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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 16 October 2017

We had visited The Briars many times in the past 10 years or so as a couple as well as with family. The decline of the resort was slow at first, but has been accelerating. The rooms are shabby and the furniture is in dire need of replacement. On the last visit the room was at least clean and the bed was comfortable. The food had always been very good and at times excellent. On the last visit the quality of food had noticeably declined. Not one dish was better than mediocre. Service was atrocious, one night was busy so we excused it. The second night was not crowded at all, yet service was no better. We waited over an hour for or meals on both nights. The manager showed up briefly early on, then disappeared for the rest of the evenings. The waiter also tried his best not to be seen. We will follow reviews of guests. Unless there is an indication of improvement in service, room and facility comfort and professional management, that was our last visit.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank LovePV_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2017

We stayed for three nights at the Briars at the Chipshot cottage.

The cottage is large, comfortable beds, flat screen tv, wifi, electric fireplace, two large bathrooms, wonderful covered deck and patio overlooking the lake. The kitchen area is very small. Just one extra shelf would make a world of difference to this space. Parking is tight at the cottage and with the rain we had on the weekend, muddy. A bit of gravel in the driveway would have kept our cottage cleaner! Comfortable, beautiful view, and perfect for us travelling with a pet.

The main house is quite a distance from Chipshot and sometimes we walked, but more often drove. The main house is full of historical features and attractive. We enjoyed the lounge, the games rooms, the pool/sauna/whirlpool area, and especially the two sitting areas - library and drawing room. The weather cleared and we were looking forward to a short bicycle ride. To our surprise, we learned that there were only a very few bicycles and had a wait to get one. More are needed!

We had three breakfasts and two dinners in the main dining room. The servers were friendly and attentive. The meals, especially the breakfast buffet, were excellent. There is, however, too long a wait between courses. 15-20 minutes between main course and dessert is just too long.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at The Briars, but felt that there were too many small problems to justify the cost. For the price, the cottage needs some upgrades, the meals and service need to be flawless, the extras need to be available. Charge less or make some changes.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank freshisle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2017

Unexpected weekend getaway at the fantastic Briars another world on Lake Simcoe, much more than expected. This delightful resort was built in 1886. A different feel in every nock and cranny with pocket doors stain glass wallpaper and wainscot, old school charming heritage.
Checked in with Cindy warm reception given room #206 in the Bourchier wing, very nice room but dated great comfortable king bed, small bathroom with tub, lots of hot water, keurig machine, lots of drawers and cupboard space, flat screen TV, nice balcony with parcial view of Lake Simcoe and very matured grounds and trees. The Sugar Maple trees are 350 years old, it's so quiet you can hear the wind rustling through the changing coloured trees .. Serene.
Free wifi, games room, room service, library, free bicycles, nature walks, yoga, kayaks and pedal boats. 6:30am opens the indoor pool sauna showers and whirlpool very clean and refreshing, then at night adults only swim by candlelight.
We did the Spa Couples package $195. and H.S.T. each well worth the price, had the Swedish with Robin the Aromatherapy massage with Nancy, manicure with Anna and pedicure with Jennifer Jones. Lunch is provided an incredible experience this package is approx. 4 hours long leaving you rejuvenated and relaxed .. Excellent.
The look out tower a nice climb upstairs since the elevators were not operational views of Lake Simcoe, private beach exclusive to the Briars guests with a beautiful new dock muskoka bear chairs lots of sitting areas and loungers.
Wahgwon Dane an outstanding man, the food here is top notch we dined on swordfish, Thanksgiving turkey feast, panseared trout, braised lamb ragout, the pear walnut ginger spinach salad outstanding as the tiramisu creme brulle. Our favourite is Heather in the Manor dining courteous always helpful and smiling.
We loved the outdoor fire with Areo and Smores singalong with Amazing Jane a real treat. (Puff the Magic Dragon).
A world class golf course renowned, this resort with only two family owners has been recently sold to foreign buyer but the first 8 holes are still member owned. Hoping the Briars will remain the same as few updates are required especially to the rooms.
The ambience and first class staff, the food, the cleanliness exceptional making this a memorable getaway. The Briars history is astonishing truly wonderful, definitely will return and recommend, a maze of intrique and the splendor of it's past glory.
P.S. Update your website just doesn't do justice to this gem on Lake Simcoe
Thanks for the memories.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank robertcanada2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2017

Sorry to say this is our last visit to The Briars. The complaints I had last year have not been resolved - the service is abysmal. We were really looking forward to our Thanksgiving weekend away, and hoped that The Briars would have taken a good look at their service, but sadly, that has not happened. The service in the dining room and the bar are absolutely terrible. Staff are unfriendly to the point of being surly in some cases. The food is so very good, so something is right in the kitchen (except for the label on the tomato slice on my hubbie's burger - do they wash the veg?) We waited 23 minutes to get water and our menus for dinner - and when we pointed out that we were waiting for service, we were told our waitress didn't know we were there (at 7 pm for our 7 pm reservation?) The hotel itself is in need of a really good thorough clean and update. The location is lovely on the shores of Lake Simcoe, and there really is potential to be an excellent resort, but there is no value for money here. It cost $1000 for two people for two days, (meals included), but that just doesn't seem to work out if you consider food is about $200 per day per couple. That means the rooms cost $300 a night? None of the rooms there are worth that, as they need updating and a good clean desperately. Up sides: the food is really good, and they almost always get the meals right. But there are too many downs for us to return.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank MaryEByb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2017

The place has an old world charm. The main house has lots of character. Friendly staff. Excellent food. The grounds are beautiful. The cottages are a bit outdated and things need some upkeep, but the place is exceptional, very relaxing and beautiful. Looking forward to be back there.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank EagerBeaver_37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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