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“Great start, bad finish”

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Telemark Resort & Convention Center
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Cable
Reviewed 27 February 2012

My family and I have attended the Birkebeiner for the last three years and I have to say, this year was our most enjoyable experience. Compared to the last times we were here, the hotel was almost unrecognizable. As a person that once managed a hotel and restaurant, I can say that there is still a great deal that needs to be done, but the renovations that took place from last year to this year were indeed impressive. Having said that, Saturday was an incredible disappointment. We arrived at the restaurant at 6:00 and sat down at the only table that was open. We were acknowleged right away and soon thereafter given menus and beverages. We were located at a table that faced the bar and it was obvious to me that the staff was working very hard in order to accomodate everyone. We were told by our server that there would be a wait, which we certainly understood given the circumstances. The staff was working very hard and very well together. Then something strange happened that, in my twenty five plus years in the business, I've never seen before. A man in a blue, button-up shirt came behind the bar and asked two women that were seated there to help him. From that point on it was a complete disaster. It was readily apparent to me that, even though the bartenders and waitresses were very busy, they were not confused. After this man and his help attempted to assist, it made a busy stituation into a chaotic one. I could see that four, sometimes five people were gathered around the register, that no one knew what food went where, that the waitresses were all of a sudden thrown off their rhythm, that where before there was simply a group of people doing their best to do their jobs, there was now complete and utter confusion. I saw a man circling the dining room with a tray of food trying desperately to find its table. It was sad, in a way, to see a place doing so well all of a sudden losing its way. I have been in this business for a long time and understand what happens when things get busy--what I don't understand is why someone would come along and, with all due respect, just get in the way. When my family sat down for dinner we were very happy, not only to see the restaurant thriving, but also, at least for me personally, to see the organization and competence of its staff. That all changed and so did my evaluation. I'm not sure who this man was, but if he is an Executive/Board Member, he should be ashamed of himself to make a great staff look so badly due to his actions. After our dinner I went to the front desk in order to speak to the owner, but was told he was busy. I hope he reads this and takes it seriously. This resort has an incredible amount of potential; sometimes, however, that potential can only be realized by allowing the staff to do their job--in other words, for the resort's benefit, let them do it.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
4  Thank Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (53)
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29 - 35 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2012

This place built in the 70s has opened and closed and changed ownership many times. It's a unique place in a beautiful location. But it's obvious the current owner doesn't ski nor do any of the employees. We drove up for the weekend and at first were happy. But after a few day stay and very poor service we probably won't be back. The trails even after a new snow were poorly managed, the front desk people had no information on skiing, free pizza was offered for booking the "Nordic Package" but no one knew about this nor offered to help us find out. The bright spots were the very cool lobby area, an on site coffee shop and great new bed in our room. The downers were awful front desk service, a bathtub that had not been caulked in years and very poor trail upkeep on their property. I wouldn't recommend this location to a friend but it might do in a pinch if you didn't have any other place to stay.

Room Tip: None the front desk chooses your room ahead of time with no ability to change or switch. I was told...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank ovations99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

The first time I visited Telemark (the hotel not the condos) was last year as spectator and supporter of my beautiful and talented American Birkebeiner skiing wife. At that time the resort had just reopened after being closed for 7 or so months and you could tell. It was musty, everything was old and outdated, including the bedding. However, the place still had character even though it was but a tattered remnant of it's former glory.

As bad luck would have it, the 2011-2012 winter in Minnesota has been anything but. Thus, we drove up to Telemark in search of snow. I had heard that the lodge had been purchased by a new ownership group and that renovations were underway, so when we arrived on Friday night I was looking for differences.

Common areas: First, the place smells normal, in that it doesn't smell at all. Huge improvement. Most of the common areas look the same except that new furniture has been added to make it a bit more comfortable. I can't say I would put it in my house but it is comfortable and unoffensive. New artwork has been added. Also, a hospitality room (I believe it was the former gift shop) has been added for non-guest skiers and other visitors. Free wifi is available in all the major common areas. Sadly, the fireplace is still not functioning. Hallway carpeting leaves much to be desired.

