Been to Traverse City many times before. First time staying here with my wife it will be my last. Only the rooms are air conditioned the common sitting area was too hot and not useable. Breakfast was marginal and we did not eat it our last morning for that reason and the extreme heat in the breakfast area. Lack of detail for cleanliness, lack of window treatments as the drapes are too sheer and allow for bright light from the sun to awake you very early in the morning. Window treatments would also help the heat problem we had. Lack of ventilation in the breakfast area coupled with the heat lead to foul odor throughout the inn. Not satisfied at all.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I sincerely regret that this guest had such an unpleasant experience at the inn in contrast to the majority of our guests, and while I am admittedly confused by some of the reasons presented I will attempt to address those possessing elements of reasonable opinion as fully as I can. While there are some conditions, such as the weather, that we have a limited ability to correct, in most situations if a guest can let us know while they are at the inn that they are dissatisfied in any way we will always do whatever is possible to ensure the best visit possible.
Report response as inappropriate
Over the 14 years we have been in business we have graciously served over 5,000 guests and of those approximately 2,000 have taken the time to write comments in the books provided in each room. Of those who have written over 85% have specifically mentioned the breakfast as the most amazing and satisfying part of the experience. Additionally, as a Catering Director for two major hotel chains in my hospitality industry career I am very confident of the quality of our food presentations, both breakfast and the complimentary hors d’oeuvres and nightly room turndown treat, being significantly better than “marginal”. While I do not remember exactly what I served that morning of their stay many of our standards such as the “Crepes Du Nord” (crepes filled with scrambled eggs, sautéed green onions and wild mushrooms with a seven grain wild rice), or Potato Rosemary garlic Fontina Cheese Strada have been published in independent cookbooks.
Nonetheless had the guest indicated displeasure to us while at the inn we would have offered at least two possible solutions. What they said the night before their departure was that they were leaving before breakfast to meet up with hunting (or fishing) friends early in the day. Had they advised us differently in a direct subject specific manner then we would have offered either a different menu (as we have always been willing to prepare special menu requests, for example gluten free or lactose intolerance); or if eating in a warmer than desirable atmosphere either dining on the patio in the shade or even a partial refund of their monies paid so that they could have breakfast elsewhere.
Equally confusing to me is the opinion regarding cleanliness considering that after the remarks about the excellence of breakfast written in the comment books, the second most mentioned thing is our cleanliness and attention to detail. We take great efforts to keep the inn as immaculate as possible while contending with the fact that we are in a rural agricultural area with its consequent issues, because keeping the area rustic with for example a dirt road is part of the beautiful ambiance to the property. For 14 years we have not only been reviewed consistently well with our Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association, but are extremely diligent and attentive to cleanliness details using methods such as the following; using paper towels to wipe down all toilet surfaces rather than rags which might transport germs surface to surface, separate sponges for soaping surfaces and then another for rinsing them, wiping down silverware and sugar/creamers as tables are set to remove any dishwasher water stains, closing doors and windows when nearby agricultural spraying is occurring or air deodorizers as needed to negate lingering cologne or food aromas; and replacement of linen, carpets, and painting on a regular basis to maintain the freshness and cleanliness of the property.
As pertains to heat and sunlight issues, the idea of global warming was not even on anyone’s consciousness 15 years ago when we build the B & B and thus the decision made at the time to use radiant water heat with in floor coils on the first floor and authentic radiators on the second to create the ambiance of an old Provence farmhouse enjoyed by so many of our guests, but which precluded any ductwork necessary for A/C. We have gone to great extent to cool as many of the guest areas of the house as we can without ruining the architectural ambiance and exquisite decoration of what we have created using patio trees and vine covered trellises to shade the house. Without ductwork there is no way that whole house A/C can be added; but there are many areas that provide relief from the heat once outside of the air conditioned sleeping rooms. For example under the trellises on the patio or in the gazebo along the path through the woods, or of course at nearby beaches with the cool Lake Michigan water. This guest was in the smaller of our rooms offering economy of value but perhaps the additional space provided in either of the other two suites would have given enough room inside an area of air conditioned space that his experience would have been perceived differently.
Additionally, we take great efforts to make the common sitting areas as comfortable as we can during periods of record breaking heat (it was uncharacteristically 95 degrees plus that day of their stay) by opening doors and windows during the cool of the evening and early morning and then closing them during the hottest parts of the day, then using the large ceiling fans in the dining and living room to circulate the air.
Similarly the calculated decision to highlight the views from all of the rooms of the vineyards, orchards and the bay in the distance by minimalizing window treatments does have the stated downside. As the owner of a bed and breakfast such tradeoff decisions are made with the intent to generally satisfy, or exceed the expectations, of 95% of the people 95% of the time. So while some may desire more of a blackout effect to window treatments, others may relish waking up to a 180 degree panoramic view of vineyards, orchards and the bay from their bed accompanied by a glorious sunrise; and thus luckily there are different accommodations to meet all the various combinations of individual desires. Quite often people will ask when making reservations about their individual concerns and we are always glad to provide them with the exact situation so that their experience can be all that they desire, or as necessary we can direct them to other facilities that may more meet their needs. As I have often stated in other review responses all we need is the communication up front so that we can best insure the guest an excellent stay. We have, however, duly noted this particular guest’s opinion for future decision making.
Again I am sorry this guest’s focus on some issues prevented him/them from enjoying the ambiance and many amenities provided by our attention to details such as 100% cotton French table linens, an individually served gourmet breakfast (2 courses in the summer with 3 in the winter), ironed cotton bed sheets with thematic color co-ordination to each room, fresh flowers on the breakfast tables, the Italian/French eclectic décor with faux painted artwork, custom wrought iron work throughout highlighted by the wrought iron bed in the Barnwood room along with a shower curtain rod in the Vineyard suite and stairway railings, Italian marble flooring and all of the other attributes that make our property unique.
Finally, although I would have preferred to be able to have the chance to react to this guest’s needs while at the inn, we nonetheless sincerely appreciate the comments and as a result will make all attempts to be even more diligent toward all aspects of our high standards of service so that we can exceed the expectations of even the 1/10th of 1 percent.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.