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“Wonderful Atmosphere”

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Willow Beach Cottages
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Haliburton
Niagara Falls, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Atmosphere”
Reviewed 9 November 2010

We stayed in Cottage #2 and found the cottage itself clean, cozy and comfortable. The kitchen had new looking appliances, clean serving ware and pots/pans as well as everything else we needed for making meals (utensils, kettle etc.). The furniture and beds were comfortable and the bathroom was spotless upon our arrival. The cottage had a great selection of movies to watch and free wireless internet was available. We had a bbq on the deck for the sunny days and the wood fireplace was a nice treat on the days it rained. The firewood supply was fully stocked throughout our week, and the maintenance and cleaning staff were friendly and helpful. It was obvious that the owners take pride in the property by the well kept grounds and pleasant atmosphere around the resort. Shopping was less than 10 minutes away and there were ample activities closeby, i.e. art studio tours. The rec hall had a huge selction of board games for the kids in addtion to air hockey, billiard and ping pong tables. Anyone looking for a peaceful getaway in which to spend quality time with the family would be hard pressed to find a more relaxing environment. We'll definitely return!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank fionaweaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 August 2010

I traveled there with my boyfriend, our daughter, and a group of friends and we all had a great time.
The owner's were on site the weekend we went there, they were very friendly and helpful. There were lots of activities to keep us busy all weekend at no extra cost, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, badminton, volleyball etc.
The location is great, especially if you want to get away from the city.
We're definitely going back next year, due in large part to how nice the owner's are.
All of us would recommend going to Willow Beach.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank cgamble87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guelph, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 14 July 2010

Our 8th season returning to Willow Beach. We were aware of the cancellation of the children's program and no access to the Hot-Tub. Still our cottage (#6) was updated with some welcomed personal touches. The kids had a blast with the other families, and we left feeling rested and satisfied. We will return.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mjwojcicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ottawa
Level Contributor
65 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2010

If you spend almost $200.00 p/night for a cottage and the website talks about fully equipped cottages, a lit skating rink and snoweshoing at your doorstep etc. and you travel regularly with family you know what comparables are in that price range.

For example, I rented a "cabin" in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina last year for almost the same daily rate. It was a 3000 sq foot fully equipped home with ss appliances in the kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3-bathroom, games room, with foosball, wii system and 4 flat screen t.v.s throughout the premises and an outdoor hot tub - totally awesome.

In contrast, Willow Beach cottages are clean, but cramped and dated with ratty mismatched furniture looking like cast offs from the Salvation Army thrift store. Some of the light fixtures weren't working. The TV was so small, chances are your computer screen is bigger. There was no office to speak of. As soon as I walked through the door of this Hobbit sized cottage, my gut reaction was wanting to turn right around and not even unpack but get back in the car and look for somewhere else to stay. But travelling with a three-year-old, being in a small town on the Family Day weekend, I knew we were stuck. So we made the best of it. The view right by the lake, the fireplace, the comfortable beds and the cleanliness of the bathroom were all positive.

We were in Haliburton that weekend to go dogsledding with Winterdance dogsled tours. That experience, by contrast, was completely amazing and one of our best family experiences ever to date.

If I was ice fishing with buddies and just wanted a place to crash, this place would be o.k., but priced at $75 per night.

Our family will definitely go back to Haliburton to dogsled again and will definitely be staying at better accommodations the next time!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank familyexplore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2010

