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“Inn website deceiving not worth the money”
Review of Inn at Lake Joseph

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Inn at Lake Joseph
Ranked #1 of 2 Forestburgh B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 26, 2012

The inn and surrounding grounds are very rundown which isn't apparent in their website video. Only after we made our no cancel reservation did we receive a disclaimer in the confirmation that the lake level is down.The lake is at least 12 feet down so there is no quaint swimming area and it does not look like the pristine atmospheric lake shown on the website video - instead there's muck and thousands of exposed tree stumps. So the lake is not an amenity. The inn is very rundown - we sat at breakfast with a couple who said the inn hadn't changed in 5 years since their last visit and they left early, forfeiting a night for a free future credit! The deli snacks were nice and the pool was a plus but staying there was not worth the big bucks that they charge.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Louise239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ivan066, Owner at Inn at Lake Joseph, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2012

We are sorry this guest was not pleased with her stay and we would like to respond to the comments. With regard to the appearance of the lake, the following information appears on our website:

“To bring you up to date on what's happening at Lake Joseph: The dam at the west side of the lake is being upgraded to meet current DEC safety requirements. The upgrade has required a temporary lowering of the water level of the lake, until early October, exposing some rocks, tree roots, and lake soil along the lake's shoreline. However, the boating and kayaking are still in full swing and we are told by those who fish that it's the best that they've experienced. Also, there are those who have chosen to walk that part of the shore line that has been underwater for over a century, in search of treasure.”

In addition all guests are told verbally of the dam upgrade prior to their decision to book their room and finally, the above information also appears on their reservation confirmation letter with a link acknowledging their understanding of the information.

The lowering of the water level is not 12 fee but less than 4 feet exposing about 40 feet of lake bottom from the shore line. It’s true that the lake did not look like the pristine environment as it appeared on our website video. However that did not stop the hundreds of guests who visited our inn to experience and enjoy the amenities the lake still offers.

With regard to the guest that left early. These guest did not leave early. They were only scheduled to stay one night on our Partial Stay Program as described on our website.

We would like to leave the reader with this thought: Although no destination is perfect, we have earned the reputation of being responsive to our guests’ needs and requests, in addition to offering one of the most desirable getaway destinations in New York State. For almost 30 years, this reputation has been reflected in dozens if not hundreds of impartial guest reviews, as well as many articles by experienced professional travel writers throughout the country. Again, we’re sorry these guests were disappointed, but perhaps they might consider a second visit to experience what we are really all about.

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168 - 174 of 390 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2012

The Inn is a dichotomy of old and new. The rooms with wooden beams and period furnishings are equipped with new bathrooms. We stayed in the Dogwood room which is located in the carriage house on the second level. I did not like the 22 step climb to the door. Room was a nice size although the layout left something to be desired. $280 plus tax did not include the additional service charge which covers gratuity and such. Cleaning consisted of making the bed and changing any towels laying on the floor. They cleaned the room while we were at breakfast. Breakfast was basic but all inclusive. No gourmet meals just all you could want of everyday food. There were also snacks and makings for sandwiches and salads that were available all day. Rowboats, kayaks, bicycles, pool table, chess, books and a hiking trail in the woods. Closest place for dinner was 4 miles away which was the trade off for being in a remote area. There were a few items that needed attention and when we told them about it they were fixed promptly.

Room Tip: Our room had a lot of windows including some high up with no blinds. Take a sleep mask with you.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jcarmello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012 via mobile

This is a great place to stay. You may balk at the prices for rooms, but they deliver the e prurience you want. There is some age to this Inn and sometimes the rooms show it, but it is all part of the experience where the old meets new. Great service and beautiful grounds are the hallmark of this establishment. Great for a weekend getaway! It's close to Bethel where You can now visit the Woodstock museum. We are booking a winter weekend before we leave tomorrow!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Familycampingnuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed at the Inn as a little romantic getaway and must say that as usual we were not disappointed....after reading some of the more recent reviews I did not want other readers to get the wrong idea of this place. We have to remember that we are in the Catskills and not downtown NYC, the venues are worlds apart.. Since our past visits were always in the winter months to celebrate our anniversary we changed it up and came during the tailend of summer to enjoy the scenery. The grounds are always well kept and the crew at the Inn always try their best to be as accomodating as possible. We stayed in a new room for us this time, the Hemlock..I must say that I slept like a baby in that bed with the rain beating on the windows that first night, the second day the wife and I went to the farmers market fair that was held in Bethel Woods and enjoyed drinks on the patio all afternoon and evening listening to music and nature..We were warned about the low levels of the lake but decided to take the trail anyway to enjoy what we could. In response to a previous poster the water's color is natural because of the trees that have been submerged into the water over the years, that tea color is actually the sign of a healthy ecosystem within the lake. Sitting lakeside and enjoyed a drink, or in my case a cigar is as peaceful and serene an environment you can get.

