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.
- Also Known As:
- Scholars Hotel Bloomington