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“Truly the best stay I've had away from home” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Portage Inn & Cottages

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Portage Inn & Cottages
Ranked #9 of 22 Huntsville B&B and Inns
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Truly the best stay I've had away from home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2012

I booked at Portage Inn at the last moment, having found myself with two days to kill before a flight home. I was just looking for a base from which to tour this Algonquin and surrounding areas.

Nancy and Sid made my stay utterly captivating. A truly wonderful location, an equally impressive house - it is so refreshing to stay somewhere that is totally quiet at night without the incessant hum of air conditioners and the like, and finally and most important were Nancy and Sid as hosts. With scintillating conversation, escorted trips in the area and a remarkable element of participation, you truly are made to feel as if you are at home at Portage Inn.

Some of the wonderful highlights were:
- Seeing the Milky Way so clearly (for a native of South England that is awe inspiring)
- The canoes and boats provided, together with escorted trips to the isolated points with just fantastic views of the lake and forest
- A real world charm about the Portage Inn itself. There is interest in every corner, both inside and also in the surrounding area.

I truly hope to return, and maybe bring some of the family to share this wonderful experience.

I put my two days at Portage Inn as one of the best vacation trips ever.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lofty_p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Stroud
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2012

Our stay at Portage Inn was one of the outstanding highlights of a tour of southern Ontario. The house itself has a lovely feel, with fascinating, inviting corners at every turn, and the setting, with its beautiful lake view, is unforgettable. It is, however, the presence of Sid and Nancy that gives the place its life: what an engaging pair they are - warm, generous, good-humoured. Sid's initial tour of the grounds was an absolute hoot, and breakfast on the patio the following morning was one of those quietly joyful occasions which one simply doesn't want to end. We had things to do, and places to go, but it was only with great reluctance that we dragged ourselves away from this place and its presiding spirits.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TonyandSylv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2012

The owners, Nancy & Sid, their gracious and genuine hospitality, the drop-dead gorgeous Muskoka setting and the warm appeal of the inviting vintage decor all played a large part in making our wedding at the Portage Inn the best night of our lives. Our 120 guests, many of whom are seasoned travelers and many of whom are seasoned locals, were absolutely gobsmacked from the moment they pulled in the parking lot -- across the board.

The whole place looked amazing and the huge new stone patio with a view over the lake stole the show, but what truly made the party so special was Nancy & Sid's world-class, top of the line hosting -- the atmosphere of "Welcome to our home, we are honored to have your as our guest and truly happy to share with you this beautiful little corner of the world". There is genuine thoughtfulness and care in everything they do, and it shows everywhere you look. You can feel it.

From the very first stage of planning, Nancy lent her wisdom and support, making great suggestions to overcome obstacles and being amazingly accommodating in meeting our requests. Her advice is nearly always flawless and her proactive, can-do approach to solving problems is a fantastic comfort when stressing out over issues like unexpected foul weather or special-needs guests.

In addition to the classically beautiful location and the warmth and convenience of the facility is the house caterer, The Gourmet Cottage. Again, our guests -- many of whom are hardcore foodies and have attended dozens of weddings and catered affairs -- were completely blown away. The chicken and salmon were moist, cooked exactly right for all 120 portions, and the brownies were hands-down the best I've ever had, ever. The food was simply superb, and the service was no less. Everyone working for them wore a smile the entire day, even the guy flipping burgers in pouring rain for the afternoon BBQ part of the event. We tried to convince him to come in under a tent until the rain subsided, but he was genuinely happy to stay out there & make our food (which needless to say, was divine!).

The bottom line is that if you're looking somewhere to hold an event in the Huntsville area, I can pretty much guarantee you will add profoundly to the outlook for its success by choosing to have it at the Portage Inn. There really isn't another place like it...you'll see!

Outstanding, awesome, fabulous, gorgeous...I can go on and on. The Portage Inn and its hosts are the BEST.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FrannyM65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2012

Room and bed were excellent, with a nice lake view. The breakfast was outstanding, they even modified their normal breakfast to our liking (eggs over easy & pea meal bacon). We even used the canoe and paddled the lake.

The owners were truly outstanding. They did everything they could to make our stay enjoyable, including a golf cart tour of the lake front highlighting fishing spots.

The common room downstairs was old but decent. No air conditioning so it may be warm on a hot day. Better to sit outside with a nice view of lake. Again, owners did everything they could to make us feel welcome and make our stay enjoyable.

Tip - Best to bring food to grill instead of driving back and forth to Huntsville for every meal. We wish we would have grilled dinner there.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GHeiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

My fiance and I enjoyed our stay at Portage Inn over the long Easter weekend. The inn had a rustic feel to it with all the modern comforts. The Great Room has two fireplaces, wooden tables and chairs, a bar and even a piano! There's a classic pool table for guests to play too. My favourite thing was sitting by the fireplace after dinner reading a book and drinking red wine! It was so relaxing.

Our hosts, Nancy and syd, made us feel very welcome. They let us use the bbq to cook dinner and checked if we were ok from time to time. Syd told us that the Inn had a long history (it has been around since 1867). I liked how they kept the inn's history and uniqueness.

Breakfast was delicious; more of a variety would be good but it was still yummy. During the day we went kayaking and hiking. We would love to come back in the summer when we can swim in the lake. Vienna and Ian even let us play archery with them! We had so much fun over the weekend. It was just what we needed to get away from the city. Thanks for the wonderful hospitality and I hope to come back again!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angiechan001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

Although I'm a tad late in my review of our AMAZING experience at Portage Inn, I wanted to make sure this gem and lovely hosts, received the recognition they deserve.

