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“A slice of heaven...”
Review of Canoe Bay

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Canoe Bay
Ranked #1 of 2 Chetek B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Rochester, MN
1 review
“A slice of heaven...”
Reviewed 30 July 2013

My husband and I have been coming to Canoe Bay since its beginning, and have the fondest memories of each experience. Seriously, Dan and Lisa have thought of every detail—in aesthetics (the property is gorgeously laid out, with a Frank Lloyd Wright-style waterfall and stream surrounding the Reception area, the loveliest 3-acre organic garden—I want one! I want one!—and fields of thoughtfully preserved prairie), in food and wine choices (Tom, their cook, and his staff do an impressive job of incorporating every aspect of their organic garden into their beautifully prepared meals, and their wine choices are stellar!), in amenities (lake views, gas-burning fireplaces, huge jetted tubs, comfy beds, a wet bar outfitted with service for two, a microwave, sink, K-cup coffee maker, refrigerator, and complimentary breakfast in bed, if you so desire!), and in décor and architecture. It’s impossible to stress that last point enough, because how everything feels and looks is an integral part to how you experience Canoe Bay.

There are plenty of things to do. They have an exquisitely curated library in the main Lodge. Take a book back to your cabin or to the many sitting places they have scattered about. Read. Soak in the tub. Try out the swimming beach. Catch a few rays or go for a swim. Grab a canoe and head out on the lake, where you’ll see deer along the shoreline and loons dipping for fish. Explore one of the many trails on the property, or if it’s snowing, strap on some snowshoes. GO SEE THE GARDEN. It’s spectacular. I could have stayed there all day. It’s deliciously quiet, whatever you decide to do. It’s as though you’ve fallen away from all civilization, except for the very luxurious creature comforts back at your cabin! Yes, there are bugs, but there’s repellent in your cabin, so use it. It’s just a fact of life here in the upper Midwest.

And if you think that you haven’t met the owners at any one time, you might want to inquire, because they are there…present at every turn...making sure you are having a fabulous stay. They just don’t advertise who they are. They’re extremely humble and generous people who work just as hard, if not harder, than all the people they’ve hired!

All in all, it’s one of our favorite places to go.

Room Tip: Read Canoe Bay's website page on accommodations, because each cabin's amenities varies sligh...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Elissa E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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243 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Greensboro, NC
Level Contributor
115 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We expected a lot out of Canoe Bay when we booked it because it is listed with Relais & Chateaux and it is very expensive. The setting is beautiful and the peace and quiet all that could be expected. We were disappointed in the room, very disappointed in the food and disappointed in the service. There was no one to greet us when we arrived and we waited several minutes to check in. We had planned to have a drink to relax after a long drive and learned that they have no bar or liquor service. Wine is available and can be sent to your room but the selection is limited. The cabin was well situated with a beautiful view but the layout and furnishings fall short for a property at this level. We sent our dinners back. My fish was underdone and my wife's portion had a large bloodline left in that had a disagreeable flavor. The wine list is limited but those available are good. The dinner was a mixed green salad, choice of two entrees, and dessert for $75. We cancelled our dinner reservations for the second night of our stay. Breakfast is included but minimal with some pastries, fruit, and coffee.

We voiced our disappointment at checkout and management apologized for our experience and made a generous adjustment to the food and room costs.

This is a nice place but neither the food, the service, or the facility rate the world class prices charged.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank 50Stater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisa D, Owner at Canoe Bay, responded to this review, 30 July 2013
We are sincerely sorry that this couple was disappointed in their stay. At dinner the first night we were eager to provide a substitute or to re-make their plates immediately upon hearing of their dissatisfaction, but our offers were refused. Regarding alcohol, our website clearly states that we do not serve hard liquor (never have); still, I am sorry that they had a different impression for whatever reason and were therefore disappointed. Our wine list has held a Wine Spectator Award for over a decade and guests frequently comment on how well-priced it is.
The delay in our receptionist’s welcome that day was terribly unfortunate; several things just happened to occur at that same moment behind-the-scenes, detaining her from an immediate return to the front desk. We have since reviewed with all receptionists strategies for managing such hectic moments more smoothly.
Our aim is always to provide genuine value to each guest, beyond the precise measure of dollars and cents. Still, with an eye on the world economy, we have held the line on our prices for over five years. Whenever a guest is not completely satisfied with his/her stay, we are genuinely dismayed, and that is why—as in this case—we provided compensation at check-out, since other remedies aimed at improving the guests’ experience had sadly been refused.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 July 2013

My husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary at Canoe Bay. We live in Orange County California and have a lake house in NW Wisconsin. We were looking for a memorable place and we found it. Pleasantly surprised that we were upgraded to a Dream Cottage from the standard room. The cottage was fabulous. First spent 1 1/2 hours in the library; thoroughly enjoyed the view, books and space. We also enjoyed walking through the huge garden. My husband is a gourmet cook and we consider ourselves foodies. The food and wine at dinner was great, but you paid for it. For a little cheaper I would rather go to Gary Dankos in San Francisco; however, for NW Wisconsin you probably can't beat Canoe Bay. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Skippybeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2013

My husband and I spent three relaxing days and nights at Canoe Bay. We stayed in Unit 10, a Lakeside Spa Cottage. It was close to the Inn, where nightly dining is offered as well as a small study and wi-fi. Our proximity allowed us to connect to the internet and that was an added bonus. But, I digress...a successful getaway is not defined by free wi-fi.

