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“Just what the doctor ordered...”
Review of Fairlawn Inn

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Fairlawn Inn
Ranked #1 of 3 Hunter B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed April 15, 2011

I was looking for a quiet, picturesque place to get away from it all and I got that and more. Not only was the scenery magestic, despite the miserable weather, but the house was lovely as well. I was greeted at the door by Chuck, given the orientation which only took a minute or so, and, as I was the only guest that night, was pretty much given the run of the place. I stayed in the Gazebo room and it was very pretty, let in a lot of sunlight and was very comfortable as well as very clean. I watched some TV on the chaise while reading some of the magazines that were provided. Later in the evening I watched a movie I had brought on the TV in the common room and helped myself to some snacks and beverages at the bar. My breakfast the following morning was delicious and substantial and Chuck joined me and we had pleasant conversation. I did not find him to be overbearing or monopolizing of my time.
People, PLEASE understand what a B&B is and what it offers. If you expect the ambiance and character of a home from another time, you must embrace things like creaky floors and thin walls and outdated plumbing. And if the information in the orientation was too much for you to absorb, then I don't know how you make change at the grocery store. Not only is this particular inn this man's home, but there are other guests that deserve comfort and consideration as well so if all the 'rules' seem oppressive to you, then find a cabin in the woods for you and your party.
Chuck, the only critique I will offer, and this is just my personal opinion, is that the house is a gem and the decor is definitely busy. I know you're going for the high Victorian look, but it definitely detracted from the exquisite wallpaper and woodwork and a slight reinterpretation of the theme would feel much more relaxing. I especially think the dining room could feel much more soothing in this regard. I also think that the pool table in the other common room is a waste and not very B&B. I would have enjoyed relaxing in a room like that by the fireplace. I would think it would accommodate more guests and not be intrusive to someone trying to watch the television in the adjoining room.
And even though I had no problem with the breakfast time, yours is the only B&B I've stayed at that doesn't have a two-hour window for breakfast. Considering I was only there for one breakfast, I was wondering if you vary your menu, maybe offering things like a nice savory quiche (with notice the previous night, of course) or eggs benedict. My omelet, however, ROCKED.
Chuck, thanks for a pleasant stay at your inn. I would definitely return and plan to in the future and I'm sure you realize that for some people, there ain't no pleasin' 'em.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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Thank DBAnnie76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 - 159 of 209 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2011

My girlfriends and I decided to stay here for a 50th birthday get-away. We were all very excited as the pictures online were lovely. That being said, the inn itself is lovely, but that is where most of the loveliness ended. The owner, Chuck, or as we called him all weekend, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was not only obnoxious and extremely rude, but treated us like children who needed to be scolded.

When we arrived, we were given the "orientation" which is generally just a lot of rules to follow (where we were allowed to go and not go and what we were allowed to do and not do). Although Chuck states that this is a necessity for those who have never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, I can tell you that is not true. I have stayed in over a hundred B&B's and have never had an "orientation."

The first night we stayed in and had cocktails and snacks in the lounge. We were very animated which according to Chuck was fine as there were no other guests at the inn with only one other couple arriving later that evening. Chuck brought us snacks which was unexpected and a nice surprise. In addition for our friends 50th, he hung up balloons and made her delicious cupcakes. Again, unexpected and nice. That was Dr. Jekyll, the rest of the weekend we saw Mr. Hyde. Although we were able to have some acceptable conversations with Chuck although most of them were spent listening to him pat himself on the back, all that could change on a dime and could become quite nasty. One morning at what we were hoping to be a nice relaxing breakfast, he asked if a friends bag was Coach. Somehow that reminded him of his friend's ex-wife and all of a sudden he became quite angry and we then had to listen to him rant about her for the next 15 minutes, while he vehemently spit out the "b" word several times when referencing her. A great way to start the day.

The worst however, was that he spoke to us using sexual innuendos throughout the course of our stay. I'm not sure if this was because there were only women in our party, or if he does this all the time, but it was not only inappropriate but completely unprofessional. The first time was right at check in when he told us the price for our rooms and jokingly said that for anyone who wanted to sleep in his bed, it would be more expensive (that being the least raunchy thing he said). His "jokes" became more and more vulgar as the weekend progressed.

In addition to this rather obnoxious and disturbing behavior, he was also constantly scolding us. For example, one night someone clogged the toilet so he had to go into everyone's rooms to look for the plunger. When he came downstairs where we were having drinks, he literally yelled at us all for leaving the lights on in our rooms. On the second night of our stay, we came home from dinner and were saying goodnight before heading up to bed and he came down to yell at us saying "don't you know there are other people staying here?" Of course we knew and our voice level was completely within reason. The last morning one of our group arrived at 8:50 for breakfast. Breakfast is only one hour, 8-9, but she certainly arrived within that time frame. He looked at her with disgust and stated, I already put all the food away, but I guess I can take it out again as it is before 9:00.

The worst occurrence of the weekend however, was when a fuse blew in one of the rooms as we were getting ready to go out for the evening. The women went downstairs to notify him and his answer was, I am sitting down right now and I'm not getting up to fix it, AND HE DIDN'T! They had to run around to our rooms to finish putting on their makeup and drying their hair. About 45 minutes later when we were downstairs waiting for our taxi, he came in and said, "oh, I guess I better go take care of the fuse before I forget."