I guess the easiest way to describe the inn in a nutshell is like visiting grandma's house and staying a few nights. The decor may look older but in actuality its exactly the way it is intended to look..The buildings are not top notch construction of the last few decades..its an older building thats served generations of individuals as a home away from home....so are the stairs squeaky? Yes, they are but it gives that little child inside of me the feeling of trying to raid grandma's goodie jars and snack boxes when looking for a late night snack or beverage in the kitchen's help yourself section.

So I have to say to Ivan and Rue, thank you for your hospitality and good nature. There are not many places that have the owners as involved as the two of you are with the rest of your staff at the Inn. My wife and I look forward to our next visit and hopefully I won't miss the pancakes on the menu.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Anthony V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I made the enormous mistake of disregarding the negative reviews for the Inn at Lake Joseph. With so many glowing reviews, I took the leap and after hours and hours of searching for a place that would accomodate the needs of my mom, my puppy and me, I finally made a reservation here. My whole heart sank when I arrived at the main house. As written by a few others, the main house looked fine at a glance, but as I looked around while waiting for someone to check me in, I noticed leaks in the cieling tiles, the musty smell, and a general sense of dreariness that I tried to ignore. I traveled for 3 hours to get there and desperately wanted for it to be the right place, but it was not. "Help yourself lunch" was a minifridge with cold cuts and deli salads, a few loaves of sliced bread...the fridge and countertops felt slightly sticky to the touch...everything so worn down. The room? Cobwebs in the vents, an a/c wall unit with no buttons to adjust the temperature in the room or turn it on or off, layers of dust on every surface, a lumpy, musty-smelling sofa bed, small balls of blank lint on the floor, no lightbulbs in the cieling lights over the bed, windows so dingy that you couldn't see the details of the sky and trees outside. The list is endless. I have stayed in many, many places in my lifetime and know what over $400 looks like (and this is what it will run you for after NYS tax and the 10% gratuity). I wouldn't have chosen this place for $20. The pictures on the web site must have been taken when it was first renovated. I slept for maybe 20 minutes that night and the next morning, had the aweful experience of having to ask to leave and get my money back for the original 3 nights I had booked. My credit card had not been charged for the one night that I had stayed, and for that reason alone, I had not submitted a poor review. Over a month and a half later, my card has been charged, and I am disputing them because this place is not what it advertises. I don't know who all of these folks are who think that it's cozy and lovely. I could barely bring myself to sit down and touch anything. I only want to thank Debbie, who was lovely and very apologetic and was kind enough to complete a report of my complaints. She made a difficult conversation a little easier.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank sergiaflo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ivan066, Owner at Inn at Lake Joseph, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2012

We are sorry this guest was disappointed with her stay and we would like to address some of her issues. On the day she arrived and was waiting to be checked in, a small leak in a water line did occur and indeed created a musty odor when the water combined with the original wood lathe and plaster ceiling. The repair was complete the same day. However this might have been the first impression that set the tone for this guest the rest of her stay. Two refrigerators are replenished daily with light lunch and snacks food including cold cuts, salads, pastas, breads, soft drinks and more. The setup 24/7, is casual and reminiscent of raiding the frig at home.

With regard to her description of the cleanliness of her room, on the housekeeping inspection report, there is a mention of a bird dropping and a tree sap stain on one of the skylight windows and a small stain on the carpet inside the door of the sundeck. In addition, there are no vents in the room, the a/c has exposed temperature controls, there are no nights in the ceiling over the bed and there are no sofa beds in any of the Inn guestrooms. With all due respect we honestly believe that this guest may be confusing a memory of an experience from another inn.

We would like to leave the reader with this thought: Although no destination is perfect, we have earned the reputation of being responsive to our guests’ needs and requests, in addition to offering one of the most desirable getaway destinations in New York State. For almost 30 years, this reputation has been reflected in dozens if not hundreds of impartial guest reviews, as well as many articles by experienced professional travel writers throughout the country. Again, we’re sorry these guests were disappointed, but perhaps they might consider a second visit to experience what we are really all about.