Last year was fine. Everything changed this year. No owners on site. My wife stayed for the week, I left after the weekend. Firewood -- which the website says is in "good supply" -- ran out after two days. The screen on the fireplace was broken and my wife sustained burns trying to close it. It's impossible to contact anyone ... the whole experience was lousy.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank He-Bro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corktown, One of the owners at Willow Beach Cottages, responded to this review, 23 March 2010
As one of the new owners of Willow Beach Cottages I felt compelled to respond to this post. I am not the person who dealt with this woman (I notice this post was written by her husband). However I am fully aware of the case.
"Everything changed this year". All that really changed is that the former owners (who were well liked) are no longer on the site. For this reason we were forced to close the hot tub as we could not meet government safety regulations (i.e test water every hour!). As we have now hired a maintenance man we hope to reopen it soon. Also we no longer do any rentals of skates, ski's, etc. The woman was told that and was OK with it when she booked. The sauna, exercise equipment, rec centre, playground, wi-fi, etc, etc, all remain the same. We use the same cleaning lady. All the summer water toys will be there this season. Many of the cottages are being redecorated, so that's changing.
"No owners on site". There is no longer on -site management, but this woman was told that when she booked. Also many weekends there are owners on site.
"Firewood...ran out after two days". I personally helped carry in FIVE bags of store bought firewood and TWO bags of kindling into the cottage they rented.....and they ran out after two days. How do you respond to that?
"The screen on the fireplace was broken". The screen on the fireplace was loose in it's track.
"It's impossible to contact anyone.." Really? Your wife didn't seem to have any trouble contacting us to demand her money back. From the cottage. You also do not mention that the owners she was dealing with drove three hours to give her a refund in person.
"The whole experience was lousy". Yeah, well, we go along with that.
By the way, while the husband was busy trashing us on the interweb, the wife was sending the owners in question a nice Thank You card and asking about renting their place in Arizona.
I'll let the Trip Advisor readers draw their own conclusions.
p.s. the Arizona rental ain't happening.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
1 review
Reviewed 3 February 2010

Misrepresented on website. Most things offered now gone (hot tub, skating rink, snowshoe rental, etc). No management on site. Sadly old owners gone. Was a gem. Lost our down payment. No one to contact. No response. Terms of old down payment was terrible anyway, so beware.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank scorch_and_peach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corktown, Owner at Willow Beach Cottages, responded to this review, 23 March 2010
Willow Beach Cottages transferred to a new ownership group late in 2009. As part of the transfer all bookings in place were to be honoured. Also the booking terms of the resort have not changed from the previous owners, and are not unusual for an Ontario resort ("Terms of old down payment was terrible anyway"). Due to the short primetime season in Ontario, most resorts have pretty strict payment rules.
The new owners hired a local manager to handle bookings. This manager was close nearby and the phone numbers and e-mail for the resort have never changed. Why you could not contect someone is hard to understand and distressing for us to find out.
Unfortunately, the local managment we hired was a disaster.
This was compounded by a delay in changing the website to reflect changes at the resort. No, there is no longer on site management, so there no longer are snowshow rentals, etc. The hottub had to be shut down as without someone on site to monitor it, it was impossible to meet government safety standards.
Having said that the resort remains much as it was, including the same cleaning lady who's been there through 3 owners. The skating rink was there last time I visited.
Willow Beach now has a NEW booking agent and has hired a maintenance person. We hope to reopen the hot tub soon.
We are sorry for your experience and are very interested to know if the former local booking agent owes you money. Please contact us via the Willow Beach web site.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 July 2009

We have rented many cottages in Ontario and the Maritimes in the past 18 years and Willow Beach Cottages are certainly among the best. The cottages are well maintained and the kitchens better equipped than most places. The grounds are well kept and it's really a beautiful spot. It rained a lot the week we were there but our teenage son and his friend enjoyed the on-site facilities (hot tub and billiards when it rained and basketball and swimming when the sun came out) everyday. When the rain got to be too much, it was a short drive into Haliburton or a slightly longer drive to Minden for lunch or shopping. The Gage family was very helpful and had many suggestions for activities in the area. We're planning a trip to Willow Beach again in the fall to enjoy the autumn colours and the peaceful location.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SasOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Willow Beach Cottages

Property: Willow Beach Cottages
Address: RR#2, Haliburton, Ontario K0M 1S0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Haliburton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Haliburton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Willow Beach Hotel
Willow Beach Resort
Willow Beach Cottages Haliburton, Ontario, Canada

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