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“You can't make it up...”

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Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #8 of 11 Mount Dora B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Naple, FL
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“You can't make it up...”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

I don't know how this B&B is rated so highly. It's certainly not the hospitality, the food or the amenities. Our room was clean and the location is good. The main area is so cluttered it made us dizzy but if you like clutter you'll love it. I am puzzled why it received such a high rating???? The owner's really need to focus on their guests. We felt as if we were in Randy's (the owner) way most of the time. We felt that we were putting him out and needed to tiptoe around the B&B so we didn't disturb him. Margie, his wife, tried to be more welcoming but it seemed she struggled as well. I only hope they don't treat all of their guests so frigidly.

We really enjoyed the town of Mt. Dora. Our favorite restaurant was Goblin's. We had an opportunity to do some boating and cruising through the interconnected canals.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are beautiful and clean. There are no amenities. The towels are rather tattered...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank MissTravel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
heroncay, Owner at Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, December 24, 2012
It’s easy to see why we have such a high rating; AAA is a professional organization that gives us 4 Diamonds through a process of anonymously staying as a guest, a status given to less than 4% of the lodging establishments in this country. This rating is not a popularity contest.

These guests were a large group, five couples that came here together. MissTravel L and one other woman, according to others in the group, had too much to drink and were partying loudly at a late hour, disturbing our other guests. MissTravel L and the other woman did not handle being told nicely to please quiet down. Among other drunken comments, they threatened to use TripAdvisor to get revenge, as you see by her review ~ need I say more! We want our guests to enjoy themselves, but not disturb our other guests.
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Sarasota, Florida, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed December 10, 2012

I stayed at Heron Cay 1 night and was quite pleased with: 1. The hosts are friendly and down to earth people. 2. Breakfast- Randy's poached eggs were delicious. 3. Sitting on the front porch in the evening viewing the sunset over the lake was quite restful. 4. Large room suite that was clean. 5.There's a path through the woods that leads to town so you can park your car and enjoy all that Mount Dora has to offer without getting in your car.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank wilsonron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, Florida, USA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2012

This majestic Victorian Manor overlooks Lake Dora in the quaint, nostalgic town of Mt. Dora. It accommodates 6 guest rooms, some with Fireplaces. There is a pleasant, private walk only 4-5 blocks to the historic downtown filled with many antiques and art. "Chef" Randy makes a srumptious fried-poached egg surrounded with fruits, fresh OJ off the tree, and homemade breads. Each room has a TV/Refrig/private baths...pet friendly and handicap accommodations. The best part of the Heron Cay is that it is a four diamond B&B and the minute you enter the inviting doorway, you experience this award in more ways than one. Margy and Randy, innkeepers, are the most hospitable and make you feel like family, along with their several critters. "I did not want to leave!" and will be going back soon. This is the place to be if you want to go back to "somewhere in time" and enjoy the simple life again.

Room Tip: I would advice you to go to their website and actually view there awesome rooms. Have fun chosing w...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sunshine72_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Margie was very nice. Breakfast was served in waves and she apologized for the lateness of it as each wave was served. We understood that delays happen the first morning. The second morning was running so far behind we just left. There are some maintenance needs for the building. The website says tea and refreshments but those did not materialize. And the way the front door to the common areas is secured is difficult to maneuver if you want to have a cup of coffee on the porch while waiting on breakfast to materialize.

Room Tip: Downstairs is very noisy with kitchen noise and plumbing noises from upstairs.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ladyvol_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, FL
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

