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“Still Perfection, Always Exceeds Our Expectations”

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Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Burlington B&B and Inns
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Still Perfection, Always Exceeds Our Expectations”
Reviewed July 13, 2007

Having recently completed our 6th visit to Willis Graves, I wanted to report that this place is still as perfect as it was our first time. It is our favorite place to stay. In fact, if anything it just keeps getting better. The gardens are in full bloom and we often relax with laptops (the joys of wireless Internet), amid the sounds of birds and sweet scent of flowers on the back porch. If you are looking for a summer getaway, this is as good as it gets.

We continue to love Thomas' Room; there is a new flat screen tv and dvd in the room. We have also stayed in the Graves' Suite since our first review. It has a luxurious bathroom (large 2-person air jet tub and a steam shower), a large separate living room with tv, and a bedroom. Like the other rooms, it is beautifully decorated with antiques and has fine linens and triple sheeting on the queen size bed. This room would be great for families who want extra space to congregate or relax during a longer stay, as the living room is very spacious.

Service continues to be top notch. You can't help but love Nancy and Margaret, they are both gifted in hospitality and are such warm hosts. During our last stay we also had the pleasure of meeting Sarah (Nancy was on vacation). Sarah is wonderful; she juggled multiple breakfast tables seamlessly and made us feel just as welcome and at home. (The Crème Brulee French Toast was fantastic.)

Our visits are always while traveling for business; my only regret is that we haven’t been able to stay longer!

Our first review:

Burlington’s Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn is perfection; there is just no other way to say it. Other innkeepers should take notes from Nancy and her team…

Reservations/Website:
Before I book a bed and breakfast, I always check two popular travel sites for previous guest reviews or posts and then I visit the inn’s website. If they do not include photographs of the rooms and bathrooms, I am generally a bit leery to stay there. My policy is that the more information I can “see” to know what the inn will be like, the better. Burlington’s Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast has one of the best websites I have visited. They cover all the essentials: room types and descriptions, information about the area, amenities, and breakfast. It is organized, easy to navigate, and displays crisp, clear photographs. It is a breeze to check availability and make your reservation online. If only all bed and breakfasts advertised this well.

Check-in/Arrival:
On both visits, Nancy greeted me at the door when I arrived. She showed me around the house, noting where breakfast would be served and where to find beverages and movies should we need them during our stay. She also showed me a covered back porch where guests can relax. It is furnished with outdoor furniture and would have been a great place to read a book if the weather had been better. When we went up to our room, I received excellent instruction on the air-jet tub and media equipment.

Rooms:
The first time we visited, we stayed in Thomas’ Room and on our second visit Nancy gave us a complimentary upgrade to the William Rouse Retreat on the second floor of the log cabin. Like the rest of the main house, both rooms are beautifully decorated with antiques. The pictures on the website accurately depict the beauty and detail of both guest rooms; if anything the rooms exceeded our expectations after viewing the pictures online. You will arrive to warm chocolate chip cookies and bottled water in your room. The bedding in both rooms is top notch and includes fine linens, triple sheeting over a light down-type comforter, and lovely quilts. We certainly felt pampered in these comfortable and luxurious beds.

Thomas’ Room is definitely smaller than the William Rouse Retreat. If you are only staying for one night or need to stick to a specific budget, I would not hesitate in booking Thomas’ Room. We plan to stay there again during future business trips. If you are visiting for more than one night, celebrating a special occasion, or plan to spend considerable time in your room, I would definitely recommend the William Rouse Retreat or one of the other suites instead. There is a microwave and small refrigerator in the William Rouse Retreat. Both rooms have desks and wireless Internet for those who need workspace. Since we both tend to work on the road, we liked the couch in the William Rouse Retreat as it provided plenty of additional space for my husband to spread out with some of his paperwork while I worked across the room.

Bathrooms:
Can I have Nancy design my bathrooms someday? Seriously, both bathrooms are fantastic. The bathroom in Thomas’ Room includes a one person air-jet tub, a beautiful Kohler pedestal sink with large sides for toiletries, and plush towels and robes. For the ultimate in bathroom luxury, head on over to the William Rouse Retreat. This bathroom is gorgeous! It includes a huge two person air-jet tub, steam shower (with great water pressure), a beautiful sink with plenty of room for toiletries (or you can store them inside the large mirror over the sink), and plush towels and robes. Both rooms include travel sized toiletries and a hairdryer, in case you forget something you might need.

