• Our room was beautiful and spotlessly clean, with a fantastic whirlpool tub in the bathroom.
• We got to meet our friendly neighbors in the room next to us
• Location is perfect for exploring the city with great access to subway and buses
• Wicker Park is a very neat area with lots of restaurants, shops, and people watching
• Breakfast was generally very good, and no one should leave feeling hungry (the chicken sausage one morning was nothing to rave about, but that was the only breakfast complaint)
• The communal breakfast table is a great way to meet fellow travelers
• Ample info about the city, its restaurants, and transportation are given in the email confirmation, when checking in, and in a giant binder in the room
• Hospitality is strange, lackluster, and a little condescending
I get the feeling that the owner has been running a bed and breakfast for a number of years, and I'm sure that she's seen all manner of impolite, thoughtless, and rude guests. The frustration of hosting this kind of guest comes through in almost all forms of communication with the owner. In the email confirmation, the following phrase occurs regarding breakfast... "Please note that we do NOT serve á la carte requests; we are not a diner with a short-order cook. We ask you to remember your manners and to keep your medical histories for your doctor visits - we only need a polite "Yes, please!" or "No, thank you!" when we announce the daily special." Wow, instructions on how to order breakfast! I'm not a third grader who needs lessons in manners. I felt that I was already being chastised about how I might order my breakfast.
When we arrived at 11am, just to drop off our bags and not intending at all to check in, we were not that warmly welcomed and were told that the previous guests of our room hadn't even checked out yet. I reiterated that we we not there to check in, only to drop off our bags. Then we were reminded that check-in was not until 2. I felt more like an intrusion than a guest. We were asked what time we thought we would like to come back to check-in and we chose 3pm. It was then stressed to us in a warning tone that we must be there at 3pm, so that someone would be able to meet us and take us to our room.
We had an 8pm flight on the day we checked out, so we were planning on leaving our bags at the B&B until we needed to head to the airport. When I asked if she could hold our bags until 5pm, she said that it would be fine, but we needed to be back by five so that she could arrange for someone to be there for us when we came to pick them up, and proceeded to tell us how busy she was going to be that day, and how she was down an employee. Again, I felt like an imposition, like I was adding another layer of hassle to her day. When we came back promptly at 5pm, we learned that our bags had been taken back to the room that we had just vacated.
It's not my intention to paint an unflattering picture of the owner/s. I have a feeling that they really intend to provide a great B&B experience, and in almost every way, they do. But a huge part of a B&B experience, and the reason most people choose a B&B over a hotel is because of the interaction with a friendly host. I just think the folks at The Two Urns need to rethink the delivery of their communication with their guests. It really affects the feeling of being welcomed.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 17, 2012
We are glad you liked your room and sorry we didn't live up to your hospitality expectations.
Report response as inappropriate
With our confirmation e-mail we did not mean to offend, but to clarify what breakfast is like at the Two Urns. Every B&B breakfast varies, some are self-serve continental any time of day, some formal, some family-style served at one seating. Many guests do not understand “Chef’s Choice” or that we plan our menus and prep for one specific entree daily based on a range of criteria that include GF, Vegan or nut allergies so we like to inform guests of what they can expect. However, we have taken your suggestion, as you were put-off by our request for simple niceties, and our new excerpt about breakfast is below:
“Breakfast is served from 7 am to 10 am daily. We offer an "Early Bird" breakfast bag-to-go if you need to leave before 7 am and a "Night Owl" basket left at your door after 10:30 am for late night folks. We try our best to accommodate guests with vegan, tree nuts, gluten free or diabetic restrictions, just let us know at check-in so we can plan our menus accordingly. Vegetarians are no problem as meat is always as a "side" to the entrée. Please note that we do NOT serve á la carte requests. You can always choose from our buffet with breads, yogurt, cereal, fruit, home-made granola and home-made jams if you don’t want the special for the day. You will have access to a guest kitchen if you need to prepare items to stay on your specialized diet when you are with us.”
We are also sorry about the inconveniences of the tight schedule for your check-in, check-out and the mix-up with your luggage. We had new staff in-training and regulars out sick so it was a bit rocky for us here. You happened to catch us on both of those ends. When we are not fully staffed on a busy day we often need to leave other tasks (like cleaning guestrooms for arriving guests) to be back to hear the doorbell. I often find that guests say one thing “Back at 4”, but show up on hour earlier or later thinking that it doesn’t matter when they show up and get mad when no one is here. When I need staff at other areas of the building I do need to be a little more structured and precise about scheduling the in and outs of guests for the day. I am sorry that this resulted in a less than stellar experience with us. My new housekeeper-in-training did mistakenly take all the luggage under the gift shop table to the room instead of the 4 pieces I had indicated to her. I do apologize for any delay that caused you in your scheduled departure that evening.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.