At first sight, this big, Victorian house that was built as a B&B overlooking a beautiful lake looked like it would be very nice - our room was clean and had a separate entrance, a great convenience because we had our dog with us, and "pet-friendly" was the selling point of this place. On closer inspection and as time went on, the house is not well-maintained (especially the exterior) and really not very comfortable. The antiques and collectibles are interesting and there are many to look at, but the common areas function more like a museum than a functional place to relax and socialize. There is no comfy furniture in them where one can sit for a while and linger, and the fact that the front door is locked at all times makes coming and going an ordeal that has to be thought out (making sure you have your keys w/you always).
We had trouble with a toilet that needed the handle jiggled almost everytime, and when the guests upstairs flushed theirs, we heard loud gushing water flowing through the pipes down the walls. We were able to hear noise in the kitchen until a late hour, and the old, hard pillows were extremely unconducive to sleep.
However, the most frustrating and disappointing aspect of Heron Cay is the totally unpredictable breakfast, as many others have mentioned... Upon check-in, the guide book says that coffee will be out at 8 am, nut breads and fruit by 9, and an egg dish by 9:30 - an odd sequence of events in any case, but truth be told, only the coffee came out when stated, and was not carefully monitored so when it was gone, it was empty for some time. We were there from Fri - Sun and on Sat. morning the pumpkin bread came out in a reasonable amount of time so that it wasn't quite so bad waiting for the rest of the breakfast until after 10 am - but on Sunday, when the coffee ran out and no juice or water was available, and no other food appeared by well after 9, we gave up and went into town for some breakfast before needing to get on the road.
This whole scenario was disrespectful to guests who are paying a high price for a bed and breakfast accomodation. When guests plan to go out and participate in activities based on when breakfast is served, it makes it impossible to eat and get out of there in a timely fashion. When check-out time is 11 am, and breakfast isn't served till after 10, that makes it rudely difficult for guests. The owners seem to be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running this kind of business, even though they claim to have years of experience. We paid a lot of money for food that took forever to be served, and having to end up going out and spending more so that we could eat and get driving was the last straw. There is no excuse for not having a reliable breakfast time period that guests can count on so that the rest of their day can get underway. There was a lot of activity and noise eminating from the kitchen, but nothing appeared from it until the owners were good and ready - either a total lack of concern for the guests or a complete lack of proper planning and execution. Either way, a seriously disappointing experience for what was to be a relaxing weekend getaway.
Skip this place and find a B&B where the guests are #1 - Mount Dora is worth it!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank claricezim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
heroncay, Owner at Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, December 7, 2012
Obvious revenge cause Mom got angry. These guests were given a two night stay by his mother on a busy holiday weekend. When they brought extra guests in the room and they obviously tried to avoid eye contact upon checking in and again at breakfast the next morning, I was not sure what was going on. Mom made all arrangements and paid for accommodations, therefore, I contacted her for authorization to pay for extra guests. . . apparently Mom was furious when she found out that there were extra guests overnight in the same room (not sure why??).

I don't usually forget guest's request, however, I had a death in the family on that 'Tuesday' and may have forgotten their phone call / this is why our policy requests changes to reservations be in writing. I also had no way of contacting this couple, his mother made all arrangements and they quickly disappeared before Saturday's breakfast was over for a very full house. My guess is that Mom refused to pay when she found out the other couple was involved.

Stayed only one night ?? ~ they failed to mention that they did not vacate the room until nearly 11pm Saturday / pretty much the entire evening. Their credit card company denied their refund request since they occupied the room for the evening.

We do not have a 'hot tub' nor do we advertise having one, there is a jetted tub adjacent to the pool (it was built that way), they must have assumed it was a hot tub, and the porch furniture had been prepped for paint. 'Dogs in the kitchen' they never linger there, this is my home and one must walk thru the kitchen to get from our living quarters to the outside; and the 'hole in the wall' appeared after their visit. The breakfast they described was not even close to our breakfast buffet and we served to more than 20 guests that morning ~ not sure how they counted 8 guests.

We strive to make all of our guests enjoy themselves, these guests arrived with obvious discomfort and appeared uneasy being around me even though I tried to make them feel welcome. I am sorry they had an unpleasant experience but do not feel we are to blame.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

This could be a nice place if someone else were running it. Our main complaint is with the owner, Margie.

There were minor complaints we were fine with overlooking (rotting hole in porch ceiling, dogs in kitchen, hole in stairway wall, cold hot tub, rusty pool furniture, hair in the bathtub, breakfast later than stated, etc.). What we weren't able to overlook was when Margie called my mother-in-law to pay for extra charges we incurred during our stay. Let me explain.

We were generously given a gift certificate from my husband's mother for a much needed weekend away (she also offered to keep our 4 children for us!). This was unexpected and very much appreciated. We decided to have another couple stay with us in the Queen Victoria suite since there are 2 beds and the website says this room sleeps 6. We called Margie on Tuesday to make the arrangements for the extra 2 guests for Friday night only (Saturday night would be just the 2 of us).

