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“Good facilities and great location”
Review of Elmhirst's Resort

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Elmhirst's Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Spent two really relaxing days in one of their cottages. The cottages are spacious and have cookers, fridge freezers, and microwaves. Tv in the lounge and the bedrooms, Wi-Fi in cottages as well as main building and totally free. Fantastic views over lake and lovely walks in the hills and woodlands on the property. Restaurant serves good and wholesome food with a interesting selection of local Canadian wines from Niagra-on-the-lake area. It would be a place to spend a week just chilling and relaxing in a peaceful atmosphere. The staff were very pleasant and helpful at all times.

Room Tip: All the cottages look out over the lake but some are equipped for larger groups so you would need to...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorfolkRedbaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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140 - 146 of 203 reviews

Reviewed 25 October 2013

Outdoor pool needed cleaning(maintenance was informed but still dirty by the time we left). Indoor pool area was so hot and humid we could hardly breathe. Wanted to take a shower one morning, no water pressure. Got a call a few minutes later that water would be off for awhile(an earlier call would have been appreciated) The overhead ceiling fans did not move air around or down to cool us off. Went to front desk that noon hour to get a paper and was informed hydro would be off the following morning -- therefore no way to cook a breakfast. That was the last straw. Informed them I was checking out right then. We were looking for a nice relaxing couple of days and were greatly disappointed. Will not recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greg E, General Manager at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2013

Hello and thank you for visiting Elmhirst’s Resort. I’m sorry you were presented with so many challenges when you were with us. The lack of information shared with you while you were here we regret most of all.

Most of the issues were results from a cracked pipe in our main underground water line. The interruption in the water supply and power were caused by this. The proximity of the hydro lines to the water supply made it necessary to shut off power supply for the safety of the workers performing the repair. The incident was impossible to foresee and repairs could not be deferred unfortunately. More information and consideration could have been extended to you in these unusual circumstances however.

I am compelled to mention a couple pieces of information about our swimming pools which might explain your perception of these facilities. Both pools receive daily attention from our maintenance team who have specific training and certification in pool operations. As the season wears on however leaves tend to fall from the trees faster than the skimmers can collect them. The water is clean and safe, the leaves innocuous and we can’t bring ourselves to cut down the trees. The air temperature in the indoor pool is kept at 86 degrees f which is the 4 degrees above the minimum water temperature and prevents evaporation of pool water. As a result the humidity in the pool area is approx 45% which prevents rust, mould and mildew setting in. It’s a big energy commitment but the guests enjoy a better pool environment and we are fortunately able to use reclaimed biomass to heat the area which mitigates the financial and environmental toll.

I hope we may be in contact in the future so you might enjoy a more relaxing stay and we can show you we value your patronage and helpful feedback.

Best wishes....

