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“Will not return”
Review of Inn at Grey Gables

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Inn at Grey Gables
Ranked #6 of 9 Charlevoix B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Second time in Charlevoix and after staying at the Edgewater (which was fine) on our first visit, we decided to stay at the Grey Gables based on a recommendation from friends who had stayed here last summer. After comparing our experience with our friends', it seems a lot has changed at the Inn. Bed was comfortable and rooms were sufficient, but did notice many bugs in the rooms...shower and windows and such. The place appeared to be clean, but upon further inspection, it seems to just be superficially cleaned for appearance.

People on TA said the Inn is falling apart, but we didn't expect a house built in the 1800s to be in fantastic shape. However, I think people mean the Inn is falling apart because of staffing. Some very odd occurrences happened with the woman overseeing our weekend stay, including a potential theft of a very expensive purse and wallet.

We also witnessed people who were not guests coming into the house, and the front door of the house was never locked, including when we returned from a wedding at 1am. Would never stay here again.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Karl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 40 of 105 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

Recommended by a friend who had not stayed there but had heard from others, we made reservations with another couple to stay there during the course of a weekend visit to the Charlevoix/Mackinac Island area. While we loved our visit to the area, this B & B fell far short of expectations, especially given the prices that they charge. It is NOT owner-operated and the woman running the place was "chatty" in an obligatory and, frankly, annoying fashion. I think that the owner would be better served by different/additional staff. During the entire weekend, a paintbrush, rag and scraper were left on the front steps -- just one example. When she asked us what time we'd like our breakfasts we indicated 8:30 -- on both days, the food came 30 to 45 minutes late. Our friends had to use a bathroom on the second floor hallway -- with barely enough room to consider it functional (certainly not pleasant).

On the other hand, the beds were comfortable, the common areas (living and dining rooms) were pleasant enough and the location was convenient.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Trup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

My husband wanted to surprise me for my birthday. He ordered chilled wine and flowers to be in the room, he also had the manager make a reservation at a nice restaurant in town...none of theses things happened. The room and bathroom need a serious cleaning.
Too many other quirky things happened to put in a review-let's just say it was so bad it was funny!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank Treelee12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

We came to town to celebrate our anniversary. What an anniversary celebration...we had never stayed at a B & B before. (I wish I'd read the reviews first.) We called and held the room on a credit card which was not to be run because we were paying cash. However, the innkeeper ran the card. We asked to have it refunded and finally (after a second request) did get the refund printout and did pay cash. The Rose Room was very small and the shower was VERY SMALL (don't drop the soap). The window AC was just that.... Not comfortable with it within two feet of the bed. The TV was a very small one. The itty bitty bathroom ran out of toilet paper in the middle of the night. No extra roll was to be found! When I told Debbie about it, she just said, "Oh". No apology. For a no smoking facility there sure was a ton of smoke lingering in the parlor in the morning. The towels smelled of smoke, too.

The wine and cheese reception was a sad affair. The wine was cheap and the crackers and cheese were pretty much scoffed up in her hand by a friend who popped in. Breakfast was another disappointment. A menu sheet was slipped under the door for breakfast at 7 to 8:30 a.m. When we got to the dining room at 7:45, no one was around. We found the yogurt in the guest refrigerator, but no spoons, no water, cool coffee in the carafe. After about 30 or 40 minutes Debbie finally made her breakfast. I think she was waiting for the other couple to come.

The Inn was in poor shape and not worth the money we were charged. Outside the paint was peeling. The stairs were very steep with an open window at the top propped up by a stick and a screen that was in poor shape. ( I mention this because the window was so low and close to the floor. Don't lose your balance!) The restaurant with the same name but not the same owners was great!

I would never come back or refer others to this inn.

Room Tip: Check out opinions on the facility first. The pictures on line are like picking a book by its cover...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ilene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We love to visit Charlevoix for long weekends in the summer or fall, and have stayed at the Grey Gables each time, although it has been a few years since our last stay. This most recent visit was to celebrate our wedding anniversary, so we looked forward to staying in familiar accommodations.

