We left the BBI with mixed feelings: the house is absolutely charming, delightfully furnished, well kept and looks out onto the sea; we were warmly welcomed by Don, who carried our luggage up to our room, and both he and Walt, the innkeeper gave us a lot of suggestions and local information. Although breakfast is not provided, what may be termed the breakfast room is a pleasant area where coffee and tea are freely available as well as a table where guests can eat breakfast if they decide to bring it in. The town centre with a good choice of restaurants and shops is within walkable distance (about 10 minutes) – but take a torch if you do it after dusk: the street lighting is very "intimate"…
We had found the bed pillows a little "high" and a request for slightly "lower" ones was met immediately and efficiently.
The pool looked very nice, but given that we were only end of May and that, as Don said, it is just heated by Mother Nature, we decided to give it a miss.
So given all these positive aspects, why did we leave with mixed feelings?
The first was that we got the impression, rightly or wrongly, that we had been subject to a "switch sell". Let me explain: we booked in early February for our stay at the end of May and we booked Room 9, based on the photos on the website, the description of the room and the price. The booking confirmation indeed specified Room 9. When we arrived, we were informed that the people occupying Room 9 had decided to extend their stay and therefore we were being "upgraded" to the Vineyard Room. This may well have been an upgrade, although we obviously had no way of comparing the Vineyard Room with the one booked and judging the benefit of this indicated upgrade. We were told that the Vineyard Room had just been redecorated, but that would not in itself, I feel, be sufficient to justify the term of "upgrade". In fact, a check on the website after our return showed that for comparable periods / length of stay, the rates for Room 9 and the Vineyard Room are identical, which would not tend to confirm the upgrade. Contrary to a hotel, where rooms are not substantially different, in an establishment such as the BBI which rightly stresses the characteristics of each room, to be allocated a room which was not the one originally booked instils a sense of disappointment right from the outset. The BBI was not full at the time of our visit, as witnessed by the "Vacancy" sign outside, and if "our" original room could not be provided, perhaps we should have been given a choice of an alternative room, rather than just being told which one we were allocated to. The website specifies very clearly that the BBI adheres strictly to its cancellation policy if guests decide to change their plans. Perhaps the same should apply to the benefit of guests in the reverse situation?
The second reason for our mixed feelings was one that only became apparent during our first night: the bed in our room creaked terribly and any movement by my wife or I was enough to produce a noise sufficient to impact our night's rest. Once again, when we mentioned the problem to Walt the following morning, he reacted sympathetically and said he would see what he could do to solve the problem – but as I suspected, such a problem is not easily resolved and our second night was similar to the first. Whether the creaking was due to the wickerwork bed-head or something else, I do not know, but it was a real bind – and perhaps the bed in the room we had originally booked would have been silent, who knows?
So on balance, despite the lovely house, situation and warm welcome, only an average rating.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.