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Reviewed 22 October 2013

This is a great chance to enjoy a little cottage "of your own" on a large and beautiful lake in the countryside of Ontario! My Mum and I had cottage #8 which is right beside the main lodge and was very convenient for her to get to and from meals. Most (if not all?) of the cottages are on the water. I could have thrown a ball from the deck to the lake easily, and I'm a terrible shot :) We had a BBQ and a full stove and microwave to use. Lovely views of the sunrise right from the front bedroom and the living/dining area. It would be splendid to enjoy a BBQ on the deck and eat at the picnic table, right there at the water's edge; we were at the lodge in October, however, and my Mum didn't want to cook. We made use of the fire a lot, although the wood was not seasoned; I trust they will fix this by winter. We used a lot of fire starters and newspaper, so that was a bit frustrating, albeit very nice to have a fire in any event. The cottage is not luxury, but it's very comfortable and clean. Mum enjoyed the jacuzzi a lot.
Meals were gourmet! I would give them 4 stars easily I've travelled all over the world, and lived the high life so to speak, and I found the food to be top quality. Very tasty... We were on the meal plan for all 3 days, and one issue though is the menu is not large (although the Sunday brunch was very varied and wonderful!). I might recommend being on the plan for only a day or two, then cooking for yourself, then maybe going back onto the plan if one is staying for several days. Or perhaps cooking breakfasts and lunches, then dinner at the lodge. We found ourselves quite stuffed on the breakfast/dinner meal plan and unable to eat lunch! As other reviewers note, it may be essential to book a table at the dining room if you want to eat there...on the Saturday night the host seemed quite surprised that we had not booked a table, but we were able to get in, so in the busy time of the year, do book ahead! (unsure why we were not told this when we checked in as meal plan customers...it would be disappointing to have to eat in the (nicely decorated ) pub if one were coming for an elegant dining experience.
The wine list is principally or entirely Canadian wines; the house wines are excellent and stood up well to the hearty food I had (venison osso bucco and steak tartare).
During the Ontario growing season, some or much (I am not sure) of the produce is grown at Elmhirst; I believe it is organic. I devoured the fried kale on the wild mushroom pasta with absolute delight! The place also raises its own Angus beef: best sausages I've ever had! Since I had encountered some sad cattle on my hike...I think they were anxious about the strange disappearances of their brethren (they were in the pre-slaughter paddock)...I felt badly and could not eat a steak, but I was silly enough to have some of fab breakfast sausages and as mentioned, the tasty tartare though. I was told that steak can be purchased at the resort and so one can have one's own BBQ; the resort makes its own bread and can provide that and other groceries if booked in the a.m. (double check on that!)
We also enjoyed a couple of treatments at the Spa; the manager is a very friendly, healthy vegan German-Canadian...she is part of the family and very keen to help her clients improve their health and wellbeing. It would be wise to book ahead on weekends...espec in the busy season.
For exercise I walked around a lot trying to find some trails which were actually not open, so that was another small "off" note to the stay. The trail map doesn't show distances and is apparently inaccurate. Glad I did not end up in a bull paddock...I did discover a field of soybeans, I think, and a white-tailed deer. I am a real big walker though...most people would be happy with the short trails just north of the airfield; lovely woods!!! The view of Rice Lake from the road beside the golf course is stunning!, and the climb up that road is quite aerobic. The pools are not large, but they are nice and wonderfully located. The gym is quite small though, relative to say a pro gym.
It was fun to feed apples to the horses and cluck at the happy hens in the coop; children would love both.
Several small planes flew in for the Sunday brunch; there is an airfield and docks for seaplanes...it was fun to see them take off and land; I expect there might be access to aerial sightseeing?
The staff were gracious and helpful throughout. We also enjoyed a wine tasting on the Saturday...focussed on the house wines in the resto, all of which are good.
I would come back and would recommend the place. It's not high falutin' accommodation like some places in Muskoka, but the meals are top knotch and the staff are great.

Room Tip: cottage 8 is beside the lodge so it's very convenient for pools and meals.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank TorontoCarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

It s the second time we ve been at Elmirst. The place is wonderful, peaceful, very well maintained, lots of wild flowers, cottages are spacious, comfortable and clean. Lots of activities within the resort but, biking and running are great challenges for who likes rolling hills. The Elmhirst family are very friendly and really trying their best to make your stay very enjoyable. Their resort is growing beautifully due to the hard work and honest commitment that they are putting in. The restaurant has an amazing view overlooking the lake and food is excellent. The bistro is nice too with great deserts.
I m planning to return very soon with a bunch of girl friends for a girl weekend get away... I haven t try the spa.
Thanks Greg for taking my teenage son for tubbing. i was also looking to talk to H but time was too fast. Next time.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Marelie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greg E, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2013

Thank you so much for the kind posting. We are really glad you enjoyed your stay. In particular it gives us a great feeling when guests notice the efforts of the family members on the Elmhirst team. The resort is much more than an occupation to us and it always feels like the most heartfelt complement when guests notice.

Henry Elmhirst remembers your first visit very well and my wife Martina looks forward to looking after you and your friends in the spa.

Enjoy the rest of the summer with your family.....

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Reviewed 7 August 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this stay. The cabins are family friendly and well stocked with a BBQ, dishwasher and easy access to the dock/lake. I tried my hand at fishing when I went but I didn't catch anything big (though they say Rice Lake is pentiful!).

The resort has meeting spaces, restaurants and pools (indoor and outdoor) which were very nice. I'd love to stay here again.

Only issue is the price... more than I'd expect for a hotel in this area. I can't compare to other places however.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank lespanman
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Reviewed 3 August 2013

We spent 4 nights at this resort and found it to be enjoyable. There were activities for our children and the fishing was good from the dock. The cottages were a bit tight for space and more reminiscent of what cottages used to be like; small and basic (simple) because they were a place to get away from the city, not another home. The expectation is that you will spend your time outside. As for price I think it is a bit expensive as it cost, without food, including tax, $450 per night at the highest season. You don't have bring anything except maybe a beach towel and there is a BBQ on the deck. The cottages all overlook the lake and the grounds were nice with mature trees, but don't expect city manicured lawns or pathways. There were two Muscoka chairs and a picnic table on the lawn for each cottage. The main lodge had pretty flower gardens.

