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Reviewed 11 September 2013

Our nursing group was recently at the The Briars for our 40th nursing reunion and it was wonderful. The cottages were clean and well appointed although they are old. The dining experience was delicious and we had our dinners in a room all to ourselves so we were not disturbed and we did not disturb other guests. The menu was varied and chosen ahead of time by the group organizing the event with the event organizer at the Briars. The event organizer Kae bent over backwards the whole time we were planning the event to accommodate many requests and late registrations and multiple requirements. I do not know of any other resort in Ontario that would have done all the things that we asked for. The meals were delicious and served well. We as a group had people who arrived late for both dinners and that did hold things up and the resort did not complain to any of the reunion organizers about this. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style both meals and I arrived at 8AM for every breakfast and can assure anyone that there was a varied choice every morning including fresh eggs scrambled and in omelet form, pancakes cereal hot and cold along with meat for those who like meat at breakfast . Lunch choices were as varied and as delicious. The resort provided a shuttle service to and from our accommodations and our social room at any time to the main building. This resort is my choice for this type of event as it is a much more personal touch than a hotel or conference centre and I have attended events at both. The resort has ramps in many places to accommodate those who are physically challenged. Many thumbs up to the Briars!!

Room Tip: Ask for a LAkeview room if you want to look out on Lake Simcoe and hear the waves.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Ricarda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2013

This was our first visit to the Briars. We stayed in a Lakeside room. Check in was quick and the front desk person was very pleasant. The room we had was nice and very clean which was appreciated. The cleaning staff did a great job in making up our room daily. The dining room wait staff were very polite and attentive.

The one down fall was we stayed for 3 and 1/2 days and seen the same menu each day for supper and a lot of the same items on the lunch menu. The food that we had was great however, this became boring and not something we looked forward to. Especially at dinner time which is your main meal of the day. We were hoping to see a special at least along with the other items. Being that we were there on Sunday a roast beef dinner would have been great.

Overall a nice getaway but disappointing as you pay a lot for the meals in the all inclusive plan.

Room Tip: Stayed in a Lakeside room which was nice. Was very clean and had AC which was appreciated due to heat wave when we were there.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Gord P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

My husband gave me a spa weekend away and I was a little worried about going solo but the staff made it an amazing experience. The grounds are beautiful and well kept, the indoor pool is usually empty (August stay) and bath water warm! I swam before breakfast every day and never saw another soul. They gave me the same table at every meal and every staff greeted me by name. I felt like they took extra good care to make sure I was looked after because I was solo - the best customer service I have had in years.

It's a little pricey if you aren't going to take full advantage of the facilities - tennis, yoga, golf, boats etc, but the food and wine were both good. I'll definitely go back for future relax weekends both solo and as a couple.

Room Tip: The Inn wing with the indoor pool was quiet and easy to access anything.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Meplus3boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

This was our third visit to The Briars but the first time we came in the summer (late August). As a result we were able to enjoy the absolutely beautifully kept grounds, gardens, lawns, walking trails and golf course. The fountain was on and tables set up for eating outdoors if one chose to do this. On previous trips, we had wondered what the summer season would be like. Well, it was great. We sat by the lake and enjoyed watching the sailboats, the kayaks and the numerous other water activities going on. The walk from the main building to the waterfront/beach area is maybe only two minutes maximum over a very lush lawn. I have read that some complained you had to cross a road. This is true but it is a very narrow road, followed by a lovely little wooden bridge, both of them easy to cross. We went back and forth to the lakefront with no problem whatsoever. We walked into the town and did some shopping at a charming store called Apples of Gold. The food at the resort (as noted in my previous review) is outstanding but unfortunately the service in the dining room was a bit inconsistent. Claudette our server was charming and helpful however we didn't always get her and others were not quite as attentive. Yes there is a buffet at both breakfast and lunch; menus are also available and we did not find the meals in any way 'institutional' as noted by another reviewer. In fact our three dinners were better than those we had at the two leading hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake - much better in fact. Any 'snafus' we experienced with food service were immediately and appropriately rectified by management. While I cannot speak to other rooms or cottages, we found our room in the Leacock wing to be immaculate and lovely. Housekeeping was fabulous - when you put the sign on the door for a 'clean-up' the housekeeper comes right away and the room is clean! Many other resorts and upscale hotels have you waiting all day!
This resort is not modern in its decor however it is certainly not run-down. The old manor house from the original family can be accessed through the dining room and it has of course traditional furnishings and accents but it is very clean, welcoming and interesting. The other public areas are also traditional, very clean, inviting and well maintained. I personally find that the entire environment is very calming and pleasant and both my husband and I are 'fussy' about cleanliness.
Our bed was superior - one of the best we have ever slept on and probably equal to the fabulous one we loved in the Sofitel hotel in Chicago. Overall we love The Briars. It is close enough to Toronto that we can get there easily and quickly for a lovely mini holiday. It has historic interest, lots to do, a gorgeous atmosphere, beautiful grounds and nice, helpful and friendly staff. The food is outstanding and plentiful. We have seen quaint/dirty/grotty places which are of course a turn-off...The Briars DOES NOT FALL IN THAT CATEGORY. If concerned, stay in the Leacock wing - it is lovely - and you will have a very very nice relaxing time! We obviously plan to return.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dray_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I have been coming to the Briar's for nearly 20 years and love it! In a day when properties are being taken over by huge American conglomerates and time shares (think Taboo in Muskoka) it is nice that there are still family run inns operating. The entire place reminds me of the English countryside, manicured lawns and hedges croquet,ball toss, understated and constant. Yes, it is old but I like the chintz and floral upholstery, the library and the food is exceptional. The spa is an added bonus and was wonderful. It is not, however, very accessible and anyone with physical limitations will want to stay on the ground floor. The front desk could be a little friendlier, there is no porterage available and there didn't seem to be any entertainment in the bar like there used to be.They used to have a kids club, but that is gone also. Anyone wanting a quiet experience by the lake should really love this place!

Room Tip: The second floor of The Leacock wing is a good choice to have a view of the lake.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Sharon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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