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“Maybe The Worst B&B Experience Ever” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ben Maddox House

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Ben Maddox House
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601 N. Encina St., Visalia, CA 93291   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Visalia B&B and Inns
Lake Tahoe
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Maybe The Worst B&B Experience Ever”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

We travel quite extensively and always prefer to stay out of hotels if at all possible. B and B's have always been quite the treat, usually worth the increased rate...not this time. We booked directly with the B and B, paid $180 a night. It's in a great location, walking distance to downtown. We arrived and the Innkeeper previously mentioned is no longer there, instead, the Innkeepers are two quite burly looking men. They were nice enough. The owner is absentee, the property dangerously unkept. There was no wine on arrival, we were just shuffled to our room. We stayed in the "Rose Room" and noticed the bathroom rug was wet, we paid no attention as we had a meeting to attend that we needed to rush to. This weekend was one of an unusual storm, epic rainfall. We returned to our room only to find the bathroom ceiling literally caving in from a leaking roof. The floor was soaked. We got towels and buckets to catch the rain. Unfortunately, the leak was right in from of the sink so we had to do a daring side reach to brush our teeth or get rained on by stinky brown water. We asked to be moved to another room, and the innkeepers said, "Sorry, we're booked." I said that we should be moved to a hotel or something, and they didn't respond at all. He just shrugged. So we stayed in our room that night and the heat didn't work. It got down to 43 degrees outside with this crazy storm, it was cold. The guys made breakfast, but it was burned to the bottom of the plate. We read the reviews before staying, and didn't heed the warning. Do yourself a favor and please do.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the Rose Room
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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
Rialto, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

The home was quaint, however the floors were so squeaky! got up to use the restroom and was worried I woke up the whole house. Could not figure out how to use the TV in the room. After no success there, then tried to get on my laptop to do some surfing and no success logging in! needed a password...hello was I too wander around the home looking for the innkeepers room??? Went out to the pool since it was a warm evening.... very neglected pool area!

Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, California
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011 via mobile

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.
London,UK
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
43 helpful votes 43 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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 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
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 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.
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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): $
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Ben Maddox House Hotel Visalia

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