First, let me say that Jack and Annelise are delightful people. Martha and Leann are part of their staff and they, too, were so friendly and helpful. The first floor and porch are just lovely and filled with history. We stayed in the Blue Room on the 3rd floor and carrying 2 small bags up the stairs (there is no lift which the website mentions) was a challenge. The breakfasts were very nice, and the conversation around the table was always interesting and friendly. What bothered us was the use of the same napkin at breakfast for 3 days -- the French way of doing things, I guess. Also, there was no room service at all, but there were plenty of towels, and we could have requested service if needed. No sheet change until the 4th day, which was ok with us, too. The home is in a great location -- near the Battery and within walking distance of all the restaurants and sights, but the Blue Room is a bit blah. What we found strange was their son's large birth announcement still pinned to the wall (he was born in 1987). I am sure it means a lot to Jack & Annelise, but it was a bit unusual for us. The bathroom towel bar had peeling paint,as did the woodwork around the shower. The bed was 2 twin beds pushed together -- perhaps the beds of their son when he lived there. Additionally, there were no locks on the doors from the outside hall. While we enjoyed all our fellow guests, we were uncomfortable with leaving our room open. We never left any valuables in the room. We realize this is a private home, but we expected a more hotel-like room. Maybe not a real expectation.
All the great reviews we have read talk about staying in the Cypress Room. Maybe we should have stayed in that room. That would not have changed our opinion about the breakfast napkins or lack of security in the room, however.
The owners have a black lab and a tabby cat. I think most people like animals as do we, but I am not sure about having their dog bones and cat food dishes all around. The animals are mentioned on the website, so be prepared to have them be part of the stay.
The 6pm social hour was nice, but kind of thrown together with cheeses, nuts and crackers and drinks. Jack was trying to "do it all" in addition to working full days, so I think having either Leann or Martha there to help would have made the social hour seem more organized. He appeared a bit harried.
We have traveled a great deal and stayed in many B & B's. Our experience here was good, but not exceptional. Charleston, on the other hand, was exceptional!
Don't stay in the rooms on the 3rd floor if you can't navigate stairs carrying your own bags...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
While we are always dismayed to receive a less than stellar review, we realize it is impossible to please 100% of the public 100% of the time. With regard to what information these guests admit to having received via the web, our correspondence, and personal as well as written instructions in the room, their comments are perplexing, and enigmatic. We will try to address their concerns point by point.
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As they admit, we state very clearly that this is an old house (1842) with no elevator. Packing in two small bags as suggested, it is our understanding that Leanne greeted them and helped carry their bags upstairs. We always inform our guests verbally as well as on the information sheet in each room that we do not come into their room unless requested (which the majority of our guests prefer) but will service the room at anytime if so desired, thus providing room service tailored to guests’ individual differences. We will, therefore, gladly change sheets at any time and routinely do so halfway through a four night stay, but these guests only stayed three nights and made no such request. We also encourage our patrons to consider hanging towels to dry for re-use the next day as a means of “going green”. However, they are all informed that fresh ones are always available in a nearby linen closet. The king bed is indeed two vintage mahogany four poster beds joined in such a manner that there is no valley or hump in the middle. Stating how comfortable it is, many of our guests ask for our method for doing so.
The presence of a cat and a dog are clearly indicated on the website so it is particularly perplexing as to why one would complain about pet feeding dishes being “all around” when such items are relegated to the kitchen and to the porch. The 6 PM social hour is just that. As I recall, these guests liked to eat early and I may have rushed to accommodate them for an earlier gathering, and do not recall when Martha was not here to help by 6 PM during their three night stay.
We do not promote ourselves as a hotel or an inn but rather as an old fashioned bed and breakfast with a more European atmosphere. At breakfast we utilize unique, individual antique napkin rings as we did as children, saving our linen cloths for the next day. We offer to provide a fresh one for any guest at any time. We consider this another instance of “going green”. In Charleston, by law, a true bed and breakfast has to be owner-occupied. Consequently, this IS our home and we have elected to share it that way with our guests. That is why there are still some personal art items in each room, many painted by family members. As this is an authentic antebellum abode, we have elected not to violate the vintage doors by drilling them for modern dead bolt locks. This would detract from the authenticity and devalue the house. We do have the old box locks on the doors and will look into having old skeleton-type keys fabricated to fit for those who so desire. The bathroom paint is an easy fix. There is one 1930’s wooden towel bar flaking paint. There is no woodwork around the shower but we have identified a 4 ½ inch missing strip of paint at the bottom of the door frame next to the shower. Evidently, moisture from the bathroom floor has caused the finish to pop off.
In summary, by their own admission we “were so friendly and helpful”, yet during their entire residence here they voiced no concerns as stated in their review. From other reviews it should be evident that we are very approachable and always want our patrons to enjoy their stay. We appreciate constructive suggestions but would prefer to address them contemporaneously. Perhaps it is not that these guests were “too picky”, but that they chose the wrong type of accommodations and “expected a more hotel-like room” instead of an authentic bed and breakfast as practiced in Charleston. It seems that a full-service inn or boutique hotel would better meet their needs. We do not want to be a commercial entity such as a motel, inn, or hotel. We do offer a family-type environment where folks can meet and friends can be made. Ours is not the place if one wants a sterile cookie-cutter environment. It is if one has a sense of humor and of history.
Jack, Annelise, Martha, Leanne
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.