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“Relaxing getaway, tasteful innkeeper”

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Mariaville Lake Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 1 Mariaville B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 29, 2012

My wife and I booked Mariaville B&B for a three-day tour of the local caves. We were delighted by the house's relaxed atmosphere and the laid-back host. We took full advantage of the kayaks & enjoyed a hike to the beaver dam and a jog around the lake. The breakfasts were copious and well done, the sun porch is our favorite place to enjoy them.

The bed was good, the room was spotless and tastefully decorated, and Rick, the innkeep, was unflaggingly nice and helpful. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Lakeview looks like the money room--panoramic view of the lake plus a huge fire place. Vineyard look...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ed e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 - 51 of 65 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2012

Picture it. A couple of city boys go on what hopes to be a romantic getaway at a lovely Bed & Breakfast on a lake in upstate New York. Yes we're city boys, but we're definitely not typical city snobs and we usually always know what we're getting ourselves into when we choose specific destinations for our trips. In this case, if we are paying for a charming country bed and breakfast, we expect a charming country bed & breakfast. No more, no less. And with that, let's begin.

THE BACKSTORY

After finding a $200 Groupon deal for a 2 night stay at the Mariaville Bed & Breakfast, my boyfriend decided to snag this and use it as a trip for my birthday weekend...and what's more, he decided to use it as a weekend to propose marriage. $200 for 2 nights in a bed and breakfast? Sounds a little too good to be true, no? Well, being a big traveler, I turned right to TripAdvisor to see the reviews, expecting to see 1, 2 or maybe 3 stars at most for a place that had such a great deal. But no. 5 stars! Wow! Maybe it ISN'T too good to be true! Maybe we just got super lucky and took advantage of a great deal!

Well, as my story will tell, it was indeed too good to be true, and in the end, it was us who ended up being taken advantage of.

After my boyfriend called and emailed the owner (Rick) letting him know of his purchase of the Groupon and intent to stay, Rick first got back to him days later (it would take him a few days to respond to any call or email moving forward from here as well - sometimes up to 6 days) letting him know that all the rooms were booked for the summer months to come. So why put an offer on Groupon in the summer then? My boyfriend let Rick know that a special event was going to take place because he was going to propose to me and he really had the Bed & Breakfast in mind as the ideal place to do so and it needed to happen in the summer. So, to help accommodate the plans, Rick offered the Carriage House, a separate house detached from, but right behind, the actual Bed & Breakfast for an additional fee. There were no photos of the interior of the Carriage House on the website and that was our own fault for not asking to see some before we committed to staying there. But after seeing the others photos of the room in the house, we figured it would be on par, just bigger and better - especially given the cost increase. After all, Rick built it up saying it has 2 bedrooms, is 2 floors, has its own kitchen, a great balcony porch and total private access. Sounds great right? Sure. But the thought of having to now pay more than double the price of the Groupon offer made my boyfriend a bit annoyed. But he sucked it up and dealt with it because he knew we'd make the best out of our special weekend, especially in our own private cottage on the lake!

THE DAY BEFORE THE TRIP

After confirming the check-in time of 4PM with Rick, he calls my boyfriend the day before we arrive and says that he and his wife need to attend a funeral and won't be home until 6PM to let us check-in. Now bear in mind, we are very understandable and caring people. We felt terrible that they had to go to a funeral and lost one of their friends. But the fact remains that they are running a hospitality business where their paying guests need to be accommodated as expected, especially when said guests took off of work, have marriage proposal plans to take place on a lake followed by romantic dinner reservations at 7PM at a restaurant that would take us 30 minutes to drive to--forcing us to re-arrange and therefore ruin the night's plans. My boyfriend expressed his condolences to Rick and his wife over the phone and asked if they could arrange one of their local friends or neighbors to let us in instead. They refused saying there was nothing they can do, that they need to be there to let us in and that was that. They even sounded shocked that we were asking them to help us out by having a local friend or neighbor come to let us in. As if we were being insensitive to their situation...when WE were the paying customers here. Realizing that we had no choice but to cancel our dinner plans and since it was important to be on the lake that night (proposal in a row boat), my boyfriend asked if we could check-out 2 hours later instead. They said they needed to get back to us on that--that they never extended that courtesy before. They never got back to us at all. Frankly, I wish Rick and his wife never even told us about the funeral. It's not our business and all it does is make us feel bad for them (and we did), feel like we need to accommodate them (wait, who's paying who here?) and instantly put a damper on what is to be a milestone weekend. Not to mention it made things awkward and uncomfortable before we even arrived to the place! Oh, and there was no compensation offered for this inconvenience--not even a simple cheap bottle of wine or a little discount off the room (remember, we were already shelling out more than double the Groupon rate for the so-called amazing Carriage House).