Restaurants: The Telemark Bar and Grill is the only real show in town. My understanding is that they used to have several options in the past. However, the bar food was good both for breakfast and dinner. I can't complain given the price. A small coffee bar was added as well.

The Room: The beds, and major furniture pieces were new. Including the bedding. It was quite comfortable and cozy. MASSIVE improvement over what it was. The carpeting also looked to be new. The bathroom hasn't been touched. But, it was as clean as one can get a 30 y/o bathroom to be.

The Pool/Hot tub: I was very satisfied. The temps were good. The water was clean as was the pool deck.

Ski trails: Mostly groomed and in good condition.

Staff: Probably the nicest most helpful collection of people around. I am from the upper midwest. I know all about Minnesota/Wisconsin "nice" (which is typically just passive-aggressiveness) but these people are legitimately nice. Wow. Hats off to them.

It was a great weekend. We even stayed an extra night. You can't judge this place against other places in their prime. You also can't judge it against itself when it was in its prime. Telemark had been in decline for a decade. Now it isn't. It is improving and has come a long way in less than a year. I hope it gets better and better. I look forward to going there again in February.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank oo7Stu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

I have been going to Telemark during the opening of deer season for years. Friends have a time share and were forced to an adjacent building when Telemark closed a few years ago. With Telemark re-opening, I am not sure what the condo status is. They appear to be doing a lot a work to the building and grounds. We ate at the restaurant on Thursday and Friday. The food was good and the staff was great. I just hope whoever manages the restaurant gets a clue. The burgers were great on Thursday. No one was there and had great service. Friday fish fry was a different story. It was early when we arrived and they had run out of cod, cole slaw, and ketchup! Even a popular beer was out. There wasn't a big crowd. We had walleye and it was very good. Hope they do well. Nice place with potential.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Wispr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

We stayed there about a month ago and had a great room, nice balcony, awesome dinner (walleye) and very friendly staff. We ended up sitting in the bar with some of them after dinner and everyone was so friendly. We were there for two nights (Sunday & Monday) and the bar/restaurant wasn't open on Monday's so we went to another place with an amazing view (recommended by someone who worked there). The Forest Ridges golf course (Lakewoods) is my favorite but Telemark's golf course is nice/fun also. They had a scramble or something on Sunday so we played Forest Ridges. Wish they were on the lake but other than that, a great place for the money in my opinion! It was probably our 4th or 5th stay up there and we will definitely go back!

Room Tip: I asked for a room on the back side (not facing the parking lot) and it was spacious and very nice...
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JadeWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

I Stayed here twice this fall. The first time there were pubic hairs in the shower. The whole place looks like a 60's time warp hotel. The carpets throughout the halls were nasty, dirty and stained.
The staff was really helpful and friendly, they were the high point of the stay.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank kojee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2011

I stayed here while running the Birkebeiner marathon trail race. The hotel is old and showing its age. But it's clean and comfortable. The best part is its location to the finish line for races on the trail. Rooms are large and have balconies. The bathroom in my room was recently redone and nice, though basic. The rooms are somewhat tired, with old sheets and carpet and old TVs. The pool and hot tub are old, but well maintained. If you are looking for a place to rest, it does the job. But if you're looking for luxury, this isn't the place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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2  Thank Pokey1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Telemark Resort & Convention Center

Address: 42225 Telemark Rd, Cable, WI 54821-4974 (Formerly Telemark Lodge)
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Cable
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Cable
Price Range: £58 - £132 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the spirit of hospitality, the staff of Telemark Resort & Convention Center extends a warm welcome to you. We are dedicated to providing you with services and accommodations that are beyond compare. When you choose Telemark Resort & Convention Center we want your stay with us to be relaxing and exceed every expectation.Lifestyle abounds at Telemark Resort & Convention Center with something for everyone. With miles of biking, hiking and ski trails, fishing and golf, to endless events and activities, the resort and surrounding area will keep you busy. If you desire a quieter setting, enjoy a book in front of our magnificent field stone fireplace or peaceful pond.Telemark Resort and Convention Center is the largest meeting and recreation destination in Northwestern Wisconsin. We are located right next to the vast Chequamegon National Forest, just 3.5 hours from the Twin Cities, 5 hours from Green Bay and 7.5 hours from Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Telemark Hotel Cable

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