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“Unhelpful, untruthful, rude. Stay somewhere else.”
Review of Ponds Lodge

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Ponds Lodge
Reviewed 9 December 2011

Told us our reservation was all set for July, we called back to confirm a month later and the manager was extremely rude, unhelpful, and told us our reservation was not confirmed.

If you must deal with these people, get everything in writing, and be sure to make backup plans. Or even better, stay someplace with nicer management. Its your vacation. Enjoy it.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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2  Thank travelmaster3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 - 46 of 55 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2011

We had the best time at Ponds Lodge. Our room was super clean and the staff were so friendly and helpful. It was my sons birthday and I forgot candles for his cake. I brought it up while having dinner at Ponds and the manager brought us candles to our cabin later that afternoon. It's something small but was so very nice of him to do. I highly recommend the resteraunt and the cabins.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank Karidawy10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

Since this is a long review, I will summarize in case you don’t want to read the details. The cabin was not as nice as expected, it was not clean and had several issues. Some of the staff was great, however the one person we interacted with the most was not friendly or helpful. The cabin was dirty and full of bats (see details below). I would probably not recommend Pond’s Lodge to friends or family – unless they don’t mind bats, bat poop, and boarded up windows.

We were very excited for our family vacation to Pond's Lodge! The website made the cabins and amenities look lovely, we rented Cabin 20 and couldn't wait to arrive. What greeted, however, was not quite the same as the online picture. We drove up to a cabin that was having the roof worked on - good sign that they were keeping it up - bad sign that none of the work tools had been cleaned up. We had our two little ones, 2 and 4 with us, and there was a pile of boards on the side of the home with nails sticking out. Also, there were two large blowers on each side of the house, apparently to dry out the underneath of the house - that ran the ENTIRE time, and they were loud and right next to the bonfire pit in the backyard. Also, one of the main bedrooms windows was broken and boarded up, not leaving the best feeling about the state of the cabin.

We spoke with RJ, the manager, - please note: if you can, AVOID RJ! - about the house and, unprompted, he told us he was not happy with the roofing work/tools still happening on the house and it would be cleaned up within the day. We left five days later, nothing was ever touched or cleaned up – RJ, please don't make promises you don't plan to keep.

Once we actually were inside the cabin (we stayed in Cabin 20) we were pleased - it looked just like the online pictures, a lot of space, plenty of beds and room. However, our first impression slowly unraveled throughout the five days. First of all, because of the roofing work, there was dust on everything, and had not been cleaned since the roof work began. Also, the roofing work shook the rafters and there were dead bugs and dried (what we thought) mouse poop all over the house, we had assumed had fallen out of the ceiling. On top of this, the upstairs bathtub was filthy and full of ants - my husband cleaned it and the next morning it was filthy again and full of ants - we just gave up.
The BEST part came on our third night when I woke up to a bat, yes a bat, flying around our bedroom, dive bombing us in our bed! Once we resolved the bat issue, it stunned itself by flying into the ceiling fan, and we released it outside, we settled down again to sleep. This is when the second bat appeared! Luckily this one figured out how to get out of the room, the same way it had come, from the hole in the rafters. In the morning it dawned on us that the little "mouse" poops we had seen around the house were actually bat poops! Needless to say, we closed off this room and spent the rest of the trip sleeping in the room with the boarded up window - seemed like a better trade off. We should have known there was bat problem, we could hear the squeaking and rustling in the walls in the early morning however, once again, we thought it was mice.

When we approached the management, RJ again, we were ignored the first two times we tried to talk to him. The third time we inquired to speak with him, he was not available and the woman we spoke with informed us that the bat problem was a known issue, as bats come with the teriitory and the owner was very aware of having bats living in her cabin; however the management informed us that getting the owner to do something about it was a different issue. Hmmmm.....

What we did find was a great staff (besides RJ) who were very friendly and helpful, that we connected with right away. The restaurant is delish and the pizza – fantastic! Also, the store was stocked pretty well, with a decent collection of microbrews – which we always enjoy. The distance from Yellowstone was further than we thought, however that was our fault and we should have probably stayed closer to the park. However, there was a great river for fishing, a great walking trail, and we felt very secluded, even though there were cabins all around us.