Back in the first week of January over the holidays, I was looking for a quaint winter escape for myself, my son (age 10) and niece (age 13). We are all huge fans of Huntsville, and couldn't wait to enjoy a few days in the snow. I was looking for a specific kind of experience, of charm and muskoka, and the Portage Inn had exactly what I was looking for. What I didn't know, is that it would turn out to be more than the experience we hoped for.

The location is perfect! Far away enough from town and "resorts", to feel you are experiencing muskoka life, and close enough (only 15 minutes to Huntsville's town) to access restaurants, services and shopping.

We stayed in the Inn, which is a heritage building full of original charm, and modern touches. Every room in the main areas of the house had a wood burning stove, in addition to a fireplace in the main room. Very cozy! We occupied their two beautiful rooms which were both immaculate and comfortable. Each room had its own on-suite bathroom, temperature control, fridge and toiletries.

Our HOSTS Sidney and Nancy were kind, gracious and accommodating at every turn. They truly went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our time there, and were comfortable.

Our first day was freezing at -23C. However it didn't stop us from tobogganing down a perfect hill, right beside the Inn! Our hosts provided us with two toboggans, which was great. Afterward, we were treated to hot chocolate, as the kids played pool in the main room.

That evening, we went for dinner in town. It's always fun to explore local restaurants, and 3 Guys and a Stove didn't disappoint. When we returned, Nancy asked us if we would like to watch a movie. Not only did she put on a movie, but she gave us cozy blankets to snuggle up in. And Sid made us popcorn! How awesome is that!?

The next morning, we woke up to a scrumptious breakfast! The table was beautifully set, and we ate by the warmth of a fire. This was how we spent all of our mornings.

Our first full day (thankfully warmer), we visited a Horse Farm (Back of Beyond) in near by Port Sydney. This too is a hidden gem! We groomed horses and learned about their habits. Then we went on a horse drawn sleigh ride through the forest. Gorgeous!! After our ride, we roasted marshmallows on an open fire, and drank more hot chocolate. You need to check this place out. Especially if you are a horse enthusiast.

In the evening , we grabbed a quick bite in town, then went swimming at the Summit Centre. When we told Nancy we were going there, she provided us with bath towels to take to the pool, so we didn't have to buy them. So nice!! The Summit Centre is an amazing facility that was refaced/constructed for the G8 summit held a few years ago. It's spectacular!

The following day, was filled with non-stop activity. On a tip from Nancy, we first traveled to Arrowhead Provincial Park (about 30 minutes away), and went skating through the forest! The kids thought it was pretty cool to skate amongst the trees, as opposed to an enclosed arena. You can rent skates at the main office, which is great if you want to try it, and don't have skates. After a quick lunch, we then went to Hidden Valley Ski Resort. Not being avid skiers, they had a few hills were perfect for the novice. And just when we figured our day was done, we heard there was a tubing hill in Huntsville called RockRidge - huge tubing hills, that are FAST! What a blast for us all. And the perfect ending to our day.

On our last morning, Nancy, Sid, Vienna (their daughter) and Ian (chef AKA "bacon man" for his amazing food), joined us for breakfast. What a wonderful meal. Ian baked fresh scones, and took great care in making sure breakfast was perfect.

While I prepared to pack, Ian asked the kids if they would like to learn archery. What kid doesn't want to shoot a bow and arrow?!? He went through all the safety measures and physics of shooting, and worked with the kids to practice. It was a huge unexpected treat, and a perfect ending to our stay at the Inn.

Without hesitation, I absolutely recommend Portage Inn and Cottages, on beautiful Peninsula Lake! If a cottage is more your style, you can't go wrong there either. The property also rents out two fully equipped cottage units that will surely provide a great cottage experience.

Thank you again to Nancy, Sid, Ian and Vienna. We look forward to seeing you all again!!

Room Tip: Both room are great. You can choose a view of the lake, or a room with a jet tub!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KICKRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2011

No hesitation in recommending the Portage Inn for its historic charm, hospitality and atmosphere.
We stayed at the Inn in a delightful period room. Our hosts were friendly & engaging and, as an added bonus, their literary background is fascinating.
We look foward to a return visit, as it's also very convenient - just nicely out of town, but close enough to Huntsville's amenities and Algonquin Park.

Room Tip: Quieter at the back. Ask to see the available rooms when you get there and pick the one you like.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Portage Inn & Cottages

Property: Portage Inn & Cottages
Address: 1563 North Portage Rd, Huntsville, Ontario P1H 2J6, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Muskoka District > Huntsville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Huntsville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Portage Inn & Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Portage Inn Bed & Breakfast (1889), owned by authors Nancy and Sidney Kirkpatrick, sits on a beautiful 5 acre waterfront property on Peninsula Lake in Huntsville Muskoka Ontario. Each room has a large full bathroom of its own en-suite. One room has a view of the lake and another has a large jacuzzi tub. Traditional breakfasts are provided but special diets are available upon request. Also on the property is a chalet that sleeps up to 13 with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 kitchens and 2 living/dining rooms as well as a Muskoka Room, laundry room and 2 decks looking over the lake. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portage Inn And Cottages
Portage Inn & Cottages Hotel Huntsville
Portage Inn & Cottages Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

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