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“Nice people but poor condition”
Review of Blackthorne Resort

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Blackthorne Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in East Durham
Valley Forge, PA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice people but poor condition”
Reviewed 14 July 2010

The staff (family, I believe) is very accommodating and pleasant but the overall condition of the property is very poor. Having read other negative comments I booked their top tier room and package (The "A" Plan) hoping for the best. The first room (#111) I was given was apparently used by a family of cats before I arrived. The smell was awful. The second room (311) was fine except, like the rest of the property, very old and worn. This is the type of family resort that was probably very popular and well maintained back when Carter was in office.

The breakfast and dinner was included with the "Plan A" package. I ate off premises. Enough said.

They did have good WI FI covering the entire resort including the outdoor areas.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank siggreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
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English first
Glen Cove, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2010

This past winter I suggeted going to Disney World for our vacation this year. My daughter's frist words where "are we still going to The Black Thorne".
When I explained the cost of a trip for 4 from NY to FLa would not allow it. "She said forget it" stating that our anual 4th of July weekend with 3 to 4 other couples and their families who are long time friends was a" Tradition". My wife and I started going to East Duram with these frinds when we were all just dating staying different locations over the years. Since finding this great place we have stayed no where else. Bob the owner is a kind, gentle soul. Who will does his best to make sure his guests have a good time. He and his family are a leading force keeping this town alive. Bob's son's Roy and Dale are doing the work of 10 men keeping up and improving this huge,beautiful property and other area attrations. Growing up in Queens and living on LI this vacation to me is "roughing it". Know and enjoy where you are, you are not staying in Manhatten at The 4 Seasons. This is a constant work in progress and labor of love by a family who loves this area and seeing people have great fun. Some of the rooms have their problems but the staff will do their best to make you happy. You come here to be outdoors with friends and families and others who enjoy the Irish's zest for life and love of a good time. My room is for sleep, shower and to cool off and recharge my batteries while checking in on a ball game. The encluded breakfast and dinners satisfy. Again your are not at a 5 star resturant. . But there are often surprise menu items which please most. People come here to relax and let there hair down while not have to worry about the safety of their children or leaviing the resort often to have a great time. Yes there are those who over imbibe and do things they don't remember or regret in the morning, but few to judge as most here have been there at one time or another. Bob and his family are loved by locals,bikers,families, and all people old and young. I have never seen any major trouble in all the years I've stayed here. A family of 4 can visit 3 to 4 times a year for the prise of 1 trip to Disney. My daughter is wise, from the mouth of babes...

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BigStrongMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen Cove
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 July 2010

I came here to post my review as a person who has been to East Durham with my friends, hubshands and now children for 25+ years and was so disappointed in the reviews I just read on here as we have stayed everywhere there is in East Durham and we truly found the perfect place when we found the Blackthorne 10 years ago. The owners treat us all like family and welcome us with open arms. There are different level rooms and I just stayed in what was like the four seasons of the catskills with a patio that overlooked the entire property. The service is amazing and everyone is extremely accommodating. In addition, this family is single handedly rebuilding the place I grew up in and loved so much and some of us were conceived there and so were some of our children. They send vans to take you horse back riding and to go carts. THey put on a firework show better than any show I have seen in long island or nyc, sitting poolside with music and dancing --- in a chair watching your children roasting marshmellows. I was shocked to see some of these reviews because if you know this area this is the by far the best place in town. The property is impeccable I dont know how they do it. I have stayed in places just blocks from them where the grass was so high you lost your kids and the bug bites so severe, broken beds, etc. Never has this happened in the blackthorne. The pool is clean and well taken care of......The owner and his sons have done so much for my family, my many friends and our children we truly are so grateful to them. My kids write about the blackthorne every year going back to school as their favorite part of the summer. If you are dissapointed in the blackthorne I am curious to know if you ever stayed anywhere else in east durham. Also the way they treat the campers are as good as they treat us hotel guests and i always feel so welcome there. I cannot say enough good things about the blackthorne and I am so glad that Bob the owner has such wonderful sons and grandchildren who are keeping the "east durham jewel" alive. It is hard to make everyone happy of course but they do a real good job of accommodating many different age groups, lifestyles and are always updating entertainments. They even have wi fi with internet access which is truly amazing in an area that can' barely get cell phone coverage. THey go out of their way to stay up with the times while giving you the old fashioned fun of your childhood memories. We started going there as kids with our parents, then with a group of girlfriends then with our boyfriends that turned into our husbands and now with our kids and it gives them a sense of pride. There playround is extremely safe and updated but has the merry go rounds we loved as children that you cant find in the city or long island, the kids can roam around and have freedom and be safe and the views are incredible. I thank my stars every year for this family that runs this place and many others in east durham and hope they continue to preserve the best memories of my life.....

