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“Winter weekend with friends”

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The Briars Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We spent the family day weekend at the Briars and were very satisfied.
We were two couples in a lakeside cottage, and although there were some issues with the power the staff did everything possible to mitigate the situation.
The dining room was excellent, and the grounds well done for a winter weekend.
We were happy to see a great mix of couples, families, and seniors all enjoying the same space. They also did a good job of allowing for Olympic watching during the weekend.
The resort has done well to encourage a new audience .
Special thanks to Bob who looked after our issues. We will,be back.
Ian

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Ian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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222 - 228 of 501 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014

We didn't really know what to expect. We had checked this resort out in 2011 for our wedding, but decided immediately that it was too rustic for a wedding. So, a couple of years later when we wanted to go somewhere within a relatively short distance for a one-night getaway, we decided to try it out.

If you don't want to read on, I'll summarize by saying I would NOT consider this an ideal location for a romantic getaway, for a spa getaway, or for a wedding, but that's based on our preferences. We would consider it ideal for family fun. They seem to have lots of activities for the kids. It's not a 'clean' feeling resort - the rooms are very old and should be updated, the pillows are very thin and poor quality (as well as the blankets), the bathrooms aren't very nice. The water smells which is obviously inevitable due to the well water, but I couldn't take it for very long. There was no counter top in our bathroom which makes it hard to brush your teeth, do your makeup, etc. The towels are paper thin and very small.

Immediately after booking, I contacted the spa to see about booking some spa treatments. They had nothing available :( I mentioned that we'd probably not come up in that case, so they squeezed me in for a facial, which I was grateful for, but I'd really wanted other treatments as well. The facial was okay - the lady was very nice, they forgot to give me my skincare samples though so I was a little disappointed. It wasn't very relaxing because you could hear a lot of noise from the room I had a facial in. I think there must have been a vacuum for the entire time (an hour) just outside the door. I heard lots of laughing, talking, etc. Just not ideal when you're there to zone out and relax.

We had to arrive prior to check-in since that was the only time they could get me a spa treatment. Unfortunately, our room wasn't ready early so my husband wandered around with our 6 month old baby. I guess we didn't expect much else, but it would have been nice if the room could have been ready early since we came for the only spa appointment available. After my treatment, we went to Drinkwaters Lounge for a quick lunch. My husband had the pork sliders and I had an arugula salad. Both were good. The service was extremely slow, which was odd because we were the only ones there.

We hung out in the lounge until our room was finally ready. We had to drive a minute down the road to our room as it wasn't in the main building (it was called the Mayfair room I believe). There were several rooms in one cottage, with a shared main area containing board games, etc. which was cute. Our room was quite dirty though, and the crib they provided for our baby didn't look very clean either. Fortunately we had another portable crib in the car so we just used that. It would be a neat set-up for a group of families to be all together under one roof with a sizable common area. (FYI the hair dryers provided are useless, and the wi-fi cut out a lot.)

Our dinner reservations were for 6 pm, so eventually we headed back over to the main area. This was a highlight of the trip - we were very impressed with the food and the staff at the restaurant. We each had salads to start, then a sirloin steak and lamb chop. I read negative reviews of the lamb on here, but my husband enjoyed it. Our baby grew fussy as she was teething, so a nice lady at the restaurant who we assume was the manager, offered to package up our meals. She sent us off with cutlery, our meals, and 2 desserts - I had a bowl of fresh berries and my husband had the creme brulee. The fruit was delicious and very fresh. My husband enjoyed his dessert as well. It was difficult to carry everything out as I was on crutches at the time, and we had a baby, but fortunately my husband managed after making a very trips out to the car. The portions of food were generous. Usually you don't get many vegetables, but they had nice portion sizes and they were tasty.

We were exhausted by the time we got back, so we had some wine and hung out in our room. The next day, we decided to go for breakfast before a swim, which was also included in our stay. There was a very nice server who kept entertaining our baby, which we thought was very sweet. He was very young so we were impressed by this. At breakfast, everything was excellent again. (My only complaint would be that it's hard to navigate a buffet on crutches, but my husband managed to cater to me!) The fruit was fresh, my husband said the meat was good...all was great, especially for being included.

Next, we went to the pool for our baby's first experience swimming. We were disappointed because the pool was freezing, but we still went in and had some fun. There were no towels and the towels from our room were used, so that was kind of a bummer.

All in all, we had a nice time! Apparently they had dog sledding and other activities going on. I'm sure kids would like this. We were surprised that the clientele largely seemed more senior, because it certainly felt more like a family fun destination to us.

Room Tip: Mayfair cottages may require you to climb stairs.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Jessica F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BriarsResort, Manager at The Briars Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Dear Jessica,

We are sorry for your disappointment in our accommodation in our cottage area during
your recent stay. As noted the lodges are rustic, I think that you and your family would find
a room in the Inn more to your liking, with it's proximity to the dining, spa and indoor recreation
area. I'd hope you like to give us another go, if so please give me a call I'd be happy to
look after your booking.

Bob Law , Resort Manager

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Reviewed 16 February 2014

Charming property run by an incredible family who took time out of their lives to introduce us into theirs.The Georgian era construction of the main house is quaint with a beautiful library and a comfortable sitting area. The building itself was built in multiple phases so there are these brilliant little connections everywhere. We stayed in a room called the Green Room and found it to be more than adequate. We went in February, and on the Friday before Family Day weekend the cross-country ski trails were empty and we enjoyed them thoroughly to get a sense of the expanse of the gigantic property. Skating is on a cute pond which was filled with kids playing hockey. There is a mid-size indoor pool (with whirlpool and sauna), not visited by many, I'm guessing due to the more advanced age of the average clientele. The spa is quite excellent but fills rapidly.

