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“Not Worth the High Cost”
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 May 23, 2013

I'm not one to write negative reviews, but I felt that I had to share my recent experience at the Inn at Lake Joseph for others who may be trying to decide whether the high room rates are worth it. Sadly, I think the inn is way overpriced and not worth the exorbitant rates. It's not a terrible place to stay, but for us, it was a disappointing and expensive getaway.

Ultimately, we were looking for a luxurious lake getaway and the Inn at Lake Joseph didn't even come close to delivering.

First, the good things:
---The lake is nice, quiet, peaceful. However, the lake is not on the inn property. It's a shared lake with local residents and it's a short walk across the road from the inn. I guess I was expecting lake views and privacy on the lake, but that's not the case.
---Boat & kayaks are available for use. I was pleased to find out that we just had to walk down to the lake and hop in a boat, no extra fees or per day charges. Oh wait, that's not the case. There is a 10% fee added to your bill to cover these "free" amenities. Even our dog had a 10% fee tacked onto her bill!
---The inn is very dog friendly. If you're a pet owner that likes to travel with your dog, you know it can be a challenge to find a place that is truly pet friendly. We stayed in the Willow (dog friendly room) and although there is a charge for the dog, the inn keepers were very mellow about us bringing our boxer. They even allow off-leash privileges on the property, as long as you're respectful of the other guests.
---The Inn keepers have a good sense of humor. The "rules" that are printed and given out to you upon check in are humorous and good-spirited. We enjoyed reading them.
---The room (Willow) is a good size. Quite large as far as hotel rooms go, but lots of furniture so it didn't feel as spacious as it could have.
---Reliable wifi. I was pleasantly surprised by this, considering we were "in the mountains."
---The grounds are well maintained, mowed, landscaped.
---There is a great fire pit just outside the Carriage House for roasting marshmallows. We had a nice time sitting outside, meeting other guests.

And here is the stuff that, sadly, will prevent us from returning:
---When we arrived for check-in the inn keeper had no idea how many people were in our party, that we had a dog, and that we reserved an adjoining room, etc. All of this was discussed in detail when we made the reservation, so I would have hoped they were prepared for us.
---Upon entering the room, we were horrified to find lots (and I'm not exaggerating) dog hair, human hair, and dirt on the beds. On the pillows and sheets of both beds! Also on the bathroom and kitchen floor and in the tub. Housekeeping came immediately and changed the sheets (no vacuuming), but we had to wait outside in the car, in the rain, with 2 kids and a dog while they fixed up the room. Super annoying. In general, the place was just dirty. There were cobwebs on the ceiling, a dust bunny on the stove, crumbs in the freezer, etc. Just yuck.
---The room decor is really dated. I'm talking plastic plants, tacky wall art, ugly 80s kitchen, paint patches on walls, broken light switch plate. For $360/night, I was expecting updates.
---The window didn't lock! On the ground level this is safety issue. I didn't sleep soundly because of this.
---The patio attached to the room is terrible. It faces a small parking lot and has 8ft. pergola so you can't see anything. Feels like you're in a box.
---Charcoal grill, not gas. Not terrible, but certainly not luxury.
---Our room was across from the maintenance "barn," so instead of waking up to peaceful country sounds, we heard golf carts dumping supplies at the barn every 20 mins.
---Housekeeping only made the beds and replaced towels, they didn't vacuum up the hair on the floors, clean the kitchen sink, or change sheets. Our dirty room stayed dirty for our whole trip.
---Because we have kids we were discouraged from eating breakfast in the dining room, even though we were there on a Mon & Tue. We were told to order breakfast in our room. I found this entirely offensive.
---When we went and picked up said breakfast from the main building in the morning, they gave it to us in a Walmart bag with no utensils, salt/pepper/ketchup. And, they combined 2 of our orders into one container, as if they couldn't spare an extra take out container. Not the worst thing in the world, but again, we're paying $400/night (incl. tax & service charge) for this kind of service.
---The hair dryer made a sound like a screaming cat. Comical and not surprising. We couldn't use it.
---No central air, instead there is a wall unit.
---Really small tv for the size of room. Not luxurious.

I'm sure if we had called to complain about most of these issues the inn keepers would have done their best to fix things quickly (they were nice and helpful), but the point is that these things should not have been issues to begin with. Not for the cost we paid. And we didn't really want to lug our kids and dog out of the room to have these issues addressed, so we put up with it.

This place is more like a $119/night kind of place. Not $400/night.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the Willow. It's expensive, has dated decor, and was relatively dirty during...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank BoxerFord
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 May 31, 2013

We would like to thank these guests for sharing their positive experiences during their stay; and would also like to address those aspects of the experience that they were unhappy with.

A large part of many misunderstandings and issues with reservations has to do with communication about expectations. The guests are correct that there was an error made in the way the reservation was entered. However, when they arrived we were able to quickly add everything that was needed to put them in their rooms. When the error about the children and dog was discovered, we only added a charge for the dog—not for the children or for the spare room that adjoined the main room.

