My husband and I spent two nights in the Harborview Suite as part of a week long holiday in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. There were some amazing experiences on this trip, but our stay at Cliffside was not one to fill us with wonder and delight.
The view is exactly as advertised - absolutely stunning. The property is very attractive with beautiful landscaping around the entrance and a gorgeous overlook of the town of Alma and the Bay of Fundy. But if you take away the view (which the fog did for one full day), the hospitality is lacking.
Firstly, there was the trick of finding the place. No two signs were the same, so there wasn't anything consistent to look for as we made our way up the steep hillside to the inn. Several turns are not marked at all, and we took every bad turn possible before finally locating the destination. There was never a confirmation email with directions after we booked our room, and I had the sense that we were intruding on our hosts. Once we knew where we were going, we still missed the turn because the entry to the suites is poorly marked.
We arrived to discover that the town of Alma was on a boil notice, meaning that water had to be boiled in order to be fit for consumption. I realize that this was beyond the control of the owners, but it would have been nice to have been notified prior to our arrival (it had been in effect for nearly a month) and provided with bottled water for making coffee/tea and brushing teeth.
Check-in was less than stellar. The wife greeted me at the door, took my information, and told me where to park. She did not ask if we had any questions, did not offer any information about the local area, and did not give any details about the property. Had there been a comprehensive booklet of some sort in the room, this might have been appropriate, but the information provided in the room was scattered, poorly organized, and incomplete. There were some older restaurant menus, but no indication of where these places were located relative to the suites. Phone numbers did not include an area code (necessary for dialing from a cell phone), there was frequently no address listed, and the house phone never once worked for us during our stay. There were three remote controls for the television, satellite, and DVD player, but there was once again a lack of instruction or comprehensive written directions to make it possible to use these. The book in the room listed only a few of the available channels on the satellite, making it an exercise in frustration and futility to attempt to watch a program.
This particular suite is at the end of the building and has the least direct view of the Bay. There was a lovely porch off of the room, but in order to get access to it (because it was locked out of hallway that connects with the owners' home) one must go out into the rain before ducking back under cover.
The fact that the suites include a kitchenette leads one to believe that this is a place that you might want to hang your hat for several nights, but there was a real lack of places to put that hat away. The addition of one chest of drawers would do wonders for making it possible to settle in and feel at home, rather than pile up bags and belongings and need to step over everything to get to a chair.
I suppose I should be grateful that the small touches were not part of the package, because it might have resulted in a heftier cost for the suite. Value for the dollar, this is a great find. The view is absolutely priceless, and made up for many of the other bits. But I don't get the impression that running an inn is a labor of love for these two, it seems more of a business venture.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC