This is not a traditional B&B in so many ways, but it could be. The hosts are very nice and welcoming, but it’s quickly apparent that you are staying in their home and not a B&B and that this business was admittedly an afterthought.
The house is old and comes with the charm and challenges of tight spaces, small bathrooms and an awkward layout. Guests walk through the kitchen and very tight dining room to get to most of the rooms. We were never given a tour during the three days we were there, nor were we made to feel “at home.” The only common space was the dining room, which has a table that takes up the entire room. Getting passed it with your suitcase is tight and uncomfortable. And while the table was big, it was clogged with too much stuff. It was overdressed with service plates and the like, flower arrangements, etc.
For us, there was just too much clutter, from plastic flowers and herbs, to family photos and dust-collecting objects to old and dirty carpet in the bathrooms, yes I said in the bathrooms. The closets had the owners’ clothes hanging up, so we had to make room for our formal clothes we had brought for graduation ceremonies at Dartmouth. (Speaking of which, the drive to Dartmouth is 25 to 30 minutes, which is a bit further then you’d like driving home at night.) The TV in the room is old and huge. It should be on a turntable so that you can watch it from somewhere other than the bed. It sits on a massive trunk. The room we stayed in was too small for all the furniture in it. And I didn’t care for the nautical theme, which is overdone and out of place for a quaint New Hampshire location. There is Wi-Fi.
There are no extras at this B&B and nothing convenient to offset that. There is no communal fridge or room fridge, no snacks or drinks. Room-temperature water and a few cookies is the extent of it. Our bathroom did not come with individual soaps and shampoos as you might expect at a B&B. Rather, there was a big bottle of Suave in the very tight shower, which was a bit awkward to operate for the first time and there were no arrows or instructions. The water was very, very hot, which could be a problem for some people. We never got fresh towels in 3 days, which was disappointing. The bed was very comfortable I must say, but the massive quilt is not easily washable, nor are the throw pillows that could use a cleaning.
Breakfast is not what we expected. As guests we were not asked what we wanted, or if we had any allergies, or had any preferences. The food is not special. The sausage and egg and cheese casserole seemed thrown together and was dry, perhaps overcooked. No toast the entire three days. Fresh fruit looked inviting but we found it to be unripe. Don’t expect Vermont maple syrup with your French toast, or perhaps fresh local preserves, it was Aunt Jemima. The coffee is good.
Perhaps the oddest experience was the arrival of the owners’ daughter and grandson. It was as if the guests didn’t exist and we felt we were in the way of their family get-together. They stayed overnight in a guestroom. As I said at the start, guests have to walk through the kitchen, where dinner was being prepared and the grandson was doing his thing. This is why true B&B’s have a separate innkeepers quarters or outbuilding.
This could potentially become a beautiful and charming property. But there’s a lot of work to do before that happens. For what you get, the price to us was a bit high. But I’m sure for the region it’s comparable. This is not a true B&B experience in our opinion, but closer to an upscale boarding house.
End note: There is another B&B in the area with a very similar name. Make sure you know which one you are going to. They’re not far from each other, be forewarned.
Stayed June 7-9
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Hotwire and Expedia so you can book your Shaker Farm Bed and Breakfast reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.