We don't mind waiting 4-6 minutes for hot water in a hotel or maybe even 14-16 minutes, but 40-60 and still NO HOT WATER??? Not acceptable!! I made a reservation at 1871 House in August 2012 to stay in the Front and Rear Libraries in December 2012 for the Christmas season. I had plenty of time to call and e-mail the staff, make requests and peruse their website! So when I read under Link #2 1871 House: What to Expect, "in extreme cases you may have to wait a few minutes for your shower" and "water heater is new and all of the plumbing has been redone", the thought that we may have NO HOT WATER never crossed my mind!
Our daughter was going to stay with our family at 1871 House as part of her graduation gift from NYU. When she heard that the HOT WATER was "HIT OR MISS" in our Bed & Breakfast, she opted to stay in her dorm room. In fact, one of our guests schlepped all her toiletries across town for a hot shower in our daughter's "dorm room" because we had such difficulty getting hot water in either of our 2 bathrooms! Very disappointing and embarrassing for us as her hosts, especially in light of the high cost of our 2 rooms!!! (over $4,000 for 5 nights)
The "middle man", Anita, at 1871 House did her best to try to appease us by coming to the room and running the water late in the afternoon on our third day there. There was warm water; but at that time many of the guests had checked out, and the remaining guests had taken their daily showers. I asked for monetary compensation for the discomfort and inconvenience and was told, "No, we don't do that." I asked to speak to the owners to discuss our dissatisfaction and was told, "No they don't talk to the guests; you have to deal with me. Also, we need your credit card so we can collect the balance of your bill." (A very different story from the reviews on their website about the warm and hospitable, yet unobtrusive, staff and owners.) So I paid my balance and my family and I had "HIT OR MISS" HOT WATER for the remainder of our trip. Again, a huge disappointment!! Be advised!
I would also encourage you to read ALL comments on Trip Advisor pertaining to 1871 House before making your reservation. Some very valid points have been made. Unfortunately, I read these comments after my stay when I was writing my review. Lesson learned!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 5, 2013
Although we disagree with most of what this guest claims, we, too, believe guests should do some light research before booking anywhere. We also absolutely agree with this guest that waiting 40-60 minutes for a shower is unacceptable – but this is never the case at 1871 House. As we state, if the house is at full capacity, there can be a wait time of 10 minutes until the gas-fired water heater recovers entirely for a guest to enjoy a hot shower. In the case of this reviewer’s two half-floor units, our assistant went to check on the status of the hot water and found it to be satisfactory. We would like to take the reviewer's claim at face value, but we have never heard of an hour-long wait for hot water here, and have trouble believing the report is accurate given the basic dynamics of our heating system. If this reviewer is speaking truthfully, we can only offer that this experience was an absolute anomaly. An overwhelming percentage of our guests are repeat customers - we doubt so many people would tolerate the wait time this reviewer mentioned if it were the standard, not the exception. It may also be the case that in this room's bathroom, the cross handle/knob in the shower was spun several times to the right, which interferes with the temperature regulation in the suite. We offer written instructions on how to operate the shower, which sleepy guests might overlook.
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The mention of money and financial compensation is a red flag to us. If the guests read the policies ahead of time, as they insist, then they would have known our check-in procedure (with which they did not comply). The complaint – and many other details of this guests’ stay - makes us think the guests did not read our policies ahead of time, did not agree with our policies, and generally did not want to be here.
If one should want an experience at a big-box hotel that sits over a mediocre burger bar and features fluorescent lighting, then there are plenty of other places available. If, however, one wants a cozier suite with apartment-style rooms, we are one of the only venues to offer such a stay. We love our guests - they seek us out for specific reasons. On the off-chance someone finds us and books a stay without knowing we aren't a chain hotel, they are usually pleasantly surprised - especially for our location in NYC. But sadly, in this instance, it has become clear that this guest was totally unaware that he would be staying in a quaint, cozy, elegant hotel that is less like a chain and more like a private home.
1871 House is a historic brownstone, over a century old; there will be occasions of senility where the house simply has a mind of its own. We advise our potential guests on these quirks and ask for their understanding, which many of them gladly give. We are most sorry that the house did not meet the expectations of this guest, as we felt we did everything in our power to remedy their issues.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.