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Reviewed 3 October 2013

My husband and I recently spent a night at the Couples Resort.
I thought for a few days about whether or not to leave a review, and had decided against it when I received an email asking me to do so and providing the link to this page. The owner has made a point of mentioning that social media makes it easy for guests to be critical - it certainly does when you invite me to do so.

The room, a Junior Suite, was spacious, clean, and comfortable. The linens are top-notch - I've never had such a comfy bathrobe! It's fun having a Jacuzzi tub in the room and such comfortable chairs on the balcony. Absolutely no complaints there.

Dining - the staff are young, but pleasant, and do look to be trying their best. I found the dinner choices uneven. My husband had an exceptional soup and magnificent pasta. I had a wild boar appetizer that was tooth-numbingly cold. My main of a buckwheat crepe stuffed with risotto was bland, once I scraped off the overly acidic tomato sauce. The wine pours are definitely not 4 oz. Please provide the staff with a measuring cup.
I think it's lovely that the dinner staff suggest that guests order breakfast as room service. Quite luxurious. A real delight for me to have coffee on the balcony in the aforementioned deck chairs.

The resort is not in Algonquin Park. It is on a lake, part of which is in Algonquin.

Were I to be able to break my ratings down further, I would rate the food at a two and the room a four. I would say it is "good" overall - not quite "very good" The five stars are not Michelin, but it is a nice place to get away.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank LLKOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Couples_Resort_Rep, Owner at Couples Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2013

Thank you for your review and enjoying the Jr Suites with no complaints about it.
We are very strong believers in that we offer great value for a Luxury Resort in Canada, from accommodations to sports to food, and certainly in the Atmosphere of Algonquin Park that is out our front windows.
We will always handle real problems with real solutions to over-satisfy the guest.
Why do we ask for your reviews is very simply because I like to be kept in the loop, just in case guests do not want to email me directly or want to email my assistant Darlene directly with suggestions to make the place a better place. Darlene is the lady you received the email request to review from. I read all reviews, which is unheard of in most companies you buy from. A guest can spend just under $200 here for a 1 night stay (most of the year in our Jr Suites) and have the ability to comment. I would ask you to think about all the companies you buy from where you spend about $200 dollars or more per purchase or per year: 1) does that Company send you and everyone who spends over $200 an email asking you to comment 2) that the Companies Owner will read it and keep it for possible future changes 3) if less than a stellar review, than personally comment back to the purchaser and initiate immediate changes if needed or if possible.
Why do I criticize the reviewer do you ask? I first ask that customers think about what their intent is in leaving a review. Often what I see is that the customer does not read our Resort website information and makes comments on what they chose not to be aware of. Most negative reviews like to criticize us because they themselves do not want to accept the blame of being lazy and ill-informed. Since they did not read our website, the reviewer is lazy and it is easier to say it is the Couples Resorts fault rather than to accept the fault in themselves. It may be that the Couples (Resort) does not do it that way to begin with. If one had time to look at all the reviews that are poor about us you will see a surprisingly high number of those comment on our dress code, in other words, because they were too lazy to look up info on our site and see we have a dress code (we tell them on confirmations and on the phone) they get angry at us for having this code which is what makes us Couples Resort. We see a strong correlation to not liking our dress code to almost everything else about their stay as unacceptable, and to me these people deserve to be criticized as they were lazy and they just didn’t want to take the blame themselves. I criticize those that leave comments that tell how rude our staff is, when in actuality, they review that are staff are Rude because we did not give in to their wants. We are very careful in handling real problems and over-satisfying these guests. These that comment; we are rude, often are those that do not want a solution to a problem, which often we can provide, they instead just want compensation/or a discount, and that is what they always come to the desk for. It goes something like this; “ we had this problem and we do not like it, so we want to pay less than all the other guests, sorry we are telling you now when you have no means of fixing it, but this is our strategy, we use it often at other businesses to get what we want and we always get discounts or free offers and this pleases us because the rest of the customers have to compensate for us…ha ha.” To us this is very similar to stealing from a store and the store has to mark up prices higher to compensate for these losses and all the honest people have to pay more. We at the Couples Resort work very hard to make sure these people do not get their way and drive up your prices. I am sure you have heard of many people ranting and complaining to get their way, even while they had to fabricate or highly exaggerate their stories, certainly I have and not even at this resort (business). Believe me I personally hope that these people would not even bother with our Resort, you know the line “a few bad apples spoil the lot” , as I (we) prefer to be nice to all guests. Guests that criticize our food have different tastes than other people and for us, as long as it is that most of our guests are happy (of which they are) about what we deliver than we feel no need to consider how an individual guest feels about how their food was, especially when the chef will fix it right away and even (the chef) is available in the afternoons to help accommodate before the meal.
We run a very small company in Canada, we compete against the Four Seasons and the Fairmont’s which are both owned by Saudi Princes with very deep pockets, we compete against large national hotel companies and I can assure you that our work is very hard. This is why we are transparent and you have access to myself the Owner, and that is what separates us from the other Luxury brands. When you comment on us make sure you tell us what we are doing well as we all need the recognition to keep us going, please be empathetic and compare us with other Luxury brands in Canada.
This is why you must write. Sincerely JohnS-Owner.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2013

