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“What a sad story......” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Stepping Stone Inn

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The Stepping Stone Inn
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328 Centreville Road, Westport, Ontario K0G 1X0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 6 Westport B&B and Inns
ottawa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“What a sad story......”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Ok....this review is going to hurt for a number of reasons. First of all....I can't say enough about the splendor and beauty of this place. I don't think I have ever seen such stunning landscaping or renovation in my life. This B&B is truly a must-see and a must-stay....but more on that later. My three star rating and the following review is based more on the innkeeper's waste of the most amazing opportunity than the actual condition of the B&B.
Firstly, Stepping Stone is up for sale. It hasn't sold so now it is going to a sealed-bid auction. The townsfolk have eluded that this is due to a divorce between the owners. I believe them wholeheartedly because the woman I met on the Friday night of our arrival was not a woman with any emotional or spiritual attachment to her Inn. I am told that weddings have gone from 50 a year to only 3....and I see why. To own a B&B is to live, breath and sleep customer service. It is to see the Inn as a place of warmth, happiness and togetherness. Customers have to feel immediately welcomed and wanted. If there is no reception and the feeling of "hominess"...then a hotel would suffice. What was most unusual and offensive to me was the manner in which the owner (we'll call her "Elizabeth") greeted us. We were the ONLY people in the Inn (an 11 room establishment) which should have meant great things for us (a wee hug, a welcome hand squeeze....an elated hello etc.....) however this was not the case. The first words from "Elizabeth's" mouth were "you will have to move your car up....you are blocking the laneway". We weren't. Then, a perfunctory tour of the downstairs and a long-winded excuse for why our champagne couldn't go in the fridge (crisis thwarted...we ignored her). This followed by some awkward chit-chat and what I can only describe as "muffled disdain". She left, we looked at eachother dumbfounded and then proceeded to our room. The Bridal Suite was spectacular. Homey....with just enough touch of English-meets-Asian design, a lovely walk-out to the garden, fireplace and the list goes on. The bed was comfy and we were very much at home INSIDE the room. There are no complaints about the room and the price was right. The next morning, there were two new people in the kitchen (staff). Two women named Darlene and Tammy were summoned from Portland to come and make us breakfast. Yes, you read that correctly. The owner was not willing or able to walk from her home to the Inn to cook eggs and sausages for TWO PEOPLE. I could almost hear the dollar bills being flushed down the toilet. On a positive note, the breakfasts were amazing and Darlene and Tammy are the loveliest and most welcoking women in the world. Sadly, the staff seem to have the Inn in their hearts more than the owner. Despite their positive nature and cheeriness.....it was obvious that they are worried about the future of the Inn.
There are signs of neglect and bizzare spending priorities all over the place ie: brand new inground pool, wrought iron fencing that hasn't been erected yet.....yet the microwave was a model from '82 and the fridge/freezer was probably from the 60's and missing handles. One side of the freezer was being held together with duct tape. Of course, this was all hidden between beautiful pine doors and I feel that this is the way things go at the Inn.......as long as everything looks pretty on the outside....you won't notice what is being neglected on the inside. There isn't even a dishwasher (can you imagine how many staff must wash dishes after an event?!). $$$$$$$$ wasted.

This is a stunning inn suffering from neglect. The potential for grand success is so great that one leaves the inn with a sinking feeling in the chest. I went to bed fantasizing about buying this place and returning it to it's original splendor. If only the owner could see it the same way. There is an obvious reason for the decline in business and poor reviews and unfortunately....it has more to do with "Elizabeth" than the building itself.

Hopes are that a motivated buyer will swoop in and save the Stepping Stone from a grisly demise. With the current loyal and committed staff on board, there is no reason that this place could not become an inn worthy of international acclaim.

I encourage you to visit this place with an open mind and heart but be forewarned that you will not be greeted by an owner with any concept of customer service. Look for Darlene and Tammy and all will be well.....

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2
    2
    2
    4
    7
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3
11
2
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

On Saturday, 30th June my husband and I stayed at the Stepping Stone Inn.

Unfortunately, it was not a very pleasant experience.

We were booked into the Garden Room downstairs and at first sight it seemed OK apart from the damp. musty smell that pervaded all of the downstairs area. However, when I pulled back the sheet on the bed I also pulled back the under sheet and it was then I noticed mouse droppings near the bed head.

