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“Manor Comes Up Short”

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The Manor on Golden Pond
Ranked #3 of 3 Holderness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 20, 2007

it was almost perfect--the room (Churchill) was lovely--the view of the lake, wood-burning fireplace , jacuzzi tub with candles, bath salts and the large thick towels...the dinner (tastings menu) and wine were delicious--afternoon tea and morning coffee with to go cups...attention to most details by the owners and yet...NOT EVEN EYE CONTACT! NO SMILE OR GREETING "we are glad you are here" (spending hundreds of dollars with us this weekend)...NOTHING!

We sat in the lounge after a day of exploring NH--ready to order a glass or bottle of wine--NOTHING. After 30 minutes or more, we walked to the bar, ordered our wine and went to our room.

Although the owners could not ruin our much anticipated weekend in NH, we certainly will not return to the Manor or recommend it to our friends or the parents who will be attending Dartmouth football games the next 4 years.

Brian and Mary Ellen Shields have invested in restoring the Manor but have failed in the art of hospitality. What a shame.

Stayed: November 2007
3  Thank TennesseeBuzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 - 233 of 258 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2007

I wish I had read previous reviews before booking for foliage, but I had booked too far in advance to be warned! I totally agree, this place should not be on the list of Small Luxury Hotels of the World as they do not have a clue what this means. We rented the "Dover Cottage" at $445 a night - which obviously used to be someone's house across the street from the hotel that is in dire need of a bull dozing!
The pros: Dover Cottage really does sit on the lake...and the view is spectacular. But that is the only redeeming thing about it. It is completely shabby. It is across the street from the main hotel and is difficult to find at night (the sign is hidden by trees and not lit)...it is on a tiny beach next to a shabby boat house. But the worst thing is that the cottage smells and is not clean. The screens (cobwebs) and windows are filthy (obstructing the view to the lake), the porch feels like it is rotted and going to cave in when you step on it, there are ant traps all over the cottage (clearly indicating there is a bug problem), every light fixture in the place that is suspended from the ceiling is filled with dead bugs, the sofa is old and musty...certainly not what you would expect from a "Small Luxury Hotel". And the twin beds were old and creaky (although to their credit, the sheets were clean and fresh).
We ate dinner at the hotel restaurant, and it was $365 for 4 people and totally unremarkable....not horrible, but for that price, totally not worth it. We ate the remainder of our emails outside of the hotel. Also, the main house where the restaurant is located is also in desperate need of a rehab....old and tired and dated.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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5  Thank MassLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2007

The Inn has a great location and is very near the small beach area.

Unfortunately the In is very dated with cheap furnishings in the room and just a dated feeling. We had one of the most expensive rooms at $400 with taxes and fees (Churchill Room). The views from the room were beautiful and the deck was also a nice touch. But the carpet seemed old and dirty, the fire place mantel was a mess, the SPA tub was odd right in the middle of the room as well. Another item that surprised me was there was NO feeling of staying in a manor. It was more like staying in a boarding house. The few common rooms open to the public were tired and old. The upstairs was just a straight hallway with rooms.

There are a bunch of additional rooms that seem to be added on and are called the annex and carriage house. I would definitely avoid these. I took a peak at some of the smaller rooms and was surprised at home small and basic they were.

The owners were absent and the staff had an attitude that they could care less. Breakfast was also very average at best. Thankfully we decided to not eat dinner here.

I definitely would check out other places. This is not a luxury inn but an old tired boarding house that is in desperate need of a paint job and staff refresh.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nicolas617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Manor on Golden Pond for 5 nights during a holiday from the UK in New England. I had seen the hotel on the internet and saw that it was a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group which gave me some confidence. We booked the Sandwich room which I think is one of the more pricey rooms at the hotel. On arrival I was immediately taken aback at how dated the place looks, it is in dire need of refurbishment. The room had the most weird layout with a jaccuzzi right next to the front door and in the sitting room. The shower drains smelt. At the small beach area which is lovely, there is a fridge which the hotel promises will be stocked with cold water for guests - on our second day there was no water, so my husband informed reception. The following afternoon water had still not been restocked. The food and service were very average. A small thing, but we played tennis and the raquets they gave us came out of the ark! They proudly note how dated the raquets are in their guide to the hotel. Hey, here's a wild suggestion, why not splash out and buy a few new raquets? This hotel is in a super location, the small beach and canoes are great, and are just a small walk from the hotel (it is not necessary to "hike" or drive as in a previous review). We enjoyed our stay in spite of, not because of the hotel. It strikes me that this is a hotel run by exceptionally lazy owners who are trading off the "Golden Pond" name. Way overpriced and a big disappointment.