We decided to visit the Couples Resort for our mini-moon to unwind for a couple days after our wedding. Check in was a breeze but because we got held up with traffic, we were not able to have dinner in the dinning room. They informed us that the last seating was at 8:15. Because dinner is included, our only option was to have room service which was adequate. We stayed in India, in the Exotics. The room was very spacious with a small kitchenette and great size balcony. We went for a delicious breakfast in the morning and then to the spa for a couples massage. Unfortunately, we had a terrible experience here. I can respect if someone is not feeling well, so please cancel my treatment. Instead, my therapist kept doing the massage while stopping to wipe/blow her nose. At one point she left the room for about 5 minutes while my husbands therapist kept treating him. Eventually when my therapist came back in I had debated stopping my service but tried relaxing again. This did not happen. She was treating my neck, shoulders and face and still wiping her nose then continued to treat. I was disgusted by the lack of cleanliness. I brought this to the attention of the front desk and they assured me that the spa manager would be informed. They kindly removed the charge for the massages and made it well known that, that is not how their spa operates. Thank You Deborah for taking care of this for us. Our compliments to the chef! The food was delicious! Breakfast, lunch and dinner had a great variety and the daily specials were very enjoyable. It was nice to see familiar faces around the resort. The staff works very hard all day long. We took a hike up to the lookout. Gorgeous fall colours but not really a clear lookout. There could be some tree trimming to get a better view and better signage for the entire loop. I thought the book at the top of the lookout was a great idea. We had fun signing that and taking pictures. Upon our return late afternoon, our room had finally been cleaned. We were slightly disappointed when all they really did was make the bed and leave some new towels. There was still spillage from dinner before on the table that had not been cleaned up. Maybe they just do things differently! The last unfortunate thing that happened was a gift that was supposed to be left in our room. We were aware that there would be a surprise waiting for us in the room. There were mugs from the staff of the resort which was very thoughtful, but no surprise. We waited a couple days and nothing. I inquired with the front desk and they informed me that the communication got mixed up and it never made its way to our room. It really was to bad because we would have been able to use it on other services but we got it on our last night there, so it was to late. Upon check out, Deborah took very good care of us and told us that we should have had the benefits of the honeymoon package, but weren't informed upon arrival. She did credit our account for the lunch charge, which was supposed to be included originally in our package. We thoroughly enjoyed what the room had to offer. The steam shower was great, and hot tub was so nice under the stars. The bath sheets are the best. It was to bad that they didn't have them for sale. Overall, the Couples Resort is a very nice place to visit but we were not overly impressed and would not call it spectacular.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank rykmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Couples_Resort_Rep, Public Relations Manager at Couples Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2013

Thanks so much for taking the time to write the review. I am glad that Deborah and our front desk was helpful in taking care of the issues that you had while here. The Spa Manager will make sure this does not happen again. We all wish to assure you that problems like these are very rare here and we take great efforts in minimizing or eliminating them. I again apologize for what we missed that would have made your stay better.

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Reviewed 2 October 2013

Could not have picked a better northern resort for our second anniversary. Combination of perfect timing for fall colors in Algonquin park and Couples Resort. Our masters suite was fabulous and perfect for our anniversary retreat. Enjoying all the luxuries of wood burning fire place, jacuzzi tub made for 2. Small kitchenette with minifridge, microwave and sink. 2 wine glasses with opener for the evening either enjoying by the fire, or soaking in the outdoor hot tub located on your own private balcony over looking the lake. Even thou i agree with some the reviewers stating the service staff is on the younger side, they were very courteous and hospitable to us. The chef truly prepared excellent fine dining meals that i would rank very highly of, including the pork tenderloin and walleye fillet which was cooked perfectly. The only small complaint we have was not with our massages, or the spa personal, but with the noise that unfortunately took away from the normal relaxation and peacefulness of a spa experience. It seems the spa rooms are located within an older part of the resort that use to be small accomadation rooms on the second floor of the main building. Vacuum cleaners and banging could be heard from either cleaning staff and other guests located on the floor directly above. The games room does require a little TLC, and was not a great first impression within the resort as we had to kill some time awaiting for our room to be ready. This was our first visit to Couples Resort but it will not be our last.

