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“A Disappointing Experience”
Review of Inn at Occidental

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Inn at Occidental
Ranked #1 of 1 Occidental B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
San Carlos,CA
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A Disappointing Experience”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

The Occidental Inn has several positive attributes to recommend it. It's set back from the main street by about a block and a half, which makes it very convenient to walk to dinner. The town is quite small. It is near several wineries. It has a lovely garden with flowers all around. Our room was quite large with room for a sitting area and a separate bath and shower. Certainly I've seen nicer bathroom fixtures and flooring (linoleum and indoor/outdoor carpet) but everything was clean and functional. They also had a refrigerator and a very nice balcony with flowers all around it. The room was decorated with a circus theme. You are given free wine tasting vouchers to several wineries.

So, where did things go wrong? First off, we were in a rush when we checked in as we wanted to go wine tasting before the wineries closed and we had less than an hour. The lady who showed us around made a big deal about the fireplace but said nothing about the air conditioner. Fast forward a few hours. We come back to our room and change for dinner. We walked down to the Union Hotel and sat outside on their lovely patio. We had a wonderful meal with the best tiramisu I've ever had. We walked back to the hotel and sat outside on our balcony for a little while but it was pretty hot even though it was only the middle of May. We went to turn the air conditioning on and couldn't get it to work. We've been to plenty of hotels in our time and never had this problem before. Honestly, if it is that complicated, there should be written directions. So, we can't get the air conditioner to work and we open the door to the balcony to get some air. Unfortunately, that also let in plenty of noise because that's the downside to being close to the action.

So, we kept alternating between opening and closing the door as we were either too hot or it was too noisy. Finally, we fell asleep. I woke up around 2:00a.m. to a dog whining and barking. The owner finally took the dog out and I was relieved because I thought I would finally get some sleep. However, not more than an hour later, the dog started up again whining and making noise and they didn't take him out. Personally, I think it's a mistake to allow dogs in a small inn like this precisely for this reason. If the dog starts acting up, it disturbs everyone around it. So, I ended up getting about 3-4 hours of sleep that night which is certainly not what you want to have happen on vacation. We went to breakfast in the morning and it was very good. You had a choice of either one or two eggs benedict. Unfortunately, I was pretty cranky from lack of sleep.

I told the wife (a husband and wife own this inn) what had happened and she looked stunned but didn't say much. Later, I got an e-mail from the husband saying we should have called them about the air conditioner. Maybe we should have, but putting up written directions would be helpful for future guests. He was kind enough to send me a voucher for a future stay, but I am unlikely to use it. I would be afraid that the same dog noise problem would crop up again. Honestly, major hotels are already allowing people to bring their dogs. A small inn should separate themselves from the rest by not allowing dogs. People would choose them so they would be guaranteed a quiet and peaceful night's sleep. Since I can't count on that with their current policy, I won't be back.

Room Tip: Make sure you are not directly above a dog friendly room.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jan & Kyle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerryoccidental, Owner at Inn at Occidental, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
As owners of the Inn, we thank the couple who stayed with us and provided us the feedback.
All guest rooms at the Inn have air conditioning. We greet and give all of our guests an orientation about the Inn. Following the orientation we escort each of our guests to their room and once in the room we explain all of the amenities they need to know. It appears in this case we overlooked the verbal explanation on how to operate the A/C unit in the room. We have apologized to the couple and I had sent them a one night gift certificate due to their unhappiness. Additionally, following their departure we added a small written procedure on how to operate the A/C unit in the room and placed it in a prominent location on the unit. The Inn has 18 guest rooms in 3 buildings. We have 4 pet-friendly rooms in one of our buildings. We were at a loss for words when we heard that a dog had started to bark late at night. As owners we live in the Inn and respond immediately to any issue which may arise. Unfortunately we did not hear the dog and we did not receive a call. Hopefully our gift certificate for a return visit will be used to regain their confidence in our Inn.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
UK and the EU
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2012

We had high hopes for this hotel as one of the nicer ones on a three week honeymoon around California and we were not dissapointed. We stayed in the Quilt Room and it was excellent with a huge bath and a great bed. From the offset the staff could not do more to help us plan our visit and sat down with us to pore over maps and offer discounts where applicable, at no point did they push any in particular which was refreshing. Every evening they have a very liberal wine tasting session from 1700-1800 with cheese and meats to be washed down which was a very welcome event and a great way to kick off for a meal at one of the three restaurants in town (a very short walk away). Overall we loved the Inn and Occidental as a place and had a great time exploring the area, we would certainly stay again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Hussar6838
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Very comfy beds, quality linens, nicely designed rooms (though some might find their look to be too country/frilly). Very friendly and helpful people.