We were disappointed to note that the facility has declined in several areas, most notably care-taking of the property itself. Whether due to neglect by an absentee owner or poor upkeep by the maintenance staff, the house appeared more old and tired than we remember it from our previous visits... natural aging and historic charm are one thing and something we desire in B&B's, but lack of basic upkeep is not... unkempt flower beds and shrubs, cracked and peeling paint, dirty and worn carpets and floors, cobwebby and dirty windows, etc. The newest innkeeper, Debbie, has only been in her job a matter of weeks and seemed eager to please, albeit a bit awkward and unsure of herself. Some good and bad points:

The good:
- Room we stayed in (the Pine, on rear of 1st floor) had a tight bedroom space but was clean, included a serviceable kitchenette area (we didn't use at all, so can't comment) and a private entrance, although the keyed deadbolt was balky and difficult to operate.
- Bedding was mostly plush and comfortable, but with very hard primary pillows (I slept on the decorative throw pillow instead).
- Shower stall was clean and roomy enough for two, and towels were clean, plush and plentiful.
- Ceiling fan over bed was silent and make for comfortable sleeping.
- Afternoon complimentary wine & cheese hour was nice... nothing fancy, but nice.
- Breakfast consisted of baked (not fried) cinnamon-apple French toast, sausage links, and fresh fruit, and cooked-to-order eggs were also offered... coffee was hot and good.

The bad:
- Wood floor in bedroom was dirty and in need of a stripping/waxing, and throw rugs were worn.
- Very few available outlets.
- In-room TV was advertised, but not present (we didn't care, had no plans to use it).
- A luggage stand or two would have been helpful (but many hotels neglect this, too).
- Water pressure and volume in shower was ridiculously low - just a light sprinkle - even though house was mostly unoccupied... we were tempted to remove the shower head just to be able to rinse off (don't municipalities requiring or properties using flow-restricting heads realize folks just run the water 3x-4x as long to compensate?).

Overall, our stay served its purpose, as the property is situated in a nice residential area nearby a gated club community, within easy walking distance of the main downtown area (Bridge St.), and was comfy enough for a night. The restaurant of the same name (but managed independently) located conveniently right next door is excellent, with many fine dishes, especially the whitefish... be sure to visit it no matter where you stay.

If you don't care about paying a bit more for older, so-so accommodations that are convenient to the town hub and harbor, you may be okay here... but we will likely be looking elsewhere on our next visit, or at least until we see some pride and investment instilled in restoring Grey Gables to its past and potential charm.

Room Tip: The Pine room includes a kitchenette and separate entrance, and may be a bit quiter as it's at r...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jerry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

The Inn is in need of major upgrading! The exterior needed painting, flowers in the flower boxes were dead, porch furniture needed cleaning & painting. We stayed in the Jonathon Room, the carpet was dirty & worn, one of the bedroom windows were cracked & taped together, the wall vents were very rusty & dirty, dead bugs in the window sills, the bathroom mirror hadn't even been cleaned! The ceiling was cracked & looked to fall any time.The wine & cheese reception was a joke, few little crackers with cheese, ran out of wine, with just four people being there.This Hotel was priced more than others in the area, but thier website looked so good. Don't believe it!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Jeanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

We saw Grey Gables on Trip Advisor as one of the best Bed and Breakfasts to stay in Charlevoix. My wife and I stayed in the Magnolia Room on the second floor. The carpet and decor was old and worn as described by other reviewers. The bathroom (separate from the room was barely wide enough for a commode and we had to sit sideways to use it.) We drove from Nashville, TN. The website advirtised the beauty and service and said there was a color TV in the room (We were planning on watching the Olympics while we were there). There was no TV in the room as advertisedand and no cable hookup in the room. They did not have another room we could move to with a TV. I told them that we would not have come if we knew there was no TV in the room. The Inkeeper said the owner would only give a 15% discount for our inconvenience. I asked to speak with the owner and the Inkeepers told me that this was not allowed and said I could write a review on Trip Advisor and the owner would read it. I told the Inkeepers that not being available to respond to this was "COWARDLY." I WILL ALSO BE FOLLOWING UP WITH A LETTER TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. The treatment at Grey Gables was pitiful. I would not recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: The place was overpriced and not kept up.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn at Grey Gables

Address: 306 Belvedere Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720-1413
Location: United States > Michigan > Charlevoix County > Charlevoix
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Charlevoix
Price Range: $60 - $165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Inn at Grey Gables 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Inn at Grey Gables is a refurbished 1887 Bed and Breakfast located within easy walking distance of downtown Charlevoix. We have seven beautifully decorated rooms with King or Queen beds, private baths, plush towels, and luxurious amenities. Each morning enjoy a full hot breakfast made with fresh ingredients and a gourmet twist. We offer wine and cheese platters in the evening, and turndown service with homemade cookies before bedtime. Also available is free wireless internet, a guest refreshment center, and 1 pet-friendly room. ... more   less 
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