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“Disappointing: Not what you pay for” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ben Maddox House

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Ben Maddox House
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   601 N. Encina St., Visalia, CA 93291   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Visalia B&B and Inns
Riverside, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Disappointing: Not what you pay for”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

I was very much looking forward to a stay at Ben Maddox because of the historical value of a home built in 1876. It was also my very first B&B experience and I was thrilled to finally try it.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the Innkeeper Lucy and brought a bottle of wine (I was thrilled). She said she would give us time to settle in and then be back to discuss our time there.
Then she disappeared...and we didn’t know how or where to find her.
We waited and waited...and during the wait my roommate noticed the room needed dusting, floor needed cleaning and the windows made it seem like it was foggy outside. (This was disappointing for us because we loved the yard and wanted to look out from the beautiful view of the Rose Room we were staying in).
The tone for the entire stay seemed to be set and it was hard for us to remain optimistic. I hate being a “Debbie Downer” and would love to be signing praise right now…but that’s not the case this time. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:
Greeted with Wine.
Breakfast was GREAT. Presentation and service at meal time is excellent.
Food was also tasty.
Picnic lunch was a great idea and very enjoyable.
Front yard is beautifully landscaped and well kept.
The innkeeper did agree to make arrangements to serve us breakfast earlier on Sunday than they usually allow.
The house itself is a beautiful relic of history. I loved the 1876 style. Decorated beautifully.
Central air conditioning and ceiling fan keep us cool.

Cons:
The pool was filthy (complete with floating pool vacuum, leaves, bugs, and dirt on the pool floor).
The lawn furniture cushions were so dirty, they were un-usable.
We couldn’t find service or staff when we needed them. We didn't know where to find the innkeeper.
We arrived around 4 or 430pm and didn't get "checked in" until almost 9pm.
We did not receive all that we paid for through our Living Social package. Nor was it ever clearly gone over with us on how it would work once we arrived.
Dog barking across the street.
Our room was not cleaned/made up upon our return. We were given apologies and excuses but no recompense of any kind was offered for this unacceptable action in the hospitably industry.
Neighbors played room-rattling music until midnight.
Peace and rest was evasive (seemed to counter the purpose of a B&B).
Have to park in street…sprinklers will wash your car for you.
Huge cracks in bathroom ceiling. Cobb webs in windows.
Back yard and patio seating not kept or inviting.
Communication was vague and poor and last minute.

Overall, experience was disappointing. I feel like it used to be something great but is on a decline. The potential is still there. I believe the Innkeeper wants to do the best she can but may not be able to or lacks the staff or funds she needs. Although I understand stuff happens, I also felt the innkeeper could have made it right with a little effort and showed a little more compassion, eagerness to rectify it and could have offered recompense of ANY kind. But I have to be honest and rate it "poor" as it relates to the value we expected for the price: Overall, not worth the $200 a night.

Room Tip: We paid $80 more of the Rose room which isn’t that much bigger or different in quality than the othe...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    10
    3
    5
    3
See reviews for
8
22
2
8
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

The upstairs bedroom was HORRIBLE. Nice living room though

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for an overnight stop on the way to Yosemite. We had picked the Ben Maddox House based on positive reviews and attractive photos, so the reality was disappointing. I can only assume that other visitors were charmed by Lucy and so turned a blind eye to the actual state of the B&B. First of all it was dirty. Secondly it was very old and run down, cracked basin and toilet, windows that didn't open properly etc. Definitely a property that was past its historical best - a real shame.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

On our honeymoon and from the UK, this was a real lucky choice. The house was full of history, antiques and oodles of charm. Lucy the host was also full of charm, Irish charm that is, her warmth pervaded the whole house and she treated us to Champagne , strawberries in chocolate, lovely wines and the most incredible breakfasts.
Definitely a couple of nights we'll never forget, well recommended,

Room Tip: clean and very comfortable
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

We were given a two-night stay at the Ben Maddox House as a Anniversary gift (won out over a Mendicino package). The trip included:

Two nights in the patio room (which was unavailable due to air-conditioning issues), A bottle of wine, A dining Certificate (was $50!!) for Cafe 255, a picnic lunch to take to the park, and two mini facials or pedis and of course two breakfasts.

What we got:
Two nights in perfectly air conditioned Anna Mills House. Although it wasn't the most "romantic" room, it was very private and COOL. It's hot in the summers, don't let anyone tell you otherwise...And, one note about the room, the "shower" was a claw-foot tub. Kind of a hurdle to get in and out of.

Beautifully made breakfasts made with love. Lucy loves to feed you. Fresh berries, OJ, Coffee, Toast and I had a vegetarian quiche, and veggie frittata, while my husband had a big plate of bacon, sausages and eggs cooked to order and blueberry french toast which was beautiful and delicious.

