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“Very Disappointing Experience”

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Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #9 of 11 Mount Dora B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing Experience”
Reviewed January 25, 2010

My husband and I are motorcycle riders who ride up to Mount Dora Regularly. We had our wedding reception at the Goblin Market (awesome food). Our friends bought us a $400.00 gift certificate for the Heron Cay Bed and Breakfast. We married in August 2008; during that first year we were notified that we’d have to move from the home we were renting due to foreclosure; search for, buy and move into a new home all while I was pregnant. Needless to say there was not much time to book at stay. I spoke with Margie at Heron Cay about the gift certificate. She was hesitant at first to honor it since she had put a one year expiration on it. In the mean time I searched Florida law; (Fla. Stat. §501.95
A gift certificate or credit memo sold or issued for consideration in this state may not have an expiration date, expiration period. The law past is June of 2008) so the expiration date was invalid. Considering it was FOUR hundred dollars of cash that Heron Cay received it would be pretty crappy to not honor it. I spoke/emailed Margie many times about our reservations instead of staying two nights in a smaller room we decided to make it one night in the largest suite available.
We arrived at Heron Cay to a somewhat tentative Margie who seemed like she was hoping we were in the wrong place as we showed up on our motorcycles. To set the record straight; our bike are not loud; we are not grungy and we were dressed well under our motorcycle jackets. We took a seat and waited as she helped some guests that were there before us. We heard her tell them about the B&B and gave them a little tour. When we were up she escorted us up the stairs and casually mentioned on the way up that she messed up our reservation and we were in a different (and much smaller) room. She said that she would give us credit in the difference of the rooms. I was very disappointed because there was a Jacuzzi and walk in shower I was looking forward to using. She showed us our room and where everything was and said to call if we have any questions. We were off for the night and didn’t see anyone from Heron Cay on the way out.
We enjoyed downtown Mount Dora; it is just such an awesome place. So when we woke up (somewhat late) we finally made it downstairs. We were having some coffee and Margie did come out for a second and say there were still some breakfast items left. We said we were meeting friends for breakfast. We were waiting to get a credit back since one night in our room was $255.00 and our certificate was for $400.00. We finally caught her and asked if we were going to get a credit and she looked very shocked and said that they don’t normally give money back. Really, then why did she say she was giving us a credit on the way up the stairs?? She then said that we both had given a little and she was willing to give us 100.00 gift certificate. Really?? Not sure why we would have to “give” anything since our friends GAVE $400.00 for 255.00 worth of services. We went on and told her about the gift card law, she knew nothing about and we told her we felt less than welcome. We ended up turning down the $100 gift certificate because it would mean spending more money at Heron Cay given that rooms start around $250. We feel, similar to others who had the same experience, that she moved us out of our room because she wanted to make more money with someone booking more than one night. The worst part of the whole experience is that you would expect more from a small business person who actually owns the property; we get friendlier and more welcome receptions from the large hotel chain’s front desk. It was the most ridiculous and disappointing stay at any resort I have ever been to; we did not feel welcomed for one moment at Heron Cay. This was my first experience with a B&B and not sure I would try it again. The owners of Heron Cay seem to be selective on who they treat well; maybe those that stay more than one night, don't actually redeem the gift certificates they sell and don't ride motorcycles will get better treatment.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank fmiovanna
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, November 3, 2010
Motorcycles are welcome here and that was not the problem with these folks, I simply failed to record their reservation and had to put them in a different room when they arrived. I apologized and offered them another night in 'Just Heavenly' but to date have not had a response from them. Their Gift Certificate was over two years expired and I did not have a record of it until she supplied me a copy, therefore, I was hesitant to give them a reservation. They seemed to have an attitude beginning with the first phone call and when they arrived I was busy checking in guests from several other rooms that arrived at the same time, I was not rude. The next morning when they arrived for breakfast at 10:30 after things were put away, I anticipated more disappointment from them especially when they mentioned the Florida Statute, I really conceived their attitude as a threat and became very uncomfortable. Heron Cay offers excellent accommodations and we are truly sorry that these guests were so unhappy, it is unfortunate that only those guests with a bad experience make comments.
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English first
Nokomis, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2009

If you want a real treat, stay at this beautiful B & B in Mount Dora, FL. If you look at their website, it is exactly as pictured. From talking to other tourists, we were so happy that we chose this place. We stayed in a room with a canopy bed and fireplace. It was so romantic and relaxing!! The breakfast they serve every morning was not only bountiful, but absolutely delicious. Our Innkeepers, Margie and Randy were so personable and helpful - just the nicest couple. We just can't wait to go back. This truly is a gem of a place hidden in beautiful Mt. Dora.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mimiNokomis_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviewed April 5, 2009