THE DAY OF THE TRIP

We approached the B&B at 6:30PM. For the most part, it looked like it did on the webpage so we felt glad to see that. We went into the old house to check-in and were greeted by Rick, who was friendly. He showed us around the couple of rooms around the house that we were able to relax in should we wish to do so even though we weren't staying in the main house. Nice of him. The rooms looked to be in good condition and provided a warm, country feel. It looked charming enough. When Rick discussed breakfast, he didn't seem to realize that he gave away a surprise in my boyfriend's plan by revealing to me that a private breakfast was arranged and that it would be on Saturday morning (even though my boyfriend told Rick that the proposal and this special breakfast arrangement were total surprises). Rick seemed to be a little discombobulated as a few minutes later he said that our breakfast was actually going to be on Sunday, not Saturday. He then showed us where the special, private breakfast would be which looked like a tiny sun room which was just off the kitchen. Nothing too special or romantic. It definitely would have been more romantic if they offered this on the dock overlooking the lake (a very, very short walk from the house) or, say, on the private balcony to the exclusive Carriage House that we were staying in. Speaking of the Carriage House, Rick took us to our accommodations...

As we were walking to it, a pick-up truck pulled up the the parking space next to it with two loud locals in the car, who we assume were friends with Rick and his wife. He gave them a hello and they said their truck was having troubles or something of that nature. They seemed to glare at my boyfriend and I as we walked by. I guess they don't see many boys holding hands in these parts.

As we entered our home for the next 2 days, we were greeted with a very stale odor. We understood that this was an old house in a rural part of the country, but the smell was like that of a stale, old outfit that's been hanging in the back of a closet for years. Or a yellow and brown-stained page in a really, really old library book. It was unpleasant and we knew that our clothes would come home reeking of it, but we just shrugged it off, letting the rustic side win. He then brought us upstairs and we saw where we'd be sleeping. It had the feel of an attic, but not quite claustrophobic, though still tight. There was a queen size bed as well as an old-style twin perpendicular to it. There was another bedroom that was very tiny and contained two more old-fashioned twin beds. A stained and very worn looking easy chair with ottoman sat in the corner. The bathroom looked like the kind you would find in the basement of an old house, except with a window...and a 75 year-old bathtub with rusted pipes and a dirty-looking stained base. The sink also needed replacing. Lastly, Rick showed us the balcony, easily the star (and really only good thing) of the house. It had a beautiful view of the lake and felt very private. Rick showed us where the rowboats and canoes were and where the paddles were located. He seemed to be in a hurry to get to his friends in the pick-up truck, and then left us to ourselves. So we went to explore the house some more.

The house felt more like a lesser-quality (albeit 2-floor) version of the bunks I slept in when I used to go to sleepaway camp than a beautiful, romantic and private cottage on the lake. And the interior was the furthest thing from romantic. The blinds on the windows were bent and most of the strings to pull in order to raise them up were cut off, as well as the little stick you rotate to open the blinds. There was a large A/C in the window with tape clumsily sealing it in (but hey, at least there was A/C). The couches in the living area downstairs were uncomfortable and the floor felt very thin with an icky carpeting. The kitchen, a strip along the wall, was run-down and worn out with the counter-tops and cabinets needing to be replaced. There was also a random washing machine in the living area that must have been from the 1930s. I guess this played the role of an antique decoration? I then went to re-visit the website on my iPad (thanks to the WiFi provided in the house). I then saw that The Carriage House is advertised as the "Perfect Man Cave on the Lake" aka it's meant for a few buddies who want to fish and crack open beers and play pin-the-tail on the Playboy centerfold. It explained a lot and became clear. And given that Rick was well aware that this weekend was a romantic and special getaway for my boyfriend and I where he would propose to me, shame on him for not letting my boyfriend know that this house wouldn't be a suitable environment for that. You really dropped the ball on that one, Rick. Next time, make sure you let people know exactly what they're getting themselves into with your Carriage House when they are expecting a romantic trip of this nature.

