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“Wonderful property & staff, sadly rude guests kept us up all night”
Review of Gordon's Park

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Gordon's Park
Certificate of Excellence
Deltona, Florida, United States
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Wonderful property & staff, sadly rude guests kept us up all night”
Reviewed 24 July 2014

As I'm booking campgrounds for our upcoming vacation in Oregon, I was fondly thinking of my husband's and my first camping experience spent at Gordon's Eco Park.
We stayed in a teepee for two nights (the one closest to the bathrooms and office) and took advantage of a star gazing tour that included the use of a telescope, which I highly recommend. The staff is really fun and friendly, we enjoyed the hiking trails, and the outdoor bathrooms and showers were much better than expected.
I felt safe sleeping in the teepee; however, even with the provided border ring and tarp over the door some bugs got in and my husband (born and raised in FL with all sorts of poisonous critters) freaked out a bit, which I'm snickering about right now thinking about it. It was just a couple caterpillars and two harmless spiders in two nights.
The only con:
The first night a family with a baby camped two sites down, the baby repeatedly woke up in the night and would cry for 20 to 30 minutes, I'm not actually sure if the parents were even trying to soothe it. Of course, the baby crying continuously through the night set off other campers who then decided to shout profanities at the family. The second night, the family had left and we figured we'd get a good night's sleep before needing to catch the ferry early the next morning. However, our teepee was close to cabins occupied by people that stayed up until at least 1a.m. (last time I checked my watch), they were drinking and loud, and when other campers shouted profanities at them they just shouted right back. Nobody (back in August 2013) staffed the office at night and we weren't sure whom to complain to. I think that should be made clear during check in. After two nights of horrible sleep, I think next time we will try to get a camp site in a secluded area.

Room Tip: Camp in secluded area.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank HurdleQueen03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I just had a great weekend at Gordon's Park! I was there with a friend for the Women's Weekend. The owners Rita and Terry, and their staff are great hosts. There's lots of opportunity to get in touch with nature - nature trail, edible wilds walk, a pond brimming with frogs, owl calling, dark sky preserve, and more. There's also some features to make things more comfortable - in-ground solar-heated pool with lovely pool deck, solar showers, flush toilets, outdoor summer kitchen, and bunkies for those of us who prefer not to sleep in a tent. There's also art hidden here and there on the trees, in the washrooms, on the buildings, etc. We created some art ourselves - yarn bombing, painted dragonflies and crafty cards. We did a zoomba class and got a foot soak. Plus the food was amazing. I'll be coming back with my family for sure!

Room Tip: The campsites 6, 7, 8 are closest to the showers and washrooms.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We booked 2 camp sites with bunkies for 6 of us. The bunkies were clean and the beds were decent. The place is really just a campground, much like any other, and their "nature interpretive centre" is just a room with some information on cards and a few stuffed creatures, I certainly wouldn't pay to see it.
The star gazing is basically going out to the field on your own after an in-class talk, we were excited about it but then opted out once we discovered what it was. Their hiking trail wasn't bad.
The outhouses really, really stink. The supplies weren't really replenished frequently enough.
Their pool is pretty small.
We were hoping for more since it is a "Designated Dark Sky Preserve" and all, but we really didn't need to go all the way there to stargaze, it was pretty disappointing. Overall my expectations weren't really met, but too often advertising makes things sound way better than they really are.
We also had a kerfuffle over the hydro at our site; we had plugs available which we used and then at some point the electricity was cut off. There is no mention of an extra fee for hydro at the camping cabins on their website. We were told by the owner, Rita, that we'd have to pay for hydro. For over $100/night we would have thought they could have included the hydro as customer service but they wanted to argue over it instead. The whole thing left a bad taste in our mouths, we were really ready to leave but we were only there for 2 nights so we stuck it out.

Manitoulin is lovely, so when we go back it will be to a nice B&B, not Gordon's Park.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RaspberryTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Thank you for your review, we would like to comment further.

Gordon's Park is an Eco Park, much more than just a campground. Our operations incorporate Eco principals including educational programming, solar energy, water conservation, no light pollution, a designated dark sky preserve, Eco showers, recycling, composting and so much more.

