Ok, so first we arrived, and all I could do is marvel at how well the place was decorated. Very classy and elegant. The price was a bit high since we had my son with us and had to rent the room with three beds (one bed in an attached room), but after seeing the house, I have come to the conclusion that the price was worth it. Other rooms were probably less expensive and we had a 3rd person. My mom (spoiled by extras that most bed and breakfasts have provided) seem to ignore the beauty of the place and focus more on the fact that there were no waters available, no baked goods like cookies or brownies that we have become used to being offered, and only soap in the bathroom instead of soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotion etc.. I have to admit that I was also a bit turned off by this as well (at first). Silly, but those extras really make the B&B experience better. But I tried to put myself in the owner's shoes and feel that maybe he was trying to save money since the economy is terrible and he had a huge house to heat/cool and a huge property with horses to pay for. But, from our standpoint, with as much as we paid, you would have expected it. The only other downsides were that he closed the doors to the living area and breakfast area soon after we arrived and didn't open them up until the morning breakfast. This kind of gave us a closed off feeling. Most B&B's allow you to enjoy that as common ground. We did get to view this area, but not spend much time in it. The last downside was the driveway is extremely hard to spot (even though there is a huge sign posted). We kept driving past it on our way back from town, but all we had to do is drive down the road and turn around. And we were a little confused when we went up the driveway because it was so far from the house and there was another house under construction next door, so we weren't sure if that was the parking for this B&B or if we missed a road or something. I guess a sign would be good... Also the driveway was so narrow and long, that I kept worrying what we would do if another car was coming from the opposite direction... there would be no way to pass each other or turn around. But luckily, we never had a problem since no cars came at the same time we were going up or down. There isn't much he can do about the driveway without spending an arm and a leg to fix it.. so just something to roll with.
Ok, so despite our initial reaction of being turned off that the extras weren't there... The owner sure turned it around. We went into town for dinner. When we came back we decided that we would go see if we could watch the sunset. We weren't able to view it from where we were (or maybe we just got sidetracked by what happened next), but we got an even better experience for my son. The owner saw us looking at the horses (by the way don't touch the electric fence like I did lol), and he brought one of his new horses out for my son to brush him, feed him and walk him. What a wonderful experience that you can't get at any of the bed and breakfasts in town. I don't know if he offers this to others or if we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but it really changed our opinion of the things that were lacking. The grounds were so well taken care of (perfectly groomed) and just wonderful with a great view. They had a few dogs hanging out outside and his cat as well. My son and I are big animal lovers, so this was nice for us. He had a gorgeous garden out back that we helped ourselves to walk in and view and take pictures in. He came out and said something like "you are one of the first visitors to my garden". We wondered if that meant he didn't care for us being in there, or if he was just making conversation. We did get the feeling that there were certain parts of the house that were off limits to us, taking a bit from feeling of being completely welcomed. If I had to give him advice to make his B&B perfect, it would have to be to add those extras I talked about above (or at least waters and a treat for the evening), and not close off certain parts to his guests. People are not just paying to stay in the room, they are paying to get the full experience of the mansion. Our most favorite B&B (see my review about Tinkerbelle's in Hot Springs AK) even had music playing lightly when we walked into the room and complimentary mints by the bed, as well as the waters, snacks such as chips, sodas, popcorn, tea, hot chocolate, brownies, cookies, toilet paper that had the ends folded in the shape of things such as ducks and roses etc.. They had it all. Basically, what I am trying to say is that it is those extra things that really make you remember a place. But, despite these things not being there, I would say given the grounds, our experience with the owner spending time with my son with the horse, and how lovely the house was decorated.. not to mention clean and comfortable, and a great breakfast... that my final thought is that this B&B was wonderful and I would recommend it. Maybe he will read this and add all those extras, maybe he didn't know about them or how people feel about it... but also if you are petty like us LOL, keep in mind that he probably has a lot of expenses (since the house is huge) and maybe he is trying to save as much money as he can and still provide a nice place to stay.
Oh, and there were three patio locations (one in the back and two in the front, one on the ground floor, and one on the second floor) to sit outside and enjoy the grounds/views; however, it was so hot when we were there that we didn't get to take advantage of those areas. A fan would have come in handy. Maybe I will go buy a portable one for situations like this. The owner also did show us these areas when we first arrived and gave us a quick bit of history about the view and house. If he was able to tell us more history of the house and/or maybe offer a scrapbook with the house history and maybe restoration photos.. now that would be great. I guess we enjoy hearing about old houses. He did give us some history, but I guess we always want more of a good thing :) Also, other B&B's usually have a notebook in each room for guests to leave comments, and this B&B didn't :( My mom loves to write in the books and read other people's experiences.. so that would have also been a nice touch. Don't take all my compliments as complaints, just suggestions. I still had a great time and loved this B&B. Oh, and the owner was very good about helping take pictures of your family. Thanks mom for taking us!