We had the perfect relaxing vacation at the Heron Cay Lakeview Bed & Breakfast in Mt. Dora, Florida. The Heron Cay B & B sets the gold standard by which we will evaluate all future B & B vacations. Heron Cay will be a tough act to follow. We have no complaints. It is so apparent that the owners, Margie and Randy, truly care about delivering quality service. The beautifully decorated rooms are enormous and as clean as the operating rooms where we work. We wish we could have taken the Heron Cay housekeeper home with us. Ours rooms were cleaned from top to bottom every single day. We have lived in apartments smaller than our Just Heavenly Suite which featured a fireplace, comfortable seating for up to a dozen guests, ten windows, a Jacuzi tub with ample hot water, and walk in closet with refrigerator. The landscaping is beautifully done and well maintained. We so enjoyed sitting on the porch with its view of Lake Dora. Mt. Dora, a delightful little town with friendly people, excellent restaurants and great shopping, is a short walk from Heron Cay. Our breakfasts featured a wide variety of beverages, fruits, eggs, meats, homemade casseroles and homemade deserts. We were visiting family in nearby Orlando. Margie and Randy invited them to breakfast on the morning of our choice and then went out of their way to make our family breakfast a memorable occasion. Randy and Margie do an excellent job of handling the business aspects of the B & B. There were no hidden charges. We received the promised rooms at the very reasonable quoted price. Elsewhere we have paid far more for far less in the way of service and accommodations. Heron Cay Lakeview B & B is the ideal place for a relaxing adult vacation. There are no worries. You can depend on Margie and Randy to think ahead and take care of your every need.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HappyTravelers75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2009

Our weekend was supposed to be a celebration for my husband being cancer free after having Prostate Surgery 8 weeks previous. Our initial reaction when we drove up (after passing the place 3x because the signage is so poor) should have been a red flag. The property is not kept up at all. Leaves and debris are everywhere. We arrived at 1:00 and there was a note on the door saying they were running errands and would return at 3. We had to sit around in the car until 2:30 when we were let in to wait in the sitting room until 3. By 3:00 we were starved and all that was available were some stale chex mix and a few store bought cookies. This was the last snack that was available to us the entire weekend. Breakfast on Sat was ok except it wasn't served until 9:45 and when we went outside to eat the tables were all dirty. We are early risers and waiting until 9:45 was unacceptable. The wireless internet service which was advertised was not working which was disappointing because this was another reason we chose this Guest House. The time change was effective Sat nite and there was a note in our room that as an accomodation they would start serving coffee at 8am and breakfast at 9:30. Well we arose at 7 and by 8:20 there was no coffee so we packed our bags and left NEVER TO RETURN!! For close to $300 a night, Coffee should at least be available whenever you want it...

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank gramer49
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, November 3, 2010
Most of our guests cannot wait to get to Mount Dora to explore the shops and eat at our fine restaurants, these folks sat in their car for two and one half hours wasting all that precious time instead of celebrating the husband being cancer free. There are many necessary errands involved in running this establishment and the only time available is between 11am check out and 3pm check in, these times are clearly stated, however, other arrangements can be made ahead of time. These folks must have been here on a windy weekend and time change weekends are extra difficult because there are some guests that prefer to sleep in, we try to please everyone with a compromise. Early risers are offered their own coffee pot so that they can have coffee whenever they want it and the Wifi works well for most of our guests. Regarding our poor signage, most people see the house before seeing any sign (we are limited by city code) often strangers just stop and take pictures.
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Tampa, FL
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2009

Walk away, no make that run away, from the Heron Cay Bed & Breakfast! We were overcharged, lied to and treated like second class citizens.
I have been a travel writer for the past ten years and have had the pleasure of staying at dozens of bed & breakfasts. None have evoked the outrage I have for this one. My husband had booked the Queen Victoria suite as a surprise gift to me for our six year wedding anniversary. He chose this room specifically for its fireplace. When he called to make the reservation, he explained that he was interested in booking the Queen Victoria suite for a Friday and Saturday night stay. Margie, the owner said that the Queen Victoria suite was available; however, since there was an arts festival in town, he would have to book the room for a minimum of three nights even though we were only staying two nights. Upon checking in, we were taken to another room. When my husband questioned the owner as to why she was giving us a smaller room with no fireplace, her response was that she had made a mistake when she told my husband that the Queen Victoria suite was available. She said there was a mix-up and that she didn’t realize that the Queen Victoria had already been booked. The next morning, as we were coming out of our room, we saw a couple exiting the Queen Victoria suite. I said hello to them and jokingly said, “so, you are the ones who took our suite!” I told them the story of how we had booked their room, but upon arriving, we were told by the owner that the room had already been booked prior to us making our reservation. The couple said that was strange because they had just booked that room a couple of days ago. I asked how long they were staying and they replied five nights. My husband and I strongly believe that we were bounced out of that room at the last minute because the owner would make more money booking it for five nights instead of three nights. When we were in the breakfast room, we were making conversation with some of the other guests. I asked the guests how long they were staying and what their plans were while in town. The other guests informed me that they were staying only two nights, Friday and Saturday. When we asked the owner why we were charged for a three-night minimum when at least two other guests had been charged only for two nights, she said it was because they were repeat guests. We told the owner that we didn’t feel that it was fair to charge us for three nights when other guests were being charged for two nights. She refused to refund us the money for the third night and was rude to us the remainder of the stay. Other than feeling completely taken advantage of, one other thing really troubled me about this bed & breakfast. The owners have 7 animals living in the home, three cats and four very large dogs. When we checked in, the four dogs were freely walking around the kitchen area where the food is prepared. I didn’t think that was appropriate or sanitary.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
11 Thank GlobalTrekkers
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, November 3, 2010
Outrage is obvious and not justified. Their so called lies stem from an incorrect email address given so that notice of the change in their accommodations was never received. Their cost was basically free since it was done on a ‘complete trade’ arrangement with a nationwide company, for the husband's lawyer services. When they talked with the guests from Queen Victoria, they put words in their mouths as lawyers do so well, so that they said what these folks wanted to hear. Queen Victoria’s guests had a different story, and Queen Victoria had booked prior to the Trade Lawyer. Had I bumped the lawyer just to make more money, I would have put them in a higher dollar suite than Queen Victoria. Three day reservations were standard for Festival Weekends, we do make exceptions for guests who have stayed with us for several years and those who book at the last minute if we have had a cancellation. Rude I was not, even though they did not arrive until nearly midnight to check in and I had been asleep. Our pets were in the office which is adjacent to the kitchen, certainly there was no food around at that hour. Not sure how they justify their ratings on 'rooms,' 'location,' and 'cleanliness.' Heron Cay was built in 1995 on two acres across from Lake Dora/ the best part of town, rooms and suites are unusually large, beautifully furnished and we have won awards for our cleanliness and service, unfortunately most of our happy guests have not written to Trip Advisor.
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Central Florida, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
389 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 332 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2008

About a year ago the Darst Victorian Manor was purchased by a couple from Jupiter (not The Planet- Jupiter,FL), Randy and Margie, who owned a waterfront B & B (on the Intracoastal) there. My wife and I stayed at the Darst many times and always enjoyed the ambience and supreme decor. We found the best room in the house was the Handicapped Room (maybe called Thomas' Room??..... just ask for 'the handicapped room') / It is on the ground floor, had it's own entrance door and we could come and go without anyone 'monitoring' us climbing those stairs. I happened to have an injured back so, it was a blessing. The only complaint I ever had about this fine Inn was that each time we stayed there (maybe 8x) the original owners served the same house special, some kind of Berry Blitz Pancake Thing EVERY SINGLE Breakfast and all I ever pined for was some farm fresh eggs/ bacon! However, the new owners whom I met briefly, have promised me they have 'broken the mold'. This B & B , now called Heron Cay is located on Old Hwy 441 directly across the street from Lake Dora and immediately adjacent to the Downtown Historical Area in Mount Dora. However, I suggest driving around the corner as traffic is wicked on that curve and it wouldn't be worth risking your life to 'walk to town'. Margie's a 'doll' and Randy is/ was(?) a vintage Porsche /old car freak ('60 Olds is in driveway) so, both sides of your family (male & female) should be entertained. They have a pool but, I don't think it can be used by guests (goofy city ordinance). The building is NEW (6-8 years old), built to look 'Old Timey Victorian'. The rooms were large and very nice..I think they told me they turned the living room into the Breakfast Room and the Breakfast Room into a sitting room so, that would be a big improvement also. This will probably be the most expensive and largest B & B in town for those that ponder such trifles in this short life. Enjoy Mt. Dora- it is, indeed, charming!
p.s. You'll drive right by their sign- it's horrible- can't even see it -too small and easy to miss looking at the House-

  • Liked — Large rooms with Real Bathrooms (not shared)
  • Disliked — The Repitious Berry Blitz Breakfast Cakes
  • Stayed April 2003, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank BentleyBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2008

Went to Mt Dora for a 2 day bithday get away and stayed at the Heron Cay B&B-what a nice place-clean, great breakfast, friendly owners, close to town and a few of Lake Dora. A 3 story blue Victorian home how impressive when you drive in and equally impressive on the inside. Would recommend to anyone!!!

Stayed April 2008
Helpful?
Thank Bandit49
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 #9 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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