My husband and I needed a place for dinner and to sleep for 1 night near Huntsville and we chose the Gryffin Lodge as we didn't wish a typical chain hotel/motel experience as we were in cottage/resort country afterall. The concierge or owner who I spoke on the phone with boasted that the Japanese delegates stayed there during the recent G8 Summit, so I thought the place would be fine...or at least recently reno'd to suit the Japanese visitors. I was wrong.
First, let me start off with the good. The grounds and views of the lake are beautiful and romantic. If we had a chance to stay longer we would have sat on the lounge chairs by the sandy beach. The common areas in the main lodge are fine too, very much like a rustic country resort. Not too upscale but appropriate...it reminded me of places in the Catskills, casual but comfortable. The dining room and veranda off the dining room were nice and the views were unbeatable.
Now the bad. We stayed at one of the rooms in the main lodge. The room size was good with a separate living and sleeping area but nothing had been updated for probably well over 30 years including the mattress (which is being kind)! The furniture would be considered retro now which was fine but the bathroom really needed to be entirely gutted and redone. The tile work and grout was looking tired with too many lazy touch ups and the toilet used so much water it had to be from pre-80s. The shower had mediocre water pressure too. I'm not an overly picky person and have knowingly stayed at and accepted non-fancy hotels like Comfort Inn or Best Western but this room was not good. I really wanted to like it but I couldn't. Well, at least it was clean enough (8/10) although when something hasn't been updated in that long it has that "old" smell you can't avoid. Oh...and we could hear our neighbors talk and sneeze too.
Dinner was better than the room but will not send a gourmet palate dancing. It was well prepared but on the simpler side in terms of flavors which I guess would suit most people. Service by the young waitress, however, was enthusiastic and good.
Overall I was disappointed. The price including dinner was $109 per person which isn't over the top but not cheap either and I expected something better. It's too bad because Gryffin Lodge has much potential to be a wonderful romantic/rustic destination. The setting is definitely in place. If the rooms were updated entirely and dinner was just a wee bit tastier I would be raving about this place.
Well...if you were in your 20's and were looking for cottages to rent with a bunch of your friends, you might like this place. There were a couple cottages near the main lodge that were rented to young adults with a "party" mind. They seemed to be having a great time.
On a curious note...we did see about 6-8 higher end cars parked in the parking lot. I wondered where those people were staying. Maybe there are nicer rooms? Or maybe they were like us, in search of a cookie-cutter hotel alternative and thinking this spot may be it, but disappointed in the end to discover something in dire need of a major renovation.
- Also Known As:
- Gryffin Lodge Huntsville, Ontario, Canada