Room Tip: choose a masters room on second floor. Large and full of luxury amenities.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Magoo89Keswick_Ont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Couples_Resort_Rep, Public Relations Manager at Couples Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 October 2013

Thanks so much for the kind words. Your comments regarding the spa rooms and the game room are already in consideration for future improvements. As many of our return guests know, we are renovating and investing in your property every year. We do look forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed 1 October 2013

Please know my wife originally wrote a review for this property and management (the owner specifically), wrote that: "We wish your husband could have written the review instead because it seems he would have given us a much better score".

On that note, I am using my wife's account to detail our trip, but the review will not be a better score. It will be an honest depiction of OUR experience because we went together.

This review is OUR experience. It was not great, and we will not be recommending people to visit in general but as a person of society who realizes everyone experiences something different - try it and see if it is right for you.

When we arrived, no one was at the front desk - we had to wait a bit. Once someone showed up, they gave us all the information we needed to know. Unfortunately we had not packed 'nice' clothes for eating dinner in the dining room. I am aware by staff now that it is available on the website, and they are right - read before you go anywhere. This was our mistake. None the less, we had the option to have dinner delivered (at no extra fee), to our room. This was a great option. Although we did not make ourselves 'informed buyers' 100%, I did not expect to HAVE to dress a certain way to be able to eat at the only restaurant I was aware of within a half hour. Since the package was all inclusive, this meant we were paying for our dinner so obviously we would not be heading out elsewhere. For everyone who reads this, you are now an informed buyer and know that a collared shirt and tie, plus dress pants for men is required. The staff gave us a tie, but unfortunately I had only brought a nice sweater vs a collared shirt.

At another time that evening we returned to the front desk and two staff were there. I asked them what they could recommend we do for the Saturday. They had the recommendations that were on the map we were give (visit art gallery, walk a trail...). I then asked if they knew what the weather would be like the next day (the Saturday). One of the girls said it would be 20+ and sunny. I could have sworn I had checked earlier and saw rain and under 20 so I was a bit confused. Readers, always check the weather for yourself. I re-checked once we were at our room and saw it would be cold and rainy. Obviously the staff made a mistake - this is fine.

We then went for a walk around the property to see what was available. Upon seeing the gym, we were very turned off. The room smelled musty and the equipment was very dated. My wife and I love to use the gym in general, but decided not to use it once we saw the equipment. I am sure some people will be satisfied as they could still do their work out - for us, appearance is important too.

The following day, we went to the front desk to confirm that using the bath salts in the room would cost money if we used them. My wife and I were a bit confused because when we checked in they stated that we would see signs in our room that coffee was $x and water was $x, but not to worry - they were included. For this reason we were unsure about the bath salts and bubbles for the Jacuzzi. When we arrived, one person was on the phone in the back room booking in an informing a client about their future stay. It took almost 10 minutes to get her help. She had seen us and quietly gestured an acknowledgement of our arrival, but since she seemed to be the only one there at the time. We were not in a rush, but it would have been nice to be dealt with sooner by another individual if one was busy on the phone.

We stayed in a Junior Suite. The room was large with a Jacuzzi tub and had a view of the lake. We also had a fireplace and wood was always available and easy to get (not far from our room). On a gross note, when my wife and I enjoyed the Jacuzzi, a dead fly visited us. We discovered it once the water started moving around. It is possible he landed after the room was cleaned and died a lonely death in our tub - but it did make us wonder how well the tubs get cleaned.

The resort is 'all inclusive' although lunch is not included. In the package we purchased (which I believe is available with every purchase), lunch was offered as two for one. Being aware of this before we went, we brought our own food to save some money. There is a small grocery store in town and hot chickens can be purchased - this might also be an option for you. If I remember correctly, there was also a pizza joint around the corner, but I am unsure if it was even open (it looked dead and vacated).