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kimlovesblackthorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2010

Just came back yesterday from 3 days at Blackthorne Resort. Went with another couple all of us are between 47 and 56. Upon arrival we were greeted by 2 friendly ladies behind the desk who quickly handed us our keys , in and out in under 5 mins.

ROOM: Stayed in these little red cabins just towards the back of the big field and pool area. I must be honest our room was not as nice as our traveling partners. Old bed spreads, spiders on the wall that I killed with my flip flop, tiny nightstand from the 1970's, our radio/tape deck that was built in the wall didn't work, our jacuzzi didn't work and we asked the owner himself to please check it out , he came up looked at it and said he would get someone to look at it the next day. Noone showed up . Don't pay for the "Ultra Deluxe Room" nothing works. They have venitian blinds that are all bent and broken in front of the glass slider doors (NO CURTAINS) so we had to pull the bedspread off of the unused bed and hung it over the doors at night .

FOOD: Must say the food and service at the chow hall was good. Had a buffet one night pretty good Irish shepard pie, excellent meatballs (my husband and I both cook so we know food) Lemon chicken was great, Desserts- not so great -all store purchased pies and jello. Breakfast choice of eggs, make your own waffles, donuts, bagels, muffins- all good ! Coffee pots all need to be replaced- very old and coffee stained . We had a Bar-B-Que on Saturday- Food was very good, chicken, pulled pork, corn on the cob, baked beans. And get this FREE Beer and Margaritas for 2 hours. Beer good , Margaritas nice and frozen but couldn't taste any tequila .

Grounds: Very different, funny looking buildings everywhere , pool water looked a tint of green but it's the beginning of the season and they might have just opened it. The campground part of this place appears to be brand new, gravel rock in all sites we saw during our walk, all seasonal campers occupy most all sites as they all have elaborate new decks they built, didn't see any open sites for weekend warriors. They have NO MAPs to the place which they need if they want to have more campers come in. There is a lot of loose animals running around this place, Roosters, Chickens, Bunnies
and a few caged zoo animals( Peacock, Llama, Turkey and billy goats) they don't seem to be cared for very well , in small cages with dirty water in coolers they drink from.

All in all we had a good time , next time I would take my own camper instead of the cabins they offer , we heard some guest had ceilings that were falling in . The bar is open until 4:00am so if your a light sleeper you may here people walk by your room who have had a few . Not a bad place as some have written here , Didn't see any trash lying around, workers were all friendly .

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ARUBAANNIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 2 June 2010

It's great for young families OR for families with older twenty somethings, it depends on WHEN YOU GO ! WE HAVE GONE THERE FOR OVER 10 years now, with both.

Our 1st time to Blackthorne’s was with a large (over 100) family reunion group, the current owners had just taken it over. It is a family run resort, with owners that always do their best. We have gone there many years since then, and this is what you should know before going there. It is the most affordable, best value, vacation place for families. If you are down to earth, like good home style cooking, accommodating staff, if you care about sheets being clean vs the thread count of them, and if you want a place that allows families to be able to afford to pay for the stay AND to afford to go horseback riding, go carting, fishing, picnics by a beautiful lake, hunting tadpoles & crayfish down at the creek…then YOU WILL LOVE BLACKTHORNES ! Not only can you afford a vacation, you can afford to go back in the fall !
Blackthornes is what you make of it. More old fashion fun then you can find elsewhere. A trunk comes out filled with costumes and props, the kids dive in after dinner, to create silly fun…a costume contest. Limbo, musical chairs, movies, fill the evening or rainy days with more laughter. Rock climbing, hay rides, surprise treats brought out to the pool, or all the ice cream you can eat bring more unexpected smiles. It is an amazing place for family reunions, it made all my relatives happy (hard to do) except one Uncle, who was used to elite resorts where you have your own butler. If you’re that type, don’t go.

Yes, it WAS run down then, when they bought the place…everywhere in that part of the Catskills was dying or long gone from lack of business. What you did not see, was an over haul to get a dated place up to code. Priorities were, kitchen, roofs, septic, pool all upgraded after years of neglect, and all being very costly to do, while just starting to attract business. Then building by building over the next years they renovated them. Yes, one of the buildings still needs work. They also built extremely nice units, for folks who go for fancy with Jacuzzis. My family does not need a Jacuzzi, we are out all day, and just want clean beds to be honest, at prices that lets us afford to vacation as much as possible. You get what you pay for here, if you want fancy, nice, or just a clean bed, they have what you can afford. Fancy rooms book up fast, we take the nice rooms instead. I dare you to find better for the money. Sometimes, like any other resort, damage is done by the previous users, if you bring it to their attention in a reasonable way, the owners will go out of their way to make things right.

