Manning Park Rersort – A Review of Sorts

Manning Park Resort has been under new ownership for about 4 months and to be fair they inherited some major maintenance issues and no one can expect those all to be addressed in the short summer in the mountains.  We stayed at  the Resort for 2 days this week during that time the weather was lousy but that’s not the resort’s problem.  Or is it, because there isn’t much to do on a rainy day in the mountains.

All the staff we encountered were polite, friendly and helpful.   That’s a big plus, as the staff is the front line deference against a disgruntled clientele.   Sometimes you can stay in a very shabby place but love it because the owner/staff are exceptional.   Hopefully they will continue in the direction they are going.

When we walked into the room it looked good and the layout of the towels and soap etc in the bathroom were well thought out.  The room was standard for the industry nothing extra or special.  Fridge, coffee, microwave, TV, phone all included.  Things that weren’t up to par were the missing screen on the window, the black drip onto the floor from the bathroom sink and the old rubber plug for the sink.   Did I mention the carpet was stained and dirty.  Those are inherited problems and hopefully will be addressed soon.

Inject that needle sliding across a record sound here.  I should mention that the way I earned a living before going back to Photography full time was in the food and beverage industry for 35 years.  I was a food and beverage manager and executive chef at some very highly rated restaurants and resort and boutique hotels.  I may notice things that others wouldn’t but many would notice some items.

The first thing I thought was strange and out of the norm was the 4:00PM check in time.  That’s absurd and not an industry standard.  Then they expect you out again at 11:00am that’s a short stay.  That gives them 5 hours to make up the rooms more than most chambermaids get. When I checked in the fellow on the desk was frantically looking for a key to give us.  Dumping huge bags of keys on the counter and sorting through them.  Apparently the previous guests didn’t leave them.  That’s not reassuring for a commercial photographer who carts around thousands of dollars worth of equipment.  Modern hotels have card-locks not keys.

I checked my phone and found they had WiFi I connected it and then a while later I couldn’t download my mail.  Told me to go to the desk for the code which I did.  Seems they want you to pay $3 a day per unit to use the WiFi so my laptop, tablet and 2 phones would cost me $12 a day.  WTF – McDonald’s and A&W have free Wifi – everyone has free Wifi except here.   AND there is no cell coverage either.  Add $5 to the room charge and give the clientele free Wifi.  I was told I could use their free customer computer for 15 minutes, Ya right thanks.  They give you 15 minutes a day free Wifi, captive audience bend over.   That’s like a drug dealer giving you a free sample to get you hooked.

On Tuesday, our stay-over day we went out in the morning at around 9:00am and hung the “Make up Room”  sign on the door.  We were out until after lunch when it started to pour rain again and we returned to our room to relax.  Five hours plus after we left the room wasn’t made up for a stay-over.  In fact there wasn’t even a chambermaid on our floor.   Finally after sitting on an unmade bed for almost hour she arrived.  I told her we would leave so she could work.   Our room was made over by 3:30 and looked like the chambermaid was rushed to finish.  It should have looked exactly like it did when we checked in and it didn’t.   That’s unacceptable in any establishment especially one that’s pushing a high end line.

We ate at the Pinewoods restaurant two nights.   Sit down for this one….  It wasn’t all that bad I’m playing with you.  We had the same waiter both nights – nice guy, efficient and friendly.  There when you needed him gone when you don’t exactly how it should be.  4 stars on that one.  The food was decent although bland.  The first night my wife and son both had the jumbo hotdog – it was a hot dog how can you screw that up other than the plate could have used some color because it looked very brown.  I had the Beef Dip au Jus –  Well it turned out to be a Philly Cheese Steak with thick brown  gravy from a can.  I like that anyway so I was fine but it too looked brown.  There is no artistic flair on the plate and there should be at the prices they were charging.  The second night we had a Cheese burger, a Chicken burger and chicken fingers.  Still all brown.  The portions however were huge.  If I could make a couple suggestions – A children’s menu as a lot of the people were commenting about it’s lack and to open face the burgers and other things to make them look more like  restaurant than logging camp food.    When we were going into the dining room on Monday night the people in front of us said, ” the specials are the same as on the weekend”.  When we left on Wednesday afternoon the Specials were the same as on the weekend as well.  Gordon Ramsay, were are you?

Things that make you want to come back;

-the scenery, wildlife and the location.

– nice lodge and restaurant buildings

– friendly staff


Things that make you want to drive on by;

– No TV remotes in the rooms ( luckily I had an 8 year old).

– the broken hot tubs, both of them, and uncleaned pool with bobby pins on bottom.

– the cheap gas station TP that made you wish you brought your Sears catalog for comfort.

– the lack of TV stations (there are about 3 you can actually watch) although YTV was crystal clear.

– the lack of a children’s Menu in restaurant and the week long specials.

– poor very overpriced groceries in the store, that may change, and didn’t affect us.

– lack of free Wifi, I wasn’t the only one that noticed this, and no cell coverage.

– Everything looked old and cobbled together but they have nice shiny new trucks.

We’ll go back as long as the price remains the same as it is now but if they boost it like it was in May to the cost of a very good resort hotel, we’ll pass.   If you are going to stay in Manning Park then give them a try it’s definitely the best place in town.





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