When my girlfriend and I visited Isaiah Jones Homestead Bed and Breakfast in July of 2010, we were unhappy to find it very overrated. We were expecting a high level of service, luxury and food and were disappointed. As a result we cannot fully recommend it, but we do think that it would be a good second or third place option if you would like to stay in Sandwich, which we do recommend. This is a lengthy review that I broke down by section so it would be easier for the reader to digest.
SERVICE: We found the innkeepers, Donnie and Katherine, to be pleasant and well-meaning but overbearing at times and largely unhelpful. One part of a “summer fun package” we purchased (which by the way did not result in any savings, which is misleading) was passage by ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. They cheerfully provided us with gift certificates but not tickets (so it didn’t save us any time since we still had to wait in line) and failed to volunteer critical non-obvious information, such as how much time to allow to make the boat. We allowed an extra 35 minutes but it wasn’t enough to get there, get on the bus to the ferry from the parking lot, and exchange the gift certificates for the tickets.
The other parts of the package were a whale watch with Hyannis Whale Watching Tours (which was excellent by the way) and a dinner (up to $50) at a restaurant of our choice. The tickets for the tours are date and time specific so we let them know at breakfast that we wanted to do a tour that day. Donnie happily obliged our decision and began to push a restaurant for us to go to afterwards. When we decided to go elsewhere, he made it seem as if it was a significant burden for them to arrange and followed up with us late that night and the next morning to remind us how imposing we were. Why he didn’t just offer guests like us a $50 Visa check card for this is beyond me. Besides, $50 hardly covered the cost of the modest meal we had either at the restaurant of our choice or the place he recommended so the offer of an “included dinner” again seemed misleading. Finally, the pressure to choose a poor restaurant during breakfast and the awkward late-night meeting really rubbed us the wrong way.
LUXURY: We stayed in the Thomas Dexter room which we found to be clean and in satisfactory condition, but the living room area of the house felt old and smelled musty. The air conditioning was weak, coming through a single small heat vent on the floor, but the cool evening air and a ceiling fan was enough to keep us comfortable. The entrance to the room was through a very steep stairwell that opposed the innkeeper’s quarters, distinct from the hall that served other rooms in the main house. The bathroom was clean but the cheap style of the fixtures was reminiscent of a Holiday Inn, not a luxurious bed and breakfast. It also had an additional door that led to the main hallway, which was uncomfortable since it directly opposed the toilet and had a large gap at the bottom.
FOOD: We were generally unimpressed with the breakfasts, not only because of the food, but also because they didn’t start until 8:30am which interfered with some of our early days. To be fair, the freshly squeezed orange juice and the quality of the small serving of fruit we were provided was very good but the entrées were consistently underwhelming. They were unimaginatively simple (such as “eggs to order”) where even a simple request for toast was met with puzzlement. This level of food is fine for the continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn but it is unacceptable for a luxury bed and breakfast where this meal helps define the experience of the entire stay.
BOTTOM LINE: The location of this bed and breakfast is very convenient to the lovely town of Sandwich which has a very nice beach, a nice mainstreet with good not-too-touristy shops (The Spotted Cod, The Brown Jug) and Heritage Gardens which is a nice little botanical garden with a very impressive collection of beautifully restored classic cars. The Glass Museum is also pretty cool. The local beaches are also very nice.
While we unreservedly recommend staying in Sandwich, at the Isaiah Jones Homestead, the Innkeepers are fairly nice but uninspired and the combination of a modest level of luxury and the disappointing breakfasts make for poor value. Check out the Belfry Inn on Jarves Street or the Daniel Webster Inn first.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic Victorian house and Carriage House located in the charming village of Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with private bathrooms, king and queen beds and lovely appointments and amenities. Walk to nearby shops, restaurants and such attractions as the Sandwich Glass Museum and the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Just .75 mile to beautiful Town Neck Beach and a short drive to the walking/bicycle paths along the scenic Cape Cod Canal. A great location for exploring all of Cape Cod (Hyannisport, Chatham, Provincetown, etc.,) Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Newport, and Boston. Less than 90 minutes from the airports in Boston or Providence, Rhode Island and about 4.5 hours drive from New York City. Full breakfast provided each day and plenty of complimentary off-street parking and Wifi. ... more less
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