When my girlfriend and I visited Isaiah Jones Homestead Bed and Breakfast in July of 2010, we were unhappy to find it very overrated. We were expecting a high level of service, luxury and food and were disappointed. As a result we cannot fully recommend it, but we do think that it would be a good second or third place option if you would like to stay in Sandwich, which we do recommend. This is a lengthy review that I broke down by section so it would be easier for the reader to digest.
SERVICE: We found the innkeepers, Donnie and Katherine, to be pleasant and well-meaning but overbearing at times and largely unhelpful. One part of a “summer fun package” we purchased (which by the way did not result in any savings, which is misleading) was passage by ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. They cheerfully provided us with gift certificates but not tickets (so it didn’t save us any time since we still had to wait in line) and failed to volunteer critical non-obvious information, such as how much time to allow to make the boat. We allowed an extra 35 minutes but it wasn’t enough to get there, get on the bus to the ferry from the parking lot, and exchange the gift certificates for the tickets.
The other parts of the package were a whale watch with Hyannis Whale Watching Tours (which was excellent by the way) and a dinner (up to $50) at a restaurant of our choice. The tickets for the tours are date and time specific so we let them know at breakfast that we wanted to do a tour that day. Donnie happily obliged our decision and began to push a restaurant for us to go to afterwards. When we decided to go elsewhere, he made it seem as if it was a significant burden for them to arrange and followed up with us late that night and the next morning to remind us how imposing we were. Why he didn’t just offer guests like us a $50 Visa check card for this is beyond me. Besides, $50 hardly covered the cost of the modest meal we had either at the restaurant of our choice or the place he recommended so the offer of an “included dinner” again seemed misleading. Finally, the pressure to choose a poor restaurant during breakfast and the awkward late-night meeting really rubbed us the wrong way.
LUXURY: We stayed in the Thomas Dexter room which we found to be clean and in satisfactory condition, but the living room area of the house felt old and smelled musty. The air conditioning was weak, coming through a single small heat vent on the floor, but the cool evening air and a ceiling fan was enough to keep us comfortable. The entrance to the room was through a very steep stairwell that opposed the innkeeper’s quarters, distinct from the hall that served other rooms in the main house. The bathroom was clean but the cheap style of the fixtures was reminiscent of a Holiday Inn, not a luxurious bed and breakfast. It also had an additional door that led to the main hallway, which was uncomfortable since it directly opposed the toilet and had a large gap at the bottom.
FOOD: We were generally unimpressed with the breakfasts, not only because of the food, but also because they didn’t start until 8:30am which interfered with some of our early days. To be fair, the freshly squeezed orange juice and the quality of the small serving of fruit we were provided was very good but the entrées were consistently underwhelming. They were unimaginatively simple (such as “eggs to order”) where even a simple request for toast was met with puzzlement. This level of food is fine for the continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn but it is unacceptable for a luxury bed and breakfast where this meal helps define the experience of the entire stay.
BOTTOM LINE: The location of this bed and breakfast is very convenient to the lovely town of Sandwich which has a very nice beach, a nice mainstreet with good not-too-touristy shops (The Spotted Cod, The Brown Jug) and Heritage Gardens which is a nice little botanical garden with a very impressive collection of beautifully restored classic cars. The Glass Museum is also pretty cool. The local beaches are also very nice.
While we unreservedly recommend staying in Sandwich, at the Isaiah Jones Homestead, the Innkeepers are fairly nice but uninspired and the combination of a modest level of luxury and the disappointing breakfasts make for poor value. Check out the Belfry Inn on Jarves Street or the Daniel Webster Inn first.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We were devastated to learn that any of our guests had had a less than satisfying experience staying with us. Because we have such wonderful people visiting our bed and breakfast, we have no problem tending to their every need and every desire. We both have many years' experience in the hospitality and travel industry, as most of our guests know, so are often a wealth of information for those visiting the area for the first time. Of course, we do find that some guests rely on information they've gleaned from friends or other sources, so do not choose to avail themselves of our expertise. Often this is just fine, but sometimes it results in surprises for the unwary. We've also noticed that on the rare occasion when we offer "eggs to order" for breakfast, it's easy to satisfy everyone who chooses what they truly love, such as an omelet or eggs benedict. Not so with plain scrambled egg whites (requested without cheese or sauteed vegetables,) we're afraid. We doubt anyone would feel that they'd had an inspired breakfast with an uninspired choice such as that! And, too, when guests choose a room with a standard private bathroom rather than one with a whirlpool tub and separate shower (which costs a bit more,) they may feel the level of luxury they're experiencing is not the same as it is for other guests who have paid for those extras.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.