Pros: We stayed at a room in the Farmhouse and although there were quite a few stinkbugs in the room (a little unsettling), it was beautiful and spotless. We enjoyed the three-course dinner at the Inn; the ambiance was lovely and the meal was delicious. Breakfast was also quite good, and the inn grounds are very scenic and peaceful.
Cons: Only one, but it’s a big one. I had booked a reservation for a spa service on the inn’s website about a week prior to our arrival. I accidentally booked the service for the day we arrived, when I meant to book it for the following day. We received a call as we were on our way to the inn (two hours away) notifying me that I had missed my appointment. I realized I had made a mistake and apologized for the inconvenience, assuming that we could fix the problem once we arrived.
After we checked in to our room, I brought up the spa issue and the individual who was helping us called someone to check about it. After hanging up the phone she informed me that I would be charged the full amount of my service for missing my appointment and I could reschedule at full price if I wished. When I gently expressed my disappointment and asked if there was anything that could be done, she became very defensive, said “don’t shoot the messenger,” and left (we had overheard her previously mentioning to a colleague that she was “getting ready to clock out,” so I think she just didn’t want to deal with me).
I then called the inn and spoke with a manager. I took full responsibility for mixing up the dates but explained that this was an honest mistake and asked if there was anything they could do so that I was not out the full amount of the spa service. He told me that as a small property, the inn had to pay the service provider her full rate and therefore had to charge me in full for my missed appointment. He said there was nothing more that could be done. When we went to the main inn house for dinner that evening, the same individual approached me before dinner with an envelope in which he had written a note explaining again the inn’s policy and which included a copy of that policy with relevant sections concerning no-show appointments highlighted. After dinner, he told me that he would still apply the $50 spa credit I had received (we booked our stay through a coupon site) even though I missed the appointment.
Throughout this entire process I took full responsibility for missing my appointment. I did not forget, oversleep, or change my mind; this was obviously an honest mistake. I never denied or feigned ignorance of the inn’s policy on no-shows; I merely asked for a little flexibility given the circumstances (I am also seven months pregnant and was very much looking forward to this appointment). Giving me a highlighted copy of the inn’s policies (available on the website) was overkill. Acting as though it was a favor to me to count the spa credit that came with the deal I purchased was offensive.
Ultimately, I felt that I was being treated like a nuisance even though I was unfailingly polite and respectful (I never raised my voice; I never got upset) when asking for a little flexibility on the inn’s policy.
What was I expecting them to do? Here’s one idea – the inn surely does not pay the service provider the full cost of the spa service (which was $90). The manager could have asked me to pay only the inn’s cost, or could have offered me another service at cost. Something like this would have cost the inn little or nothing and could have allowed me to still enjoy the appointment. Instead of this small gesture, the manager dug in on his position and unfortunately lost my business and my recommendation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover an unforgettable West Virginia Inn and Restaurant in lovely Charles Town. Our West Virginia bed and breakfast is a historic country estate with beautiful gardens on 17 wooded acres. Relax in a romantic suite at our Charles Town hotel with comfy beds, whirlpool tubs & fireplaces. Experience the gracious service and award winning dining at our secluded inn in Charles Town that makes us stand apart from any Harpers Ferry B&B. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hillbrook Hotel Charles Town