I recently had to travel to Orillia and stay overnight so I read reviews to find a decent hotel to stay at. There are many really great reviews of this hotel, so despite not thinking that it was as good as the reviews based on the hotel web site, I decided to stay here anyway as the location was perfect. I'm not sure why some of the reviews are as fantastic as they are. Make no mistake, the Mariposa Inn is a good place to stay, but it is not as over the moon as some would make out.
I chose to book a "fireplace suite". It was more expensive, but I wanted to treat myself. I would have liked a jacuzzi as well, however, Mariposa doesn't have any. The other Best Western in Orillia does have jacuzzi suites. I really didn't see why this one wouldn't as the room was certainly big enough for one. In fact the room layout was a bit puzzling.
It was very large, but long and rectangular. The bed was situated at the far end of the room opposite a dresser with the TV sitting on it. The fireplace was on the same wall as the TV, in about the middle of the room. It was a rather small electric fireplace with a small firebox. There were two rather outdated wing chairs on either side of it, and and a small table right in front of it, blocking the view of the fireplace from the bed. Directly across, and on the same wall as the bed, was a small table and chairs for dinning, or to work at, which had to be moved in order to access a plug in for my computer. It's a good thing that Mac's come with an extra long cord. The door to the room was directly opposite a small, open closet, and the bathroom. The short end of the rectangle formed by the bathroom wall had a kitchenette installed on it. This short wall, however, was large enough for a really large kitchenette.
What was awkward was that the room was huge, but the layout not very efficient. The kitchenette was larger than most people would need, unless on an extended stay, yet there were few dishes, or cutlery to facilitate this. It was big enough that it could have had a hob or element in addition to the kitchen sink. By contrast, the fireplace for the so-called fireplace suite was small and awkwardly situated. I would have rather had a jacuzzi tub than the huge kitchenette.
A jacuzzi tub could have easily occupied a corner of the bedroom, or the bathroom could have been made larger and a jacuzzi incorporated as part of it. The vanity in the bathroom was also incredibly low. I'm tall, but most hotel vanities are of an acceptable height for me. This one made me feel like a giant in Lilliput.
The king sized bed was a nice touch in a fireplace suite, however, I tossed and turned and woke up constantly all night. It was one of the most uncomfortable beds I have ever slept in. I don't normally have any trouble sleeping anywhere, in any position, at any time of the day or night, but this was torture. I honestly don't know what exactly kept waking me up, but every time I moved it did. The incredibly noisy, old fashioned air/heat unit on the wall didn't help either.
Others have commented on the old TV's and I will add my voice to that. The sanitized remote was nice, but the sign that said I could get movies on demand (and I would have) didn't tell you enough about how, because despite two university degrees I couldn't access a menu.
Well, so far this doesn't sound like the good place I've described in my title, but the hotel is quite serviceable. It just isn't as amazing as some reviews would have you believe. It seems to be an older place that Best Western has tried hard to remodel and update a bit, but has fallen a bit short on. It was clean, and functional, just overpriced for what you are getting.
They do have a gym and the equipment looked new. I did use the pool and hot tub. The pool is barely more than a wading pool. Even the deep end made me feel like I was in Lilliput again. Most hotel pools are deeper than this, even though they remain shallow enough to minimize liability issues. The hot tub was really good, and kept at a temperature that would allow you to stay in for 15-20 minutes without overheating. I was going to use the sauna, but the hot tub already had me heated nicely. The change rooms/washrooms could be bigger.
The real gem at this hotel is the attached restaurant, The Grape and Olive. Fancier than a Casey's, it has a gourmet menu, and the lamb was exquisite. I was also able to get a glass of really good rosé.
The final quirk I experienced was checking out. I wanted to pay by debit, rather than leaving the bill on my credit card. I was informed that I couldn't do that, "because debit is like 'real money'." Yes, real money. No kidding. I was also told that no other hotel accepted debit either. This is absurd if it truly is the actual practice of the hotel. This alone would make me hesitate to stay here again. I'm always suspicious of a merchant who doesn't like 'real money'. This could, however, be a case of the very young, very blonde woman who was behind the front desk that morning. She was sweet but didn't seem very bright.
Overall, a good, clean, friendly place to stay, but not spectacular by any means.
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Mariposa Inn And Conference Centre Hotel Orillia
- Best Western Orillia
- Orillia Best Western
- Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre Orillia, Ontario