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Susan S
Kitchener, Canada

Another fantastic week staying at Hartley Bay Marina cottages - June 2015

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Jul 13, 2015
My brother found Hartley Bay Marina (HB) on the internet when we were looking for cottages to rent for a few days of family fishing on the French River in 2013. The cottages were basic, but the scenery looked amazing and the marina looked like it would accomodate our boats quite nicely. Most importantly, it looked very accessible for our 80 year old father who has walking/mobility issues. Little did we know, that once we explained dad's issue with walking long distances that the marina staff would ensure he had a golf cart to drive from the cabin to the marina and back again. Oh, so appreciated!!!!! Now, after going back in 2014 and 2015 we have our week booked already for next year. I should add that in 2013 we had 12 people, last year 16 and this year 18 (all adults). The 2 big cottages have served us well, and if one of the small 4 person cottages have been available, we have used it as well.

The cottages are well equiped and CLEAN! Just remember you are in the bush! If you need it, bring it in! We noticed this year that renovations have been done with flooring and bathrooms and we have been told more renos are coming. I can say from personal experience that if something is not quite right that the Palmers and their staff will do what it takes to rectify the situation.

We have had much success fishing here - everything from pan fish to pickerel, pike, bass and muskie. One of the reasons we like HB so much, is that you have such an array of habitats to fish: tall grass/reeds, fast water, quiet coves, deep water and underwater structure. Because of the landscape of of the French River waterways you will always find a spot to tuck away and fish if the wind is blowing a little too hard for your liking in the open places.

Thank you James, Margaret and team....see you next June!
Susan S.
Date of stay: June 2015
Trip type: Travelled with family
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    Reviews (36)
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    22 - 27 of 36 reviews
    Reviewed July 8, 2015

    Fishing partner and I decided to venture into new Ontario waters #French River (bass, walleye & pike fishing). We found Hartley Bay Marina cottages. And yes this marina has valet parking. You unload and they take your vehicles! That was a big seller for me.
    The initial contact before arrival with owners James and Margaret Palmer was positive and informative. I did call a few times to ask about fishing updates and they had no issues answering all my questions. Booking the cottage was seamless. No hassle no issues. We reached Hartley Bay from Toronto in about 3.75 hours. Check in was seamless! We stayed in cottage #1. The accommodations fit the budget we needed for a weekend fishing getaway. Kitchen, bathroom and 2 bedrooms were in good shape (CLEAN). The kitchen was well equipped for cooking and serving meals for a large family. The bathroom and showers were updated and modern. There was no surprises living in the shower. It was well maintained and the hot water was working well!
    If your a planning a family outing to the French River I am sure Hartley Bay will be able to find whatever your desire. Camping, Fishing, Canoe / Kayak, Guided Tours, Boat Rentals. Give Hartley Bay Marina and chance. I am sure you will not regret the trip.

    Room tip: All rooms are nice. The marina is steps away from all cottages.
    Date of stay: July 2015
    • Trip type: Travelled with friends
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    Thank Cali G
    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.
    HartleyBayMarina, Manager at Hartley Bay Marina, responded to this reviewResponded July 11, 2015

    Thanks Cali!! You guys were a pleasure to host!! Hope to see you again soon!!

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed May 18, 2015

    We used Hartley Bay Marina as our start and end points for a four day lowe French River canoe trip over the 2015 May long weekend. The staff were superb. Very friendly people showed yus where to park while w unloaded our gear and then took our car and parked it for us. The docks are welll maintained with ample room for power boats as well as canoes. When we our trip, we were greeted instantly by one of the staff who took our chit and returned in a few minutes with our car. He even backed it down the steep ramp to make it easier for us to leave facng the right way. Considering there is no immediate competition and the fact this wasca busy weekend, the service was second to none.

    Date of stay: May 2015
    • Trip type: Travelled with family
      • Value
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    1  Thank 634bryanb
    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.
    HartleyBayMarina, Manager at Hartley Bay Marina, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2015

    Thank you for your excellent review and for using our Marina as your launching point for your May long weekend vacation. We pride ourselves on providing excellent service to our customers and it is nice to be complemented.

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed May 11, 2015 via mobile

    I've been to a few marinas in my time and I'd have to say that Hartley Bay Marina is by far the best service you'll find to launch your boat on the French River. Fast, friendly and they have all the information you need to know about the French River

    Date of stay: May 2015
    Trip type: Travelled with friends
    Thank James D
    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.
    Reviewed March 24, 2015

    Where to start! This trip was absolutely amazing! This was our first Canoe trip on the French river. We lucked out as it was just us and our guide! It was nice for both my partner and myself as it allowed us to have some us time as well as to experience something we both enjoy immensely. Our guide was so full of knowledge that there wasn't a question he couldn't answer. He showed us so much and allowed time for us to take in everything. The day there we got to canoe a little further than planned and found a beautiful and remote spot to camp for the night on the edge of a small rock setting. Watching the sunset from here was breath taking. Both myself and partner live and work in the GTA so this to us just made us feel like we were both finally back where we belonged. Every day after this was a great experience we never once had any issues. The food that our guide packed and prepared each day was perfect for our trip. His wife even made some home made goodies that really hit the spot when we needed a snack. We got to portage a couple times as well. We got to see the rapids and enjoy nature. I am not going to lie the bugs suck however you get the whole package or nothing. Just bring bug spray! The mosquitos are very persistent on wanting their dinner. We saw a bunch of wild life and I got to take some amazing photo's! We are looking forward to going back again this summer and exploring another section!

    Room tip: This truly is an amazing experience for those who like nature
    Date of stay: August 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      • Value
      • Sleep Quality
      • Service
    4  Thank Miechele
    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.
    HartleyBayMarina, Manager at Hartley Bay Marina, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2015

    We are glad to hear that you guys had a great time on your guided canoe vacations with Outervision Adventure tours!! Thanks for the review!

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    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed July 21, 2014

    this was my 4th french river excursion but the first time i had launched a kayak trip from the French River to Georgian bay using Hartley Marina as the launch site.
    Clean, efficient and very helpful staff assisted the two of us, help us on the navigation, parked our cars and made us feel very comfortable. The staff was courteous and very helpful. It is also a couple of hours closer than parking at highway 69 and hence 3 to 4 hours closer to georgian bay.
    I will definitely use Hartley Bay again on my next snippet!

    Date of stay: July 2014
    Trip type: Travelled with friends
    2  Thank mlangill
    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.
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