The Nature Interpretive Center provides information on trees, wildflowers, edible wilds, mushrooms, fossils, animals, astronomy and Eco systems, and is enjoyed by thousands of school children, scout groups and nature enthusiasts every year.

We are disappointed that you did not truly get to enjoy the worth of the nature interpretive center and our educational hiking trails which are included free of charge for guests of our park.

It would appear from your comments that you did not participate in the educational Thursday nights Astronomy or the Public Observing Sessions with Laser Guided Sky Tours because these guided events include observing with telescopes, wide angled Bausch & Lomb Binnoculars and a laser guided tour with a green laser pointer of the night sky. Had you participated we are confident you would have enjoyed the evening, as many others have and whom have posted so on Trip Advisor.

Operating an Eco Park on a seasonal income means developing as capital funds become available. A pool with solar panels in Northern Ontario is a substantial investment and pools in general are not plentiful at operations in the North. Our pool is not huge but it is mighty and guests enjoy it. This year, we are adding flush toilets and are doing that with conservation of water usage in mind.

Clearly, the reason your group was disappointed with your stargazing experience is because your group did not take advantage of what we had to offer.

The designation for our dark sky preserve meant we had to have our dark sky site measured for darkness with a Sky Quality Meter Reading, taken by various persons at various times of the year. In addition to these dark sky ratings, it also meant we needed to meet light pollution guidelines, no obstruction from trees, viewing from horizon to horizon, submit photographs and measurement of the site, make a commitment to no future lighting at the site, provide an access road, etc. and other strict requirements. I would also like to share that the designation process involved participation by several educated astronomers, some astronomy professors and members of astronomy clubs and the astronomical society.

The reason there is no mention of hydro on our website for our camping cabins is because it is not something we offer. Your group found electrical outlets in your area and decided to use them without permission.

Guests that stay with us, including your group while you were here, enjoy several free perks - nature center, hiking trails, free high speed internet, and use of our summer kitchen with BBQ, 3 burners, pots, pans, coffee maker, kettle, counter space, hot and cold running water, and party tent with picnic tables.

Hydro electricity is an expensive commodity that continues to have soaring price spikes, it is not realistic to expect an operator to absorb this cost, nor are we familiar with any campground that does not charge a fee for use of electricity.

We are glad you found Manitoulin Island lovely, and we at Gordon's Park are pleased to be able to offer a wonderful outdoor nature adventure to those who appreciate our Earth and share our environmental interests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

The Island and park are beautiful. We visited in the winter and it was stunning. The park manager made us feel very welcome.

We stayed in the B&B part of the park. The B&B area is quite dated and has 2 rooms that share 1 bathroom which could be quite awkward. The beds in the twin room were very comfortable. The breakfast is termed a continental breakfast and that term is used very loosely. It was in fact 2 English muffins, 2 pre-packaged fruit pots and 2 juice boxes. Not much considering the price.

Overall we enjoyed our stay but at $125 plus tax for a 1 night stay it was pretty pricey so I would visit the island again but probably not stay here.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank heldo99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Thanks for your review and for the pictures, this was our first winter in a while that we were able to offer accommodations with activities for our guests to experience.

We really enjoyed having you stay with us and are glad you found the beds in the twin room comfortable. We were pleased to be able to offer a package deal of snowshoeing on groomed trails with the B & B accommodation for you and your friend and are hoping to do more combination packages like this in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Only stayed one night but really enjoyed the place. The summer kitchen was a huge help in being able to BBQ and cook without starting a fire. The trail around the park and down to the dark sky preserve was great. I liked how there were facts about the trees along the trail. The dark sky preserve was a very nice, peaceful place, I would like to stay down there next time. The nature centre was packed with taxedermy and fossils - very cool and educational!! The service was also very good, they provided lots of information about the park and things to do on the island. Paul was very informative and friendly. The only complaints would be the smell of the bathrooms, more air fresheners are needed! And the extra cost for swimming, golf, and the edicational programs. But deffinatly reccomend this park for something different than just your average campground. Lots to see and do.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank livetotravel16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Our family (2 adults, 2 kids) stayed for 4 nights at Gordon's and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We camped and thought our site was great - well treed, picnic table, fire pit etc. But their well-equipped outdoor kitchen turned out to be a great benefit. You could use their stove, BBQ, sink etc (so much easier to turn on the hot water than boiling your own). We ate our dinner at the shared picnic tables and were able to chat with other guests and it made for a nicer experience. My kids met some new friends which definitely enhanced their time there.