Our second time, was the week before Labor Day weekend, with just our family of 5, (our kids were young then). We were supposed to check out Fri. since my husband had work on Sat. We loved it so much, we extended our trip to Tue, with him driving back & forth to NYC on Sat. That weekend we checked out of the room as it was booked, I stayed in a tent with my youngsters as far from the band & music, and put my kids & myself to sleep at 9 PM. The next morning, near dawn… I could still make out the bands playing. The owners warned us prior to this plan we wanted to stay for more hiking in the state park nearby, and swimming at the waterfall etc, we did not plan on enjoying the pool etc for that weekend.

So here is the warning that we were given by the owners “ Memorial Day & Labor Day weekends “ are not for families unless your kids are in their twenties. If they are, & you LOVE music, crazy partying… you will find these weekends like no other elsewhere. The party does not end on these weekends, now that my kids have grown up, they go with all their friends for these weekends each year. For them… it is the best weekend some of the friends have ever had. It is not for families with youngsters then.
Someone mentioned the grounds being littered.
Yes, Memorial, Labor Day, and maybe the Celtic weekend (never been there then) bring in crowds just for the music fest, in addition to the guests that stay in the rooms for the music fest. Picture Woodstock, only a little smaller lol. It takes the staff a few days to get the place back to it’s beautiful self after those weekends.

Nearby are many things free to do, a day at waterfall swimming hole, or picnic by a lake, hiking the state park land, lots of fishing places. You can also pay to go the Water Park, Go Carting, Mini Golf, and the awesome gentle horses at Tanglewood Ranch. The ranch has been owned by this same family for over 34? 37? years, not sure. There is a exciting midnight ride for the oldest kids and adults. Fall they have a scary Halloween House that will surprise you it's that good.
WHY DID I WRITE ALL THIS? I WAS SAD TO SEE THE COMMENTS LEFT BY OTHERS,
WHEN IT IS SUCH A GREAT PLACE FOR FAMILIES. I GUESS IT'S WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT, AND NOT TO GO ON THE CRAZY WEEKENDS IS IMPORTANT UNLESS YOU WANT CRAZY !

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ReginaAKAnaturelady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Plains, New York
Level Contributor
55 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2010

The Blackthorne Resort, couldn't even be a LAST resort if you were stranded in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain. Seriously, the owners have no business using the word "resort" in the name of this establishment. This place was filthy...from the onion rings floating in the pool right down to the flecks of dirt in our beer cups. The image of innocent children prancing among the strewn beer bottles and garbage on the grassy field, remnants from the debauchery the night before, has left my friends and I tramautized. We went there to see the Tossers and even the poor guys in the band (who by the way, sleep on a cramped, cluttered tour bus) were disgusted. We scoped out the food in the dining hall and couldn't differentiate between the pork and the turkey. We went to a gas station convenience store down the road and got cheese, crackers, and pepperoni instead. The bar on the premises makes it easy for guests to tie one one...beers are 2 bucks if you don't mind drinking dirt with it. We saw parents bringing their kids to the bar after midnight! There's also this peacock bird in a cage...and somw weird haunted house next to the bar. The worst part of this nightmare, is how much the rooms cost. For Memorial Day weekend it was a two-night minimum, we booked three nights for 800 bucks! We left a day early and it was well worth it...I couldn't shower long enough when I got home. We are def not snobs, but filth is filth...I dont know who "Critical" is kidding. This place should be condemned!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank NewsgirlNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valatie, New York
1 review
Reviewed 26 April 2010

My family has been going to the blackthorne resort for many years now. It's always a highlight of the year and we always have a great time. So the rooms aren't great and yeah, it's a little run down, but if you're looking for good irsh tradition and fun for your family then this is the place. Every year we go for irish arts week and we have been reunited with our friends that we have met over time there. The Blackthorne is defiantly one of my favorite places :]

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aberquinnhco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blackthorne Resort

Property: Blackthorne Resort
Address: 348 Sunside Rd, East Durham, Durham, NY 12423-1636
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Durham > East Durham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in East Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whether you are just here to relax or out for fun. Blackthorne has all there is to offer. Enjoy everything from Lodging, Dining, Dancing, Top Notch Entertainment to Indoor and Outdoor Recreation. We have it all!Nestled amidst the breathtaking beautyof the Northern Catskills Mountains, The Blackthorne Resort offers all the comfort and luxury you desire.Terrace views to the majestic mountains, air conditioning, heat, television, and privatebaths. Ultra Deluxe rooms with queen sizebeds, refrigerator, and Jacuzzis. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blackthorne Hotel East Durham

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