We rented the entire inn for our family vacation to Newport this summer. When we arrived (three sets of grandparents and two children included) it was raining, and we were asked to wait outside in the rain (after 1:00 in the afternoon) because they were still cleaning the rooms. We were not even permitted to sit inside in the library or sitting area. We also had asked ahead of time if we had access to a grill, but when we arrived, the gas tank was empty and could not be removed. This was nearly two months ago, and we have yet to receive our security deposit back. The rooms are lovely, but the owner, Nick, was less than helpful during our stay and has been more than negligent and even became insulting (ignoring emails and phone calls and calling me "a piece of work") now that he owes us our deposit. There are better places to stay where you won't have to tiptoe around a house whose owners are very unwelcoming.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
This is a very animated, complicated story to tell but here are the basics.... There are two indidivuals which I am not allowed to name. The first person booked the reservation and paid for it. The second individual complained the entire time and was the one posted this review.
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Here is the full story...The Architect's Inn was rented for 3 days as a house rental NOT as B&B for nearly half the normal price. The idea was that I would not have to provide staffing, cleaning, food, and I could give myself and my staff a few days off from a very hot summer. This also gave them exactly what they were looking for which was a getaway and ability to do whatever they wanted. It was also a midweek rental so it was a win win for both of us. It was the most beautiful perfect summer ever in Newport in terms of weather. The day they arrived the rain started. It was pouring rain the entire time. I took that as an omen!! the rain stopped the day they left, oddly enough.
As instructed, they called before arrival and I told them the house would be ready at a certain time. They said they could go to lunch and come back. What happens....Of course they don't go to lunch, they come right to the inn...early... and all standing on the front door, in the pouring rain, waiting for us to answer the door. We don't answer right away because we are scrambling to try to clean up the house so that we could be ready for them. We had the whole Inn full the night before so cleaning all those rooms to accommodate their early arrive was nothing short of a miracle. Anyway, I answer the door and told them I can give them their keys and they can go for a spin around town and come back in half hour. They decide to sit in the library waiting for the house to be ready, which is of course very hard to clean with kids and adults shuffling around, asking questions about where to go, what to do, looking for bathrooms, piling luggage everywhere, opening wine bottles, etc, etc. We were not expecting so soon because they told me they were going to lunch. If I was snippy it was because I was trying to juggle housekeeping, cleaning and the fact they just dropped in. They were not working with me to get to the common goal….a clean, presentable house with a comfortable, relaxing check in process. I do have to say at this point, I actually liked the family. Everyone seemed amenable and pleasant except for the second individual who seemed to be running the show even though it was the first individual who booked and paid for it. I figured as ringleader, she was stressed in the moment but probably was a very nice person in real life.
So, house rental means they are on their own, right? I guess not! I've rented houses before and if there is something you need, you provide it yourself. It is not uncommon to make a trip or two to the grocery store to pick up supplies. However, we supplied them with the basics but the basics were not enough for this group. I had to make at least three stops at the house during their stay for little stuff. They needed speciality pots and pans, additional cooking utensils, lighters, trash bags, paper towels, platters, paper napkins, etc. We had everything but they needed THREE of everything which for a four burner stove, doesn't even make sense.
The most annoying part of their requests was that they booked knowing there was NO outdoor grill. I know this because the advertisement they saw has a check box for Grill and it was not checked off. They called several times asking if there is a grill because they really wanted a summer cook out as part of their vacation. Sympathetic to their cause, I told them each and every time they called or emailed that we don’t advertise that we have a grill. However, we have a grill but we have not used it in a very long time. I don’t know if it works but there seems like there is gas in the tank. You are welcome to try but I can’t guarantee anything. Sooooo, they arrive and its raining cats and dogs. They call me the second day of their stay saying that the gas tank in the grill has only a little gas and not enough to grill with. They want me to go get a gas tank OR replace the grill entirely. My assistant, not knowing that I already had this conversation with them several times, offered to help. Now, obligated, we found ourselves spending over an hour in the pouring rain trying to replace the gas tank on the old grill because the old grill tank was rusted to the grill and we had to pry it off….in the pouring rain. Then we had to clean the grill and make sure it worked with the new tank….in the pouring rain. Then we had to go find grill utensils and position it in a spot that wouldn’t burn the house down yet was not in a puddle of water….in the pouring rain. All the time thinking….what kind of person wants to have a bbq in torrential rain? This screamed scenes from the Tom Hanks movie The 'Burbs!! It wasn't as if the weather forecast showed any hope of sun!! So me and my assistant, left them with a working grill at our expense and us freezing cold and soaking wet.
Okay so three days of wind and rain go by and they are checking out. They tell me, as they leave, that they accidentally broke a glass table in the third floor and that I can deduct it from their damage deposit. My housekeeper goes up to clean the room and the glass is still all over the floor. This family didn’t even bother to clean it up and the crazy part of that is that the children of the family were sleeping in this room. I was shocked they let their children walk around with big chucks of glass on the floor!!! Of course because of this, my housekeeper cuts himself because he was not expecting shards of glass all over. I go through the house and start seeing other damage that they didn’t tell me about such as chipped plaster walls, broke tea cups, hand prints on the walls and dents in furniture.
So a month goes by and they are looking for their security deposit back. I mistakenly did not write down their billing address off the check they originally gave me. So when they contacted me I asked for an address to send the check to. I send a check but it returns. Of course I didn't write down the phone number of the second individual because I was dealing with the first individual months ago. She contact me again via nasty nasty emails asking where the check is and I told her the situation. She accused me of lying to her about the returned check and not having their phone number but then she gave me another address. I send out the check.
They continue sending nasty emails quoting me phrases from the Rhode Island State Law books (in obnoxious 25 point font on an email) pertaining to returning security deposits for renters. Of course, if she only read what she quoted me those laws only apply to long term renters like an apartment on a monthly or yearly lease. She started threatening me with small claims court. At this point I was annoyed beyond belief with her. By the way she was talking, you would think she was going to get millions of dollars back. It was only a couple hundred dollars deposit!!!
She must not be very bright because after I emailed her that the check is in the mail, she replies with even more nasty emails!!! I replied to the nasty emails with a very good suggestion....I told her that she really shouldn't start insulting me until AFTER the check clears. I said I could put a stop payment on the check and not refund your deposit at all considering that I did not charge her for all the damage they actually caused. Which is the truth!!! In actuality they deserved nothing back between the broken glass, the chipped walls, additional wallpaper cleaning charge and the furniture.
So there is the whole story. In the grand scheme of things I've had worse customers but I believe she exaggerated the story probably because she was upset her vacation was ruined... not by me....but by mother nature sending a hurricane during her holiday.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.