Before I begin, I would like to make a disclaimer. The first B&B my wife and I stayed at was unforgettable, partly because it was during our honeymoon, and partly due to the unparalleled hospitality of the owners. Bill and Charlotte of the Flagstaff Inn in Annapolis, MD treated us like their dearest friends while we were there. Perhaps we were spoiled, but after our stay at the Flagstaff Inn, we have very high expectations for B&Bs, not just in the accommodations, but in the hospitality of the owners.
The Wayside Inn was the second B&B where we have stayed. We had seen it advertised on groupon,. It is a restored 200+ year old home, located in a woodsy, suburban area of Ellicott City. After we parked, we went to the front door, and finding it unlocked we went inside. We waited in the spacious foyer for a few minutes, but no one was there to greet us and we did not see anyone. Finally, we saw another guest, who called out for Susan, one of the owners. When she appeared, she immediately asked for our groupon and for us to pay the room tax. We were a little surprised by this, but we suppose she just wanted to get business out of the way. She did not offer us a tour of the downstairs area, though she said we were free to use the rooms (including the kitchen).
We followed her up the stairs to our room on the second floor (the Ellicott room). The floor boards on the stairs and in the bedroom creaked loudly when walked on, which was an annoyance throughout the stay. The owner gave us some brief instructions about the room and recommended some local restaurants, then left us to settle in. The bathroom was the best part: you entered through double French doors; there was a spacious Jacuzzi, a large shower with a rainwater shower head, and a lovely view of the pond and trees behind the B&B. It was almost the same size as the bedroom, and because the floor was tiled, it did not creak. It was also warmer in there than in the bedroom. The house has central heating, but no individual thermostats, which was also an annoyance. In the bathroom, the vents were on the floor, but in the bedroom they were on the ceiling, which meant most of the heat did not reach us. Because it was colder in the bedroom, we started a fire in the fireplace, which did raise the temperature somewhat.
We were tired after our trip and did not want to go out for dinner, so we decided to have some food delivered. There were several restaurant directories which said they delivered, but after calling a few, we realized the directories were outdated, as they no longer delivered. When we finally did find somewhere, it took them over an hour and a half to deliver the food (I’m not blaming this on the Wayside Inn, but if you want something delivered, bear in mind you might have to wait awhile).
After dinner we filled up the Jacuzzi and spent the next several hours lounging in there and watching TV. The Jacuzzi was the best part of our stay. The water was the perfect temperature and the lavender bubble soap paired well with it. The jets had four different settings, creating a soothing message. It was a very pleasant evening.
In the morning, we went down to breakfast. At this B&B, each couple was seated at an individual table, rather than a communal table as at other B&Bs (n.b.I am ambivalent towards either arrangement). For breakfast there was a selection of teas and juices, a fruit salad with yogurt, a cheese/egg casserole, a grilled ham slice, and a croissant with jam and butter. We were served by a young woman whom we think was the owners daughter, but she did not introduce herself. The breakfast was delicious, but not spectacular.
All in all, our experience at the Wayside Inn was a mixed bag. B&Bs come in many varieties, and I would say this one is leaning more to being a hotel than a home. With the exception of the creaking floors, we thought the accommodations were top-notch. The hospitality, though, was lacking. I am not saying Susan was rude or inhospitable, but she didn’t exude friendliness and mostly seemed indifferent. Maybe she was just being professional, but it would have been nice if she had been more personable. Other people, though, might appreciate this. For us hospitality is important, and it makes a big difference when the owners treat you like honored guests rather than paying customers. I don’t know if we will stay here again, but as I said at the beginning, we have very high expectations.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.