At first I was a little surprised that you had to pay extra for things like the pool and miniputt but I actually prefer this to a higher camping fee. We didn't end up swimming in the pool because we swam at some of the beaches on the island but we played miniputt every day.

Outhouses and eco showers were quite clean and we grew to really like those showers!

Special thanks to the staff there. Paul welcomed us at the front desk when we arrived and gave a great overview of the place. Then all the other staff we met were so friendly and helpful.

Overall our trip to Manitoulin Island was really great and it's just too bad that more people don't make the trip. Such a beautiful peaceful place so close to home.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cindy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elmira, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

Where to start? I guess I should have known when I booked "last minute" and this was the only camp with availability that it had space for a reason.
First of all when I called I asked questions about the facitlies and the rates. I asked twice to confirm the nightly rate of $38. I was told it included free wi-fi and hydro and they had a pool and showers and washrooms that didn't stink. Sounds great....or so I thought....

The first thing out of the cashiers mouth when we were registering was that we booked late and therefore didn't get a good site but that's what you get for booking late and there was nothing that she could do about it. Nice greeting.

The $38 that I was quoted on the phone (by a male who clearly didn't know what he was talking about) was never mentioned however the $42 + tax rate was charged to my credit card.

Yes our site had hydro, however when the owners saw that we used it for less than 2 minutes to blow up an air mattress they instructed their staff to shut it off to our site. (this of course was only known around 11pm when we tried to blow the air matress back up after discovering that it had a leak). My husband went to the office to inquire as to why our hydro wasn't working to be told repeatedly that "Mr & Mr Gordon said you don't get hydro" and she was instructed to shut off the hydro to our site. Really??? We were told we would have hydro. We used it for less than 2 minutes. And then it was cut off. Seriously?!!!

The washrooms legitamately were outhouses. Which is fine. If that's what they are - say so. DON"T advertise your place to be something that it isn't and charge the rates as though you have what you are advertising for. And by the way the washrooms DO stink. The dryer sheets that are stapled to the walls in the ladies stalls only, do not cut it. Not to mention the 1 hand towel that the entire park was to use to dry their hands after using the washroom. Four toilets. One sink. This sink serves anyone who is trying to clean, brush their teeth or after using the washroom- it's clearly insufficient. While waiting in line to use the sink, I saw many people leave the line in frustration. What's worse I guess? Not washing your hands at all or washing them and using a towel to dry that countelss others have used - AND it looked like it had been there for weeks. Gross!!

Oh yeah, if you want to use the pool that they list off, it costs you over $7 per person. If you want to have a campfire you have to buy the wood their....no issue except it works out to be almost a $1 per pc of wood and the wood is cedar!!

They also advertise an Astronomy night. Great!! Oh yeah that's $15 per person and they held it directly behind ( 4' from the outhouses). Really nice!!

One of the main attractions to this part for us was the "cycling" that they talked about on their website. In fact, they even have a wooden carved cycling sign on the outside of the main office door...when I asked our check in clerk about the cycling routes, she stared at me blankly and had no idea what I was talking about. Her response was that we could bike the walking trails..but she wouldn't. Huh?! Where is the cyclign that they speak of? We never did find it.

They handed out the password for the wi-fi however the password did not enable access onto their network so....yet another disappointment.

We booked for 2 nights and stayed for just one. We had enough.

I guess this is partly my fault because I ignored the red flags. The biggest one being that before they can "run throught the check in process" you have to sign in two places and initial in others. Once this is done they run you through all of their rules and things that are inconsistant with what their website promotes with special attention being given to the "NO Refunds will be issued if you choose to leave early". Clearly this has been an issue in the past - if not why the special attention?

