I stayed one night at Columns and it was quite possibly the worst B&B experience I've ever had. While this large house is in a lovely location, the breakfast was unpalatable, the house was cluttered and dirty, and the innkeeper's behavior was appallingly.
Another B&B, Antique Row, was full and they recommended Columns. When we called to make a reservation, Kathy, the owner was brusque and spent most of the conversation telling us about what a bad day she was having. Upon our arrival, she continued to complain about how much she disliked her guests and how tired she was. She was very irritated at us for being a hour later than expected, even though we called en route to let her know. When we came home after dinner Kathy told us not to come down for breakfast until 10.
The lobby had junk everywhere--a broken computer and monitor blocking the couch and a sad-looking broken doll in the only chair.
Our room was very small and overstuffed with broken lamps, boxy inexpensive furniture lining every wall and ugly knickknacks everywhere. There was so much stuff in the room--we had trouble walking around the bed without tripping over something. Our closets were also full of random junk (our neighbor had a giant chandelier in their closet so clearly the owner likes to use the rooms to store her projects).
Other problems: since we shared a bathroom with 8 other people, we had to wait quite awhile to use it before bed and there was no overflow bathroom on another floor. Also, none of the bedroom doors had locks.
Meanwhile, back in our room, a thick layer of dust covered every surface, including the pillows. We couldn't turn the A/C off and the room was freezing. The bed was comfortable, but we were bitten by some sort of insect while we slept.
When we came down to breakfast the owner said, "well you'll have to wait." The table only sat 5 people (the hotel has 4 floors of rooms). The breakfast was simply awful. Our options: stale cereal, stale toaster waffles, molding bananas, room temperature Light yogurt, styrofoam-textured Safeway muffins, and toast accompanied by jam with mold floating in it. As a bonus, the cream for the coffee was curdled. Every person at the table asked for new cream but the owner insisted that it was fine, despite the chunks floating in each guests' mug.
During breakfast, the owner gave unsolicited advice and shared her offensive opinions--including complaining, again, about other guests. If we thought she was rude to us we were shocked at the way she treated others.
We checked out immediately afterwards. She made us wait several minutes while she combed through our room. Then she came down the stairs and started screaming at us. Literally, screaming. First, she accused us of stealing her towels. Then, she was upset that we used the comforter in the closet. Then, she said we misrepresented how many people were in the room and refused to return my credit card. Finally, she started yelling "Get out of my house! Get out!" It was completely bizarre. She followed us out into the street, screaming, as we walked rapidly away.
I have never been treated so poorly. It's pretty clear that the owner is in the wrong line of work. Philly has many lovely B&Bs, and next time we'll be staying at one of them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.