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We recently had the
opportunity to visit The Fern Resort in Orillia for a two night getaway.
Upon our arrival, we were able to go on a tour of the grounds and check out
what facilities were at our disposal since it was an all-inclusive resort.
There were plenty of things to do for both young and old. One building
housed a theatre and a disco with a DJ. For those that required child
care, it was pretty much offered the whole day and even into the late evening
if it was pre-arranged. Although we didn’t require it as our child is
ten, we’re sure this service was very much welcomed giving parents a chance to
enjoy some child-free time which included spa and massage services.
Among the children’s
activities our daughter could try were rock climbing, pedal carts, bicycles,
trampolines, nine-hole mini-putt course, and swimming in any one of the three
pools available….two outdoor and one indoor. Hot tubs were also available
just around the outdoor pools. For the more adventurous and older kids,
zip-lining was available. For water adventures, there were paddle boats,
canoes, and even something called “zorbing” - the child goes into a large,
transparent plastic sphere which then has air pumped in…when ready, the child
could “walk on water” as she is pushed out a short distance into the lagoon…all
the while, the ball is being held by a rope by one of the staff just in case
the child decides to walk/run a little too fast and take off into the
lake! There were also opportunities to fish where staff would provide you
with a make-shift fishing rod with a line/hook and a small piece of a cut-up
worm. You could see the tiny perch and minnows from the dock and
shoreline and would just drop your line into the water to try and snag one.
Our room had two
double beds and was adequately sized including a television and fridge. I
guess there was an assumption that our child was a baby as upon entering our
room for the first time, there was a crib in the middle of the floor. We
quickly told the front desk to remove it just in case it was meant for another
family who did require it. Bathroom was fully stocked with everything you
would expect: towels, shampoo, soap, hairdryer, etc..
In the dining room, we
had a pre-assigned table where we would sit for all meals during our
stay. We had the same server for all of our meals. For
the Saturday lunch we did have the option to join a BBQ outdoors but
on the condition we advised the server ahead of time of our intention.
Each meal also had a simple buffet which was more for the hungry young
ones. We pretty much always ordered off of the menu which was at
our tables each time we arrived to dine. Dinner options always included
salads, soups, burgers, pastas, steak, and fish. A small variety of desserts
were available as well.
For Friday evening
entertainment at the theatre, there was a magician performing. We missed
his performance due to a very large thunderstorm that rolled in just around the
time his show was about to start. The show went on as planned and from
some people that did go, the show was
enjoyable. Saturday evening had a puppeteer which we did catch
and the majority of the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Thoughts on our stay:
· Plenty of things to do for the kids
· Child care offered throughout the day and
· Evening entertainment/shows which catered to
both young and old including a disco
· Dining options were not just buffet style –
could order off a menu and get table service
· Coffee also available outside of the
restaurant just off of the reception area
· Swimming towels available both at front desk
· Rooms needing some upgrades as visibly you
could see wear and tear especially in the bathrooms and on the patios
· *Although towels were said to be available
poolside, they really never were – always had to get the towels from front desk
· Dining room servers appear to be students
working at the resort over the summer – the inexperience in serving showed and
at times there was lack of attention
· Food quality was ok but not great – for the
kids, they should have no issues – but adults would say quality is as good as
any sit-down, pizza/pasta restaurant