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“Great location but a not-so-nice place”

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Misty Harbor and Barefoot Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Gilford
Reviewed 24 August 2005

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

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank LuxLiving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 - 84 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2005

I took my daugher and her friend to the lake for the first time. The website pictures and brochure made the hotel seem very decent. I was disappointed when we drove up, as it seemed more run down than I expected. However, I didn't let that discourage us. I checked us into our one bedroom suite with a full kitchen, with a lake view. As soon as I opened the door to the room, it was infested with flies. Not just one or two, but at least 20. The room was hot, the air conditioner was turned off. I thought maybe that was the reason for the flies. I opened the sliders and turned the air on with hopes the flies would go away. I took the kids for a swim and we checked out the property. After an hour or so, went back to the room to find it much cooler, but still infested with the files. I proceeded to the front desk to let them know. The girl was new and had only been working there a couple weeks. She contacted the maintence person who basically mocked me telling me to close the doors! I went back to the room to wait for him to come check it out....and waited...and waited. He never came. I called the front desk to ask what was going on, she sent someone else instead who could do nothing for me. They had no other rooms available and I had to take my 2 kids to a different hotel at 10:30 at night. I had to go back 3 times to finally see the manager to credit my money. He was rude, very unhelpful, never apoligized....but did give my refund. What a nightmare. The only reason I would never go back or recommend this place is because of how they handled the situation. I should report them to the board of health is what I should do.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank cotterc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, MA
Reviewed 23 August 2005

Housekeeping staff didn't show the day we checked in. Room was to be ready at 4pm-no rooms done until 6pm. Quite a few frustrated guests in the lobby... However, staff took a good percentage off the bill. Found out the the condition of the rooms depend on their owners-each unit individually owned. Who ever our owner was took good care of their unit! Beach very clean and a beautiful view. Aside from check-in and somewhat uncomfortable bed, no major complaints.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 16 August 2005

We planned to stay a weekend up here while visiting at a family reunion. This place seemed to fit what we were looking for. It didn't allow pets and had nonsmoking accomodations. (my two kids and I are asthmatic.) There is an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, playground and beach.

We booked a nonsmoking suite with a bedroom and full kitchen. The website looked great, like it was going to be a decent place. So, we got there and checked in. The reception desk person seemed ok. Not super friendly, but not rude either. We went up to our room on the second floor. All the hotel rooms are on the first or second floor in the part we were in. They all were outside entrances, with balconies on both sides. (one private and the other the main walkway.)

As we walked in, we smelled this horrible smell. It was full of smoke and you could just feel your skin crawl. The floor looked damp and everything looked kind of grungy, like it needed to be recleaned. It didn't look anything like the pictures on the website and definitely didn't smell like I hoped. So we went out to the balcony to think. The air in the room was just aweful. I didn't want my kids breathing it in. One of my kids started coughing immediately. I later went down to talk to the manager about the room.

He said he would send a maintenence man up with an ozone machine to try to clear out the smell. When the mainten. man came up he said, "wow, someone was smoking here." It was very obvious and I couldn't believe housekeeping would even leave the horrible smell in there. It was a non smoking room. The sign was displayed outside the room.

The hotel room, by the way, had a kitchen, living room area with pullout sofa and tv, bedroom separated by accordian type doors and a bathroom.

We went off to check out the outdoor pool while we waited for the machine to take effect. It was nice and quiet. This was the best part of our visit here. The low end of the pool was like 3 feet and deeper around 6 ft.

Back to the room, still smelled. I contacted the manager again and said I couldn't stay here. He said he had no other rooms, apologized and he wouldn't charge me. And by the way, it was 203. a night! Way too much! I thought that he was being a nice guy and tried. Until...

So now it is a month later and he still hasn't taken the bill off my credit card for the weekend. We didn't even sleep there a night, it was just awful and I couldn't risk our health. I have called two to three times and talked with the front desk, whom always say he is busy and will call back and he never does. I have also emailed a couple times and no response.