We had just got into the house and already wanted to leave it. And so, we changed, went to the row-boat and took it to the lake. Easily the highlight of the whole trip. The rowboat was awesome and this is where my boyfriend proposed to me. It turns out we both proposed at the same time without the other knowing we were going to--awwwww.

As we walked back to the house, we decided that the following morning we would make breakfast ourselves with the advertised "fridge stocked with breakfast items". When going back to the house, we told Rick that we would eat breakfast in the Carriage House. He snarkily responded with a "thanks for letting us know!" as if we inconvenienced him for buying extra breakfast goods. But we just let it slide and kept walking. As if there weren't 3 or 4 other couples in the house he was feeding anyway. As if we couldn't have said the same thing about our late check-in. As if there wasn't a "fridge stocked with breakfast items" waiting for us in the Carriage House.

Oh wait, there wasn't.

We opened the fridge and there was nothing in there. Nothing at all. Not even a bottle of water (which he said is supplied to all rooms). Oops! Looks like our hosts just forgot about us or just didn't seem to care. Speaking of the water, we soon realized how important it would be that we did have bottled water. As soon as we turned on the faucet, the water had an odor. And then it got worse. Think rotten eggs. But by the mass dozen. That odor filled up the entire house. They should have renamed the place Sulphur Springs. When we turned on the shower upstairs to see if it was just an issue in the kitchen sink, we soon realized we were in trouble. The smell was unbearable to the point of nauseating. Again, we're city boys, but who would shower in this? What's worse, the exhaust fan in the bathroom, the one salvation from letting us suffocate by Sulphur, refused to turn on! If we wanted to stay in a cabin with minimal plumbing, we would have! Over it, my boyfriend broke out a bottle of wine for us to celebrate our engagement. We took it to the balcony and drank it and just took in the view of the pretty lake. Dreading to go back inside. I have to admit, we were now just laughing about it all because we found the whole thing so unbelievable that is was just funny. So as the firecrackers went off over the lake and the sky became dark, we had a perfect night.

When it was time for us to drag ourselves back inside the shanty, we went to turn on a few lights. No dice. We tried another lamp. No dice. The third? Success! Wow. One out of three lamps working. Progress! We were told that there was a DVD player in the house, so we brought a few DVDs to watch movies. And there was a DVD player. Only it must have been about 10 years old and froze every 3 frames during the movie (it skipped on every disc as we tried all three). This experience was on such a roll, you'd think butter would be provided with it.

And then came the bed. The linens were ragged and the blanket felt like netting. It was not a comfortable sleep, but we've had worse. Too bad we weren't sleeping on the porch. Maybe we should have.

We woke up the next morning and went to lunch at a restaurant in Amsterdam called Raindancers. We loved it. And we decided that we really weren't looking forward to going back to the Carriage House. But my boyfriend decided he wanted to have a little talk with Rick first. He told Rick how dissatisfied we were with our stay and that the Carriage House was not at all up to our standards of a charming/romantic bed and breakfast and instead of being sympathetic or apologetic, Rick got on the defensive. Rick, this is the worst thing you can do. Especially to your paying customers who rolled with your punches and put up with your not-as-advertised accommodations.

We had him smell the apartment which STUNK of Sulphur (rotted eggs is better for it). He shrugged it off saying he didn't smell anything because he was used to it. "That's country living, man!"

Nerve.

When we showed him the light bulbs on the lamps weren't turning on, he went to follow the chord and said they're not plugged in and asked if we unplugged them for a charger. No Rick, we didn't and we didn't know they weren't plugged in because the plugs were behind the bed. How about before your guests come, you check and make sure all the lights are plugged in and working.

Really?

When we asked him about why the fridge wasn't stocked as advertised, he said because he decided to give us breakfast in the house instead that morning which we chose to pass on. That's right Rick, we chose to pass on it because you were supposed to give us a (here it is again, in quotes directly from your website) "fridge stocked with breakfast items" so we could cook our own breakfast. You never gave us that choice and we were depending on that.

Strike three.

