We visited the Red Maple Inn in September of last year. I delayed writing a review because we had no prior B & B experience and I did not think it fair to judge it without any comparison of other Inns.
Since that time we have stayed at two other Inns in the area with which we were quite pleased.
I would like to qualify this review by noting that I grew up in an early 1700s farmhouse -probably the only one in New Jersey where General ,George did not sleep - so old houses even historic ones do not hold a lot of magic for me.
My wife is not a fan of old houses period.
But limited space when we visit our son and his family require that we find lodging and it turns out that B&Bs are all that are in the area.
So we approached this stay at a well advertised B$B in a positive manner as an adventure.
The history, structure and background of this house is very interesting. I also am sure that most find the two living rooms tastefully decorated with their many antiques and curios.
The owners are very proud of their accomplishments in converting this property to a B&B as rightfully they should be.
The information that they shared on the history of the house was interesting and quite. fascinating.
We stayed in the Duck Room and I am sure there were a lot of great duck curios there if you could see them. Those poor ducks condemened to the dark forever. It was so dark my wife joked that it should be called the Bat Room.
It was dark- dark in many parts even when the two small lamps were on.
The Inn is located on a major highway that has traffic 24/7 . The ear plugs displayed prominently on the sink in the bathroom should of been a tip off. We spent two nights listening to the music of motorcycles, tractor trailers and a lot of other noisy vehicles .
There is a red light just down the hill from the Inn and it was a real treat hearing the big engines of the trucks going through the gears as they started off. They completely drowned out the noisy window air conditioner.
The bathroom was small but well laid out and the lighting in it was good. We liked the unique soap dispenser in the shower and bought one when we got home.
Breakfast was very nice with a number of selections that you picked from a menu the night before. We liked the touch of having some New England products. We did not have an opportunity to have dinner but we understand that the hostess is a well known chef and runs a cooking school.
In our opinion the emphasis on what we define as nickle and diming it is somewhat distasteful.
When I made the reservation after the price quote a tax and service charge of 14.7% popped up. Wow I thought the hotel taxes must be as high as in Philadelphia. Then I discovered that the taxes at that time were 4.7% so we were paying 10% for service.
When we registered I asked our host what the service charge was for. He did not reply to my first two questions but after the third he said "its for the girl in the dining room."
Well there wasn't any girl in the dining room -we were served by our host the first morning with the addition of the hostess on the second. Maybe the girl was hiding in " hidden room " that we were told is in the house.
One could conjecture that the "service charge " is just a means to increase the room rate in a somewhat clandestine manner by lumping it in with the taxes.
Then there was an envelope in the room soliciting tips for the maid. But wait we already gave 10%.
And a couple of honor stations where one could purchase snacks for a 300% markup.
WHY NOT SET A RATE THAT INCLUDES THE SERVICE CHARGE AND A FEW SNACKS AND THEN ADD JUST THE TAX ? -this has been what we experience at other locations.
We think it is fair to say that the owners of a B&B should have considerable expertise in the features and happenings in local areas
On the second day when we finished breakfast we remarked to our hostess that we were going to visit the local fair in Spencer on our way home.
" That fair is terrible" said our hostess and the added wit great distaste "they have GOATS there. ''
Instead she urged us to attend an antique flea market that is so famous that people come from all over the world to attend it. It sounded interesting even though it was a good deal off the route home.
Another couple in the dining room that had come just for the purpose of attending the antique show spoke up and said it was not open until the next day. Well ,said the hostess there will be plenty of places open for the "early birds".
So we went and the place was closed up tight as a drum with signs indicating that you could not even park there until the next day.
And we went 30 miles out of our way!
The Inn has a large selection of excellent DVDs -surprize no charge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 2007 Yankee Magazine "Editors' Choice", 2006 Boston Globe "Each time you enter a room you're dazzled anew by the charmingly over-the-top decor." The Red Maple Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1780, features six deluxe guest accommodations, decorator touches, luxurious bedding, private bathrooms, air-conditioning, color cable television with DVD players, 1000+ title DVD Library and complimentary Wi-Fi. Gourmet breakfast, Wine Cellar and Fine Dining. Cooking classes and Classic Film classes. ... more less