We recently spent 3 nights at the family-friendly Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka, Ontario. We’d heard lots of great things about this resort, and with just a 2 hour drive for us to get there and an “End of Summer” discounted offer, it seemed like a great choice. Packing for six of us, and juggling four kids at different ages and stages made it a bit like a “craycation” over a vacation at times for us, but the resort itself was well-suited for our needs and likes, and aside from some noise at the site of their resort expansion by the lake, overall, we had a fabulous stay.
Here are 3 reasons we’d recommend this resort to families of all sizes and ages:
**We were not compensated for this post, nor are we in any partnership with Deerhurst Resort. We just wanted to share a genuine review and experience as a large family who very much enjoyed our stay**
Activities for all ages and weather conditions
Unfortunately, the day we arrived, it was dreary. We arrived early, hoping to head right to the beach until our room was ready (check in is 4 p.m.), but the rain had us searching for other options. We headed into the main Pavilion to see what we could do instead, and weren’t disappointed with tons of recreational options. With an indoor pool, arcade, rock climbing wall and food facilities, the 2 hour wait to get our room flew by and the kids were thoroughly entertained. We were also able to pick up our beach towels at the activity centre and grab an agenda of family activities from the entertainment staff.
We headed to the beach bright and early the following morning. We drove to the beach because of all the “stuff” we had in tow, but it is within walking distance to most lodges and you may prefer this given the limited parking near the beach because of current construction projects.
Time flew by and the kids had a blast making sand castles and rotating between all the waterfront activities, including the Splash Zone Inflatable Waterpark, canoe rides and kayaking – all included in the price of your stay. We also enjoyed a dip in the outdoor pool by the Maple Ridge Lodges after lunch one day.
Water-skiing, Jet skiing, electric boat rentals and boat tours are available as well for a fee and must be pre-booked. The kids had so much fun with the complimentary amenities we opted to skip these options.
- grab your activity wristbands from the Heritage Cottage before you head to the waterfront. You’ll need these to access all the waterfront amenities.
- bring your own beach toys. The resort does supply some, but in very limited quantity
- grab your beach chairs early or bring your own and/or a waterproof blanket; demand for beach chairs did exceed supply during our stay.
Many other activities (with reasonable fees) such as Tree-top Trekking, Paintball and ATV Adventures can be pre-booked before you arrive. BONUS: all kids under 18 years old enjoy a free round of golf with a paying adult!
As a year-round resort, there are tons of great activities during the Fall & Winter months as well. We’d love to return in the Fall next year to enjoy the beauty of the changing leaves on resort and in the surrounding areas of Muskoka.
2. Scenic Views and great location
Set along Peninsula Lake, the views in and around the resort are incredible. The drive up through Gravenhurst was picturesque and (in between sibling quarrels) the kids pointed out how cool they thought the rock formations were along the highway.
Deerhurst resort is close to so many other incredible attractions in the Muskoka region, including Algonquin and Arrowhead Provincial Parks and the Group of Seven Gallery. We opted for a slower-paced vacation, and ventured out a bit to the historic downtown Huntsville area to dine and shop, and had a treat at the Kawartha Dairy Store, but mostly stayed on-site and don’t have any regrets about it. We loved that we had so many amenities just a short drive away and were not located too remotely in case of emergency.
- dine at That Little Place by the Lights on Main Street – a fabulous family-run and family-friendly Italian eatery featured on The Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here”! I am half Italian, and having enjoyed tons of homemade Italian cuisine in my lifetime, I can attest this place is authentic and delizioso!
3. Home away from home accommodations
We stayed in a 3 Bedroom condo in “The Greens” area. This section is quiet, and has a stunning view of the well-maintained golf course.
The condo was modern, updated, clean and equipped with most of the essentials for a great family stay. Huge bonus was a bathroom for each bedroom – 3 total. With a large family, this makes things run so much more smoothly, especially at bath/bedtime. Having a full kitchen with a fridge, stove, microwave, a fully stocked pantry of cooking and dinnerware items and a nice size dining area for eating was great for the few meals we decided to make ourselves. The dinner buffet at Eclipse Restaurant was a hit with the kids on our last night – all their favourite comfort foods from home at the kids section (chicken fingers, pizza, mac n’ cheese) and lots of healthy options parents will be pleased with as well.
- bring your own paper towels and napkins – really the only things the unit didn’t supply.
- the 3 bedroom units are only available on the 1st & 3rd floors of The Greens area; be prepared to carry all your bags up or down stairs and opt to leave your stroller in the car.
We had the pleasure of visiting this resort at the end of the Summer. Muskoka is also breathtaking in the Fall with trees changing to beautiful shades of orange and red. No matter when you go, we think you and your family will love all this resort has to offer for a great getaway!