Our cottage was a 2 bedroom deluxe and was not perfectly landscaped or decorated, but that was what made it more of a cottage experience, which with children is actually more relaxing. I wasn't running around worrying if they would dirty the floor etc. The rooms were clean, but the bedspreads were of slippery material, which kept falling off the bed, luckily it was hot and they weren't needed. The bathroom was small with no counter space, but again it is a cottage. there was a small shower and large tub. We had free cable and WiFi in the living area (no TVs in the bedrooms), which again with children certainly helps. There were no dressers (no room) but shelves in the closet instead. There was a fireplace inside with free wood but it was cold enough. There is no air conditioning but the bedrooms had fans and large windows. Again I prefer this, we are coming for the fresh air. Mostly the boys just fished from the dock or rode their bikes around. There were worms for sale at the front desk $5 - 18 and I saw that if you don't have rod you can rent one for $30. There were activities (like tubing and cookie decorating) for the children, which was a nice addition and these were the friendliest of the staff. My kids were happy and had a nice time, which to me is the most important thing. They could swim in the lake, the outside pool and the indoor pool. There were boat rentals. The stairs to the pool and change rooms were very old and chipped, but I am sure this is on their list of renovations needed.

We used the spa, which was very nice and prices were comparable and the services excellent. We ate at both restaurants and found the prices a bit high for the quality of the food which was just regular restaurant food with fancy descriptions. However, Peterborough was only 15 minutes away, so we changed to eating in our cottage, which was surprisingly more relaxing anyway. No waiting for food and better choices from a mom's perspective. Actually if I had a complaint, it would be that the restaurants could have been better. The prices were high for the type and quality of food served, but the spaces were nice with a beautiful view of the lake or pub style with outdoor patio. So you are paying for ambience.

I also think that a few of the staff were not careful about their attitude towards guests - the reason for their job is the guests, not the other way around. Deal with their complaints, don't ignore them. Make them happy and they will return or recommend.

Room Tip: All cottages were along the lake and most a short walk to the main lodge. Lower numbers are closer t...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank birdwatcher42
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Reviewed 9 June 2013

You come from Europ, you are a pilot, you want to visit Canada in 4 weeks, Rent a plane in Montréal and land on Elmhirst's Resort to enjoy the lake, the food made by a Young chef who knows how to use the food growing in the area with the fish and the wild rice from the wild rice lake, talking airplanes and flying with the owners , pilots from fathers to sons since world war 1.
He will take you, by plane, to visit the Inuits, up north were you can stay 2 or 3 days sleeping in a Igloo and enjoy so much your return to a hot shower, hot food and a comfortable bed.
You will be able to fly over the Niagara's fall and land (on the lake) in front of the Toronto tower to have lunch with a great view from the rotating restaurant.
The wine cave at Elmhirst is exclusive, you must have a degustation of thèses Canadian's wine, After resting 2 or 3 days, you take your plane and leave for the Rockies, but that is another story.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Saveurs-oubliees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greg E, Owner at Elmhirst's Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2013

Thank you so much for the enthusiastic posting! We are so glad you enjoyed your visit and the experience of seeing Canada by plane. It also is great fun for us to visit with guests who go for such fascinating trips.

Wishing you safe and fun flying in 2013 and we hope to see you back on Rice Lake soon!

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Additional Information about Elmhirst's Resort

Address: 1045 Settlers Line, Keene, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Ontario K0L 2G0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Otonabee-South Monaghan > Keene
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Keene
Price Range: £145 - £234 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Elmhirst's Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lakeside cottage resort open year round. Fully equipped cottages with fireplace, kitchen, TV & DVD, wifi in cottage; BBQ deck & dock. Dining room & Pub on site; indoor & outdoor pools; boat & motor rentals; fishing guides; golf next door; tennis; sightseeing flights; horseback riding; walking & biking trails. Massages & Spa services. Guided ATV & snowmobile safaris; wine tasting & farm visits. Ideal for family vacations, getaways, weddings, groups & corporate meetings. Family owned & operated. Catering to international guests. Pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elmhirst`s Hotel Keene
Elmhirsts Hotel Keene
Elmhirst's Resort Canada/Keene, Ontario

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