We’ve stayed at The Little Inn many times over the years, in every room/suite category. Last week we chose to stay for just one night since we had an event to attend nearby. We would have extended it to a two-night stay, but as it was mid-week their restaurant was not open, so we decided to save a longer visit for when they are fully operational.
Lots has changed since our last stay.
Obviously, due to COVID-19, the hospitality industry at large has had to make significant changes. For The Little Inn, that meant arriving to an empty front desk and picking up an envelope with our room key and a brochure about what is and is not available. The wifi password in the brochure is inaccurate, but I noticed a different one posted at the front desk as we were leaving for dinner.
Our Select Suite (#12) was small compared to other suites we’ve stayed in, but the bathroom (with awkward, not totally private bifold doors) appeared to have been recently renovated. All throw pillows, glassware, literature, etc. had been removed. I called the front desk to request a bucket of ice and wine glasses, and they were provided, but unfortunately it wasn’t until later when we realized there were no bathrobes in the room, and by that time there was no one on duty from whom to request them. Also, they no longer offer L’Occitane toiletries; these have been replaced with generic motel-quality “Esa” products. There as only one small bar of soap for the sink (nothing for the tub). There were no tissues/Kleenex provided either.
The room was too cold, but we were unable to adjust the temperature, and both windows were painted shut. I had to stand on a chair to close the vent on one of the ceiling outlets, which helped a bit. (And there are lots of cracks in the ceiling that need some attention.)
Since the restaurant was closed, there was no room service. The Black Dog down the street was open, so we were able to have a very good dinner there before heading out to our event. Before turning in for the night, we submitted our choices from a very limited continental breakfast menu, which we could have served on the veranda or in the dining room. I had to go down to the front desk and look for a pen with which to fill out the breakfast menu requests; not seeing one, I went out to my car and got one from the glove compartment. There's no reason why they can't provide a disposable golf pencil, or just sterilize pens in between guests.
The breakfast was disappointing. The house made granola was good, but the yogurt and jams were generic packaged brands, the fruit cup was a few pieces of chopped melon, and the croissant and blueberry muffin were small and uninspired. No fresh juices were offered, and there is no opportunity to request additional coffee—or anything else.
The Little Inn is still a charming hotel in a charming village, but we did not feel our experience merited the $319 room rate. Given the cutbacks and limited services, the rate structure needs to be reconsidered; it’s no longer a 4-star/4-Diamond experience.