He showed us the bill and was expecting us to pay an additional near $400 on the $200 we already spent on Groupon. Even though the website lists the Carriage House at $450 for 2 nights. So what was the deal we were getting exactly? When we brought this up, he said he just lowered the price on the website to $450 the other day since the off-season is coming up. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind paying "the usual" weekend rate $750 for 2 nights at this place. We felt like we were being cheated. He also said that he doesn't even get all the money from Groupon - that they take a percentage out. That really irked me to hear him say that. It's not our problem that Groupon takes money away from you. YOU chose to list your business on it to make a sale rendering it your problem, not your customers'.

He just didn't get it or chose not to. We had a super disappointing experience at his establishment and my boyfriend had to basically spell it out and just bluntly tell him that. Finally, he asked what he could do to make us happier. We asked him to shave some of the bill down and he knocked off about 20%. Finally, something. I personally feel that given all the circumstances, he should have taken the initiative and only charged us the $200 that was paid for the Groupon. If the other reviews on TripAdvisor are so stellar, then clearly the rooms in the actual B&B are lovely and charming and romantic and adequate, basically the complete opposite of what the Carriage House is. So we were paying more for far less. Makes zero sense.

At this point things were way awkward and we just wanted to leave...and to take a real shower without smelling like week-old egg salad. So, we cancelled the "private" breakfast on Sunday eating the additional cost. We just wanted to go out for the nice dinner we had re-arranged from the night before and drive back to the city that night and check out early. And that's exactly what we did.

WHAT WE LEARNED

The moral of the story is, if you see a too-good-to-be-true deal for a Bed & Breakfast on Groupon, there's a reason it's on Groupon.

If anything, the Mariaville Bed & Breakfast gave us memories that you can only turn into a good laugh when you look back on it. Mostly out of audacity. But good laughs nonetheless and it makes for a good, honest story to share with friends and here on TripAdvisor.

To end on a fair note, the place wasn't a total disaster, and this is why it's getting 2 stars over 1. Excluding the Carriage House, the actual B&B itself looked just fine and I'm sure the rooms that are actually INSIDE the house are charming and lovely, hence all of the positive reviews on here - but I've no testament to that. The Carriage House is disappointing, smelly, run-down and unacceptable. It has the potential to be nice, but some detailed work definitely needs to be put into it in order to make it so. And Rick isn't a bad guy. He has a very nice aura to him, but we got off on the wrong foot even before our stay began. Perhaps he can learn how to improve his customer service skills.

Thanks for the laughs, Mariaville. You definitely gave us memories that we'll never forget.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank theatercub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
loredebois, Owner at Mariaville Lake Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2012

We apologize that the weekend was not at all what you expected.

We have had many people inform us of a surprise package, such as an “Anytime Romance Package” or a “Private Breakfast Package”. But they always informed us when they want it and that it is a surprise. We have had several surprise proposals accomplished here……see review below from January 3, 2012. The difference is, we were informed ahead of time.

I am sorry, but we were full the weekend he wanted to stay. He insisted that he come this particular weekend. So to accommodate him, I offered our Carriage House. I told him it is a small rustic house, and was not part of the Groupon deal. (there are photos on our website). Yes, it would cost more money, because it is a house, but I offered him a deal. I had no idea of his expectation, nor did he inform me of them.

Our bed and breakfast is definitely a mom and pop business, as our most of the B&Bs we are familiar with. We weren't able to make other arrangements when we had personal tragedy strike. The other 5 couples were very gracious in understanding our need to be downstate for a funeral and were able to tweak their travel plans. We were unaware of the details of his week-end, what time they were having dinner, etc. But he was the only one that gave us a hassle about not being able to check in at 4pm. He kept pushing us, and finally we told him we would be at a funeral.

Since this was a Groupon deal, breakfast was included. Upon check in I told them breakfast was at 9am and asked what kind of coffee they drank & any food restrictions, and that their Private Breakfast was scheduled for Sunday morning. He did not say that they were not having breakfast till later that evening. Folks who pay full price for the house are treated to a fridge stocked with breakfast items rather than breakfast in the main house. We never mentioned anything about a stocked fridge and therefore were quite surprised when they decided not to have breakfast Saturday morning.

He had me come over and asked about the water. It's true. There is sometimes sulfur in the water supply of this part of upstate NY. In the past, natural mineral springs attracted many visitors. (think Saratoga Springs). The water can have an odor at times but is perfectly safe to drink. I explained to him that this is the country & we have wells. Some people have iron and other minerals in their wells. We are use to it, just as you are used to the strong chlorine smell from the city. But when I walked into the bathroom……everything was dripping wet! The walls, the mirror, the ceiling, the floor, they must of taken a very hot & long shower to get it that wet! I asked did you not turn on the fan? He said “what fan?” The labeled fan switch next to the light switch, next to the sign “please turn on the fan when showering”! I turned the fan on & it popped the GFI because there was so much moisture! (it does work) I said why didn’t you open the windows? He said because he saw a spider and it freaked him out……..

