We recently stayed at the inn over Easter (with a groupon). Our decision to buy the groupon was based on the great reviews and the package it included (wine-tasting tour, 4 hour bike rental, in-room breakfast). We arrived about half an hour earlier than the actual check-in time and were greeted a little 'grumpy' by the innkeeper. Nevertheless, we were pleased by the cute little room (Kensington) we entered shortly after (even though we later noticed huge spiderwebs on the ceiling, hairs in the sink and bathtub, mildew on the shower curtain, wall paper coming off the walls). The next morning we went down for breakfast as we wouldn't get it "delivered" to our room as advertised in the groupon, however, we didn't really mind as the room is too small to eat in there anyways, no table etc. But what we then got for breakfast was really disappointing... a tiny portion of regular scrambled eggs, accompanied by one (!!) slice of lukewarm bacon and 1 little biscuit! On a separate table, they had a bowl of fruit salad (almost empty by the time we got there which was 15min past 9am!!) and orange juice. We have been to many different B&Bs in the past and always thought that breakfast was excellent in those places and different to what you get in regular chain hotels. There is a bakery around the corner where you can get a great warm sandwich of your choice with a coffee for only $5!! In the afternoon, we went to 2 vineyards out of the three on the list they gave us for the 'tour', only to find out that the tasting was actually complimentary to the public anyways, so nothing that the inn actually planned or even paid for! We were not treated any differently than the other people at the vineyard. The second morning we wouldn't get breakfast served in our room either and didn't bother to go down to ask for it, as we knew we wouldn't get much anyways. However, we did mention our disappointment regarding the wine tour during check out but the inn keepers would really care. The overall atmosphere in the inn was very strange... It even felt as we were not welcome there and for the price we paid, even with the groupon, it is just not worth the money. Actually for this price you are better off in a nice 3 or 4 star chain hotel! You could tell that the house used to be nice in the past but now it's kind of moldy and not inviting at all, at least not to us! Oh, and the complimentary port wine they advertised turned out to be a left over drop in a huge (empty) bottle, we didn't even care to try! The location however is excellent (right in the center of Exeter) and they do have complimentary coffee and tea during the day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
11 April 2012
Thank you for taking time to post a review.
Report response as inappropriate
Trip Advisor is very important not only to travelers as a way to help them make decisions as to how to spend their hard earned money, but also to businesses to hear feedback from guests and to have the opportunity to respond to the feedback, both positive and negative.
I would like to take this opportunity to respond.
I will respond in order:
Our check in time is 4:00pm, this timing is set so that we have time to clean rooms and do errands for the inn between 11am (checkout) and 4pm (checkin). When you arrived early, I advised that I would check to see if the room was ready, while you moved your vehicle from the from the front of the building to our back parking lot. I did a complete check of the room. I can assure you that Jim and I personally clean every room. We clean every bathroom from top to bottom and dust, vacuum and clean the bedrooms. Jim and I are frequent travelers ourselves and know how we view rooms when we enter them at other establishments and we take pride that our rooms are spotless. Not only did we clean that room that morning, but as I state, I personally re-checked that room upon your arrival to make sure nothing was overlooked.
Per the Groupon offer, breakfast is included both morning, and one morning of choice, guests can have breakfast delivered to their room (normally a $35 charge). Since most guests prefer to eat both meals in our dining room, we leave it up to the guests to mention which morning they would like breakfast delivered to their room, you did not request this service. We also at check-in take our guests for a tour of the inn while taking them to their room and advise that breakfast is served at 8:30am on weekdays and 9:00am on weekends. We explain that we do not have a commercial kitchen where we can keep dishes hot, so we do serve promptly at the times stated. When we notice that we have guests that have not arrived down to breakfast we do place their meals in a heated oven to keep them as fresh and warm as possible and serve them when they arrive in the dining room. As you state you arrived to the dining room 15 minutes past our serving time. We do have fresh fruit and 3 different fruit juice choices available for guests to self-serve, as well as coffee and tea available and we replenish as quantities decrease.
The Groupon offer did include tours, tastings and gifts or discounts at 3 local vineyards. Yes, tastings at each vineyard is complimentary but tours, gifts and discounts are not and that is the value that is included in the Groupon pricing. It is up to our guests to let each vineyard know that they are guests of the Inn by the Bandstand so that they are treated to the 'extras' that are included in the offer. If our guests do not mention the Inn to the vineyard, then the vineyard won't be able to make the accommodations.
Each room has a decantor with a small amount of port and two small port glasses. The complimentary port is enough for each guest to have a 'nightcap'. It is not our intention to supply enough port for anyone to over-indulge.
This is a 200 year old building which is listed on the national historic registry. While this is attractive to many folks who appreciate the charm and historic value, we can understand that some people perfer more mordern facilities.
Thank you for your compiments on your complimentary coffee/tea bar, we offer this service for our guest to have 24 hour access to these accommodations.
Yes, we are blessed to be very centrally located in the center of Exeter and close to not only the vineyards but to Hampton Beach (8 miles), Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME (20 mins) but antique shopping, local breweries, whale watches, kayaking, golfing etc...
Again, thank you for taking time out of your day to write a review. I hope you find our responses answer your comments and/or concerns.
Sincerely, Kate Lane, Innkeeper
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC