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“Beautiful, but no hot water”
Review of Victorian Mansion

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Victorian Mansion
Ranked #26 of 32 Galena B&B and Inns
Somewhere, USA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but no hot water”
Reviewed January 7, 2008

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).

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
6 Thank tasloi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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  • English first
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English first
Chicago, IL
Level 5 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2007

The Victorian Mansion overall was amazing. My husband and I travel to Galena every year for our anniversary and every year we stay at a different B&B (this was our 7th!). This place was among the best in terms of the ambience and sheer beauty of the house. The gardens were beautiful, the secluded hot tub/gazebo was very relaxing and our room - the Jackson - was very large. The shower and toilet were each placed in what had at one time been closets. Although the shower/toilet were both in very tight quarters, I was amazed at the creativity of it all. The breakfasts each morning were delicious - homemade waffles, freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh smoothies - everything tasted great. They also offered a simple wine and cheese hour every afternoon. Also, if you are a history buff this is the place for you. Ulysses S. Grant spent a lot of time in the house, so much that he had his own room there. He also gave his farewell speech to Galena on the second floor balcony of the house right before he left for Washington D.C. to become president. The woman who lives and works there with her husband (a family member owns the house) gives a nice little history talk during breakfast each morning which is a nice touch. The wrap-around porches were a treat and we enjoyed sitting outside and relaxing on them. The one complaint I had was what happened when we first arrived. When we first walked through the door the woman working there immediately said, "How are you going to be paying for this?" It just came across as very abrupt, as though we had to prove that we had the money up front before we could be warmly welcomed. Like I said, we have stayed at many B&Bs and different owners handle the bill differently, but it was immediate, abrupt and not very friendly. It could have been handled a little more tactifully. The husband and wife team overall were friendly enough, but didn't seem as outgoing and as comfortable as some of the other people that run B&Bs in the area. Nothing against them - it's probably just their personality. Overall, though, I would recommend the mansion for its beauty and relaxing environment.

  • Liked — Beauty of the house
  • Disliked — Check-in
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tas62675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2007

My husband and I have stayed at the Victorian Mansion twice now and we will be returning again this year. We liked it so much the first time that we invited another couple to go with us last year. They liked it so much that we will be returning again this year. Christine and Chauncy were the innkeepers the first year and although they did a fine job, I liked the new innkeeper a bit better. She does a very nice afternoon tea time with lemonade, wine or tea. She served wonderful cookies and a hot appetizer as well. The rooms are clean and beautifully decorated in a Victorian style. The breakfasts both times were absolutely wonderful and I would be very suprised if they were not homemade. I recommend this B&B very highly!

  • Liked — Ambiance
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rockinrobyn71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 24, 2006

This was our first experience at a B&B and also our first trip to Galena. My husband and I had such a wonderful experience, that we would love to make Galena and Victorian Mansion a regular getaway. After walking around much of Galena, I must say that Victorian Mansion is one of the most beautiful b&bs. The building and gardens are beautiful. Our room was charming, and the quiet was just what we needed. Vicki and her husband were very warm, and the breakfasts, both days we spent there were wonderful!! I'm very suprised at the previous review. We had the homemade apple and cheese quiche, which was delicious(!) with a side of potatoes, a fresh berry smoothie, and fresh squeezed orange juice. I also had tea. The other day we had a different style of potatoes (family recipe, to die for!!) with french toast stuffed with cream cheese and ham. We also had fresh yogurt with rasberries garnished with a mint sprig, and fresh oj and tea/coffee again. (I hope I proved that breakfast was great.) Great place for a relaxing getaway for a couple.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2004

My wife and I came to Galena during the same weekend the last 2 years to visit the annual County Fair and do some shopping. Last year we stayed at the DeSoto Hotel which was conveniently located on the main street, but lacked the amenities and quiet of a B&B. This year we opted to try the Victorian Mansion which is located high on the hill overlooking downtown and Grant Park. It was the ideal location for the Fair and shopping. When we stopped in last year to investigate, we were impressed with the owner who greeted us at the door. This year, we found that the daughter is now the innkeeper. We loved the porch with rocking chairs and the gardens on the property. We also had our wine on the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the grounds. Parking is limited in the front of the building, but they allowed us to park in the back lot. We enjoyed conversing with the other guests and sharing breakfast with them the next morning. Christine, the innkeeper, gave us a brief history of the house and she and Chaucey served breakfast. We dined on fruit, a bran muffin and quiche with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. The breakfast , however, was only fair. Except for the OJ, everything else seemed to be store bought rather than home made. All in all, it was a nice experience. However, for $200, we have stayed in even nicer B&Bs for less.

Helpful?
12 Thank kmjlhs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Victorian Mansion

Property: Victorian Mansion
Address: 301 S High St, Galena, IL 61036-2115
Location: United States > Illinois > Galena
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Galena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
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

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