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Reviews (233)
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All reviewsdining roomalgonquin parkbeautiful viewfew daysget awayottawa valleygreat foodcan't wait to go backcoming backcomfortable bedsbalcony doorrooms are largespent two nightssecond visitgreat weekendwedding weekendfell in love
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Reviewed October 20, 2010

We just recently had our wedding at the Sands and we could not be happier with how it turned out. The staff that we dealt with was super; they went above and beyond to satisfy all of our wishes. We had all of the rooms booked up for our guests and we have people already talking about coming back for a vacation. As well as we used the hall downstairs and it was decorated beautifully and they allowed us to do all of the small things we wanted to add. We cannot express how beautiful the resort is and how many memories we now have here. It was amazing!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank amy181734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 11, 2010

Don't let the location fool you. Although it is located off Hwy 60, the Sands on Golden Lake proved to be a hidden gem indeed. We decided to spent our Thanksgiving weekend there, and we couldn't have asked for a better weekend. The weather was gorgeous, which made the lake, beach and fall colours on display positively breath-taking. The beach area is stunning, and the location proved to be surprisingly quiet.
There was a wedding in their banquet facility Saturday night, and in passing by during an after dinner strole, the location looked beautiful, charming and brimmining with country elegance.
We explored the sites of the area - check out the Tea House in Golden Lake for a wonderful selection of organic and imported teas.
Sunday night we decided to enjoy the Thanksgiving buffet dinner and our meal was just delicious!
What a beautiful and relaxing weekend, we can't wait to go back for a visit in the summer!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank UrbanCouple16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 20, 2010

A great beach, nice rooms and terrific restaurant . Friendly, hands-on owners who are always present have done a nice job with rejuvenating the resort. Staff are attentive and friendly without being stuffy. Close to local shopping and attractions, including whie water rafting. Beautiful sunsets from the restaurant that overlooks Golden Lake.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank UncleP667
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 8, 2010

I have been a long-time camper on Golden Lake. In fact, my family first began cottaging on Golden Lake in 1958, and we have been summering there every summer since. Given this, I knew that there would be no better place for my wedding than on the beaches of Golden Lake.

My wife and I booked our wedding at the Sands on Golden Lake back in the fall of 2008. Since that time, we have dealt with Jeff and Jeff (the proprietors of the resort) who were not just fantastic hosts, but fantastic wedding planners and assistants. Every detail of the wedding was taken care of and thought of by the Jeffs, which was especially important to us, since we live about 3 hours away from Golden Lake. Without their constant help, the wedding would not have been as well-planned as it turned out to be.

The night of the wedding, our guests (all out-of-towners) stayed at the Sands. Each and every room, and all four cottages, were rented by our wedding guests. The Jeffs were more than accommodating given our constant booking demands and changes.

I personally spoke with every one of the wedding guests that stayed at the Sands, to inquire of their thoughts. Everyone was surprised, and overwhelmed, by the quality of service provided by the Sands and their staff, and the quality of the rooms. Most of the rooms (and all four cottages) have been renovated. Most (all?) of the rooms over look the beach and Golden Lake, and either have a balcony, or a beach-level walk out. Fresh sheets and towels were delivered every morning, and cots were available on request. The cleaning staff was friendly, and also available to tend to our guests, who were, at times, demanding.

The beach itself is well-groomed, and is raked on a regular basis to remove any rocks, or debris that may wash in from the lake. The lake is soft-bottomed, and free of weeds or rocks. Given the shallow nature of the lake, and lack of any undertow, you can rest assured that your young children can swim safely. Truth be told, you have to walk out over 200 yards into the Lake for the water depth to reach 6 feet.

The wedding itself went off perfectly. The ceremony was held on the beach, which was groomed and decorated by the Sands staff. The reception was held in the reception hall, which overlooks the Lake. It is a perfect setting for a medium-sized wedding, and can hold up to 125 guests comfortably.

The food and booze service was second-to-none. The food was (as always) delicious, and arrived hot, and in a timely fashion. Also, the food presentation was incredible - I've not been to a classier wedding in this respect. Finally, the wedding was open-bar, and the Sands ensured that a variety of beer and booze brands were available, including premium beers and spirits (Guinness, Corona, Single Malt Scotch, etc).

The ONLY drawback to the resort is the lack of many "amenities" that some may be used to in larger, chain hotels. For example, the cottages are not air-conditioned, and the hotel rooms do not include fridges or coffee-makers. However, this information is available to guests on the Sands' website. The hotel is Wi-Fi friendly, as well.

The cottages are full-amenity, and include full kitchens, utensils and flatware, and BBQs. The propane tanks on the BBQs are checked regularly, and re-filled when needed.

Despite the lack of amenities in the rooms, the Sands restaurant has some of the best food in the Ottawa Valley, so this more than makes up for these non-amenities. The coffee is brought in from a local coffee dealer (Cassidy's in Golden Lake) and the seafood is to die for. I have yet to have a mediocre meal in the restaurant - make sure to try the Peameal Bacon sandwich for breakfast, and ANY fish dish for supper.

The location of the Sands is also ideal. Located right on Highway 60 between Algonquin Park and Renfrew, it is easily accessible. Despite the proximity to the Highway, the rooms are quiet - you will fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the Lake waves, and will NOT hear any traffic. The Sands is located very close to two great golf courses - White Tail and Wolf Ridge - and also many ATV and snowmobiling trails. Of course, it is also a perfect place for fisherman - Golden Lake has some great pickerel and pike fishing.

In summary, if you are thinking of having a beach wedding, or wish to have a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, the Sands on Golden Lake is definitely the place to stay.

Thanks, Jeff and Jeff, for helping to make our wedding day perfect and for far surpassing all of our expectations.

- Mike and Nikki Swindley

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Swindley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 7, 2010

We rented almost the entire resort for about 10 days and had an excellent time. Our group included almost 70 people from 9 months to 60+ years old and the place was enjoyed by all. The beach was definitely a big hit. The water is shallow enough for the little swimmers and they had lots of fun building sand castles. There is a small dock that the older kids had lots of fun throwing each other off! The water was very warm (on most days!) I had family members that stayed at the chalets and the cottage. It was great for us all to get together to socialize or for group meals. My family of 5 had one of the unrenovated beach rooms and we thought there was lots of space. The price was great! The only feedback I provided was that they need more towel holders and a mat at the door to wipe feet after going to the beach. It would also be nice to have a coffee pot / fridge / microwave. They seem to be standard in most places we have stayed lately. But... they do have coffee-to-go in the resturant! We had a dinner for 36 one night, Jeff and Jeff were very accommodating. The staff were very friendly as well. We all thought the food was amazing! We also thought the prices on the menu (limited to 4 selections + a kids menu for such a larger group) were very reasonable and were very surprised to discovered when we got there that it included our non-alcoholic beaverages and a starter salad!! There is a mini golf across the road that we played at but it is not well maintained. There is a fire pit where we had nightly fires. We had a banquet in the room down stairs which was also great! Very friendly bartender and again the food was excellent! Thanks Jeff, Jeff, Joe, Jane and all the other staff that made our week enjoyable. I would definitely recommend your resort and the ressturant to anyone looking for a quiet place or great food with a view of the lake!

  • Stayed: August 2010
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Thank newtraveller2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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