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All reviewsgolf coursedining roomlake simcoeget awaymain buildingindoor poolthe cottagesmanor housegames roomwalking trailsevery mealping ponggrounds are beautifultook advantageshuttle servicecouples massageexcellent food
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Reviewed 1 October 2013

Three of my friends took me to The Briars to celebrate a milestone birthday (50) I felt completely spoiled from the moment we arrived. Exceptional service, friendly staff, delicious food ... The quiche is a must try, so is the open face goat cheese and portobello mushroom served at the bar. The venue is charming and reminiscent of yesteryear. We thoroughly enjoyed the spa treatments and highly recommend bear foot badminton and arranging a ping pong journey. The cottage we stayed in was on the water - great view and lots of wild life. We will be back!

Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

This resort was quiet in mid-September and I had a nice room in a cottage with a lake view. It is a bit rustic. It reminded me of stepping into the Dirty Dancing movie in terms of family approach, games, etc. which I imagine would be in full swing during the summer months. The bed and bedding were very average and not particularly comfortable. Too cold to try the outdoor pools, and I'm not a fan of enclosed pools so didn't try that one either. Note that if you stay in a cottage, it is a lovely 10-15 walk to the main resort where the food is served.

I was on a bed & breakfast plan which is definitely a good idea. I ate in the hotel restaurant one evening - good, although quite expensive. I ate in the bar another night, very limited menu (not sure if this is true in high season).

Room Tip: Lakeside or Boathouse cottages are good for on-the-lake rooms.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Lasuvera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

My husband and I spent two nights at this lovely, quaint and historic resort on the tip of Lake Simcoe.
The rooms were comfortable, clean and tidy. The grounds were lush, green and gardens manciured. Lots of areas to wander and admire the sprawling manor house. :We used a bicycle provided by the hotel to pedal into Jackson's point, a quaint lakeside village. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner for the two days. All the meals were excellent! We loved the white crisp linens and real siverware. The waiting staff were friendly and went out of their way to be helpful.
We took a lovely boat ride offered by the hotel with Hugh Sibbald as our captain. He is the son of the owner of this resort. There is a games room, an indoor swimming pool, a reading room and a great bar, plus ourdoor fire pits to take the chill off a cool afternoon. Lots to do and see!
Overall, we had a wonderful stay and would recommend it highly.

Room Tip: Do take the tour of the resort. Lots of historical references.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank FrancesKamloops_B_C_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

I spent a lot of time in Jackson's Point as a kid and into my early adulthood, since my grandparents owned a cottage on Hedge Road, where the Briars is located. I even worked in the Briars' dining room during my 18th summer, 30 years ago. So I've always wanted to stay as a guest, and this weekend I had my chance. I had read many of the reviews on Trip Advisor and saw there were two camps: 1) it's dated and over priced and 2) it's quaint and fabulous. I guess I'm in the middle...having spent nearly a grand for a weekend (meals included), I suppose I was expecting something more. I have no problem spending the cash, but for the same money in Niagara on the Lake, I get four-star digs and food. Not the case here. I specifically wanted a room overlooking Lake Simcoe. On that count, they delivered. The view from our room (Lakehouse 144 F) was fantastic, and the room was clean--which we appreciated. However, I can only describe the room and the main lodge as "dated," but with some quaint spaces to sit back and unwind. Think of the resort in Dirty Dancing, minus the hot salsa dancers. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room, but as it was raining one day, we probably spent more time than we would have liked. Minuses: the 15" old fashioned television that you had to squint to watch. Beds...two singles pushed together to make a king bed...we like to spoon and let's say the crack was an issue. Pluses: Clean. And I liked the gas fire place and the tiny fridge in the closet provided a nice cold Chardonnay for before dinner drinks (they don't allow you to bring your own wine to the dining room for a corkage fee...too bad). I liked the view and that we had two different vantage points from our room.

Now let's talk dining experience. I skipped breakfast, even though it was included in our package of two dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts because, let's face it, unless you're wiping out 2,000 calories a day with hiking, biking and whatever, who can do three meals...so breakfast, from what I read from other reviewers, was the meal to miss. The food in general was hit and miss. Some of the menu items such as the duck confit arancini, woolwich goat cheese salad, moscovy duck breast, and Angus strip steak were really nice. And the sticky toffee pudding was top drawer...we had it with four of our meals, if that's any indication. Things to avoid: seafood chowder, lamb shank (they had this instead of lamb sirloin the night my husband ordered, and it was terrible...dry and hardly any meat on the bone), and the seared chicken breast...absolutely terrible and dry.

Now dining service, which for us is a big deal for us, was absolutely horrendous, with the exception of the lovely Marie Claude, who rocked the house on speed, engagement, and all around right approach. As for the rest, they really didn't seem to want to be there...very little eye contact, failure to do simple things like provide a steak knife if you ordered steak, check up on you to see how your meal is (I took one bite of the so called seared chicken breast and knew I wasn't eating it...it was four pieces of chicken sliced up on a bed of questionable looking salad...and the chicken was completely dried out...the waiter saw I hadn't touched it and didn't even bother to ask why. I wasn't about to complain, as it was our last meal and I just wanted to get the hell out). And if you're ok waiting up to 30 minutes between courses, you'll love the service here. Otherwise, it's just a painfully long wait for your food. The tip is included in your package price, and my experience (e.g., France, Bahamas), if the tip is included, your service will show it...it most cases.

The 90-minute massage was very good, although the spa too is a bit dated. The room I was in had a flickering light (I think it had a short or something), and it gave me a headache. But the woman who gave my massage, Dayle, was really good...strong hands, attentive in asking if pressure needed to be adjusted, and a good conversationalist, if that's what you want. And knows to give you peace if you don't.

Overall, the Briars was a bit of a disappointment. The grounds were beautiful and Hedge Rd. is really a pleasure to walk along, but do take care with vehicular traffic, as the road is narrow and not everyone is courteous. There is lots to do at the Briars, indoors and out, so I can't fault them for that. But the if I'm going to lay out a grand for a weekend, I want top notch digs, food and service. Call me ungrateful, but that's not what I got. On the plus side, the mystery of the Briars has now been revealed for me...having wondered what it would be like to stay there since I was a kid, but on the downside, it failed to meet expectations.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Tammy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

1 hr from Toronto, beautiful location, so many activities to enjoy, it was a wonderful long weekend. The property was sprawling, gardens were nicely landscaped, waterfront was busy and full of activity. The one full day we had, we canoed, swam, biked, played games in the garden, danced after dinner, played ping pong next morning as it was raining. We could easily have spent a couple more nights to go with the 2 we stayed. Rooms were comfortable, food was good, nothing special, just good food with enough variety, service was above average. Would go back for sure.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sohail M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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