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“In Decline” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Scholars Inn

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Scholars Inn
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801 N. College, Bloomington, IN 47404   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 9 Bloomington B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Indiana, United States
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“In Decline”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My husband and I try to get away to a B&B at least twice a year, but it had been many years since we last stayed at the Scholar's Inn Bed & Breakfast. Our previous visit, in 1999, had been wonderful, so we went back full of hope.

First, the weather did not cooperate; we had to cancel and reschedule our visit. Although I made the first reservation on the computer, I did the reschedule over the phone. While I am 100% certain that I said we wanted the Caleb Mills Suite, where we had stayed in 1999, we instead were given the Annie Fellows Johnson room, right off the kitchen. The email confirmation listed this second room, and I foolishly didn't notice, since I had trusted that we'd be in the room I'd originally requested. This is my fault entirely, but the other problems lay with the staff and management of the inn.

It turns out that we were the only guests there that Thursday and Friday, so in the evenings we often sat out in the main room and could dine in our PJs at breakfast. The main part of our bedroom is exactly as you can see in the photos on the website. The bed was great on our backs and bodies, but my husband struggled with being both too hot (he did not like the cover) and too cold, since the window on his side of the bed (the right hand side as you are facing it) was letting in a torrent of cold air from outside. I slept fine because my window did not have a draft, nor was it directly above me. In hindsight, given the draftiness of the windows in this room, it may be a good thing that we did not get the Caleb Mills Suite, as three of the four walls in its bedroom are full of windows. Still, we needed to use the provided space heater to make the room warm enough to be comfortable.

In our email and over the phone I confirmed several times that they understood that my husband had a serious tree nut allergy. This was considered for our two breakfasts, but not for the snacks they put out for us. In fact, not only did the cookies and bars have nuts, but even after the manager came and checked it out, they did nothing about it. We ended up going out and getting some cookies to enjoy in the evenings, and this upset me a great deal, because it was clearly a sign of the greatest problem at this inn today: the Scholar's Inn now cares more about their nearby restaurant and their cafes around town than about their B&B.

Breakfast was fine, certainly more than what I make most days, but it wasn't beautiful or inspiring in any way. Generally when we are at B&Bs the breakfast is laid out in a lovely fashion with fresh fruit, protein, carbs, drinks, and generally some pastry. This was fresh-squeezed juice, proteins, carbs, and two large mugs of hot water the staff offered us when she saw how small our other mugs were and that we wanted to warm up with hot tea or hot chocolate.

The inn had run out of bottled water, but there was a good supply of soda pop, which I do not drink. The woman who worked there over breakfast until the afternoon put a pitcher of water to chill in the refrigerator, so that helped, but I don't think I drank as much water as I perhaps should have. This staff member also was very accommodating in terms of my husband's dislike of eggs and was willing to make him more bacon, but he didn't take advantage of it.

The most disappointing part of our stay had to have been the bathroom and closet. There is no armoire or chest of drawers in which to put your clothes in the room, even though it is quite large, except for a very narrow and cold closet that had a hole in the ceiling. The bathroom too was small, with an odd sideways shower head and an area on the wall where the tiles were pulling away from one another. (I'll attach photos of these two situations so you can see.) Why you would allow your only guests to stay in a room with these problems (remember the drafty window over the bed, as well) I do not know. I would have told us the room needed some work and offered another suggestion. The result was that we didn't want to linger after our Saturday morning breakfast, and we both took showers when we got home rather than in this small bathroom with its odd and challenging fixtures.

We celebrated one of our anniversaries by staying at Scholar's Inn, and sadly it was not nearly as enjoyable as our previous stay many years ago. Given how frequently the staff was over at the restaurant during our stay, we believe that the current management just does not value the B&B as it once did. We'll go to their cafes and the restaurant, but given the other choices in Bloomington, we'll stay elsewhere in the future.

Room Tip: The stairs are narrow and the floors between the kitchen addition and the rest of the house are sink...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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46 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    10
    2
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Angola, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

Great old house---old, of course, means there may be inconveniences like steep steps or a bathroom in the hall. But that's part of what makes an old house B&B interesting. The living room is lovely and for Bloomington it offers guaranteed parking! Not as luxurious as Grant Street B&B but cozier. The Scholar's Inn has great food if you can arrange to have dinner--have eaten there on many occasions.

