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“OK but...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Birch Hill Bed & Breakfast

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Birch Hill Bed & Breakfast
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254 S. Undermountain Rd. (Rte. 41), Sheffield, MA 01257   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 8 Sheffield B&B and Inns
NJ
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“OK but...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2007

Our choices were limited by last minute travel and the fact we were traveling with our small dog, which they allow.
This inn is located outside the town of Sheffield, which doesn’t have too much to offer, including restaurants, one of which – Limeys - served up some badly overcooked baked cod.
The B&B itself is nice enough, especially the grounds and great room with fireplace where breakfast is served. However, a couple of head scratchers about the innkeeper.
Upon arrival, he upgraded us to bigger room. Extra cot for my daughter was already moved into that room. Told him you didn’t have to do that, but thanks.
Then, as we are getting ready to check out, knock at door and he informs us he will be charging extra for the move to larger room. Uh, OK I guess (its only $25 for the night).
But on reflection as we drove away, we both thought it was a complimentary upgrade because no mention of extra charge was made at check in. If mentioned at check in/time of offer, no problem, we would have agreed to it. Perhaps this could’ve been handled better by the innkeeper.
Also, he asked at time of reservation if any allergies. I say no, but my daughter doesn’t like eggs. OK we can accommodate that with some homemade oatmeal or something. I say if not too much trouble, thanks, that would be nice.
Then on the evening of arrival he asked other guests and myself about breakfast preferences. After others also indicated something other than an egg dish might also be preferable for their older children, I repeated same. He mentions other possibilities. I say sure, whatever you can do, that would be nice. Then in the morning (one sitting only, 8:30 = kinda early IMO) everyone is served quiche.
Huh? Why bother asking?
Hope this doesn’t sound too nit picky. We know quirkiness with the inn and/or innkeeper at B&Bs can be part of the deal, but to me, service like this may not be to best way to build repeat business.

  • Liked — allows dogs
  • Disliked — quirky service
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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19 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
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    7
    5
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jerusalem
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2007

We spent a week at Birch Hill B&B and hated every minute. The hosts were cold and it seemed they didn't enjoy having guests in their house. The house reeks of dust from the living room and if you take a close look you can see a thick layer of it too. We came with 3 children (14, 12, 11) and it was very clear they didn't like having us around even though in their website there is a picture of happy kids jumping in the pool - we took it as a sign that children are welcome. The only good thing about it was indeed the pool. We didn't have breakfast on any of the days because the hosts wouldn't serve it later than 08:30 (even when we were the only guests in the house!). The place is in terrible shape: the windows don't close properly; the doors all have to be slammed shut: some of the furniture had pieces of wood sticking out dangerously; the window nets were very old providing us with a wide variety of insects every night; the wooden floor is at a sharp angle that the beds have to be put on bricks in order to be in a straight line; the bathroom was filthy; the room was not cleaned even once during that whole week; the trash wasn't removed even once - we did it ourselves. We do not recommend this place at all - we couldn't wait to get out of there!!!

Stayed August 2007
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Collingswood, NJ
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

We stayed at Birch Hill during a very warm August weekend. Despite the previous reviews, there was air conditioning in the Lakeview Room (and all the others) and the 19th/early 20th century home was very comfortable. (Nice breezes off the lake & mountains too.) Great gardens & common room, tastefully appointed rooms, comfortable beds, good water pressure & supply, pool with privacy, very relaxed atmosphere & quiet. Fantastic gourmet breakfasts & very helpful, but unobtrusive hosts. I'd certainly return & would recommend it to others.

  • Liked — Comfortable atmosphere
  • Disliked — No negatives
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Narberth, PA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2006

As this B&B was nearest to the person I was visiting, I went with it despite the other negative reviews that are posted on TripAdvisor. I found it had problems other than those pointed out by previous reviewers. The house itself has great curb appeal and breakfast was nice enough. They also accepted my Jack Russell. Big old houses have their quirks, which is how I interpreted MIchael's directives about doors, plumbing, etc., rather than chalking his instructions up to his being obsessive compulsive.

Our problems with Birch Hill were as follows:
1. BANGING SHUTTERS! The house is in the process of being repainted. It happened to be a very windy night and the shutters POUNDED the windows and house with such force that we were amazed the windows stayed intact. The force of the pounding actually shook the bed. We did not sleep a wink. The noise of the shutters was the subject of discussion at the breakfast table the next morning and we were told that the shutters were unpinned as part of the ongoing painting project.
2. Ladybug infestation! There were at least a dozen or more ladybugs residing on the ceiling of the room and it appeared many more lived behind the ceiling molding. Michael told me that this was a local problem not just an issue at this B&B. Nonetheless, even though ladybugs are nice bugs, it was disconcerting to have the occasional one dive bomb us.
3. Poor lighting in common areas. Walkway lights did not come on (they appeared to be solar) or were too weak. Front hall light at entry did not work so the stairwell was on the dark side. Several light fixtures in our room itself did not work or were missing bulbs.

In addition to raising the problems before leaving, I sent an email to Michael informing him of these problems and have not gotten any response.
No deduction to the $200 per night rate was offered. As the title warns, "Caveat emptor."

  • Stayed December 2005, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2005

First let me say that Wendy was lovely and her breakfasts both in content and presentation were excellent!

Michael's personality and hospitality left something to be desired. He is a totally obsessive/compulsive innkeeper, who made one feel not at all welcome!!!!

Room was very OLD, but clean, beds were exceptionally comfortable, but there was NO AC in this twin bed Lakeview Room and it was in the high 80's with extremely high humidity...the beds were damp from all the moisture.

They took the battery out of the smoke alarm on the first day and two days later it was still had not been replaced.

The facility was nice, but a bit too dank and OLD for my liking. There is old and there is beautifully aged...this was old and in some places in disrepair.

The grounds, on the other hand, were beautiful, but I would not stay there again unless it was a last resort.

I also did not care for their policy of paying instantly upon making the reservation in cash/check ONLY, months ahead, while keeping my credit card number until the check was received and cleared with no refund, cancellation or credit policy.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2004

Unfortunately I can not recommend the Birch Hill B&B. Not because of the food, the location or the rooms. The food that was served was excellent, the rooms were very nice, the location was beautiful. Why you ask would we not stay there again? It’s simple- it was evident to us that the host/owner did not want his guests to feel too comfortable, we got the impression that he almost resented having guests. In particular guests with children. This opinion was voiced by the other guests and relatives that were staying at the Birch Hill with us. I should mention that the hostess was a lovely lady, very nice. Perhaps the husband should let his wife attend as hostess and he should stay behind the scenes. The reason for our visit to the Berkshires was a three-day wedding held at the Race Brook Lodge. A wonderful place! The relatives that stayed at the Race Brook had a great time and the staff and owner were just wonderful! Next time we will stay at the Race Brook Lodge! I think that if you are looking for a place to stay in the Bershires there are probably other B&B's that actually enjoy having guests!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2004

My experience at your Bed & Breakfast was among the most pleasant I've ever had - from the moment I walked in to hear classical music to the morning's scrumptious breakfast. I can't wait to come back!

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Additional Information about Birch Hill Bed & Breakfast

Address: 254 S. Undermountain Rd. (Rte. 41), Sheffield, MA 01257
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Berkshires > Sheffield
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Sheffield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11

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