We do acknowledge that the Carriage House is rustic and not as renovated as the rooms in the main house. We do agree the bathroom is small and needs some updating. We have plans to expand the bathroom a bit (the house is small) and replace and relocate the sink.

The Carriage House is, however is furnished with clean furniture in good condition, same liens as the main house and the antique washer is a delight to our guests, as is the antique claw foot bathtub (there are no rusted pipes) and the antique mahogany twin beds. It has been enjoyed by couples, families and an occasional group of guys. We do apologize that a lamp was unplugged.

Again, I am sorry that you did not get the experience you wanted.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2012

We stayed here last weekend & really enjoyed our time here. We had the Colonial Room which was very spacious with a view of the lake & it was very clean upon our arrival. We were shocked at how much privacy we had, we expected the rooms to all be on top of each other, but ours was a bit secluded from the other rooms which was great. We also had a mini fridge in our room & were able to control our own heat. There were wine glasses available for our use downstairs.

Rick was very friendly & helpful about recommending restaurants in the area.

Breakfast was also pretty good, not the most generous portions, but enough to satisfy.

There isn't much to do in the area, the closest liquor store & restaurants were about 15 miles away, so stock up before you arrive & enjoy the nice quiet weekend.

Room Tip: Colonial room was great.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank GeffG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

Beautiful home in a beautiful area of upstate NY. Homeowners are wonderful and accommodating. Can't wait to go back this summer...

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank srswiatek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

From the moment we pulled up to the Mariaville Lake home, we felt a sense of coziness. The Innkeeper Rick opened the door and welcomed us with a huge smile and handshake. Right away, all the stresses I had from work and life melted away as the warmth of the fireplace came over me. The room was spotless and private; like we were the only ones staying in the house even though there were 3 other bedrooms that were full. The breakfast was gourmet and delicious!
My boyfriend planned on proposing that weekend and had contacted Rick the week before to help with the plan - and he was amazing; it went off without a hitch! We felt like royalty - it was an amazing memory! The 2nd night included a game of Monopoly in front of the fireplace and nice conversations with the other guests. We will definitely be returning and hope you all get to experience a weekend like ours - whether it is a romantic getaway or just a break from the grind.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Melanie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2011

This is a gorgeous old house, gigantic in size and warm in decor and ambience. We curled up in front of the fire in the living room and chatted with the host and owner, Rick. The place is beautifully constructed and decorated, unpretentious and friendly. The Lakeview room boasts wooden floors and a fireplace, as well as a wine shop less than ten minutes from the B&B. Breakfasts were delicious and the coffee was endless. My only quibble is that because the outside lights are kept on all night, the room was a bit too bright for me after turning out the lights to sleep. Other than this: We recommend!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mjonte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2011

I highly recommend the Mariaville B & B. Rick & Lorrie do great job making you feel at home. It's a tranquil setting on the lake with renovated rooms, good food, and friendly hosts. We stayed over Thanksgiving when visiting relatives close by and loved it. The lakeview room was bright and cheery. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Rooms in front face the drive/water. Room is back are cozy.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nanette D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Mariaville Lake Bed & Breakfast

Address: 176 Batter St, Mariaville, Duanesburg, NY 12137-3100
Location: United States > New York > Duanesburg > Mariaville
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Mariaville
Price Range: $153 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mariaville Lake Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mariaville Lake B&B is not just lodging-it's an experience! Stay in a federal home with five unique guest rooms, all with queen beds, private bath and view of the lake. Your innkeepers are professional, fun, and funky. Breakfast is fresh, local, and yummy. Most of the rooms have hardwood floors and original moldings. There are two marble fireplaces. The Lakeview and Vineyard Room are located in the oldest part of the house and open with skeleton keys. The Colonial Room occupies the former upstairs porch and the The Suite has a living room with morning bar, bedroom, and full bath. Why stay in town when you can stay at the lake? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mariaville Lake Bed And Breakfast
Mariaville Lake Hotel Duanesburg

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