The property is beautiful: we were allowed to wander into rooms that hadn't been reserved and the entire house is grand and cozy at the same time. But we'll never return.
We arrived early and were treated brusquely ("I was hoping to relax ... let's just get [registering you] over with"). We felt bad about it, but 10 minutes later the next guests arrived. As we paid, we tried asking about the history of the house, but that's a subject usually reserved for breakfast (but since that was drop in, we never heard the story). The innkeeper did then give us a minute speech on the house, which was used by Grant and pretty interesting. When we were shown our room (after paying), we discovered we had the only room with a non-working fireplace. We should have complained, but didn't and noticed that the room across the hall was never rented; why weren't we moved as a courtesy since fireplaces are important -- and the room was chilly?
The biggest problem, though, came when we tried to take showers -- tried after breakfast and at 9pm the next evening. The water was barely tepid for the first and cold by the second. I was looking forward to the nightly wine & cheese, but forgot to ask about it and since it was never mentioned, assumed it wasn't done over the holiday. But one night on returning saw empty wine glasses and cheese in one of the parlors and people chatting away.
The innkeeper was friendlier in the morning at breakfast. The second morning we got lots of hints about how we were early b/c she decided to have breakfast later (New Year's Day, sensible plan), but she had never told us this so we didn't know...Breakfast was solid: fruit cups and french toast or omelet (the scallions were a nice touch). Tea selection was miserable -- she actually noted that she should have checked that selection before we arrived, but the next day the selection hadn't changed.
We also weren't told how to request room service, so assumed all the rooms were cleaned daily; when we came back to a full trash can, we realized you had to turn the "do not disturb" sign over to request room service. The other thing we would have to complain about is general maintenance on the property: the reading light was out and the entrance pathway had been shoveled, but not entirely so there was a layer of packed snow we walked over. In short, felt like we never were doing the right thing (and we stay at B&Bs regularly) and had to figure everything out by ourselves. But the basic amenities were lacking, too.
Galena, however, is a great town and I'd highly recommend a visit...just at a different B&B (the town has a million that look beautiful).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the grandeur of a bygone era in a mansion set high on a hill in Galena, Illinois. The Victorian Mansion has over 1-½ acres of lawn and gardens, centurion trees and three porches. This Italianate Mansion has 8 guestrooms and 8 baths, 4 large parlors and a grand open foyer with a 3-story winding staircase. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Victorian Mansion Hotel Galena