Maybe I'd be more forgiving if I hadn't just spent three heavenly days at a B&B in Asheville, North Carolina (Hill House Bed and Breakfast) and a night in a well-appointed, charming cabin in the woods at a B&B in Glade Valley, North Carolina (Glade Valley Bed and Breakfast), but the Claiborne House fell WAY BELOW EXPECTATIONS.
First, this B&B is not in a rural setting, but a fairly suburban one with houses right next door and a chain-equivalent Mexican restaurant on corner. Although you can see the mountains in the distance from the back of the property, you certainly aren't in the country. It is convenient to the Blue Ridge Parkway which is why we chose to stay there.
The Mexican restaurant was recommended by the innkeeper and we made the unfortunate choice of eating there, The restaurant staff were very nice, but the food is nothing special.
The house is architecturally interesting and the interior and furnishings quite beautiful. The house, though, is a bit dark. Our room, the Blue Ridge Room, was smaller than it appears in the photos, although the bathroom is a decent size. I spent the night coughing, either from dust in the lace canopy and curtains, or from cat dander from the cat I spied in the study though a window of the house. I had no idea there was a cat in the house. The bed itself, however, was comfortable.
Also, unlike other B&Bs where I have stayed that have nice towels and bath products, this one had rough, mismatched towels and Big Lots hand soap. Having a tv with cable in the room was a nice bonus, though.
Breakfast was tasty. Not fancy or gourmet, but good - French toast, sausage, fresh fruit.
Also, even though we were the only guests the night we stayed, we were met by knocking on our door at 11:30, 30 minutes past checkout time. To be fair, maybe the innkeepers had someplace to go, but this was in such contrast to our prior experiences with warm, accommodating hosts, that it stood out.
I would say staying at Claiborne House felt like staying at the home of a distant acquaintance. We were accommodated and our basic needs met, but there was none of the warmth and personal touches you might experience someplace else.
My thought is that anyone who thinks it is four- or five-stars hasn't stayed at a four- or five-star B&B.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
How did we guess when you were asked if you were ready to go a half hour PAST check-out that a negative review would appear on Trip Advisor? Go figure. We should have just charged you a late check-out, since you didn't even leave at that point, you were just getting your stuff together.
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This is something people don't quite understand, when someone takes advantage of you then writes a stinky review, but as I say those people you-all-know-them, sometimes do stay at B&B's...
We do indeed have a cat, we are a family, and we have one cat and one dog whom we love dearly, so we do pet them and kiss them. They do not go into the guest areas, and trust me people ask over and over to meet them, those who enjoy family pets. I have to explain there are people who do not like pets, or have allergies, so we keep them from the guest areas. Even though the entire house is ours.
We are not gourmet, we don't claim to be, our guests typically aren't after gourmet, but something home-cooked and delicious, at least you enjoyed your breakfast, oh wait you were the man who doesn't "do mornings" so the 9am breakfast was not what you wanted. Your girlfriend sat and ate alone until you finally came down.
We never said we were RURAL. We say we are in the heart of Rocky Mount, an historic main street town. We are the county seat of Franklin County which has 50,000 residents, and Rocky Mount has 3000 residents. Small town. We are small town. We say we are small town. Hear the church bells ringing on our corner...this is a small southern town.
The town would like a word with you about being a mountain community, of course. The movie Lawless was about this community, and the same time you were here we had guests from England who were shown southern hospitality to the max and even in the newspaper regarding it. It is a shame you felt cheated in that area.
We cannot compete with Asheville NC, lord no. The rates there at Hill House...$190-$245 a night! Your room was only $115 with the $10 discount we gave you. That is $130 more A NIGHT than we charge, at their "leaf season rate" of $245! Our rates are the same year-round, weekday and weekend.
So all in all we wish you the best, and hope you will find what you are looking for. We are not happy you chose to belittle us, the area and even our little Mexican restaurant...they are terrific. What sort of food would you expect in a town of 3000 people? It is clean, the service is great, price is super reasonable and it is tasty! We will continue to send our guests to El Rio Mexican Grill. They can even make table-side guacamole for you.
The Leete Family Innkeepers
No, don't worry we won't let this one get us down, this is what being in the people business is all about! We will continue to focus on the great guests who love staying here! We hope to see you soon at The Claiborne House B&B (in small town USA) in ol' Virginia. Follow our funky blog "Claiborne House Coffee Talk" if you wish to see what we are all about.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.