We recently had the pleasure to check out Shamrock Bay Resort courtesy of Great Blue Resorts and this was a great experience and a lovely way to start family traditions. As I write this all those sweet and lasting memories come up and I want to go back.
We stayed in a quaint 3 bedroom cottage just up the road from the main lodge and a short walk to the pools, playground and sports area. Shamrock Bay is about a 90 min drive from Toronto and located along the Trent Severn Waterway. Unfortunately, we got caught in a torrential downpour on the way which slowed the normally bad traffic to a virtual halt and it took us four hours to get there! Luckily the Welcome Centre was conveniently open until 8 pm to check us in. The only thing that made the 4-hour trip enjoyable was the beautiful Ford Edge Titanium we drove up in. What a comfortable and gorgeous vehicle with a stellar sound system. Caspar Babypants never sounded so good!
What I appreciated most about our cottage were the design and cleanliness. It was so pristine! Very up-to-date with absolutely no musty smell. We had rain for the first two days (Boo! To Mother Nature) but we explored our surroundings and drove into Gravenhurst. I’m not going to lie, we could have used cable and WIFI in our cottage but they are all privately owned at the Great Blue Resorts so it really depends on which cottage you rent. (My friend stayed there just before we did, and her cottage had satellite television). The Welcome Centre does have WiFi, and we were able to pick it up on our outside deck.
What to bring to the cottage:
Bring your own bedding! Even though there were some sheets and things there I prefer sleeping in mine. Bring toys, board games, DVD’s, towels and of course bring your groceries and cooking utensils if you prefer. There are excellent propane barbeques with all the units. It’s just nice to bring your own things even though the cottage comes equipped with most of what you need. Just up Graham Rd is a little eco-organic farm and I was able to get fresh, pastured organic eggs for just $5.50! Self-serve! There is also an area where you can use coin-operated machines to do your laundry.
Ownership at Great Blue Resorts
It’s actually a really great concept as you can buy a cottage at Shamrock Bay! Lots of new units are currently being built. I highly recommend this way of cottaging. You get all the resort perks too like Kids Klub, the saltwater pool and a really nice community feel. The deal though is when you buy you have the opportunity to rent it out through Great Blue Resorts and you receive half of your communal fees back! It makes sense if you are only there a few weekends a year. Great Blue Resorts takes care of everything and it takes only about 3 to 4 weeks to build from scratch!
Even when it comes to closing and opening for the season, Great Blue takes care of it. You can pick the location of your cottage, customize to get some simply stunning features like this granite counter. I love this kitchen. Prices start at $64,000 and go up and range from 1-3 bedrooms. This is my kind of cottage.
What did our cottage look like?
If you follow Everything Mom and Baby on Instagram I’ve shared a great many photos to help you get the feel of the location and what you can explore and do for fun within Muskoka. From indoor pics to poolside fun to chill out on the deck after nature’s sprinkle. My kids loved the bunk beds. I actually slept on the pulled out couch so I was just outside the kid’s room and I let my husband snore away in the master bedroom.
So what is there to do at Shamrock Bay Resort for the family?
Tons o’ stuff! Mom and Dad can take the kids to the main lodge and drop them off at 10 am for Kids Klub. The kids can make new friends with others cottaging at the resort, play, make crafts and be under the watchful eye of the Kids Klub leader (ours was a local teacher). It runs until 2 pm with a break at 12:30 for lunch. The leader took the kids to the beach to build sandcastles, then off to the playground and sports area. We relaxed by the pool while the kids played at Kids Klub and it was a nice time to reconnect and enjoy some r&r with hubby. There is a heated saltwater pool and a saltwater wading pool for the younger kids, a great playground, horseshoe pits, and an outdoor fenced-in sports area with a tennis court, basketball and soccer. You can sign out whatever equipment you’ll need from the Welcome Centre. and you can also hang out there for crafts and WiFi. Kayaks and canoes are easily available and you can book a ride on the pontoon and have a great tour of the Trent Severn waterway and go tubing onto Sparrow Lake. This was so much fun! Charlie was in heaven being pulled behind the boat and riding the waves! Did I mention the fire pit right outside every cottage where you can roast marshmallows to make S’more’s?!
While my husband and son played in the sports area, I relaxed on the deck with my girls and were able to watch them from where we sat. My son loved running over to the playground to see who was there and it was nice to call out his name when it was time to come home. Just like the old days.
On our last day we spent most of our time at the pool, drove into Gravenhurst to watch the Blue Jays and then we got back for 4 pm to get a ride on the pontoon. It was a beautiful boat and the kids and I had a blast, even my slightly boring husband too! Love you honey! As I mentioned, the tubing was fab!
Anything else to add about Shamrock Bay Resort?
I loved Shamrock Bay. It was just what we needed. I recommend it heartily. It was a beautiful and fun experience. My husband and I much prefer cottaging with the perks of a resort. I’ve never experienced that before. The staff was amazing and thank you to Justin for giving us a tour. I hope to come back next summer and explore other properties from Great Blue Resorts. I have to say I would have loved if it even more if the resort had a little restaurant/bar so I could take a break from cooking. Although the drive to either Gravenhurst or Orillia was only 15 to 20 minutes and there are food places along the highway. (Hello Webbers!) Even just a cute food truck would be nice to have set up there. I would love it if all cottages had WiFi and cable. On a rainy day or just relaxing after dinner turning on the TV is a nice way to wind down too. I do understand that TV isn’t really necessary, however! We loved the Boston Pizza patio in Gravenhurst and checked out the Farmers Market. It broke my heart as the twins waved bye-bye to Shamrock Bay. It really holds a special place in my heart for the kids.
We had a wonderful time reviewing Shamrock Bay, I hope it was equally enjoyable reading the review and seeing our pictures. If you are thinking of purchasing a cottage, please do yourself a favour and check out the perks of buying through Great Blue Resorts. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, I’ll be doing exactly that!
To visit Great Blue Resorts on social media you can find them on Instagram, Facebook , Youtube and Twitter and you can still book your vacation. Lodging is open til October.31 and prices vary upon location and duration. At Shamrock Bay it cost just a little over $1000.00.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Great Blue Resorts. Our vacation was gifted so we could write this review. Our opinions are never influenced.
Hello Summer! We welcome Summer Solstice with open arms. Summer in Winnipeg is simply beautiful…17 August, 2015