Housekeeping:
Unbelievable! I wish all establishments were this clean. The attention to detail shows when it comes to housekeeping. The rooms and common areas are spotless. Nancy and her team personally iron all of the linens that go on the beds. Saran wrap covers the glasses in each room, so you know it has not been used and has not collected any dust in between guests.

Location:
Depending on your needs, location may be the only “downside” to this property. Burlington is a bit outside of Cincinnati, so you may have a longer drive to get to attractions or restaurants if you need to be in the city. Both times we have found places to eat within 10-15 minutes (there are other options closer). That said, I would stay here in a second over any hotel accommodations in Cincinnati and just commute into town. It’s that special.

Service:
One of the reasons this place is so special is because of the gracious hospitality shown by the hosts. Nancy is warm and friendly, definitely adding to the charm of this place. Ask her about the renovation work they have done on the property if you enjoy that type of thing. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their experiences and looking at the pictures that chronicled their journey (the albums are located in the dining room). I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret and Bob on my first visit as well. They are all kind and courteous hosts. You will not want for anything during your stay. They have really thought of everything for you, so that when you get there you can focus on enjoying your visit.

Breakfast:
Breakfast is an experience. The tables are exquisitely set with white tablecloths, cloth napkins, and fine china. You have your choice of assorted juices, along with coffee and tea. Nancy provides a long list of options for your meal; you will have a difficult time deciding what to eat! All breakfasts begin with fresh fruit. Both times we have had a delightful medley of fresh berries. My husband has ordered the Stuffed French Toast on both occasions and he gave it rave reviews. The first time I had the breakfast pie, which was extraordinary. I was able to print the recipe from their website but I have not attempted it on my own yet. The second visit I tried the waffles with a side of sausage/potato casserole, both were terrific. You will definitely experience a gourmet breakfast at this establishment, and it all includes beautiful plate presentation. Plan to skip lunch, you will not be hungry.

Overall:
In our experience, the type of attention to detail we encounter here is beyond compare. They have created such a comfortable environment. You will not want to leave!

  • Liked — Everything - luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, scrumptious breakfasts
  • Disliked — Nothing - only regret is that we haven't been able to stay longer
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Cindy30A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Loveland, Colorado
Level Contributor
39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2007

My husband and I needed a little retreat last year and chose this wonderful Northern Kentucky B & B. We stayed in Thomas' room and were so comfortable. From the moment we arrived, Nancy was in tune to our needs. She gaves us maps of the area, tips on places to go to dinner, and offered us everything we needed to relax. We stayed for two nights and I remember her being so glad we would be there for more than one night because it would give us more time to unwind. They have a large dvd selection to choose from to take back to your room and watch. Water, soda and tea are available (no extra charge) all the time and the fresh cookies each day were a really nice touch. Each room is separate enough from the others and so quiet! Breakfast was amazing! We wanted to try everything she offered and Nancy was happy to let us take a little of everything. The stuffed french toast was so good! The jacuzzi tub was fantastic (I even took a bath at 11:30 pm when I was having trouble getting to sleep). Our last day there, we asked if we could see the rooms in the cabin and since they were empty at the moment, Nancy was happy to give a tour. I only wish we weren't six hours away, otherwise we would visit here every three months!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Denglerfamilyfour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2007

From start to finish, our three-night stay at the Willis Graves Bed & Breakfast Inn was superb. The owners and staff were warm and friendly, the breakfasts were scrumptious, our room in the 1850's William Rouse Log Cabin was very comfortable and wonderfully decorated. "Attention to detail" is a phrase that very aptly describes the inn itself, and the service provided. For example, never in all our years of travel have we daily received a plate of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies when our room was made up. In a phone conversation with innkeeper, Nancy Swartzel, that took place a few days before our arrival, she told me, "We'll take real good care of you." Everyone associated with the inn kept this promise beautifully!