All in all - it made for some great memories, but it was definitely not ideal, especially having young children - it did not feel clean or safe for them.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank nicolemu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2011

Cabin 20 was beautiful however there were problems and we received no help from the manager. We were just told that they didn't own the cabin and the owner was out of town. The cabin was in the process of being re-roofed and was not finished. There were 2x4's on the side of the cabin with large nails sticking out. This was really dangerous for the young children. We watched them closely and fortunately did not have an incident. Some TV's were not connected to the satelite. We tried to speak with someone about whether or not we could move cables and boxes but were ignored. Then, in the night we discovered that the roof was full of bats. One was killed by the ceiling fan in one bedroom. The worst part was the bat guano. The upstairs bathroom was next to being unuseable. The tub was filthy and covered in guano. We cleaned it and the next day it looked the same. There was bat guano on the walls in one bedroom. Everyday we had to clean bat guano off of the tables in the living area.

Our biggest frustration was the fact that the manager or owner would not speak to us about the problems. We were hopeful that he could offer a possible solution to some of the problems. We left a note for him, but still did not receive a response.

We suggest that if you decided to book a cabin at Ponds Lodge that you find out who owns the cabin. We are sure that if they had owned this cabin that we would have been treated differently. We had no idea that they would only tell us that they didn't own the cabin. Perhaps that is what they tell everyone if there is a problem.

We did have a wonderful trip. The best thing about this cabin was the area outside the back of the cabin. Beautiful trees, nice deck and hot tub. We had to turn off one of the dryers(?) they had permanently attached to each side of the house. They were very noisy. All-in-all, the cabin is very nice but they do need to find a way to get rid of the bats. We are not talking about one or two, there were dozens.

Room Tip: Find out if the owner is available
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank none62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

With all the lovely options why oh why did I end up there! Hello! A boarded up front door and boarded up window greeted us. We almost cried. The road, if you want to call it that, would have put a pregnant woman in labor and I think some of my teeth were loosened. When you request a brochure and don't get it, there is a reason. This place should be condemned.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank Kempis21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2010

We recently stayed at Ponds lodge and rented two cabins for our family. The first cabin was an older cabin that accepted pets. From the outside the cabin looks pretty warn down and the inside is not much better. The windows on the first floor don't lock and do not have screens, plus there is a good 1/2" gap between the sliders that allows mosquitos to get in. About half of the light bulbs and a few of the electrical outlets did not work. We couldn't use the ceiling fan because it wobbled so much and made so much noise we were afraid it would tear from the ceiling at any moment. One of the beds had dirty sheets on it.. we could tell because of the dried vomit that was left on it.

The other cabin was a newer cabin that by the looks, appeared very nice. On closer inspection, carpenter ants were running all over the counters and walls. The furniture and counters had sawdust on them from the ants eating the cabin. The dishwasher didn't work and the barbeque's lighter was broken. We didn't use the hot tub because the water appeared dirty. I know this is a cabin, but if they charge you for the amentities shouldn't you be able to use them?

The road around the cabin is absolutely terrible. I drove our four wheel drive and I am glad I did. The dirt road is full of large rocks and pot holes so you had to be very careful and it made me wonder how cars would fare on it.

When we pointed out the flaws and complained to the manager he just said he was sorry and offered us breakfast at the lodge.

Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere if you are staying in the area because there are lots of options for you to choose.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank bombero123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2010

We stayed here again this past winter for a snowmobile trip and enjoyed it very much. We rented one of the newer cabins behind the lodge (a different one from last year) and it was very large, very nice and the price was right. The food at the lodge was great and the employees remembered us from the previous year. I would recommend Pond's Lodge to anyone looking for reasonable lodging in the winter.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank MT_SnoMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ponds Lodge

Address: U.S. Highway 20, Island Park, ID 83429
Region: United States > Idaho > Island Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Island Park
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Ponds Hotel Island Park

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