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Reviewed 12 March 2018

Pros and cons, I'll break down our winter getaway weekend. We booked the honeymoon package as we thought it was more clear than booking things separately online. The website needs a complete overhaul, I ended up just calling to seek clarification on what I was booking. We are both avid campers, including backwoods and our expectation going into our weekend at Cabot Shores is that it would be more of a "glamping" (glamorous-camping) experience.

The Location: Couldn't be more perfect. It is right on the Cabot Trail. About a 20-30min drive from beautiful scenery and many hiking/snowshoeing trails close by. We visited in the winter so a lot of local shops were closed, however they would all be open in the spring/summer/fall and great for showcasing local artisans.
I'm glad we decided to bring our truck, as the weather was messy and Cabot Shores driveway was very difficult to get through. I have no doubt my car would have gotten stuck. The property in and around the lodge was really quite beautiful. We snow shoed on and off the trails as well as along the water for hours. This was a highlight for us as it was one of the reason for going to Cape Breton. One recommendation however, would be to remove some of the old equipment and vehicles visible around the lodge and trails (also mentioned in a guest review this past August).

Yurt: Was clean, and the wood stove was so nice. Given the price, it was lacking design and quality, however. Our bed was very uncomfortable, and the style of furniture in the yurt included what looked like a variety of hand-me-downs. The lighting could've been much better given that the winter covering provided no natural light. It also would be advisable to tell guests to bring their own flashlights as these are not provided (again, given the price we expected this to be provided).
We used the hot tub that we rented multiple times per day, it was really lovely. A con about this is that we booked the Honeymoon Package which included the hot tub for one night and the infrared sauna for one night. We requested the hot tub for both nights and were charged an extra $40.00 even though we were not offered the sauna at all (no tour was given, no offer and no mention at all of it when we got there). Unfortunately due to a power outage (with no backup generator) that began early morning and ended around 2pm, we were unable to use our hot tub in the morning or after snow shoeing and were not compensated financially or given an apology for this.

The Food: We booked dinner for the two nights we stayed. Dinner was absolutely delicious! Ron and Nicole are extremely talented chefs. I eat mostly vegan at home and had the lamb because it sounded so good...and it was amazing! The highlight of our trip, along with snow shoeing. Local beer and wine selections which we were very happy about as avid craft beer drinkers.
Unfortunately with our package we didn't realize that what was included was 1 appetizer, two mains and 1 dessert. For the price we paid, it really feels like penny pinching that 2 appetizers and 2 desserts weren't included. Breakfast was not great, and we actually skipped it on the second day (though we were still charged for it). It is made by staff (not the Chefs) and is a basic continental breakfast. I suggest however bringing your own snacks and also a way to make coffee (kettle/French Press or equivalent) if you enjoy an afternoon java as this is not provided in the Yurt.

The Lodge: Again, there are some pros and cons. It is open 24/7 and does have WiFi for when you need to connect to the outside world. The wood stove in the lodge is beautiful and so cozy in the winter. We made friends with the resort dog Cosmo, who was super friendly. Tea and water are available anytime (no coffee however). The furniture is old and needs an upgrade. Especially the furniture in the Bistro. Nothing matches. The shower (only one) is located downstairs in the basement which was about 10 degrees. The basement also had a room with a pool table which we would have loved to use but it was way too cold to be down there in the middle of winter plus the room seemed to be used as a storage area as well and therefore not very inviting. The power went out when I was in the shower, with no window in the bathroom so it was completely pitch black. It would have been hospitable if a staff member knocked on the door and left a flashlight outside for me to retrieve.
It was also mentioned in our package that there would be daily meditation sessions. We both have a strong yoga and meditation practice so it would have been nice to have had this, however there was no mention of it when we got there.

