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Camp Hither Hills
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Reviewed 23 October 2007

I first called to book a site and the phone call went alright. It was quite simple, just a small tenting site for one person. (I was staying in Ottawa doing a Ph.D. seminar. I keep it simple.) The second phone call I made, two days before arriving, pretty much set the tone for the whole time. I asked what time I should arrive by:

Them: "7 or 8 o'clock."
Me: "Okay, 7 or 8?"
Them (annoyed): "8."

So I arrived at 6:45pm, just so that I wasn't a bother to them. I went to the office, which is just off of their house and it was closed and locked. The sign said they were open until 10pm. I knocked on the door several times and finally someone answered. I got my campsite and promptly set up my tent.

Their website said they had wireless internet so I opened the laptop but could not get a signal. They told me on the phone that they had a nice coach house in which to do my studying. I could not find it either.

The next morning, I woke up and had a shower. It was warm and nice to wake up to. Then I found some trees out of the way and hung a little 6 foot long clothes line to dry my towel on while I was in Ottawa for the day.

When I arrived back at the campground, I stopped into the office and asked them about the internet:

Me: "Your website said you have internet. I was wondering where it was."
Them: "The internet is everywhere."
Me (kind of wierded out): "What do you mean?"
Them: "It's wireless."
Me: "Where is the antenna?"
Them: "It's on the chimney."
Me: "Okay, I'll try it again. I wasn't getting a signal. Thanks."
Them (on my way out): "Oh, are you the guy who put up the clothes line?"
Me: "Yeah, I was drying my towel."
Them: "Well, I cut it down. I hate when people put up clothes lines."
Me: "Well, my towel was on it."
Them: "Okay."
Me: "Well, what did you do with my towel? Did it just fall on the ground and you left it there? Did you pick it up?"
Them: "Oh no. I laid it on the picnic table."
Me (annoyed): "Okay. Well, if you don't want clothes lines, you should tell people when they first come or something."

So, I went to my site and my towel was thrown on the picnic table in a heap, still wet. Then I realized that I had no firewood to start a fire. So I went back to the office and asked them if they had firewood. Sure enough they did, it was $8.00/bag:

Me: "Can I get some firewood?"
Them (in a nasty tone): "Well how about you go get your firewood so I don't have to carry it over to your site."
Me (really trying to be pleasant): "Oh, okay. It's okay if I just go grab some?"
Them: "Yeah. As long as you pay for it."

When I got to my site and opened the bag of firewood, it consisted of ONLY 6-10 inch pieces of 2x4 or 6-10 inch pieces of tree branch no more than 3.5 inches in diameter. Try having a good fire with that! Every bag was the same! I didn't even bother having a fire because I didn't want to have to put wood in every couple of minutes.

Later on, I tried to get online again to check Email. No signal. I walked closer and closer to the house until I was standing on their porch. Finally, a signal. So, I had to stand on the porch with my laptop running on battery to use their great wireless internet!

I finally found the coach house, which is a little room off of their garage with a "library" (consisting of old books and magazines, thrown all over the place, that either they or patrons have discarded, with good reason). The "coach house" room is filthy with old chairs and dirty tables.

The remainder of my days there began with showers, but consisting of only cold water. I got unchanged in one of them only to find out that the shower didn't work at all. So I had to wrap my towel around me and carry all of my stuff to another shower. Every stinking shower was ice cold every morning except my first!!! Not nice. Reminded me of my days in boot camp! BUT I'M NOT IN BOOT CAMP! I'm paying for a place to stay!

The campground itself is, well, complete with mowed lawn. That's really all I can say about the campground's aesthetics. The outlet on my site didn't work, so I had to use the neighbouring site's outlet.

Let me see if I can provide some clarity to some things on their website which might be misleading:

1. Downtown Ottawa is a little tricky to get to, so take a map.
2. Go-karts are not close by. I finally saw a sign for them when I was about 30 minutes away heading for home.
3. The Good Sam Club symbol apparently is worthless. I thought this was kind of a symbol of quality. I guess you just get it for cheaper if you're a Good Sam Club member.
4. I trust that they have a pool, although I didn't see it as I walked around.
5. The campsite is not beautifully maintained, unless you live in backwoods Kentucky or in some slum.
6. The pay phone is unlighted so you can't see the numbers at night.
7. Little Ray's reptile zoo, next door, seemed kind of interesting and probably more amenible too.

As well, take your own travel resources, because they have very little good information in their office.

Is this the worst place I've ever stayed? I think so. You know, even if the customer service was at least friendly, I wouldn't have complained, but that lady was just a grouch. A huge thumbs down! Look to stay somewhere else if you're in the Ottawa area.

13  Thank Calvin1509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
merrytillar, Owner at Camp Hither Hills, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2010

We have done our best to ensure all the items listed have now been fixed and is not reflective of Camp Hither Hills today.
We have several towers for the WiFi service which is available throughout the campground unless hindered by trees or buildings. Campground rules are posted at Washrooms, Laundry, Office & Coach House. Tourist information is displayed and available outside the office at all times. Large map is on display at the washrooms and Office.

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Reviewed 23 May 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: May 2016, travelled with family
Thank Jacqueline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2015
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Stayed: June 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank Pierre T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2015
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Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Chantal5583
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank martin b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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