In short, I would not recommend that anyone stay here. The rates are a rip off. The staff are rude at best and the faciliites are sub par. Do yourself a favour and stay away.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Christa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rita G, Owner at Gordon's Park, responded to this review, 19 August 2013
We are responding to you today to apologize profusely for the service that you received at our Park. What happened to you during your stay is not acceptable, we were not aware of what happened to you until we read this review.

This weekend in particular was quite busy with over 300+ people staying in our park between our main campground and our Dark Sky Preserve. In addition, we were hosting a large international group staying with us over this four day period.

Our staff is trained to give information via phone on the accommodations and on the amenities that we have to offer. It is quite clear that you were not given the proper information and this has been discussed with the staff members who were involved. Our regular camping rate is 38.00 however on the long weekends, like other parks, the sites are 42.00 which includes free access to our nature interpretive center, educational hiking trails, free wi-fi internet and use of our summer kitchen with BBQ, 3 burner stove, pots and pans, coffee maker etc.

Hydro electricity is not included, nor is the pool or the mini putt, these are optional for people and allows them to pick and choose and control their costs. The fee for the mini putt and the pool is a one time fee with unlimited use for the duration of the stay, so this is very appealing to those who would like to swim or play 30 games of mini putt. Also, if it is a rainy day, guests may opt not to do the mini putt or if it is a cold day may opt not to do the pool, the choice is theirs and finally to include these in our camping fee is not feasible as the cost would be much higher and there are those who stay with us who prefer the quiet woodsy sites but do not necessarily want to access these additional activities.

We do have eco showers and privies which we try very hard to keep clean and odour free however due to the volume of people on that weekend it became difficult to control despite our best efforts. We apologize that you were offended by the smell however we would like you to know that this is not the norm for our outhouses, in fact, we have signatures and comments in our guest book that actually compliment us on how clean and non-smelling our privies are. In addition to the use of towels (which we try to change several times a day, especially on a busy weekends) at our comfort station (we are an eco-park) we have a paper towel dispenser for those who prefer to use them and we also have another double sink at the kitchen area that is available for use. In addition, our privies and our comfort stations have hand sanitizer in them for use by our guests so there are several options for cleanliness.

You should never have been charged on arrival more than what you were quoted on the phone. This was a mistake by our junior employee and compounded by one of our senior employees upon your arrival. There was no indication on your reservation for a request for electricity and nor were you charged for it. People who want to blow up their air mattresses etc. using our hydro are welcome to use the electrical outlet available at the office and again, we apologize that you were not informed of this. And just so you know, we, the owners, did not instruct our staff to turn off the hydro. What happened is unacceptable behavior and our staff have been reprimanded for their actions.

As far as the firewood, our bundles are the same as those you will find throughout the island and are still at the same rate as they have been for the past 5 years (certainly less cost than the bundles you find at provincial parks and other tent and trailer parks)

We are wondering why you were unable to receive Wi-Fi during your stay as we had no indications from any of our other guests that there was a problem.

Our astronomy night is done by a professional astronomer that comes to the park and does it at their cost, it is not necessary that you attend it if you feel the cost is out of your range. Gordon’s Park is very well known for our astronomy program as you can see from the many other trip advisor posts.

Again, we apologize, you should have been given our cycling map when you asked for it, there is no excuse that you did not get one. We have 4 routes that begin and end here at the park that we provide free to guests of our park. We know our manager spoke with you the morning that you left and told you about the additional mountain biking trails that we have 5 minutes down the road.

Our check in process is simple, the customer signs the deposit slip for their initial deposit and the liability form that is standard to sign for any campground that you attend. As far as the “No Refund for Early Departures”, this is a standard rule in the industry and is the same rule as that of any of our provincial parks.
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Additional Information about Gordon's Park

Property: Gordon's Park
Address: 18777 Hwy 6, Tehkummah, Ontario P0P 2C0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Northeastern Ontario > Manitoulin Island > Tehkummah
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Tehkummah
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in Nature, Gordon's Park on Manitoulin Island has a B&B, camping sites, Tipis and Cabins available. We have an Educational Nature Centre and Hiking trails + an extensive summertime calendar of events. We're just 15 minutes from the ferry docks. ... more   less 

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