The Staff: Memorable staff were definitely Ron (the chef and handy-man extraordinaire). He was willing to help us with anything we needed from serving us the meal he cooked to tightening our Yurt when the weather was calling for 100km winds to shovelling after the snow storm. Gen was also wonderful and very helpful, she was on the phone to NS Power as soon as the power outage occurred and offered an apology for it happening (power outages are no ones fault, but recognizing the effect it has on a guest experience is the responsibility of staff). Unfortunately we expected much more from the owners Barbara and Paul. Neither introduced themselves to us, the only reason we knew who they were was because we heard staff members talking to them and addressing them by name or when we heard them answer the phone.
It was our first time to Cape Breton and so we did not know the area or the trails, etc. It would be so helpful to have someone in charge of this area of guest services. Having a staff member to take guests out on a guided hike/snowshoe would be really nice. There are "community hikes" once per week but it happened to be cancelled when we were there. Some of the staff members mentioned they were going snowshoeing, however no one offered for us to come with them if we wanted (which we totally would have!).

Overall, it was really nice for us to get away. We both have very demanding jobs and really needed th time away in the great outdoors to recharge and reconnect. Unfortunately, Cabot Shores came up short and did not meet our expectations. We really hope Barbara, Paul and the Staff of Cabot Shores can take our review as constructive and use it to grow and improve to reach that standard of excellence in which it has the potential for.

Respectfully,

Brooke & Matt

Room Tip: Ask to have a Yurt that is private.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Brooke M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2018

Very organic experience. Very warm, cozy and great hospitality. Chef's preparations were excellent, would return again for Dinner with family. This was a winter outing, the Spring and Summer would be very beautiful - vast property situated along water front.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled on business
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank jeanmacdonald2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cabot S, Owner at Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2018

This is an active and delightful group that knows how to work hard and play hard. They enjoyed being introduced to meditation/qi gong, took some extensive walks exploring the property bordering Indian Brook and the Atlantic. And, as indicated, they loved the food, used the meeting space well and had some good conversations around our fire place and in the chalets.
We are doing more with leadership, team building as well as yoga and other retreats. In fact, we are building another event/retreat space so groups can have even greater privacy during all seasons.

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Reviewed 2 March 2018

Excellent facilities. Great host/hostess. Tailored to our needs. Food was awesome. Meditation, snowshoeing as well as other opportunities add to the experience. Isolated enough that little to no distractions during our sessions.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled on business
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank stewartwhynott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
drpaul_CabotShores, Owner at Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2018

We appreciate the kind words about being able to effectively run a business retreat--with great food, activities to break up and help to focus work sessions and enjoyable lodging. We really appreciate groups that take advantage of the wonderful nature connection available here and those willing to try meditation and qi gong even for the first time.

This particular group was a pleasure to have here, since they had clear purpose for the retreat, an environment where bonding became easy and of course the lack of distractions that helped to create positive results

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Reviewed 26 February 2018

The surroundings, the staff, the food and the music; all exceeded expectations. The service was particularly good, done with charm and attention to detail. We had a really lovely time at the Cabot Shores.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Footprints306415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
drpaul_CabotShores, Owner at Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2018

Thank you for coming to our annual Valentine's Getaway! we are glad you enjoyed yourself.

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Reviewed 4 February 2018 via mobile

If up Cape Briton way.....you gotta visit Cabot Shores! A seaside oasis of beauty and tranquility waits. The yurts are lovely and quite romantic with the glow of the wood stove and the wood fired hot tub at your door! There was absolutely no one else on the beach for miles......The lodge was fantastic, cozy, warm and very welcoming. The staff went out of their way to accommodate me, and I had two of the best meals EVER......their Seafood Chowder is TDF! Yes, there is surf. Treat yourself, and go!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled solo
Thank Hankssurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
drpaul_CabotShores, Owner at Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2018

thank you for your review. We are happy you enjoyed your stay and that you took the time to explore the winter beach! happy also that you got to relax and unwind and enjoy a meal in our bistro. We hope you come back during a different season.

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