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Reviewed February 20, 2012

My wife and I recently took adavantage of the "Stay Inn Love" promotion at Benmiller to have a 2 night getaway. This was our 3rd stay at Benmiller, but our first in quite a while. The package included a dining credit, and chocolate and champagne in our room, and Saturday breakfast and Sunday brunch were also included.

We stayed in a "Select" room type located in the Gledhill Building. This buidling is a little jaunt away from the main building/restaurant, and some people have complained about this in previous reviews, but Geldhill is located just across from the pool/hot tub/spa, and if we didn't feel like walking to the main bldg and restaurant, we simply drove a short distance to the main building. The buildings being spread out is much easier to enjoy in the summer months based on our previous experience. Our room was beautiful, with a massive balcony overlooking the river, a comfy bed, fridge, Keurig, and comfy furniture.

We also took advantage of the spa services at the onsite Aveda spa. That was very nice and relaxing and just across the road from Geldhill.

Everyone who works there is very firendly and very talkative and interested in making your stay enjoyable. The atmosphere is also very nice, with beautiful backdrops to the picturesque building, beautiful interiors in all the buildings, and a very relaxing bar/lounge area with Saturday evening entertainment.

We will place our review of the restaurant in the restaurant section of TripAdvisor.

Now, some of the shortcomings that Benmiller needs to work on...
1) get the repairs finished from last years hurricane so that all room types are again available - I understand it's a long process, but it's time to get it over the finish line.

2) figure out how to supplement the hot water in the Gledhill building - I understand there is an enviro-firendly water heating system for this building, but both times we have stayed there in Gledhill, it has not even come close to keeping up with the demand for hot water. There's no use giving someone a soaker/jet tub in their room fi they can't even fill it with hot water! Satursday's water was luke warm, and Sunday's was cold.

3) time for a gut job on the hot tub area - don't get me wrong, the pool area and spa are fantastic, but whoever thought it would be a good idea to simply paint the tile area around the hot tub to make it look better was sadly mistaken. It looks cheap, there's rotted wood, paint splotches everywhere, and by gosh, get a proper exhaust fan along the roof line of the hot tub building to stop the condensing on the roof that then drips cold water down on you while you're trying to enjoy the hot tub!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JJLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 9, 2012

Please note that this review is of a stay that took place before the August 2011 tornado hit Goderich.
Allow me to just throw this out there first: the Benmiller Inn & Spa could be very worthy of a four-star review. However, due to problems relating to the location and underwhelming amenities provided, it sinks into the realm of merely "average".
The main inn itself is very well taken care of with a rustic ambience that does quite well for it. A small gazebo helps the inn’s atmosphere, and nature lovers will be in heaven for a while. The Inn’s restaurant was actually one of the high points, with a wide-ranging menu that has exquisite appetizers and entrees, even better desserts, and very good customer services. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
The accommodations are where the inn’s shortcomings begin to show. The rooms are comfortable enough, but most of the accommodations are a good walk from the main inn, and the room my family stayed in had spider webs in the corners, worn out furniture, and a “wonderful” view of a scum-covered pond. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
But the main problem, however, is that there is nothing to do anywhere. Of course, the hotel tries to offer a swimming pool, hiking trails, and a tennis court, but all were in poor condition even before the infamous tornado hit. The indoor pool was frigid, with the hot tub looking like it was filled with mildew, and the hiking trails were extremely narrow with almost no markings whatsoever. As for the tennis courts, the fact that the nets were sagging, and the court itself was covered in grass, did it no favors. 1 out of 5 stars.
Even the nearby town of Goderich had few activities, being a primarily residential area. The only slightly notable points of interest were an old prison, a small theatre, and a beach. While the first two may provide some interest, the beach will almost certainly disappoint. It’s very small, and whenever it rains the beach is closed for several days due to fear of chemicals from the salt mines. 2 out of 5 stars.
To sum up, the Benmiller Inn, while initially an interesting place, isn’t a very good place to vacation. Yes, it does have a good restaurant, but that and a rustic feel are all it has going for it. There was nothing to do before the tornado, and I can only guess about how little there is for tourists now.
The Verdict: Maybe a good place to stay if on the road, but for a vacation, you should give this one a pass. 3 out of 5 stars.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Evan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 7, 2012

We took advantage of the "Stay Inn Love" promotion and booked an overnight stay, scoring a deluxe suite. Also included in the package was a generous credit in the dining room, a half-bottle of sparkling wine, a box of chocolates and a Sunday buffet brunch. It was so wonderful we hated to leave after only one day.

The inn and grounds are so peaceful and quiet that relaxation is assured. Our spacious room in Gled Hill House had plenty of comfy seating and a beautiful view out over the stream. Unfortunately, the grounds took a major hit with the tornado that stuck on Aug. 21, 2011, with many trees uprooted and knocked over like toothpicks. But it doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the surroundings.

We had a lovely dinner in the dining room. The chef utilizes top-quality ingredients. We enjoyed the freshest oyters and salmon, a risotto that was perfectly cooked, and a nice Canadian chardonnay that was reasonably priced. Afterwards, we relaxed in Jonathan's and listened to live music. The array at the Sunday brunch was amazing, and we couldn't possible try everything.

We look forward to visiting again in a different season to have a different experience.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MargueriteandJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 30, 2012

The Benmiller Inn and Spa is a gem. With a historic past it has transformed into a wonderful retreat with a superb restaurant. The food and service is fantastic. I would recommend this Inn to anyone looking for a great week-end away. Additionally, the music in the lounge was excellent.

Room Tip: Choose the third floor for less stairway noise.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LarryMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 30, 2012

I think the hype on this Inn and Spa exceeds the reality by a fair bit though the restaurant deserves 4-5 stars.
Admittedly a visit in winter probably doesn't play to the natural strengths of this site and the beauty of the river and surrounding forests. The facility is a group of historic buildings with all the charm you would expect but little of the upgraded infrastructure needed to make them really shine. Case in point...........our bathroom lighting was wired from the ground fault receptacle next to the sink which needed to be routinely reset to allow for lighting, not sure if this is legal, but at the least not a good engineering practice. Water in the shower was sketchy at best, clearly not pressure balanced which made moderating water temperature for my morning shower a challenge at the best. The room was nice and large,with a great bed and bedding though the rest of the fixtures were dated and worn. My overall impression was that they used a local "handyman" to maintain the sites vs professional tradespersons.
Dinner in the restaurant was great though our server was a bit "off". The breakfast buffet the next morning was stellar with a great variety of tasty treats making it a super way to start the day. I will return (perhaps not to stay over) to see the site during the summer/fall as I suspect the setting will be awesome and I liked the location of the restaurant patio overlooking the river.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonTawny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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