After we found this Bed & Breakfast through Groupon, we called the B&B to ask some questions about the offer. The owner said that if we’d book directly with her that she would give us the same Groupon deal. We thought we would be helping the owners out by doing this, but what we got when we arrived was considerably less than what we expected. The greeter who was the only one at the B&B when we arrived at 3:00 on a Sunday was obviously very new at the job and didn't seem to know much and did not have any of the vouchers we had expected to get. Within 30 minutes after we arrived, this greeter left and we NEVER saw her or anyone else in the house for the rest of that day or night.
Through an additional offer made by Chimney Hill before our visit, we ordered a "Just Want to Stay Inn" Basket that was to feature "savory homemade hors d’oeuvres, a dessert tray, fresh veggies with homemade sour cream dip, 2 glasses, and a complimentary bottle of wine." The total additional cost for this basket was $64.20. What we got for our $64.20 was a plate of 4 brownies (from the same batch we had seen sitting downstairs for anyone to take free of extra charge), a plate with 6 pieces of celery, 6 baby carrots, and 6 crackers with a small cup of ranch dressing and 6 very tiny blueberry turnovers and a bottle of wine. The food had not been covered and was already showing signs of drying out. There was no “basket” in sight.
During our breakfast the next morning, we were briefly greeted by a man who stopped by our table. We had to ask if he was one of the owners and what his name was. We thought we'd speak with him about our "basket deal” after breakfast, but that one brief greeting was the one and only moment of our entire stay when we saw him. After breakfast, we asked the lady who had served our breakfast where were our hosts. She said "Terry" would be in later. So, we waited around until she arrived. As an explanation of what we got in the “$64.20 basket deal,” she commented that the girl who had greeted us was new, but she said that she would credit our charge card and we agreed that would be a satisfactory solution. However, as of today, 14 WEEKS since that conversation, my card has not yet been credited for that expense.
While waiting for breakfast on that Monday morning, we looked through a menu of the restaurant where we were supposed to have dinner using a $50 credit from the Groupon offer. It was then that we discovered that the restaurant is closed on Mondays! When we asked about our vouchers for the restaurant and for the winery tour, Terry commented that the Groupon offer had expired! What?! So, I had to remind her of our conversation of several months back about how she was giving us the same Groupon deal if we booked directly with her and that we had booked the dates for our stay at the time of that conversation. Even so, she said that she could no longer honor part of that deal... again, because it had expired. The lesson we learned from that: Don't try to help out the owners, buy the Groupon/Living Social deal--it's your guarantee you get what you expected.
So, as it has ended up, we did NOT get any $50 restaurant voucher; we did NOT get a $15 wine voucher to use at the winery (which we would have used since we did buy a couple of bottles there), and we have NOT yet been credited for the $64.20 basket offer, 14 WEEKS later. The only perk of the Groupon offer that we did get was a $10 voucher for a wine tasting at Unionville Winery, which was, indeed, a fun experience. When we returned to the house early on Monday evening, there was another—larger—bottle of wine at our door, but that surely can’t compensate for $130 worth of amenities that we lost.
At about 10:00 on our second morning after our car was packed and we were ready to depart, we looked for our hosts to say goodbye and to make sure we were credited for the issues we had discussed the previous day. The only person around was the lady who took care of our breakfast and she told us the owners would be in later. In fact, other than this lady, we had not seen another person in the house since our brief encounter with our hosts on Monday morning in spite of the fact that we had spent the entire evening in the house the night before. On Monday evening/night we ended up watching a movie on our iPad (since there are NO TV’s anywhere in the house) and eating left-overs from a meal we’d had earlier in the day. The kitchen area was locked up, so we had no access to a microwave or a refrigerator and there had been no “treats” of any sort left for us.
We stay in B&B’s frequently, so we are quite familiar with what to expect from a Bed and Breakfast stay. Sadly, our experience at Chimney Hill Estates was by far the worst we’ve ever had. We had had such high hopes and expectations for this stay because of the extra perks we expected to get through both the Groupon’s & Chimney Hill’s offers and because we had had a such positive conversation with the owner months before when we first booked our stay. As in the situation of this stay, we have been the only guests at a Bed & Breakfast before, but we have always had countless interactions with the owners and/or hostesses and there have always been some treats/drinks left out for us when we return to the house after a day’s outings no matter what time that might be. None of that happened here. We even wondered whether little to nothing was done for us because we were the only guests for most of our stay. (One couple came in late on Sunday evening and left soon after breakfast on Monday)
On the positive side, our room, The Tapestry,” was lovely, and we loved the claw-foot tub and shower. The bed was quite large and comfortable; and even with the cold temps outside, we were always toasty warm. Feeding the alpacas was totally delightful. The greeter’s comments had led us to think that our hosts would accompany us to visit the alpacas and interact with us then. Instead, we were directed to where the alpacas were and sent on our way alone, which turned out to be okay, but, again, that was a bit disappointing. Our breakfasts were good and our preparer/server was very nice.
From a safety standpoint, the walkway that led to the only guest entrance was never swept to remove the snow and the lighting at the corner of the house that led to the entrance was not functioning, which left a dark patch just where we had to step from the gravel driveway onto the stone walkway. There were also numerous potholes in the driveway that made it a bit of a challenge to maneuver. We completely understand that the weather was quite unusual this year and potholes are in abundance, but while we were there, the Lambertville area only got a light dusting of snow on top of what appeared to be a relatively light build up of snow from a previous storm that could have easily been swept away and a bit of gravel in the deeper potholes would have made it a tad less challenging to get into and out of the parking area.
We would have loved to give this Bed & Breakfast the highest possible rating across the board. In fact, we expected our stay there to be the highlight of our week-long trip that included time in Washington DC, Lambertville, and Philadelphia. Instead, because of what we perceived as a lack of hospitality and quality service, our stay there was the only negative part of our week-long adventure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chimney Hill Estate & Ol' Barn Inn is a lovely quaint country estate located above the charming historic riverside towns of Lambertville, New Jersey and New Hope, Pennsylvania. Enjoy the excellent selection of restaurants - Anton's Swan, Brian's, Triumph Brewery, Marsha Browns. Plenty to explore everyday! Enjoy a couples massage at Nurture Day Spa. Visit the Bucks County Theater, Shop at Peddlers Village, Explore the Golden Nugget Flea market for a rare treasure, don't forget Rice's Market every Tuesday! If you love the history visit our Washington's Crossing, or take a tour of our local vineyards - Unionville, Old York, Crossings, to name a few. Lets not forget that we offer a delicious breakfast daily and give you plenty of TLC during your stay. Ask us for help....we are here to help you have a great time! So please visit us soon! Thank you, Richard & the very cute Alpacas ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Chimney Hill Estate Hotel Lambertville