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“A Response to DownHill”
Review of Simcoe Manor

Simcoe Manor
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Simcoe Manor
Reviewed 27 September 2012

We (myself and two friends) travel annually to the Shaw Festival and we always stay at the Simcoe Manor in the 'Simcoe Suite' which is in fact in the lower level of this B & B. We will always return as long as John Gartner continues to operate. As our many stays have been wonderful and we have found John to be a gracious host, I felt compelled to respond to this negative review by someone who chooses to be anonymous.

We experienced none of the issues mentioned in the review ... no noises from the plumbing ..... there is a lovely living room adjacent to the Simcoe Suite .... the entrance is at the rear but accessibility in never an problem ... no issues with removal of shoes .... and John is one of the reasons we will continue to return. There is always a lively conversation over breakfast, most guest we have had the pleasure of meeting are seldom there for the first time and we all welcome John's contribution to the conversation.

We will continue to return and I would hope that many others will enjoy the Simcoe Manor!!

Room Tip: This room is excellent, whether you are a couple or three friend travelling together. The room affo...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank HJWoolvett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 - 36 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 26 September 2012

We agree with the comments provided by "Nice room But-." We had the experience of having to remove our shoes to check-in and keep them off throughout our long weekend stay. No slippers were provided and our socks were black on the bottom after a few hours. Our room was in the basement (the "bowels") of the building. Consequently, every flush and every shower announced itself beginning at sunup. Needless to say, sleeping late was not possible. The living room was out of bounds (no food or drink allowed). The front entrance was not accessible short of a fire emergency. Alison and Tanya were lovely. John, however, was obnoxious. We would never stay at Simcoe Manor again.

Room Tip: Do not take a room in the basement.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank PerryP105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

Great spot to walk to town and enjoy NOTL. House is lovely but starting to need work. Pool was locked and filthy although warm temperatures. Owner seemed erratic- helpful at times, treating us as demanding at others. John dominated the conversations at breakfast- and be sure you want to eat breakfast @ 9 AM - no flexibilty there . We felt we were treated as unwanted relatives- signs everywhere.

Room Tip: Avoid the Simcoe Room - lower level means hearing water facilties use day and night.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Elaine1980-12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2012

We stayed over the Labor Day Weekend and have done so for the past 10 years. Prior to that we had stayed at another B&B for several years and did a survey of several of the top rated B&B's before choosing Simcoe Manor. John Gartner, the proprietor, is more knowledgeable about the community, the theater, the vineyards and the restaurants than anyone we have encountered during our many visits. The rooms are wonderful, the service is great and the breakfasts are delicious. We would and do recommend this B&B to everyone. Several of our friends have now stayed their and give us similar reviews of their stays.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank IAL_ELL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

Me and my partner came to stay here at the simcoe manor on the 4th September 2012 and we leave on the 10th. Right from getting to the manor John the owner made us feel very welcome and was very helpful. When we arrived our flight was delayed and we were a couple of hours late getting to manor, we hadn't eaten and there was nowhere near to go for food, John drove us at 11:30pm to go and find some food. We thought This was very kind of him as most hotels would make you wait till breakfast. All throughout our stay John has been extremely helpful advising us on good places to visit and helping with booking Our transportation to visit torronto city.

The Manor itself is out of this world the grounds and the house are extremely beautiful and I've never stayed anywhere like this before. The rooms are very luxurious we stayed in the Henley suite which has a private bathroom and sauna. The beds are made daily and clean towels are provided, the entire house is spotlessly clean. Breakfasts are excellent something different every morning all made fresh by johns partner Allison and there employee Tanya. Who are both extremely helpful and very friendly. Our stay has been wonderful and I would highly recommend coming here, if I was ever to come back to Niagara on the lake again I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LisaJarrett26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2012