So now may need to go to the BBB to get my money back. It was a shame that the manager doesn't just handle things. I was not upset about the way things turned out, but now am getting frustrated.

Thankfully we found a nice place around the corner with wonderful people working there.

I had read some of the poor reviews on this trip advisor and thought since they were mostly just staff stuff, no biggie. But, it is important. I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2005

Run, don't walk, away from Misty Harbor and Barefoot Beach Resort. In brief, my husband and I reserved a one-bedroom suite that opened out onto the outdoor pool, which was necessary because we were traveling with a 7-month old, and wanted easy access to and from the room. This was our first vacation in three years, so we were really looking forward to lazing by the pool.

When we arrived at 2:30 p.m., we pulled up outside the office and
immediately I was struck by the dilapidated appearance of the facade of all
the buildings. They were desperately in need of a coat of paint. And the awning, which announced "Misty Harbor" in huge white letters, was so grimey that the white lettering was gray and you could actually see a thick coating of dirt on it. I was turned off from the start. I went in to see if we could check and and I was told that we were much too early to check in, but that we could
use all of the facilities until check in. The woman was cordial but didn't seem very knowledgeable as to what ammenities were available. I asked if there was a work out room, and she said she didn't know. I asked where the laundry facilities were and she just mumbled something incoherent to me and pointed a finger. A just said, "Great! Thanks!", to avoid confusing her any more. But I did get her to confirm our poolside
room for me.

We went to the private lake front beach area to kill an hour or so until check in, and it was beautiful. The
day was picture perfect, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When 4
p.m. came my husband checked us in and again were promised the poolside
room. We drove to the back of the building where the pool was and
proceeded to wander around trying to figure out how we get into the room.
We finally figured out that you walk down a dark and dingy alleyway to
get into the room. It was at this point we realized our room was not
poolside, it actually looked out onto the parking lot! In addition, the
room smelled like mildew, and the "one-bedroom" was just a bed stuck in
a bump out with an accordian door pulled across it.

I went back to the office to explain the problem and was told that
there was a poolside room available but that it was dirty and all of the housekeepers had
already worked eight hours that day and wouldn't work any overtime. She said she was expecting someone to come in that evening, and if we wanted to wait in the first room, that person could clean the poolside room, and then we could move over to it. But she had no idea what time they were coming, if at all. I asked if there were any other rooms available in the entire place, and
I was told that all of the available rooms were dirty. At this point, I was beside
myself. I said, "you have rooms available but they are all dirty? You
mean all of the rooms are not cleaned when they become vacant?" She
just looked at me and said, "yup". I was so grossed out at this point
that I asked for a refund and we left. The only reason we were given the
refund is because the woman acknowledged that we had been confirmed a
poolside room three times.

When we were walking out of the alleyway, I was ranting to my husband
that who in their right mind would pay $166/night to stay in a tiny room
that smelled like mildew and looked out at a parking lot. I didn't
realize that there was a man on the staircase above us. He said, "you
don't like your room either?" We proceeded to gripe to each other about
how horrible our rooms were and what a rip off the place was. It made
me happy to know that it just wasn't me being picky.

7  Thank soozp2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Dracut, Ma
Reviewed 7 September 2004

The room was nice and clean. The staff was very helpful, the amenties were excellent not to mention the beautilful lake and beach. I will be back for some winter skiing and definitely a swim in the indoor pool.

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Portland, Maine
Reviewed 4 September 2004

What a beautiful, quiet place. Right on the Lake with the mountains as a backdrop.

One of our party had suffered a broken leg and the staff was great in changing our rooms and accomodating us. Val, at the front desk, made sure we had everything we needed and made us feel most welcomed and comfortable. We will be back again in the winter for skiing - hopefully no more broken legs.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Misty Harbor and Barefoot Beach Resort

Address: 118 Weirs Rd, PO Box 7362, Gilford, NH 03249-6663
Region: United States > New Hampshire > Gilford
Beach Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Gilford
Price Range: £81 - £167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Misty Harbor and Barefoot Beach Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 93
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Also Known As:
Misty Harbor And Barefoot Beach Hotel Gilford

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