My wife and I found out about Inn On The Lake via the Mr and Mrs Smith web site initially and before booking directly with the venue a last minute NINE days holiday I telephoned the Inn to reserve our room for one hour on 22/07/13 whilst securing flights. The call was answered by Pamela van der Schaar - the joint owner. As she is British we felt at ease booking and she very kindly reserved our room and in passing I enquired whether the Inn had sun loungers. Pamela kindly informed me that these would be available. She did not mention that both her and her husband would be in the UK during the entire course of our holiday. She was surprised at the length of our stay as most guests stay for much shorter periods apparently. We booked the Black & White Room for our entire stay at a not insignificant 189 Euros per night. I sent Pamela a confirmation email separate to our on-line booking and stated that we would probably book meals for most of the nine evenings if that was possible. We received a reply stating that we would be met at the airport by a lady named 'M' (name withheld by me) and that 'M' would expect us for dinner that evening. There was no explanation as to whom 'M' was but we subsequently identified that she was a Dutch friend of the owners and "helps them out". We arrived and was warmly met by 'M' who prepared a great meal. We learnt that Pamela and her husband were in the UK for a number of weeks. Fabulous Lakeside location exactly as described on the internet. Also assisting was another Dutch lady named 'B' (name withheld by me). 'B' is the cleaner and assisted 'M' in the running of the Inn. We were told of restaurants where to dine as Dinner would not be provided on night 2. 'B' cooked meals on two further evenings but informed us that she had never cooked an evening meal for guests before! During the course of our stay we were only allowed to have evening meals on three out of nine evenings. This is not what we had expected based on the web site information and the Information Sheet in the room and the Inn's colour brochure. The Inn is promoted for its culinary delights and Private Dining / Pampering / Boutique Hotel / High Teas / Table d'Hote / Dutch, French & English cooking with changing menu with fresh seasonal products daily. Sadly, when owners of such an apparently 5 star Inn abandon their business to go abroad (for whatever reason) and leave the running of the venue in the hands of a friend or part time cleaner (who was assisted by her 14 year old daughter for most of the time) then it is inevitable that the service provided will suffer. We booked a boat trip on the Inn's boat at the time of our initial booking. After making a number of enquiries as to when we could take this trip we were subjected to delaying tactics as it became ever more evident that 'M' found this an inconvenience. Eventually we secured this trip on the penultimate day. Captain was 'M' and 1st officer was 'B'. No sooner had we left the Lake into the adjoining canal the instrumentation showed a warning light and the engine made a unhealthy noise. 'M' did not know what the warning was and without the boats' instruction manual we continued on some way and docked near a church only to eventually learn that a pump had failed. We had to abandon the boat in order to be taken back to the Inn by a van. I suppose these things can happen at any time but to also learn that the boat in question had not been used for some time raises questions as to its' service maintenance. This was on top of it not having enought fuel prior to setting off which resulted in a delay whilst fuel was purchased as the last user had left the tank nearly empty. So much for our eagerly awaited boat trip that ended as quickly as it had started. One other evening, after returning from a restaurant in the next town, we sat alone in the garden at the Inn enjoying the peace of the Lakeside. This peace was soon shattered when a Dutch couple arrived in their boat accompanied by 'M' and her husband with two Jack Russell dogs and a brown labrador dog. They clearly found it irritating that we were sitting in the garden under the canopy and disrupted their planned social gathering. They were joined by another couple together with another Jack Russell dog and a young baby in arms which was crying loudly. There we sat with FOUR dogs running amok, fighting continually and trying to jump all over us. We did not know whether we were on holiday or at Battersea Dogs Home or a Maternity Unit. Peace and tranquility?. It gives me no pleasure to have to write this review but the enjoyment of our long stay was ruined by the services advertised not having been provided. For much of our stay the Inn was devoid of any staff and by day eight 'M' had gone away on holiday leaving 'B' and a 14 year old to run the show. No High Teas, no private evening meals dining, no offer of an alternative to the repetitive Continental Breakfast of meat and cheeses taken for nine days! The Visitors Book shows entries that the owners have during the past two years left the running of the Inn in the hands of other people (ie. Sophie, Martin, etc.) whilst they were away so this suggests our experience was not a first. If a venue such as this can not meet its promises when the owners are absent then it should close its doors during such periods.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 9, 2013
I am extremely sorry to hear of your bad experience at Inn on the Lake. We strive to make our guests feel welcome and relaxed on their vacation. And I feel that our many positive, indeed
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outstanding reviews amply demonstrate our commitment to making our guests stay with us one
they will enjoy, remember with great affection and hopefully want to repeat , as indeed many do.
Due to a serious health emergency, I was unfortunately detained in the UK at this time.
Normally I would never dream of leaving our Guest House in High Season.
My manager who has over 20 years experience in the hospitality sector would have certainly done
her utmost to address any concerns that you had if you had mentioned that you were at all dissatisfied at any time during your stay with us. 9 days is a long time to feel uncomfortable.
I hope that in the near future you will visit us again and that I myself can welcome you to our
Guest House and that I will have the opportunity to cook for you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.