There are so many things to love about the Blacksmith Inn, and just a few things that could use improvement.
This was tough for us because we eat a very low carb diet. We didn't give in to the pastries and baked goods, though they looked delicious. The goat milk yogurt was higher in carbs than we usually eat, but was very good and creamy. They did offer berries (low in carbs) on some days. We splurged on the homemade granola, which is delicious.
Start earlier. By 8 am, when breakfast began, we were eager to get out and start our day. If starting earlier isn't an option, then maybe offer a grab-and-go breakfast for those who want to leave and get the day started. 8 is very late. We found out after we got home that we could have requested breakfast the night before and kept it in our fridge. Maybe that needs to be something guests are told when they check in? We will do this next time.
Room and bathroom:
Our room in the Harbor House (larger, newer building) was gorgeous and very comfortable. A garden tub takes up a lot of space, but I did use the tub one evening after a very chilly and rainy day, and I can see how it would be especially useful during colder months. Our room included a view of the lake, a wardrobe with plenty of storage and supplies like binoculars, and a couple of chairs. The bathroom was rather small, and the shower was tiny. The shower stall was so small that I couldn't (without getting too personal) shave my legs or take a shower without getting my hair wet. We did like that one of us could shower and the other could use the sink at the same time. There was also a nice ledge around the sink where we could set our stuff. Based on our stays at B&Bs in the past, the bathroom was about what we expected. Baths in hotels are normally much larger.
Suggestion: One simply fix to the small shower would be to install a hand shower head that hangs so the person can take it down and spray his/her body without having to stand right underneath of it. We are not large people and each of us had to stand still in one spot and get wet hair whether we wanted it or not - I can't imagine a large person trying to use that shower.
Part of the appeal of a B&B is the whole area. The Blacksmith Inn has a nice yard, a reasonably sized parking lot, and a building full of bikes. The real draw, though, is the lake. There's a trail down to the water and a very nice dock with chairs. We went out on nice evenings and enjoyed a cup of coffee, and others went out in the mornings.
Suggestion: One aspect that was incredibly disappointing was the deck. The Harbor House is advertised as having roofed decks. It does have decks, but they are not solid like a roof. One day while we were there it rained a lot. We were so looking forward to returning from shopping to sit on our deck and have a glass of wine. But when we arrived, we quickly realized that the rain was pouring through the deck above us (which was our roof), and then through our deck to the one below. In other words, no one can use their decks when it rains. They are like a series of 2X4s and the rain comes right through the cracks. One solution might be to fill in between the slats of wood or to tarp the top deck. The deck on the main floor isn't covered at all, so all of us has to squeeze into the one-room lobby for breakfast the day it rained. It was very uncomfortable.
People who stay here don't tend to want to be bothered, which is a good thing, because the owners hardly talked to us. We didn't take offense. It seemed more like they wanted us to have a peaceful time. They answered questions when we asked and generally left us alone.
Suggestion: When we first checked in, the young man who was working was very unfriendly. (Andy, Adam, something like that?) My husband asked a few questions, and each time the man became more short with us, almost like he didn't want to be bothered. I did tell my husband privately that the man wasn't a concierge and he needed to stop asking so many questions. But we saw the same man in two different coffee shops over the course of the week and he looked us in the eye and wouldn't smile or say hello. We certainly weren't going to bother him on his time off, but a simple hello would have been nice. Weird. I guess my suggestion is to try to be just a bit more friendly.
Despite the criticisms and suggestions, this is truly a very nice place to stay. It's pricey, but it's worth it. Perhaps the best thing is that they do NOT allow kids! It was the most peaceful vacation we've had in years. We are empty nesters and do not tolerate kids well on vacation. The Blacksmith Inn was the perfect, quiet, peaceful getaway that we needed. We would definitely stay again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Awaken to the sound of waves lapping the shore. Linger over breakfast as the morning light glistens on the water. Kayak the harbor, bike to a lighthouse, stroll the village or just laze in your hammock. Fifteen deliciously private guest rooms each with in-room whirlpool, fireplace, private balcony, view of the harbor, satellite TV/DVD, ipod hook-up, wireless internet, complimentary use of bikes and kayaks and bottomless cookie jar. Romance & relaxation are yours in the heart of Door County. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Blacksmith Inn On The Shore Hotel Baileys Harbor
- Blacksmith Inn On The Shore Baileys Harbor, WI - Door County