As there was no-one in the Inn I had to hunt around to find details of who to call in an emergency and finally found a number in the kitchen. We decided to move up to the Bridal Suite, which was very inconvenient as we were already fully unpacked and this also made us late for a dinner booking at a local restaurant.

Although the Bridal Suite showed no signs of vermin it was in need of a good dusting - the layer on the clock was a thick layer of dust for example. At breakfast the following morning the cream curdled and was obviously past it's best and the breakfast could have been better for what we paid.

We paid $175.15 for one night and received less than satisfactory service having been shown to a room and being expected to sleep in a bed containing mouse droppings - hardly a recipe for an enjoyable mini-break which we were seeking.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Westport hotels

Kingston, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

When choosing our accommodation I was drawn by the charming description of the Garden Room.
Unfortunately upon taking lodging, we discovered this space is located in the basement and completely enveloped with mould including a strong, musty odour. The entrance to the room from the outside terrace was regretably neglected with visible mould on all surfaces outside of the door.
Although the bed linens were fresh, we could not enjoy a comfortable night's rest due to dampness and resulting anxiety level caused by the aforementioned conditions.

Room Tip: Make sure that your room is located in the upper level of the building
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

Our room looked lovely but on closer inspection, the surfaces ie glass table tops were grimy and the drinking glass in the bathroom was very dirty and there was a chunk of glass about 1' wide and 1/4 " thick on the bathroom floor under the sink, don't know where it came from or how long it had been there! Although the sheets were clean, the duvet cover looked like it had been on the bed for a long time as it was not very clean looking! The bed was comfortable and the shower was ok! Breakfast was a scoop of scrambled egg, a scoop of fried potatoes, 2 strips of bacon and 1/2 a toasted bagel, a fruit cup (good) and coffee. It was adequate! Since we paid slightly over $150 with taxes, we did not feel that we got good value! The other couple that we traveled with had a more expensive room at ground level (in the basement) and it was awful, damp and very smelly and the windows and screen had lots of green mold on and around it! A health hazard! This is such a lovely old house but it needs a lot of TLC and it obviously isn't getting it!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

We absolutely loved this beautiful inn. We stayed here as a family in July 2011. The pool was beautiful, as were the grounds. Elizabeth was easy to deal with. The inn is rustic but was beautiful and had a lot of charm. Would stay here again

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElyseToronto, Owner at The Stepping Stone Inn, responded to this review, December 29, 2011
Thank-you to the writer. We have a guest book (3 actually) which is filled with positive notes from guests who have stayed at the Inn, but seldom do we actually receive an online positive response so this is very much appreciated. Thank-you for taking the time to write your response online.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

We were lured into this beautiful estate by the lovely pics on their website. We paid $150 per night for a room with a garden entrance and an en suite bath which I might add, we were required to pay up front! Upon getting to our room it was quite clear how damp and musty the home was - to the point where we were both sneezing repeatedly. Upin further inspection we found many cobwebs, the flooring in the bathroom was peeling up amongst other clear signs of moisture damage. The weather was gorgeous so we decided a swim in the pool was in order - the pool was full of dirt and leaves and there was a greenish film all over the liner - very disappointing. Like other posters, no one replaced our towels or tidied up our room.. In fact, someone walked right in while we were still asleep.

All and all a very disappointing stay - Elizabeth seems like a nice enough woman however I feel she is in way over her head and this gorgeous heritage home is suffering. I am happy to pay a premium price for a premium experience but in this case, I got totally screwed.

I hope future travelers will be smarter than we were and research Trip Advisor prior to booking at this property.

Room Tip: go elsewhere.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

A very long story short, Elizabeth was nothing short of a total pain to deal with.
She was rude, short and non-responsive. After accepting our $1000 deposit to host our wedding, 3 months went by before we heard from her (despite multiple voicemail messages and e-mails). Our wedding was just 6 short months away, I was planning from afar & had asked her several times in a voicemail to call me back.
After reading other guest reviews about the Stepping Stone Inn we decided to cancel our contract and Elizabeth was more than happy to keep our $1000 for doing absolutely nothing. To boot, she requested 40% payment of our wedding 'costs' because we were cancelling!!! It was the icing on the cake.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like further information.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Stepping Stone Inn

Address: 328 Centreville Road, Westport, Ontario K0G 1X0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Westport
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Westport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 43
Also Known As:
The Stepping Stone Inn Westport, Ontario, Canada

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