My wife and I recently stayed at the Whispering Pines as part of a weekend winter escape and retreat we'd been planning for quite some time. I stumbled across the Whispering Pines through an internet search and booked the room via email with the proprietors. That said, here's a summary of our recent experience.
Room - We were told there are 11 in total. We stayed in the Rose Room, a cozy space with lots of atmosphere and rustic character. The room also came equipped with a king size bed, jacuzzi tub and separate bathroom. No television or in-room shower present (shower is down the hall), but it was just the kind of "getaway from it all" experience we were seeking.
Staff/Owners - Shirley and her husband were lovely hosts that truly made us feel relaxed and at home. The atmosphere in general could be characterized as very relaxed, warm and inviting as opposed to the "stuffy" feel of some B&Bs we've stayed at over the years. Very helpful and you can tell they truly take pride in their place and what they do.
Breakfast - Excellent hot breakfast that included eggs, pancakes, sausage, cereal, toast, juice and coffee. The owners truly know how to cook up a breakfast feast! Fruit lovers might be a little disappointed as we didn't seem to see any either of the two mornings we were there, but I wasn't bothered by this. Seating is in a lovely bright room that overlooks the grounds.
Location - For those seeking a lovely Lake Simcoe retreat, this quiet location offers alot of rest and relaxation, but located close enough to Lake Simcoe to walk the shoreline. There are a couple local restaurants (a Chinese restaurant, a pub, and a seafood/steakhouse place to name a few), but for those seeking a bigger selection may have to make the 15 minute drive to Keswick to find this. All in all, treat the Whispering Pines more as a smalltown escape rather than a resort with all the added conveniences, and you'll truly enjoy your experience staying there.
Other guests/variables - During the winter months, the Whispering Pines appears to be incredibly popular with the ice fishing community and as such, usually jam packed on a weekend with this type of clientele. This is something you may want to consider when planning to book your stay (you may want to book well in advance). That said, also keep in mind that the inn can get quite noisy in between 5am-6am in the morning as the fishermen gather there things and prepare for the day. Alot of them seem quite aloof to the fact that there are other guests staying there and carry on as they would with their noise (loud boots and chatter) as if it were the middle of the day. We found this a little disruptive for such an early time of the morning, but this is through no fault of the owners, moreso we just wished the fisher folk were a little more considerate to other guests. Also keep in mind that despite the large parking lot provided by the Inn, parking can get a little dicey when all the trucks roll in with their attached trailers and gear. Another thing to keep in mind is the fishermen tend to overrun the living room, so access to the main television and fireplace is very limited in the evenings, but completely yours during the day when they're out on the lake. All in all, however, this activity is naturally limited to the winter season, and I surmise the summer season hosts a completely different kind of guests.
The Bottom Line - The Whispering Pines Inn was generally a very positive experience on the whole. We departed feeling very well rested, relaxed and satisified with our stay. Granted, the price tag is a little steep, but when doing the comparables to other types of accommodation in the Jackson's Point area, you'll find that this place is reasonably priced given what is offered, the atmosphere it provides, and the overall quality of the experience. We do plan to return during the summer months to experience the natural beauty of Lake Simcoe. Four stars, and definitely worthy of them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Inn is a beautiful, historic home with approximately 4,000 square feet of living space, two walk-out porches, one from a second floor bedroom, and original maple floors. Many of the bedrooms have cedar ceilings. Situated on approximately one acre of land, this large property offers over 27 professionally designed gardens and two ponds stocked with goldfish, Japanese koi and local frogs for our guests to enjoy. Our suites are colorful, large, and welcoming, with king/king-singles, or queen beds, with ample sitting space for a relaxing read our as a base for adventure on Lake Simcoe.. Operated very much like an old English Country Inn, Whispering Pines provides its guests with a very comfortable atmosphere, where they are free to make themselves truly at home for the duration of their stay as the proprietors have their own private apartment. Hence, guests are encouraged to relax in the living area, light a fire, make themselves a cup of tea, and enjoy take out, BBQ, or a prepared meal in the dining room or outside in the gardens. Our main house rooms are beautifully decorated year round for romantic getaways for couples, and will also appeal to families visiting relatives and friends in the area; our low season price applies for the winter season. Also during the ice fishing season; Lake Simcoe is the ice fishing capital of Canada; we have a selection of rooms which we re-decorate for the comfort and convenience of our fishing guests. For those that would prefer the solitude of their own residence, we also have private cottages available. ... more less
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