As it was made aware to us in a previous comment, the chef they have is a 5 star chef. For us, the food was not 5 star. It was not horrible, but we have had better 5+star dining. Readers, I cannot recommend a place for you to eat in Whitney as things are not close. Try the food - it might be to your taste preferences. In a comment previously left for us we were asked to provide you with our favourite place(s) to eat. For us we have had fabulous dining in Las Vegas and in Niagara/Niagara on the lake at 5 star restaurants. If you wish for names, please send a message.

After writing the first review we were also made aware that the chef could make accommodations to meals and often does for over 20% of guests. We were not told this when ordering food, but we did not need changes like changing carrots to broccoli - we needed better tasting and more flavourful food. We had our food delivered to the room, and while eating, found it ok. There was no reason to send it back - it just wasn't 5 star quality for us. My wife loves to eat scallops out at fancy restaurants - this was not available on the menu so I doubt the chef could have accommodated this request. If you would like to know the food we chose for our meal, please send a message. We can go into further details there about what we liked and what we did not.

On another note, my wife and I decided to stay in our room until around 1. We left the appropriate note to not disturb. There was a choice of more than 3 dings: do not disturb, please make up my room, do not make up room..and some more (I just can't remember). We returned by 3 and had left the appropriate door note "please make up room" . When we came back, house keeping was leaving and we heard them say they were all done except for the room on the end (our room), but whatever, they were done. Our room did not get cleaned nor did our bed get made. We were very disappointed at this. No, we did not mention it to the front desk as we wanted to stay in the room and not be bothered after this. I am sure if we had called, someone would have come - but I should not have to call. Our room should have been done and not ignored.

The weekend we chose, it ended up being cold and rainy on the Saturday (our only full day as we had to head home at checkout on sunday because Whitney is a far distance from us). In the morning we went for a short walk on a trail nearby and got a bit lost - the map and trails itself are a bit hard to follow - make sure you bring a cell phone as there is cell reception. After this it got colder and rained more so we stayed inside. Due to the weather in general, we feel we were not able to enjoy the amenities as much. Yes we are aware we live in Ontario and the weather is never guaranteed, but that does not mean I cannot complain about it (the weather). Please know, I only stated we felt it was hard to use what the resort has available (i.e.: bikes for a bike ride - we do not like to bike in the cold and rain). If you do, then go for it!

After this review of our experience, please remember that every other traveller has had a different experience and you might too. It could be bad and it could be pleasant or amazing. This was not the best weekend away that we have ever had in regards to service and place, but it was not the worst. Again, as a member of society, I am pointing this out - try it or not try it. I hope your stay and experience is better than ours.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank Mandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Couples_Resort_Rep, Owner at Couples Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2013

Thank you for your review. It informs us for corrections and helps future travelers looking for input. I assure you we will continue to improve and work on things. My staff are always trying to get their satisfaction rates way above 99.5% and we will continue pushing using complex matrices to monitor. Also, last week I was away to suppliers to set in motion renovations to interior public areas in the cost of $75,000 dollars for this winter. Input is important for us and we use it to benefit future guests. One of the things that you and your bride may have helped us with, and for this I am very thankful, is for a new policy regarding dress code. What I now see is that there is almost a perfect match for a guest not bringing dress clothes matching almost on a 1 to 1 correlation that the same guest will then write a negative review on Trip Advisor. Then It makes sense not to allow those guests to stay at the Resort when they arrive, since there is a near 100% probability that they will write a negative review no matter what we do to try and please. By refusing these guests to check-in one would eliminate many future reviews that are negative and this would be a big benefit to the guests that love us, to the staff that depend on the guests and to the family that depends on all of the above. Thank you. JohnS-Owner

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Reviewed 30 September 2013

Beautiful scenery, amazing room but incredibly rude staff cut our honeymoon @ Couples Resort short. :(
We were extremely disappointed. We were having a great trip (24 hrs) until we were humiliated. We had booked for 4 night's but left after two. We loved Algonquin Park & the entire area. The local people that we met off the resort were great. We will defiantly be returning to Algonquin but will never return to the Couple's Resort

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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10  Thank shuey13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Couples_Resort_Rep, Public Relations Manager at Couples Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 October 2013

Thank you for your review, we are glad you enjoyed the area so much. I wish we knew what went wrong so that we can make changes to make sure it never happens to anyone else. We pride ourselves in taking care of everyone; in order that they have the most relaxing, peaceful escape to spend quality time together. Our staff often have comment cards filled out by guests that recommend absolutely every staff they encounter as Top of Class. Hopefully we will find the staff that was so rude to you, and we will make changes.

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