**My Standard Disclaimer: I am not a snob who demands everything be five-star all of the time. I am not a cheapskate who refuses to pay for anything decent and then complains about the quality of the service and facilities. I am an ordinary person who only asks that my room is clean and the service and amenities offered by the hotel are consistent with the cost. I write my impressions of my stay and the value of it.**
Minerals has a lot going for it. I have stayed there several times and have had some nice visits, but there are some problems with it.
The location is beautiful. One would think that a resort as overdeveloped as Crystal Springs would be ruined by the constant construction of new condos and developments, but the view of the mountains remain surprisingly intact and unobstructed.
Pool and gym are great. It's one of the biggest hotel gyms I have ever seen and also the biggest indoor pool. Granted, it's almost always filled with kids, but if you're a morning lap swimmer, you will find space to really swim. Just don't go late at night when the kids come out in full force.
Also, don't think that there are actually "7" pools. There is one large indoor pool. There is one large outdoor pool (and it's FREEZING COLD). The indoor pool has a cool cave with a waterfall and another waterfall that falls into a small pool below it. The outdoor pool has a cliff jump. There is also a long, skinny pool behind the main outdoor pool. I'm not sure what its purpose was (lap pool?) but guests' room decks look right out onto it from a few feet away, so no one swims in it because they would feel too self-conscious. The other "pools" consist of two jacuzzis (indoors) and the "catch pool" mentioned earlier for the waterfall in the indoor pool. There is also a tiny, very cold plunge pool that I assume is meant for people using the sauna. It's about 3' in diameter, so I'm not sure how it qualifies as a pool.
Most of the restaurants at the resorts are at Grand Cascades and not at Minerals. Minerals is home to a juice bar and Kites. I have only ever had breakfast at Kites. The buffet is adequate (unchanging selection scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, standard breakfast breads, cold cereal, fuirt, and standard breakfast pastries) and included in the buffet price are eggs and omlets cooked to order and fresh waffles. Service is not great. I was there this past weekend and while the restaurant wasn't close to full, the staff was just scattered everywhere. It took a few minutes for us to be seated. Once we were seated, we never had a server come and take coffee or juice orders or fill water glasses. We got our food from the buffet. Someone came over and asked if anyone had visited our table yet. We said no and then our water glasses were filled. We knew we weren't getting juice or coffee. We finally just flagged down our server and asked for the bill. She was nice enough to comp our breakfast and bring us some OJ, and we appreciated that they made the effort to remedy that. However, we opted to eat breakfast elsewhere the rest of the weekend. Diners can save money and headaches by going to the Vernon Diner, the George Inn, or Granny's Pancake House. If those are too crowded, you can drive a little farther down Route 23 to the Sussex Queen diner or the Double S Diner.
The hotel is not a shining example of construction. If you're familiar with the Crystal Springs area, you will see just how quickly buildings go up on the resort. I don't think Minerals is much of an exception. Walls are thin and so are floors. Just walking in front of my TV armoire would make the doors swing open. You can hear the hollow sound of your footsteps banging on the floor. During our last stay, we requested a room change as soon as we checked in as we clearly heard a screaming baby in the room next door.
The worst was the evening. We were there for Labor Day and there was entertainment at the Tiki Bar. My husband and I had both spent very long days outside on Saturday and Sunday and were looking forward to a good night's rest. That was not to be. Saturday night there was this awful band that the Tiki Bar. It was so loud you could hear it all over the resort. Remember what I said about the shoddy construction? NO SOUNDPROOFING! Although the band only played till 11, it was so loud that no one could go to bed any earlier. I was forced to listen to this terrible band I couldn't even read. It got under my skin just that much. The next night there was a DJ. Again, I had had a long day and just wanted to relax in my room, but I was forced to hear this loud loud music. It got so hard to sit and relax that I ended up taking my pillows into the bathroom and shutting the door just for some quiet. My husband called the front desk and asked if anything could be done. They had no solution other than to transfer him to the Tiki Bar, but they weren't picking up the phone. Finally, he actually got dressed and went out there himself. He saw FIVE people sitting at that bar. The DJ was blasting this music ot FIVE people and making everyone else at the resort hear it. To their credit, they did get the DJ to stop playing (although I didn't want him to stop, just stop blasting it to everyone in the hotel).
This was the first time I ever spent an extended weekend at this hotel. Most of the time I am only stopping there for one night. It is fine for a night. You will get a comfortable room, a swim, a workout, and a nice view. I'm not sure I will have any more extended trips here again. I will certainly avoid any "party weekends" like Labor Day.