My partner and I were heading to Brier Island this past weekend to do some research for an upcoming project. We needed a place to stay so I did a little searching on the Internet. We have two dogs, a pug and a boarder collie and we needed a place where they would be welcome. I stumbled on Graham's Pioneer Retreat online and decided to give them a call. Linda Graham answered the phone and told me they were open on the coming long weekend and that dogs were allowed. The place sounded great.
When we arrived on the property on Friday afternoon, we immediately felt a bit worried. The main office is in the Graham's house whose yard looks like a junk yard. There was even a dead fish head beside the walkway as we approached the house. The Graham's have two dogs that are loose and intimidating. One is a German Sheppard and the other is a Husky. They barked as we approached. The office is unkept and cluttered. Not a great first impression. Linda made us pre pay for our two nights accommodations, which is not standard practice. She then took us to our cottage. It was cute and clean. After Linda left, I sat on our bed and it made a loud clunking noise and shifted underneath me. I started to worry about the bed, but it seemed solid enough. We quickly realized that there were hardly any candles and the ones that were there were nearly burned down. We also realized that both of the lighters in the cottage were out of lighter fluid. We made do. When we went to bed at 9:45 pm we found ourselves very annoyed when the bed collapsed underneath us. The centre bar on the frame broke completely. I decided to call Linda. I told her the bed broke and she was completely unremorseful. She suggested we sleep on the pull out couch. I told her I did not think I should pay $140 a night to sleep on a couch. I told her we would sleep on the matress on the floor. Because she was so unhelpful, I told her we would be checking out the next morning. I asked her to please refund my Visa the amount for the second night stay and her response was that she would have to think about it. The next morning, we went to the office and spoke with Linda. When I asked her again about a refund, she said it cost her money to have a contract with Visa and it cost her money to open a cottage for us for one night and that she would not normally open a cottage for one night. I asked her if she had turned others away for the second night and she wouldn't answer me. I explained that we understood her cancellation policy and that if she needed to, she could keep her 15% of our second night stay, but that I expected to be refunded the rest. She then said she would need to go look at the bed first, insinuating that we broke it. She suggested that we leave, go to Brier Island and come back later and maybe she would give us money back. This was getting crazy to me and we refused to leave until she reimbursed us. I also explained to her that this was the worst customer experience I had ever experienced. She spoke to her husband, who never showed his face and very bregrudgingly gave us back our money, minus the 15% and despite the fact we slept on the floor Our first night. After all of that, Linda asked me if I would take a box back to the city with me that was full of a past customer's belongings that had been left behind. Gah!!!!! I would never ever ever send anyone there. The hosts ruin the mood of the whole experience. I say that just because you own some oceanfront and can build a cottage, does not mean that you should ever hosts guests on your property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Do you like your privacy? Peace and quiet? There are 4 secluded self-catering, oceanfront cottages located on 50 acres of Mother Nature's best just waiting for you. Each cottage has a full kitchen and a propane bar-b-q on the deck. You may also have the good fortune to watch porpoise and seals as they swim by, birds fly by, even rabbits come and go while the waves wash ashore. Enjoy board games, a beach bonfire, rock hounding, hiking, star gazing, awesome sunrises, and beachcombing. Go whale watching, birding, to the theme park, golfing. There is a lot to see and do. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Graham's Pioneer Retreat Digby, Nova Scotia