  • Liked — Friendly, pampered service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WisconsinMadison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 17, 2007

We found this place on the internet, never having done the B & B thing before. Wow. Close to home for an overnight away from the kids, luxurious amenities, INCREDIBLE breakfast (lots of choices and everything absolutely eye-rolling good), and the owner was doting yet gave us plenty of space. We felt totally pampered (right down to chocolate chip cookies and bottled water on your pillow). The whirlpool and steam shower rock, the robes were fluffly (Land's End) , you absolutely sink down in the bed it's so soft, we were thrilled with our choice. This place was super clean, decorated impeccibly, and top of the line in every way; we'd go back in a heartbeat. We stayed inthe cabin out back, but want to try the main house next time. Yes, next time. I'm actually going to call the owner and ask for her granola recipe, it was that good. Of course, it was served as a starter over fresh and tasty blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes, but I think my kids would be in Heaven with just the granola.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank roho318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2007

My husband and I stayed at this bed and breakfast to celebrate our anniversary. The owner catered to the guest in the house and totally ignored our needs. Our experience was terrible. We were treated rudley by the owner. It was like pulling teeth to get breakfast each morning. We will not return nor will we recommend this bed and breakfast to anyone. They turned a special occasion for us into a nightmare.

  • Liked — whirlpool tub
  • Disliked — the service
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank angmbryan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
loveinnkeeping, owner of burlington's willis graves bed and breakfast at Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this review, April 2, 2007
A few days ago we recieved a thank you note from a guest that had stayed with us for the second time.Along with the thank you note was a copy of a great review that she had written about her stay at our place. Of course we were interested in seeing the review on this site so we loged on.We found the very good review but also found a really bad one.

We can not understand how someone who stayed at our place 7 or 8 months could have recieved the service that they described.

The unhappy guests says that the owner,that would be me,was rude,and that I totally ignored them.Along with that it was like pulling teeth to get breakfast each morning and we turned their special occasion into a nightmare.

Sounds like they stayed for more than one night so I'm wondering if both days were nightmares for them.

I can't believe that getting breakfast was hard to get.We do stop serving at 10:00am but they would have been told that when they checked in.Maybe they just decided to sleep in and breakfast was over when they woke up?That does not sound like their situation because it sounds like they ended up getting breakfast.

If anything it's very easy to get breakfast around here.Just let us know how early you need to eat so we are ready but you can change your mind and not show up until 10:00am.We are very flexible because we know that guests come to our place to relax and don't necessarily know the night before what time they will want breakfast the next morning.

Sometimes guests value sleeping in more than eating ,but my guess is that about 99% of our guests have a great breakfast everytime,instead of sleeping in.


We have been in business for about 13 years and understand that when people decide to stay with us, we are lucky.We really love being innkeepers and value all of our guests.We also understand that there is always something to learn about the business of innkeeping.

Our goal is to offer a great place for business or leisure travelers.We want them to relax,get good food and service and we want them to return again and again.We must be doing something right because we have a lot of return guests.

I sure wish I could understand how this couple felt so left out while staying at our place?

Sincerely,
Innkeepers of Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dayton, oh
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2004

My husband and I booked a room back in August for a romantic overnight stay. What a wonderful experience! This is a true gem of a find. The room we booked was the the Graves Suite and it was more than we had hoped for. The room was quiet, cozy, comfortable and very romantic. Every detail is attended to at this wonderful bed and breakfast. From the moment you step foot into the door you are treated with first class, warm, and friendly service. There are homemade cookies in your room, and sodas and other refreshments at any hour. The breakfast is superb! We have stayed at many bed and breakfasts, and this one is our favorite. The owners were kind enough to let us tour the new cabin rooms and they are also first class. Definitely stay here if you are considering it!

  • Stayed August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank luv_2_escape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn

Property: Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn
Address: 5825 N Jefferson St, Burlington, KY 41005-9772
Location: United States > Kentucky > Burlington
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Burlington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience sophisticated charm at this award-winning inn on the edge of a small town twenty minutes from Cincinnati. Attention to detail and luxurious touches include whirlpool baths, steam showers, plush robes and towels, fireplaces, triple sheeting with fine linens, down comforters, fresh baked cookies, and complimentary beverages. Guests may also enjoy in-room massage, wireless Internet, cable TV with DVD player, and our comprehensive movie collection. A full gourmet breakfast is served daily at individual tables. ... more   less 

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