chefseye on Trip Advisor
9 years ago
10/08/2012, 10:48 AM
Bring your own food and enjoy exquisite scenery!
The Stout's island Lodge could become (and maybe it was in its day) an exquisite destination weekend getaway, but first they have some problems to address. If I owned this hotel, I would invest in management to start to get things in order. Although some of the rooms and cabins are lovely, the overall appearance including on arrival is a run-down lodge that was probably in its peak about 20-30 years ago. Trash, unsafe structures, unfinished building materials throughout. It's sad because it could be lovely. The lodge has amazing features including hand-carved beamed ceilings and amazing views of Red Cedar Lake both north and south. Our room (3) was evidently designed to be reminiscent of the Victoria era, but it really didn't fit the lodge. The bathroom needed about $2-5000 of upgrading, or at least a $1000 for the bedroom and bathroom to be close to what should cost $200 per night. We had to unscrew exterior entrance light bulbs that were shining brightly through old plastic Venetian blinds, until we found the switch down the hallway from our room the next day. About the food. "Just okay" is a good description. Of the 2 lunches and 2 dinners, we had one very good course - the trout dinner and all the salads were good but $12.00 for a salad-plate portion of lettuce, a few slices of apples, nuts, and about a tablespoon of goat cheese? The $8.00 bowl of soup came with nothing, not even a garnish to offset a very think, heavy, dark tomato soup. I tasted like a tomato sauce I would use for making a marinara sauce. At no meals were there any salt or pepper shakers on the table. I asked for pepper, (and mistakenly didn't include salt in my request) - I got the pepper but no salt. I was told there was no bread in the kitchen to have with the soup so was given 3 packages of very very stall soda crackers. Uneatable. The bison burger my spouse had was much better. The 6 bagette slices of crostini with bruchetta cost $11.00 before tax and tip. We arrived at breakfast at 9:45 a.m. during the posted hours of 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.n. on Sunday morning, but the server in the dining room, acknowledging the time being 9:45 a.m. had cleared every bit of breakfast from the buffet (cold cereals, yogurt with aspartame, white and wheat bread to toast, processed peanut butter with sugar, jelly, butter, orange juice, milk, and coffee). She said she had to clear it to get set up for lunch. She asked what we wanted and put some hard boiled eggs and bread into a take-out container, and didn't offer any cups for tea or coffee. We used the glasses on the tables already set for lunch. When we arrived for lunch around noon there was one other table with guests. The croquet set, one of the posted activities, had been left out in the rain, including the previously soggy and now crunchy directions, and had only 6 of the 9 required wickets. Etc etc. I've never written such a long review, and I could go on. It's a beautiful facility that needs serious attention and investment to restore its grandeur. Overall, there was a sense that there is no overseeing management of this lodge nor were they in this lodge during our two-night stay. The bar attendant and the evening male servers provided top rate service.