We stayed Friday night, partook of the Saturday morning breakfast, and were off for a day of shopping. It was after 3pm on Saturday when we got a call from my mom-in-law that Margie had called her and would be charging her and additional $40 per night because we showed up with extra people. Of course my husband called Margie.

What we didn’t understand is why she didn’t tell us about the extra charge when I called Tuesday (or when we checked in Friday or at breakfast Saturday). Well, according to Margie, it would be illegal for her to tell us that because we didn't purchase the certificate or make the reservation ourselves. She said she couldn't remember if I had told her when I called Tuesday or not. She did remember I had called her for something on Tuesday but she forgot to write it down.

We felt that her attitude and actions were completely out of line, unprofessional, and unacceptable. We would have had no problem paying an extra $40 for our friends - that's not the point. But to call and try to get our mom to pay for it – we didn’t understand it at all. She called my mother-in-law later that same day to say she did remember me calling her about the extra guests, but she never apologized to us or admitted that to us.

Anyway, we couldn't bring ourselves to stay there another night and my husband couldn't allow his mother to feel bad for purchasing what turned out to be such a terrible gift so he insisted that Margie issue a refund to her and he paid for our stay (we paid for 2 nights - even though we only stayed one night - plus the extra $40 for our friends, plus we left a tip for the maid because none of this was the maids fault). Margie said she would issue the refund to mom the following day once she made sure the room was ok (at that point she had our credit card info so that didn’t make sense either). Then she insisted my husband return the room key (which he already had done and she was holding it in her hand). I don't know Margie personally so I can't begin to understand or explain her actions, all I know is that our experience with her was not good. We went somewhere else for our 2nd night and it was wonderful.

Needless to say, we will never stay here again. Under new management this could be a great place. The bed sheets were soft and the rooms were decorated like a typical B&B. We liked the sitting area and furniture in our room. We thought the bed was firm but everyone has their own preference so that's not a complaint. Breakfast was late and there wasn't much of it (for 8 guests there was: 1/3 of a bundt cake, 1 dinner plate of fruit, 2 omelettes sliced into 8 pieces, a bread loaf pan of hash browns, and 6 sausage links) but we aren't big eaters so even that was ok. What anyone who plans on staying here needs to realize is that anything you verbally discuss with Margie may be “forgotten” and not honored. Make sure you get it in writing from her. My advice is to choose one of the many other lovely B&B's in town.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank weRfamily6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alachua, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

This is a beautiful bed and breakfast and the owners are wonderful people. I made the mistake of not reading the web site carefully and expected a historic Inn. The Heron Cay was built in the 1990's but looks historic. In many ways having the Inn be new makes it more comfortable by modern standards. The Inn is within walking distance of town and the grounds are very nice. The pool looked nice but we did not get to enjoy because we were only there one night. I really enjoyed the Russian Wolfhounds that the owners have, I missed my own dogs so that was nice.
I love Mt. Dora because it is a quaint town with many interesting shops and good places to eat.
I would recommend the German restaurant in town, excellant German food.

Room Tip: We actually had a chance to see most of the rooms and they are all very nice, you can feel comfortab...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marybel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast

Property: Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast
Address: 495 W Old US Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL 32757-4400
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Lake County > Mount Dora
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Mount Dora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gracious Victorian Residence with a Tropical Flair overlooking Lake Dora, recently created to reflect times from our glorious past. Most of our rooms/suites have a view of Lake Dora, three have a fireplace and most can accommodate four guests or more if needed; they are unusually spacious and have an ensuite bath, mini frig, coffee pot, TV, embroidered bathrobes, irons/boards, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer and other amenities not typically found in small lodging establishments. You may find less expensive accommodations, however you will not find any that are nicer.. We also offer Handicap and separate 'Pet Friendly" accommodations and are a short walk to Historic Downtown Mount Dora's fine shops & restaurants, Mount Dora is 'Someplace Special.' ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heron Cay Lakeview Bed And Breakfast
Heron Cay Lakeview Hotel Mount Dora

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