room. Gorgeous sunset and the loons called all night. Dining room (and other areas) was dated but a five course meal for $35 was very good. Mountain bikes, tennis, badminton, walking trails were available. Horsebackriding and spa services could be arranged for extra. I'm sure in Summer the water activities there would make it great, although I appreciated that it was quiet for us. The buffet breakfast, included for us, was good too. The town of Lakefield is 15 mins away and very quaint for going through, the whole area is beautiful.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Tammy J
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 reviewResponded June 4, 2013

Tammy,

It was great to meet both of you, I truly enjoyed hosting your short visit to the Inn. I'm so happy you enjoyed the simple elegance of a getaway in the off season. I too enjoy the quieter times here at the Inn - but for completely different reasons. I look forward to seeing you both again, and perhaps next visit you might enjoy a relaxing massage or even take advantage of some of the other fantastic facilities.
Till next time....
Cheers

Jennifer

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54 - 60 of 126 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Irwin Inn for one night in March. We chose it for the private outdoor hot-tub and lake view, which was the highlight for us. We stayed in the Upper West Spa suite, which was huge and would have been perfect for a family. On the main floor there was a big master bedroom on the main floor; a bathroom with a soaker tub and separate shower; and an open-concept living/dining room with small kitchen (full-size fridge, stove, microwave, coffee maker, double sink). There were lots of windows with a gorgeous view of the lake. Upstairs there was an L-shaped room with double and single beds and another bathroom, which would have been perfect for kids. The bedrooms were decorated nicely in a rustic style and were very clean. We were a bit disappointed with the living/dining area; the oriental carpet needed cleaning and the furnishings/curtains were on the shabby side, and when we pushed the sofa forward to bring it closer to the fireplace (a very nice wood-burning stove fitted inside a stone fireplace), we found a pile of crumbs underneath. Other than that, we found the suite to be very clean. The patio was completely private and the hot tub appeared to be fairly new, and the view from the hot tub was absolutely incredible. There was also a new flat-screen TV with Apple TV and Netflix. A few details were lacking - the shower sprayed water everywhere (my husband said the shower head was clogged and needed a good cleaning) and the lock on the front door had to be jimmied every time we tried to get in. If we had been staying longer we would have addressed this with the friendly staff and I'm sure they would have accommodated. Better attention to detail and some better quality LR/DR furnishings would have turned this review into 5-star.

The Irwin Inn property is breathtaking - we went for a walk on the lake (it was still completely frozen in mid-March), as well as around the trails. We visited the beautiful horses at the stables and wished we were there for longer, so that we could go horseback riding.

The dining room is in an outdated building with low ceilings, but has lots of windows to take advantage of the beautiful view. We were the last to each meal, but would not recommend this - if you arrive later you will not get one of the tables closest to the window, and they had also run out of our preferred dinner entrée (steak). However, the food was absolutely excellent, and the service was great as well.

Overall, we would recommend The Irwin Inn for its incredible property and nice rustic, comfortable (but not luxury) suites, and great food and service.

Room Tip: The spa suite with hot tub absolutely made this trip for us, and the upper lakeside suites have a be...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MandA2012
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 reviewResponded June 4, 2013

Dear MandA2012
Thank you for taking the time to submit a review of your stay. We are happy to see you enjoy the rustic luxury of a true Kawartha getaway. I thank you for your comments and your gentle suggestions, since your visit we have already done a full thorough spring cleaning of each unit including steam cleaning the throw carpets. I do hope you will visit us again soon, and enjoy perhaps our beautiful Summer, Fall or winter seasons with us.

Cheers

Jennifer

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Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

We were greeted by Jennifer and she walked us over to our suite (Lower Middle Lakeside Spa Suite). She gave us a quick tour, showed us the hot tub, showed us how to work the electronics (Blu ray, Apple TV/Netflix, etc) and showed us the wood burning fireplace, unlimited supply of wood and kindling. Their movie selection was pretty decent (although we were sad to find they did not have a copy of Hot Tub Time Machine Lol)

Each night included a five-course dinner (different menu each night) and the food and service was WAY beyond our expectations, we each tried a different dish and they were all cooked to perfection and very scrumptious. Perfect portions, leaving us very satisfied - kudos to Stephan, he is very skilled at his craft. And our server (Debbie I think) was great too, we just wanted to take her home with us! Breakfast was also very satisfying with lots of selection. The dining room overlooked the water and our table was right by the fireplace, so beautiful.

We took a walk to see the horses, they have treats ready for you to go feed them which we thought was pretty neat. They had cross country skis and snow shoes available, although we just chose to walk instead. Unfortunately the snowmobile was not running the weekend we went, a lot of snow had melted and the trails were pure ice. That didn't hinder our trip too much - we still enjoyed the property by foot!

It's such a beautiful property, we had a great view from our balcony, the suite was very clean, and they have the most amazing staff that will accommodate you (by bringing you what you need straight to your room within minutes of you calling).

We left very relaxed and satisfied, we can't wait to return for another great weekend! (Maybe in the summer as it looks like it would be an amazing spot to visit in the summer!!)

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Jaimck
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Jaimck,
We had a great time hosting your "girls" weekend, and it was certainly our pleasure to meet all of you. Despite the weather, I'm happy that you enjoyed the hiking trails and the horses are even happier that you spent some time with them (we've had to put them on diets this week after all the treats they got on the weekend!). Love to have you back in the summer months and perhaps we can take you all on our big comfy couch Tube for some great laughs!
Till your next visit.
Cheers

Jennifer

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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...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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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.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about The Irwin Inn

Address: 1390 Irwin Rd | Douro Dummer, Lakefield, Selwyn Township, Ontario K0L 2H0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Selwyn Township > 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: $149 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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