Royal Windsor Lodge

Royal Windsor Lodge

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#1 of 1 lodge in Nipigon
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Detailed Reviews
R S wrote a review Jun 2015
Duluth, Minnesota
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The three of us men stayed at Royal Windsor Lodge, on the south shore of Lake Nipigon, June 20-26, 2015. It has no web site. Through a little Googling I found Olga's name & phone number, and she was pleasant and accommodating and rustic on the phone--I liked her. She'd charge us $30 Canadian per person per night, and give us 20% discount if we paid cash in U.S. dollars.

The reservation fee was $100, but she doesn't take credit cards, so it had to be mailed as a check made out to her.

When we arrived we were surprised and dismayed. The facility looked like it had gone out of business long ago, and the buildings were falling down and dilapidated. If our wives had been with us we'd have turned around and left.

The office/owner's house made an impression of having been nice back in the 60's or 70's, but windows were boarded up, screens were broken, paint was peeling badly.

There is no TV in the rooms, and no Internet.

Cell phone coverage was present, but data plans for International Use ran over $100/day.

Olga's about 89, and she doesn't get around to repair things anymore. She's spry and witty and very much alive & kicking, but has no plans to make the cabins habitable or renewed, although she's working to get the electric upgraded.

Of the 7 cabins, we rented 1, one was in use by a fellow and his wife (they mow the lawn, etc. at the resort), 1 was unrented, and the rest were in various states of falling down or disuse/storage, and were unlivable.

The Recreation Building was probably acceptable back in the '70's, but has also fallen on tough times. One of the 9 TV's stored there was in working condition, and had satellite or cable with 1000 stations (not all of which had subscriptions/access).

The docks were in poor shape--the main dock in front of the original lodge (now the Recreation Center) had rotted away and never been replaced. The dock near the boat launch had not been secured on the deep end and was floating and sinking. Dock posts without dock were in the water, making it hazardous to tie up. The one decent dock was half occupied with a large sailboat that a long-term renter used (I met him--Tom--he was 72, had a beautifully strong German accent, and he could handle that 30' boat in a wind with 3 sails up like it was no problem at all!). We had to move rowboats around to make room for my 19' boat, but fortunately we found a compromise that would work.

The boat launch is very shallow, as are the docks. 20" of water was all we had at the spot we tied up at.

Our cabin's electric was very limited--someone had bored a hole through the wall of one bedroom and run an electric light cable into the kitchen outlet.

Other bedroom outlets were not up to code--they were extension cords plugged into the ceiling lamp fixture and stapled to the walls.

The floors and walls leaned badly, and the toilet leaned forward so far it was a gamble whether it would successfully flush or not. The water rose nearly to the rim at each flush, making one worry about overflow and cleanup.

The stove would not stay lit on the left side's pilot light, but we were warned about that, and had a lighter ready to relight it as needed.

The tap and shower water are not potable--this is raw lake water pumped inside, and there are signs in the cabin that warn you not to drink the water. Olga told us to expect this and to bring our own water, so that wasn't a surprise.

The roofs of the cabins are covered so thickly with moss that you'd almost think it was planned. Instead, I suspect the moss is left on them to help the rain run off.

The gnats and mosquitoes were very bad--bring a head net if you come in June! Again, this was not unexpected, and would be the same at any other facility in the area.

Lest I give you 100% negative impressions, we found the cabin to be completely adequate at keeping the bugs & rain out, and it was perfect for three men to use as a base for fishing. The refrigerator worked, despite having no seal on the bottom and having no handle, and using duct tape to keep it closed. The 4-burner gas stove was perfect for our needs, and the gas furnace did a beautiful job of taking the edge off the cold anytime we turned it on.

Olga gave us great fishing advice--where to go, how to fish each location--and we caught a LOT of great fish. I put a 14-pound Lake Trout in the boat after only an hour of trolling the break lines near the giant cliffs, and had a great time doing so. We easily caught our limit of 17" and 18" Walleyes within an hour, and we caught & released four beautiful Brook Trout that ran in the 20" range. The Perch were sometimes huge, and we kept and filleted a number of them for breakfast. I caught a nice-sized Whitefish while trolling for Brook Trout, and it made a delicious supper for the three of us. There were fewer and smaller Pike than I expected, but we were focusing mainly on Walleyes and Trout, so catching a number of Pike in the 2 to 4 pound range wasn't any problem.

I wouldn't stay in the cabins with my wife, but I might do so with another party of guys who don't mind roughing it. I'd love to spend more time with Olga, who had stories to share every day as we'd invite her into our cabin. She brought many pictures over to share with us--from a hundred years ago when Prince Arthur came to visit the lodge with his entourage. She was gracious and pleasant and rustic and fun, and the time she spent sharing her life's story with us I counted as an amazing and unexpected benefit to staying there.

At best, the Royal Windsor Lodge is a place holding the memories of big fish & Indian guides and royal visitors from long ago. It's not a going concern any longer, and it appears it's waiting either to completely fall down, or to be bought & rebuilt by someone with very deep pockets.
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Date of stay: June 2015
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: The only option is Cabin 1. Cabin 5 looked like it might be repairable.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
R S wrote a tip Jun 2015
Duluth, Minnesota6 contributions8 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"The only option is Cabin 1. Cabin 5 looked like it might be repairable."
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Royal Windsor Lodge - Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Windsor Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Royal Windsor Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Paddle to the Sea Park (1.5 km), Deer Lake Mountain Hiking Trail (4.0 km), and Nipigon Lookout (1.7 km).
What are some restaurants close to Royal Windsor Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Edgeview Restaurant, Ducky's Diner, and Nipigon Esso Restaurant.
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