We missed out on the breakfast at the Inn. We were the only lodgers that night and no one showed up in the morning---so, a caution, arrange your breakfast time if that's important to you.
I would definitely stay there again: very walkable to downtown, very clean and pleasant.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St louis MO
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

I wanted to love the Scholars Inn. It's charming, great location, staff friendly and helpful, very clean, pillows and bed very comfortable and breakfasts exceptional. However, it is important to know before you go that this is a very old house. The steps are steep and the walls are thin - I was woken up in the middle of the night by others talking in normal voices and the sound of a toilet flushing.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Albany, Indiana
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

Whenever we need a quick weekend away, my spouse and I relax in Bloomington--and the best place we've found is the Scholar's Inn! I wish I wasn't so bad with names, because the woman who runs the Inn is one of the most pleasant & accommodating innkeepers I have ever encountered. On out last visit in April, she really made our stay a pleasure and brought us breakfast in bed by request, even on days that the Inn was full and busy. And the breakfasts are *wonderful*! There are also snacks downstairs at all hours from the Scholar's Inn Bakehouse.

We have stayed in the Gene Patton Porter Suite and the Charles Austin Beard Suite. They are both wonderful--but I do prefer the Beard Suite. It is a little more spacious and I love the black & white decor! The linens here are also really wonderful. (This might be a strange thing to notice, but the towels smelled divine! I just wanted to bury my face in them!)

The Inn is close enough to the action in Bloomington--only a dedicated walk or a very short drive away--but far enough away that nights are quiet and peaceful. And after taking advantage of all late-night Bloomington has to offer, you will probably find out that the stairs are very squeaky. It is hard to make a quiet entrance or exit and we sometimes worried that we might be disturbing others even though we were careful. That is the only criticism I can think of at all!

On each stay there has also been a gift certificate to the Scholar's Inn bakehouse waiting in our room. On our way out of town we like to stop at the Scholar's Inn Bakehouse and use the gift certificate to get goodies for the next day's breakfast. It eases the transition back to reality.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Evansville, Indiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

Recently stayed at the Scholar's Inn and had a marvelous time. Before we even checked in we were able to negotiate a great deal on one of the best suites, since no one else had booked any of the rooms for the weekend. Once we got there, the woman who helped us was very accommodating and friendly. The house was immaculately clean, yet very cozy. There was a great patio area outside, which was perfect for enjoying a glass of wine. The location was also conveniently located to shops and restaurants. We opted out from the $25 gift certificate for breakfast so we could put that fee towards the price of our room. But were still given some delicious baked goods in the morning for breakfast. The lady working there even boxed up all the left over goods from breakfast for us to take home with us! We will definitely be staying at the Scholar's Inn again for our next trip to Bloomington.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Bloomington
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2009

Scholar's Inn was fabulous. The comfy soft down bed spreads in pure white were like magic when I laid my head down into the same soft unbelievably perfect pillows. I think my husband was talking when I fell asleep, but I was out so fast I can only remember glimpses of dreams that took me years away to some other place... I am always amazed at the detail people go to when it comes to decorating and coordinating room
interiors in B & Bs, but this was a cut above the ordinary. You will really appreciated it. Of course I'm a huge fan of 10' ceilings and rooms completely surrounded with tall windows and interior fountains. Our room actually opened out of these huge tall doors into a large landscaped backyard with some short garden pathways. It was like being in New England sleeping in a huge estate. My mind just kept finding new things to take in. It was magical.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Northern Kentucky
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

Loved this B&B and its next-door restaurant. Check out the picture of our room, which was only $99 and included a wonderful breakfast served on the adjoining patio. Our room was immaculate, the pillow-top king-size bed was wonderful, and the decor was charming . The restaurant was a bit expensive but very, very good. We give this B&B our highest recommendation.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Scholars Inn

Address: 801 N. College, Bloomington, IN 47404
Location: United States > Indiana > Bloomington
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Bloomington
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Scholars Hotel Bloomington

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