We’re sorry these guests didn’t care for the décor of the room. We try to be very clear on our website about what guests can expect when they come here. Our Carriage House rooms are rustic, and comfortably furnished. We don’t pretend to high style—that building was built around 1890, and sleek, ultra-modern furnishings wouldn’t really fit. The particular room that these guests were in was originally part of the Carriage House stable, and we even left some of the elements of the stalls in the room as décor. Most of our guests feel very much at home, and enjoy this unique environment. The walls have a rough stucco finish, not patchy paint, and we just checked--all the windows lock easily. Again, if these guests had just called us and asked, we would have done everything we could to make them comfortable.

With regard to the hair and dust: Definitely our fault. We work very hard to keep our rooms clean, but in this case, apparently our housekeepers missed the standards they take pride in. As the guests mentioned, our housekeepers went to the room immediately, and we apologize for their oversights.

As for the covered patio: the Carriage House parking lot is near the private entrances to some of the rooms, and for that reason, we have the patios screened to provide extra privacy. We did have another unit available for those days that is on the other side of the building and has 2 open decks. If the guests had let us know that they weren’t happy with their patio, we could have moved them.

It would never be our intension to discourage our guests from having breakfast in the Inn’s dining room--nothing could be further from the truth. We’re very proud of our great country breakfasts, cooked to order and all you can eat. Because a number of our guestrooms have kitchens and private dining areas or decks, we often let guests know that, if they prefer, we can prepare their breakfasts for them to enjoy in their rooms. But we certainly didn’t intend for them to think that they were required to eat breakfast in their room. And, by the way, we do put ‘to go’ breakfasts in shopping bags—it’s a way of re-cycling that is usually well received. (The food is packed in new, bio-degradable boxes.) And we don’t include utensils because the rooms that have kitchens have basic utensils included. If orders were mistakenly combined, we apologize—our kitchen staff is usually very careful to get orders correct.

As we read through the very long (both good and bad) review above, and then our very long response, it occurs to us that 99% of these issues could have been handled at the time of the guests’ stay. And we make the case for others reading these comments and responses that it’s so much easier to settle issues as they occur rather than to let them add up and become something that will spoil a stay.

We’re sorry that their trip wasn’t up to their expectations, and we realize that these guests say they would not want to return. However, we would ask them to consider this thought, which we’ve expressed on other occasions: 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 - 148 of 392 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2013

My wife and I just came from a weekend at the Inn and we had a great time. Is the place rustic? Yes. But rustic doesn't mean old. Everything was well-kept and clean. And usually, with a older place, doors don't quite close, windows get stuck, furnishings don't match, etc. None of that here. The inn keepers, Ivan and Michelle were friendly and accommodating. The hot breakfast hit the spot and kept us both going until well after lunch time. The next day we had a light breakfast that was perfect - love that home-made banana bread! We weren't able to take advantage of all that the Inn had to offer because the weather didn't cooperate. Did I mention the heated outdoor pool? But even so, there were two rooms that you could read in, a pool table, ping pong table, a foosball table, board games. It was the perfect place to get away and take in what the area had to offer. Our room - the Blue Jay, had dish TV, a sleep number bed and a small balcony that could fit two lounge chairs.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mistersteve2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Fun for all ages -- biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, giant chess, pool, ping pong... The list goes on! Truly the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy nature! We stayed in the Meadowlark and loved the large oval window that overlooked the woods.

The staff was wonderful and extremely accommodating and always willing to offer up directions, things to do, etc.

Will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank molswhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

This inn is absolutely worth the trip! The grounds are beautiful, the lake is breathtaking, and the rooms are lovely. We stayed in the Dogwood. The room was decorated so tastefully and it also had a jacuzzi. Michelle greeted us upon our arrival and she couldn't have been any nicer. Thank you for a great stay!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank laueiejean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

If you want to unwind and have a great time with your significant other, then this is the place to be. Summer will be ideal to visit as its quiet cold due to the elevation and you miss out a lot of outdoor activities.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Muntasir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Inn at Lake Joseph was simply amazing, beautiful landscape and property, ambiance of our room and main house was fantastic. We stayed in the Dogwood and the room was eloquently decorated in a country motif and extremely immaculate. Full delicious breakfast menu and make your own lunch was very refreshing and at no extra cost with our stay. Reminded us of a Bed and Breakfast. Our visit was in April so it was a bit cool but the hiking and boating was terrific. Plenty of sites and adventures near the Inn to enjoy, we stopped at the Monticello Casino on our way home which was a short distance away. Ivan the Inn owner and our hostess Michelle were amazing and gracious individuals. Thank you for making our visit so enjoyable, we will definitely will be back for a return visit. Highly recommend the Inn for a romantic escape from every day life.

Room Tip: All the rooms are spectacular
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Barry_knapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

My husband and I were looking for a bed and breakfast near enough to NYC to make it worthwhile for just one or two nights and we came across the Inn at Lake Joseph. We've now gone twice, both times in the winter, and had very pleasant experiences both times. The rooms are well-kept and romantic. We were able to go snow shoeing and winter hiking in the trails around the inn, which was a nice surprise. The only downside is that you have to drive quite a ways to get good food--although we had a wonderful dinner at Piccolo Paese, which I would highly recommend for a nice dinner. The breakfast in the mornings is very pleasant, although one of the owners has a proclivity for making small talk/telling jokes during breakfast, which was not really our thing since we were more looking to get away as a couple (that's definitely a personal preference though, don't let it stop you from going!).

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sara e
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: $258 - $403 (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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