The more I think about our three night stay (we left one night early because everyone got sick from our room) the more conflicted I get about returning to Misty Harbor.
We were in Gilford for the Timberman Tri - the Misty Harbor Resort is in PERFECT proximity for this event being about three short miles from Ellacoya State Park.
Misty Harbor has an absolutely fabulous beach area right on an idyllic cove on Winnipesauke - the kind of place you could easily spend 10 hours a day at for five straight days and NEVER want to leave.
In fact you might want to sleep there having seen your room!
I suspect most issues with this resort are tied to two of the four buildings that house guest rooms. There is a large building on the lake-side of Rte 11 that apparently houses time-share/condo suites (two bedrooms). That side of the resort seems awesome - you walk down out of the suite (lot's of floors so some rooms will have lots of stairs to deal with ... not sure if an elevator is there) and you are on the beach! What a way to vacation. I can NOT comment about those rooms but my sense is there are better than the rest of the resort.
I get a strong sense that many of these suites are used by owners during periods of time since a lot of them had "customizations" - outdoor furniture that didn't match (and some that were very nice sets), various storage boxes outside on balconies, different plants/decorations visible on the balconies.
An outsiders-in perspective left me with a very favorable impression of this building - I suspect the positive reviews on this site relate to this building.
The second smaller building is located directly across Rte 11 from the first one - I believe this houses smaller rooms - possibly the nicer one-bedroom suites? Again can't offer first hand commentary but my general sense was these are pleasant rooms, with balcony views of the lake and fairly convenient access (although you do have to contend with Rte 11 traffic).
The trouble begins, in my opinion, as you go back to the other two buildings located further away from the road. Even in the parking lot we got a sense things were a little darker and a little more damp. The third and main resort building appears nice (sure it could use paint but this is a lake-side resort in NH - I'm not expecting the Ritz!). There is a fourth building located even further back near the pool. These two buildings immediately convey a "motel feel". As a prior review noted, most of the rooms seem to be accessed via interior-open-air corridors - so they all seemed dark and musty.
These two buildings are also those plagued by mold and mildew - I say this based on other reviews and the obvious references to location (such as "next to the outdoor pool") and because we stayed in room G08 in the main building.
So, not claiming to have stayed in all 90+ rooms, and not having a major bone to pick with the owners/managers I'll say PROCEED with CAUTION!
Be VERY careful to find out where you'll be staying - avoid the motel room options (that will push you "deeper into the resort" and likely mean you're in a musty room). This of course pushes up the cost (some what dramatically) so it becomes very difficult to recommend the Misty Harbor resort. The Value/Price ratio doesn't seem favorable to me even having thought this through a bit.
So why am I conflicted? Our last impressions of Misty Harbor came while sitting on that beach! WOW - what a beach!
BOTTOM LINE - all in all - it might be worth it to try Misty Harbor if you take some care in making your reservations. Again, the view from the beach and the easy access to amenities such as local marinas, Ellacoya, Laconia, Weirs Beach and Gunstock are hard to beat.
Try to ask others for first hand accounts of stays in the two-bedroom (aka Lake-Side) building - maybe even ask Misty Harbor to give actual references you can call.
I can't trash Misty Harbor - I can validate a lot of the concerns expressed here - I can only offer some insight into the "four buildings" and my opinion that the location of your room is probably going to dictate whether you love or hate Misty Harbor.
Best regards, Tom
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