The picnic lunch. Second best part of the package. LOVED the Park...stunning. We did a lot of hiking and just on the way out we opened our beautiful picnic with frozen waters, a natural soda, and Vegetarian Wraps that were soooo perfect in the warm afternoon. Delicious. And, can't forget the four home-baked cookies, the fruit, and some trail mix. I'm smiling as I write this.

Note about the pool... It was FINE. It's old, and there are trees all around which makes it shady it's temperature was perfect. I would swim in that over ANY pool attached to hotels with young families and diapers and...well, you get the picture... We took Lucy's word on it's care, and dove in both days and cooled off. It was perfect, private and lovely.

Bottle of wine was a decent selection.

Then...THEN, I asked Diane, the In House Massage Therapist and Esthetician/Seriously Spoiled Specialist, seriously de-stressed me with a bliss-full massage that I just sauntered into from my room on the last morning. She graciously worked a deal for me to get my husband out of his pedi and I was able to combine the two. Diane is a sweetheart, and listened to my needs and was professional, I can't say enough about her. She's a gem.

So, that was our trip in a nutshell. Would we go back?? Absolutely! No question. Hey, this place isn't perfect and not without little oops here and there, but Lucy is a diamond, always smiling, cheerful and wanting to please. The park IS a National Treasure. Go see it, and stay with Lucy, let her feed you and relax!! Life isn't always perfect, but when people are as kind as Lucy and her team, you will forget it all and feel special.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

Purchased a B&B package through living social. Were very excited to stay here based on lovely pictures and amenities listed. Once we arrived we were instructed that we would not be staying in the house, but in a cottage on the grounds. The Inn keeper/owner did not have a key for us...we waited for quite some time..hours. Thought we would swim in the pool while waiting. It was horribly dirty...bugs and leaves coating the top, the cement around was dirty and the lounge chairs were filthy with layers of dirty and mold. Were told it was impossible to keep clean. Once in our room, we noticed the linens smelled bad...like someone else had stayed there. We couldn't find Lucy to get them changed. We were given two towells..and the bathroom was not very clean. Couldn't lock our bedroom door, and kitchen in the cottage had no way to make coffee or drink anything. There was a fridge for us to put our own drinks in. Very hot, over 100 degrees and air was not working. A very uncomfortable night. Lucy (owner) was never around, the main house was always locked or completely dark. No access to beverages etc. Couldn't get in for breakfast because doors were locked...guests that stay in the house were fine, not the cottage guests. ...what is a B&B without morning coffee? We left that day. Lucy wouldn't refund for the day, stated we still owed her 20% gratuity and 10% sales tax. She has run these deals on living social, dealbase, groupon, virtual tourist etc. She is making a ton of money but not putting it in to the house. The pain is chipping, rotting steps, dirty bathrooms and even our bed linens were not fresh. I can't speak for the rooms in the main house but we did not have a good experience. Saved our money for this vacation and was extremely disappointed. Living social will not answer calls...calls drop to busy signal. Had to file a claim wth CC company.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011

Hubby and I needed a change of scenery and Groupon had a two-night deal for the Ben Maddox B&B, only about 2 hours from our home. We've stayed in several B&B's in Texas, New York and California and have had good experiences. We reserved the Ben Maddox Room, the only one with a king-size bed and arrived in the late afternoon on a Thursday. Lucy greeted us with a bottle of wine and made us feel at home. Our room was being cleaned, so we chatted for a bit. Lucy has great family stories and is interested in yours, as well. Ben Maddox is close to great downtown restaurants, so we walked to dinner. Afterward we relaxed in our room and drank the wine, which was very good. I thought the bed looked lumpy, but, apparently it was a feather bed, and we slept very well. We each bathed in the lovely deep tub, but discovered the bathroom floor to be very dirty. It was hard to tell until I used a towel to dry up some dripped water. I'm not a perfectionist, but it needed cleaning! Also, there were no facial tissues or other toiletries. One last negative - the room wasn't very well lit or have an alarm clock. We did enjoy the two gliding rockers, though. Lucy's breakfast are fantastic and she was very helpful, making a dinner reservation for us, offering to buy a razor and loaning us walking sticks. So, I'm really torn on how to rate or whether to recommend our experience. Let's just say that most of my friends would be turned off by the lack of cleanliness.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ben Maddox House

Address: 601 N. Encina St., Visalia, CA 93291
Location: United States > California > Visalia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Visalia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Ben Maddox House 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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Also Known As:
Ben Maddox House Hotel Visalia

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