Room Tip: I stayed in a room on the top floor of the annex and it was more spacious and had a charming balcony...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Toby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

My wife and I returned to the Inn after a stay there numerous years ago: it's still a charming little place in a quaint little town. We enjoyed our stay and the area. The staff was friendly (giving us restaurant advice) and the room was nice.

Two things I'll note: 1) We noticed that our room (Sonoma Lodge) was a little worse for wear. The entire room is decorated with pieces from birch branches along the point wear the wall and ceiling meet: pieces are missing, or are hanging down the wall held by only the bark or there's a piece of Velcro where the birch should be. It gave the room a disheveled appearance (breaking up the intended effect). 2) The wine and cheese service had gone downhill from our last time. To put it in perspective: Sonoma has some great cheese and wine producers. AND the Inn is a pricey place that prides itself on being a distinctive B&B. What surprised us was that two out of three of our cheese choices were cubed Monterey Jack and orange cheddar. I don't mean to sound snobby, but I have yet to find a winery in Sonoma that would ever serve their wine with such uninteresting cheeses. Plus, the staff serving the wine didn't even tell us what wine they were serving (the choices were white or red) and when I tried to look at the bottle I couldn't because it was being whisked back behind the counter so quickly. Again, I mention this because many hotels and B&Bs in the area are very happy to showcase the wine and cheese they serve and this wasn't our experience.

Overall, a good experience.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cyberdouglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

We were traveling as part of a bike and wine tour, so reservations were handled through tour company. But who could have imagined such a quaint, beautiful, cozy inn - here in the middle of nowhere (or at least seemed to be the middle of nowhere to us!). Our room, The Kitchen, was several stairs up giving the feeling of a tree house. We had a small porch just outside our door, perfect for enjoying the late afternoon. The room itself was very comfortable and had everything needed to relax and sleep well. The inn hosts a daily wine and cheeses hour, a great time to meet the owners and other guests. I wasn't crazy about the cooked breakfast, but there were plenty of options like fruit and granola to make up for it.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank withanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ramon, California
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

The Inn was so peaceful with a touch of old fashion hospitality. The folks there made you feel so comfortable, breakfast was outstanding, the staff were incredibly delightful. Breakfast at 8:00 am was delicious and so was the wine and cheese served after 5:00 o clock daily. Its decor was beautiful and the flowers in the garden were top notch, a treat to see and smell all the different plants and aromas. If ever you get the chance, its not far from the Bay area and a hidden secret worth visiting. Also Zip line excursions right down the road, heck of fun.

Room Tip: There is the room we stayed at had the only fire place and just a canopy bed you wont believe its co...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tommy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littleton, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2012

We found this place through an online deal and weren't really sure what the town would be like but the pics of the inn were beautiful. When we got there we found it to be better than pictured. Such a beautiful Inn!! We staid in the Sonoma Room and it was luxury! Breakfast was made fresh every morning along with great coffee and homemade granola. The Inn Keepers were delightful and helpful as was their staff. The Inn was a great location to take day trips from through the beautiful Russian River Valley. This is a fabulous place!! I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a great wine country experience!

Room Tip: The Rooms separate from the main Inn offer a nice view of Occidental and the hills. As well as a gre...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn at Occidental

Property: Inn at Occidental
Address: 3657 Church St, Occidental, CA 95465-9116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Occidental
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Occidental
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Inn at Occidental 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded beneath towering redwoods in the village of Occidental, the Inn is centrally located to the spectacular vineyards and orchards of Sonoma wine country, the stunning beaches and cliffs of the Pacific Coast, and the delightul, meandering Russian River. The Inn is a perifect spot for a romantic getaway or special occasion. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At Occidental Hotel Occidental

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