Stayed: August 2007
2  Thank HopefulSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2007

To start with a positive, the view of the mountains is beautiful. Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there...My husband and I stayed here for an event. We have stayed at some amazing places around the world, and this inn was highly recommended to us. Now, we don't normally mind paying $350+ per night (3 night minimum) for a room, but this property definitely didn't warrant that price. The inn itself was in dire need of renovation--peeling windows (inside and out) antiquated (and cheap) decorations. Very outdated bathrooms, window treatments, etc. It is evident that they put NO money back into this business. Our phone didn't work for the first 2 days, and people kept calling the front desk to get a hold of us and became very concerned. The person answering the phone was extremely rude and told her no one was answering in the room. My daughter even asked if someone could go upstairs to tell us she was trying to reach us and knew we'd be in the room (which we were) and they eventually taped a post-it note on the door (without knocking) while we were still in the room waiting around for an hour for our daughter to call. Cell phones don't work here, which makes you dependent on the room phone. You have to ask at the front desk for someone to serve you at the bar or restaurant, then you have to wait around till they can find someone to come take your food/drink order. Which was never worth waiting for anyway. Food was average and service was very slow. The front desk never did fix our phone even after we told them of the problem. To end this review with a couple positives--1.)housekeeping was good and 2.) We never have to go back there again :)

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Twinklestah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2007

While we have never stayed at the Inn, we are neighbors and have attempted to negotiate having two major family events, in two years at the Inn. After the first abbreviated, abrupt, insensitive interaction we chalked it up to a "bad day "(on their part) or a "misunderstanding" (on our part). We attempted again to negotiate another major familial event (using their Inn and restaurant) and experienced more of the same. If you enjoy a persistent negative attitude; arrogance; a lack of patience/motivation to understand or answer questions; and an elevated level of ignorance (based on assuming that one knows it all without the patience to consider customer complexities, concerns, or realities), "The Manor on Golden Pond" is for you. It lacks ambiance and the "welcome" atmosphere that we have come to know that "Relais & Chateaux, " as well as our region is known for. We have stayed in "Manors" throughout the world and have never experienced the arrogance and ignorance that is so bountiful in our own back yard. We can only hope that they will consider and grow from the criticism, and can serve their customer's more effectively. The Inn and its location is truly beaurtiful, but does not serve the purpose or potential of the surroundings. "The Manor On Golden Pond," interpersonally, has little "golden" about it !!

Stayed: August 2007
5  Thank travelerinourworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2007

Web sites can be misleading, and that certainly is the case with the Web site for this inn. Led to believe that it was right on Squam Lake, I discovered that it is on a hill overlooking the lake. I am sure during the bare-branch season, you can see the lake - but not in summer. And, instead of walking steps to the beach and water, you have either a hike or a short drive. Try its very nice swimming pool instead.

As for dining there - don't! The food was overcooked and priced as if it were a hip, Manhattan restaurant. Far from it! Service was also very slow!

Room prices also seem quite steep but we have stayed in worse for the same money. Then again, we have stayed in better for the same money.

As for hip, it isn't. It has lots of dark, old wood and old, boring photographs and pictures.

To its credit, the grounds were quite lovely and the staff was helpful and friendly. And lots of Adirondack chairs on the grounds. You also have a very nice view of the White Mountains.

Once was enough for us!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sabathecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Manor on Golden Pond

Address: Rte 3, Holderness, NH 03245
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Holderness
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Holderness
Price Range: $188 - $281 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Manor on Golden Pond 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Manor is a 24 room country Inn with each room unique. Booking direct allows you to select the room that you most like. Each room has TV, free long distant phone service on continental USA, luxury robes, free wifi, frette linens, turndown service, comfortable sitting areas. The Van Horn dining room offers exceptional cuisine in a relaxed but elegant atmosphere. Seasons Sap offers a full array of spa treatments. All rates include a full country breakfast and afternoon tea. Minimum age of guest is 12 years of age. Leave your pets at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Manor On Golden Pond Hotel Holderness

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