The cottage was spacious with two gas burning fireplaces, a comfortable living room, separated from the luxurious king sized bed and sleeping area by a stone wall that ran about 3/4 of the length of the room. In the living area was a well appointed wet bar with K-cup coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave and service for two.

The bathroom had a double vanity, plush robes, a steam shower, soaking/jetted tub for two, along with a Finnish sauna and (sort of an odd addition) an elliptical machine. It was positioned to look out on the lovely, little lake, but there are acres of trails, so why anyone would prefer to take their exercise indoors is beyond me. Except, the mosquitos and black flies were overwhelming at times, so maybe it's not a bad idea, after all!

Thoughtful touches in the cottage included bug spray and umbrellas. There were sodas and waters in the refrigerator, too.

We enjoyed wandering around the property, it's quite beautiful and peaceful, even in the heart of the tourist season--nothing felt crowded. There are canoes and kayaks with all the necessary paddles, life jackets and boat cushions for use on a first come, first served basis. The water is clear and cool, but not being a lake swimmer, I didn't make use of the swimming platform. There are a number of seats for two, situated to provide the best views along with privacy.

We had two dinners, two lunches and three breakfasts during our stay.

Continental breakfast is provided with the room and we added hot entrees each morning. The breakfast is dropped off in a sturdy wooden box, fresh and hot each morning, and I loved being able to eat in the comfort of "our own" space.

The food was sometimes quite excellent though we would have liked more variety in the offerings. The breakfast and lunch choices remained the same throughout our stay. We did order the cheese plate one day (see pic) and pared it with a bottle of wine we brought from home. The only complaint was that the apples tasted like they had been sliced on the cutting board used for veggies, have you ever had that transfer of savory flavor to a fruit?

We were surprised that there was only one entree choice for dinner on Friday (fish) and Saturday (beef) nights, again the food was fine, but we like to order and sample different entrees. We had wine with each dinner and I think it's hard to go wrong with their list. Amazing offerings.

All in all it was an excellent time. The staff is exceedingly helpful and friendly and very respectful of privacy.

Room Tip: Cottage 10 was able to connect to wi-fi. Bring snacks and beverages to enjoy on the your deck and i...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PMwisconsin0103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eden Prairie, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2013

If you're looking for a romantic weekend away where you feel tucked away from the craziness of our lives, look no further. The rooms and cabins are well designed and well appointed with everything you need to relax and unwind. The service is impeccable - almost stealth like. We enjoyed a private dinner in the wine cellar to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Enjoyed walks in the woods surrounding the property. Our massages were great, too.

Room Tip: Splurge for a cabin.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lynda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed 18 April 2013

We like to think of Canoe Bay as our own get-away place. We have been here 5 times now over the last 6 years and each time has been as memorable as the others. The first time was for our 24th Anniversary and my wife made the crucial observation that it was the fastest she had ever seen me unwind and disconnect from my (very demanding) job. I realized very quickly that she was correct! Other occasions have been birthdays, and once to get away for a badly needed break.

We have stayed in each type of accommodation except the Lodge, which we will probably do next. Each has unique views and features but all are spectacular! They are beautifully furnished with fun lighting and terrific fireplace(s). While the bed and bed linens are truly remarkable, some of the most comfortable we have ever experienced, what we love most is the comforter. Although there is not a full kitchen we have easily gotten along with the microwave when we wanted something warmed. (More on eating later.)

The grounds are as enjoyable as the rooms, and in every season. Walking the trails in both warm and cold seasons, paddling around the lake, walking through the chef's garden, or watching it from your deck. Something to enjoy for each season!

The food and dining experience is more of the same - outstanding! And a remarkable wine selection, exceeds some we have encountered in California Wine Country. The food is fresh, fun and interesting, and of course delicious. We are not sure how they get such good chefs in a rather secluded location. Both the evening meals as well as breakfast and lunch options are highlights of the day. The delivery option makes it really pleasant to eat right in the room or take on a walk. We have eaten in the Wine Cellar which is a fantastic experience, makes a special occasion all the more memorable. Katie is a great sommelier! On this most recent stay we took the opportunity to eat at the Chef's Table, a new feature. It was a meal we will never forget! It was fun, interesting, educational, and insightful as to the inner workings of a high caliber restaurant. What a well oiled machine! We could see all the effort that goes into their meals, and got a few extra samples! And the table service in all dining areas is well-timed and as good as the food.

All of that having been said, the staff really complete the experience. Their attentiveness to detail, effort to accommodate requests or preferences, help with taking advantage of all there is to have at Canoe Bay shows through at every interaction. Including when you don't want to interact! Personable and professional. A testament to management, I think.

After writing this it makes me want to go back next week!

Room Tip: The property map shows the location of each unit to consider orientation to the sun and lake. Websit...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Larry-Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
82 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Canoe Bay is terrific - it has a very peaceful,quiet setting; and an excellent library of contemporary politics, history and economics. You can get out of your spacious suite, open the door and be in the library, which also has a computer setup. So if you wish, you can be away from it all, yet check up on whatever you want. There are many amenities: masseur, gardens, a very good restaurant (best in the area, by far), canoes, of course, and very friendly staff.
It is not cheap, however, around $700 per night, including first rate meals).

Room Tip: Rooms (suites, really) by the library are great (have been there 3 or 4 times); the cabins take up m...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1937Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Canoe Bay

Property: Canoe Bay
Address: W16065 Hogback Rd, RR 1, Box 28, Chetek, WI 54728-9457
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Chetek
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Chetek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This resort is for adults seeking seclusion and romance; children are not allowed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Canoe Bay Chetek, Wisconsin
Canoe Bay Hotel Chetek
Canoe Bay Wisconsin

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