We have never written a bad review before -- but seeing others' comments, we realize our experience was not unusual - so here goes: The room was nice (Green Room) and spacious and clean. The town is lovely, the theater was fabulous, beautiful countryside. The pool at the B&B was quite dirty as was the pool furniture and apparently, judging from others' comments, it has been this way for years.
Alison, one of the proprietors, was extremely kind and sweet. However, John, the other proprietor, was anything but sweet. It started with his insistence that I listen as he yelled driving instructions over the phone when we called to simply let him know we would be a few minutes later than our original arrival time. During our stay, he had a condescending tone and attitude about where we ate, what we ate, that we didn't know what a good restaurant was, that our theater choice was ill-considered and "would be depressing" even though he had not seen the play as of yet, and that my husband was being ridiculous to heed his doctor's advice to stay away from grapefruit while on certain medications. For some reason, John made several negative comparisons between American and Canadian foods. We are not defensive about America or American foods, but why did he need to make such points repeatedly?
One night, I had a extremely painful migraine headache and was not able to make it to breakfast. My husband went downstairs to make our excuses and John made it quite clear in his tone that he was not pleased but would "figure out something." Alison sweetly brought up a breakfast tray and showed concern for my well being and offered to bring my husband a tray also so he could stay with me. While my husband waited for the other tray, he unintentionally overheard John emphatically tell Alison that he would not allow a tray upstairs the next morning.
When we did make it to breakfast the next morning, the negative comparisons continued. We do believe he means well, and likely fancies himself quite the friendly gregarious expert host. Trouble is, what he thinks is gregarious, actually many times comes across as unwelcoming, condescending, and offensive.
We have been to many bed and breakfasts, stayed in many places in Canada and Europe - we live in NYC, we know what good food is, we are aware of good theater and know how to recognize hospitable behavior. We've never experienced this from a proprietor before. We will not return.

Room Tip: In hot weather, the Green Room does not get very cool despite central air conditioning.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NYCcouple50s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Went for the weekend with 3 other couples, occupying all but one room -- but the couple in the Henley Bedroom (with whom we shared breakfast) didn't seem to mind us! Rooms are extremely clean and very comfortable; a small refrigerator on each floor gave us a place to chill our beverages for our group's post-theatre gatherings (for which we all imposed upon the couple with the Burgundy suite, which has a spacious sitting room). Having wine glasses available was a nice feature.

OUTSTANDING breakfasts served at 9 AM in the elegant dining room: fresh fruit (mixed fruit and yogurt one day, grapefruit the other), varied baked goods, and what "main courses!:" Eggs Benedict one day; the next, waffles with fresh peach compote and a side of Canadian bacon -- all presented beautifully.

John is an extremely pleasant and accommodating host. Perhaps a bit loquacious, but we certainly were made to feel welcome and he was extremely helpful.

Our group plans to return -- no need for us to look into any other B&Bs now that we've found this one!

(One "minus" -- the pool, which we didn't have time to use anyway, did not look as inviting as it appears in the photos. Certainly swimmable, but perhaps the hot summer made it difficult to keep the water as clear as some might like.)

Can't see how anyone would be disappointed by a stay at Simcoe Manor...

Room Tip: Green, Mauve, and Burgundy Suites are on the second floor; Simcoe Suite and Henley Bedroom are &quo...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simcoe Manor

Address: 242 Simcoe St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara-on-the-Lake
Amenities:
Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #137 of 163 B&Bs / Inns in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Price Range: £250 - £256 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gracious, friendly accommodation just 50 yds. off the main street in the "Old Town" of Niagara on the Lake with all its attractions. Spacious, elegantly decorated suites with the charm and grace typical of Old Niagara yet with all the modern conveniences (A/C, Jacuzzis, fireplaces etc.).Gourmet breakfasts amidst rich mahogany and crystal. Relax on the verandah or poolside or enjoy the view of our gardens, stately pines and creek. A short walk to theatres, shopping, restaurants, golf and the rivermouth. ... more   less 
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