But the real charm in this place is the Sibbald family. Boy did they go out of their way to make us feel comfortable. We had the pleasure of hearing the matriarch, Barbara Sibbald regale us with history of how the Briars came to be, and how the Sibbald family came to acquire it and develop it. The "History Room" is filled with these brilliant journals and maps that any Ontario history buff would just love. The "country walk" consists of Hugh Sibbald taking you through the property, telling absolutely fantastic tales of the locals -- Stephen Leacock's parents, Peter Gzowski in his underwear, Major Rains and his polygamist tendencies, the couple that sold Fishcrisp to Walmart. What a charming group of individuals that clearly love what they do.

If I could offer some minor criticism, it has to do with the seating arrangements in the dining room. They are assigned by some ad hoc system and on one occasion we were punted to alternative seats mid-meal for unclear reasons for seemingly more important people to have our seats. It may be best to clarify with the booking people prior to arrival about meal seating.

But that was minor. We loved the Briars. I sort of want to be the Sibbalds' official historian. Even if most of it is apocrypha, those were the most interesting stories of local Ontario history I've ever heard.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SugarSammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BriarsResort, Manager at The Briars Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Dear SugarSammy,

We're glad that you enjoyed your visit with us. We look forward to
having you visit us again. If we are looking for a historian, we'll
be sure to let you know!

Bob Law, Resort Manager on behalf of the Sibbald Family.

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Reviewed 2 January 2014

my wife and myself spent 3 days at the Briar for new years eve .If you are looking for a great away this will be the prefect place.The service is awsome the people that work there are very helpful and polite . The food is excellant from breakfast to dinner .We stayed in a lakeside cabin was clean and neat .We were taken care of from the minute we checked in till the day we checked out.My wife when to the spa for the royal treatment and was totallly impressed with all the staff and alll the treatments she got.We will be going back for sure .IF you have and queastion call Sherry Collingham in reservation and she will be very helpful.This is an excellent value for your money.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ronald h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We recently visited The Briars for an overnight stay to celebrate my wife's birthday. We took advantage of a Travelzoo offer which proved to be excellent value for money.
The Briars is an historic property with some later additions and provides excellent accommodations and facilities. We were luckily upgraded to a room in the original manor house as we were there during the week and in late November there were not a lot of guests! The room was very comfortable with a KS bed, fireplace, sitting area and plenty of space. It was decorated with charm and character and the bathroom, while smallish, was good with plenty of hot water, good shower and twin sinks.
We had both dinner and breakfast in the very comfortable bar area. The food and service were excellent with good presentation and service. Breakfast offered a wide selection of choices and, again, service and presentation were very good.
The atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful. The Briars has its own golf course for the summer just up the road. There are lovely views and lake access to enjoy.
Based upon our experience we would not hesitate to return for a longer stay, especially in warmer weather.

Room Tip: Go for a room in the original house if you can as they have a lot more character than rooms in the l...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TransplantedBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

The Briars is an established resort on Lake Simcoe in Southern Ontario, about an hour or so north of Toronto.

In several stays there, I have found the accommodations, food and service to be excellent, and good value for the money. The setting is tranquil and restorative. It is a family-oriented place, but couples and singles will likely be happy with the experience too.

Meals were very good, with variety and good service.

They are open on Christmas and most other holiday periods, which offers a nice getaway from one's usual routine.

Room Tip: I have stayed in a cottage and in an inn room. Both were very good. I would recommend the meals with...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank EyesWest2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

My husband and I just return from a mini vacation at the Briars and enjoyed ourselves so much I had to write this review.
Our room overlooked the back of the resort but no less a beautiful view. It was quiet and very relaxed which was what we were looking for.
We had great meals and wonderful service which to me. is a measure of a great resort.
We had a wonderful meal on Saturday and danced to a great mix of music from a DJ who would play anything you requested.
This place had a lot of old world charm.
Sherry gave us a tour of some of the rooms and the history that this place has. We both found it very interesting.
If you want a place that offers peace and quiet but has so much to offer, this is the place to go.
You will not be disappointed..

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lorraine_H1748902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BriarsResort, Manager at The Briars Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Dear Lorraine,

I was very nice to hear how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

Thank you for taking the time to write about your visit, I've passed
them on to all those who had a part in your stay. We appreciated
them immensely,

We look forward to your next visit with us. Until then take care.

Bob Law
Resort Manager

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Additional Information about The Briars Resort & Spa

Address: 55 Hedge Rd, RR 1, Jackson's Point, Georgina, Ontario L0E 1L0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Georgina > Jackson's Point
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Jackson's Point
Price Range: £136 - £165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Briars Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 91
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An easy hour drive from Toronto, this beautiful all-season resort nestled on the southern shores of Lake Simcoe. Lakeside cottages and guest rooms offer relaxation amidst 200 acres of lush lawns, gardens, and towering trees. This unique property offers a championship golf course, full-service spa and excellent recreational programming. Enjoy traditional and contemporary favourites in our dining room and Drinkwaters Lounge where dishes are skillfully​ prepared for any palate. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Briars Hotel Jackson`s Point
Briars Jacksons Point
Briars Hotel Jacksons Point
The Briars Resort & Spa Ontario, Canada

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