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Reviewed September 17, 2012

We went this past weekend and stayed in the Chestnut room. Upon arrival, we were shown the main house which is clean but quite dated. You are able to serve yourself lunch but if you want sodas you need to purchase from a vending machine. For $320 a night, we thought that this was a bit cheap. We then checked into our room which was clean but modest. The pictures on the website are MUCH nicer than the actual room. It was a small room. We could hear our neighrbors talk through the walls and heard their dogs barking all night long. I love dogs and dont mind that people are able to bring their dogs...but dont want to hear barking for hours at a time. We went to kayak in lake. We were warned that the water level was low due to maintenance on dam (which we can not blame the inn keepers for) but the water was the color dark rust and tree stumps were exposed. They should tell you that you really can not boat due to low water level. There were no kayak paddles so we had to take a row boat. We were literally hiting the bottom of the lake when we paddled out and felt like we were going to get stuck in sand. Also, we were not made aware that they just built a raceway next to inn. If the lake were filled, it would be scenic...but all you can hear is the the zooming of cars. its a REAL problem for the area. even when we went on hike around the inn grounds...all we hear was the race cars. Sounded like we were at nascar not the catskills. we had a pleasant dinner at Mr. Willy's (would recomend for casual pub food - onion soup was great) but when we returned home at 9pm, we wanted to turn on the gas fireplace. It was broken. When I called the inn keeper, she said that there was nothing she could do right then and that it would have to wait till morning. Well, we were checking out the next day. Seemed like she knew the problem existed and was hoping we would not try to light it. She suggested we go to fire pit. We were on a romantic vacation and there were 10 people around firepit with their dogs. The last thing we wanted to do was spend time with strangers. Overall, we were extremely disppointed with stay and will not be returning. The best thing about this inn was the website. Good marketing bc stay was not worth the money.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ivan066, Owner at Inn at Lake Joseph, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2012

“We are truly sorry that this guest’s one night stay at the Inn was disappointing and we would like to address some of her issues.

With regard to the inn’s soda machine: We offer our guests complimentary hot coffee and tea, iced tea, iced coffee and country well water, as well as free bottled water. The fact that we have the vending machines with additional beverages available for purchase is much more a matter of convenience for our guests, since we’re more than a mile from the nearest store, than an attempt to increase our revenue.

With regard to barking dogs and loud voices: At check in, we tell all our guests to dial us 24/7 if they have questions or disturbances. If we had been informed of the disturbance (regardless of the time of day or night), we would have contacted those guests immediately. All guests who bring dogs are asked for their cell phone numbers so we can contact them if an issue comes up while the owners are out.

With regard to the color of the lake water: In our orientation packet, we tell our guests that Lake Joseph has a natural tea color that comes from the trees that were submerged over 100 years ago when the dam was built. It’s a sign of a pristine, healthy, flourishing and prosperous lake. (The movie On Golden Pond refers to the tannic acid that gave the pond its name.)

With regard to the lake water level: All guests were informed of the temporary lowering of the water level of the lake at the time they made their reservations; and that the kayaking and row boating are still in “full swing.” Of the hundreds of guests that have enjoyed their row boating experience this summer, with all due respect, these were the only guests that had concerns. In addition, we would have reminded them of the location of the kayak paddles if they had contacted us via the intercom from the lake phone.

The following were two complaints we felt justified a reduction in their room rate. The Monticello Motor Club is located about three miles from the Inn, beyond the North side of the lake. Once or twice a year the club has a special race for non-street-legal cars that produces noise that sometimes can disturb the pristine silence of the lake. But thankfully, it’s not that often. The second issue was that the guests couldn’t enjoy their gas fireplace, due to a faulty pilot light.

Although we are not perfect, we have earned the reputation of being responsive to our guests’ needs and requests. For almost 30 years, this reputation has been reflected in hundreds of impartial guest reviews, as well as many articles by experienced professional travel writers throughout the country. Again, we’re sorry these guests were disappointed, but perhaps they might consider a second visit to experience what we are really all about.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

The Inn was lovely. We stayed in the Dogwood Room, and we had a lovely room with a little balcony to sit on, there was a Jacuzzi tub, a fireplace, a sitting area and a Sleep Number bed. The staff was froendly and accomodating. They had a lovely pool, a lake with boats and kayaks, hammocks, bikes to use... it was really fun. they serve a made to order breakfast each day and a self serve deli lunch. There is ALWAYS a snack in the kitchen! REally a positive experience!

Room Tip: Look on line to choose a room that suits your needs!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HB1008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inn at Lake Joseph

Address: 162 St Josephs Rd, Forestburgh, NY 12777-6230
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Forestburgh
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Forestburgh
Price Range: $259 - $389 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Inn at Lake Joseph 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Inn, with working fireplaces, whirlpool baths and private sundecks, is located in Upstate New York on a 250-acre private lake. Like resort lodging, Inn at Lake Joseph provides a variety of summer and winter recreational facilities, including access to a health and fitness spa. But unlike larger hotels, with just 18 guestrooms, a luxurious, yet informal, casual country retreat that assures guests a relaxing, private, rustic mountain lake environment awaits. Very much like the Berkshires, White Mountains, Adirondacks and Poconos, the Catskills surrounding the Inn offer spectacular scenes of lakes and rivers, as well as hiking trails with views of majestic peaks and isolated waterfalls. However, unlike these other regions, The Inn is no more than 2 hours from New York City. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At Lake Joseph Hotel Forestburgh

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