I have never in my life met anyone so ill-equipped to be in the hospitality business. Chuck mentioned that he had owned the B&B longer than he had wanted to, 8 years rather than the intended 5, as the real estate market had dropped so drastically. Let's hope that it comes back up soon so that he can sell, sell, sell.

If you want to get away for a relaxing weekend, someplace where you will be treated with respect and not like an unwanted house guest. DO NOT STAY HERE!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Cocofax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ctomajko, Owner at Fairlawn Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 6, 2011

This review was very humbling for the innkeeper and a surprise. Other than a few times to try to insure all guest’s needs were met I thought that their time here was enjoyable. My apologies for anything that made this guests visit less than enjoyable.

This group took full advantage of every amenity offered by the inn, in some cases to the exclusion of other guests that stayed here. Groups that visit en masse have a tendency to take over the inn and that makes it difficult to keep everyone happy. The rules she mentioned are actually an orientation that every guest receives upon arrival. It is meant to insure they know about all the amenities, how to contact the innkeeper if there is an emergency and an effort to insure they can optimize their time here and take advantage of all we have to offer. There are complimentary snacks, cookies, ice, mints gum and more. It includes what restaurants in the area to get the best food and service. How to access taxi’s, directions to the ski resort and any other place they would like to go.

There are kernels of truth in everything that was said. Please keep in mind the innkeeper has a sense of humor, any indication that he said or did anything with any malice intended would be an overstatement. Some guests want lots of interaction with the innkeeper some do not. If asked questions it is my responsibility to answer them, I did this in each case and their interpretation of those answers may be flawed.

This group was here to celebrate and that they did. But, the innkeeper has to keep EVERY guests needs in mind. Scolding was an overstatement at the very least. We did request that they close windows (it was very cold outside as it is winter in the Catskills) and turn off some lights in the rooms when they are empty, we did request that they should move to the other room when they returned at 10:45pm and were loud and disruptive to other guests that were near the room they were in at the bottom of the stairway. I heard them from two floors up and for that that I will not apologize.

These guests did not mention the clean up that happened after their celebrations. I fully expect that on a larger group and do it cheerfully. They did not mention the free appetizers provided on arrival night, they did not mention the cake and decorations that were put out unsolicited for the person celebrating their birthday on the second day of their celebration. They did not mention the restaurant and taxi coordination and other suggestions to insure they enjoyed their time here.

We try to accommodate all guests and offer an environment for guests that have common courtesy and concern for the comfort of other guests. It is an older home and sound carries so therefore the request for them to move. It is difficult to make an unhappy guest happy, that is something we strive for but in this case failed miserably.

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Reviewed March 1, 2011

The innkeeper Chuck gave us a warm welcome and I had my first orientation the do's and donts of his gaff. It was very sweet. The place is warm and comfortable but you do have to weave in and around the chinxy furniture and ornaments. We played pool in the lounge one evening and when the cue ball hit the 8 ball and richoched off the cushion into mid air it was slow-mo, would it hit the Tiffany lampshade, the china hippo, the cabinet of plates? Oh no! It flew arching into the fat of the cut crystal ashtray inbetween the pewter bell, the cuddly toy and the complete memoirs of donald sindon. We fessed up and Chuck took it well jesting he'd put it on the bill. The beds were super comfy and the bathroom had a massive bath and the shower was full power. The blinds came off there rails easily though which he didnt take so well. We had an A4 typed letter waiting for us on our return. Breakfast was amazing. I had the "pain in the a*s eggs" every morning. A healthy option I think and worthy of a place on the blackboard menu. On the whole I really enjoyed my stay. Despite the slight unwanted-guests-at-a-family-member's-house feeling, you have to remember you're in New York and that Chuck clearly takes pride in his establishment. On departure I thanked the innkeeper with a smile and open hand. He didnt look up and gruffled a goodbye. I loved Chuck. He hated me.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Jonny_Jetset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

The Fairlawn Inn's public rooms are very beautiful and well-maintained and lend themselves to a pleasant and jovial setting with a lovely blend of antiques and modern decor. The breakfast room is charming and the breakfasts are superb.

Our disappointment was with our accommations:

The skirt on the box spring had some kind of milky residue on it which I did not want to speculate too much on how it got there.
The bathroom rugs looked like they needed to be washed; only one bath towel was provided for each individual and the pedestal sink left no room to place your personal items.
The bed comforter also looked like it needed a good cleaning and the pillows were wafer thin.
A drawer in the cupboard contained another person's underwear - another sign that the rooms were not taken care of very well.
It might also be a good idea to get rid of the dirty plastic flowers on the fireplace mantle.
Don't expect to sleep if the person in the room above you stays up late - woke up at 1:00 AM to the sounds of people moving about in the room upstairs; running water and dropping things until 2:30 AM.

The host, Chuck, could be charming but was, in many cases abrupt and rude. The breakfast waitress could also use some lessons in hospitality.

Summarized: if you hang out in the public rooms you will be very happy with this Inn. However, that's where the charm and beauty of this Inn ends.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fanhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2011

Chuck was an excellent host and makes an amazing breakfast, gourmet quality. We were very happy how accomedating they were for our dog. They were so kind to provide dog bowls and treats. We stayed for three nights and each night was bliss. We have already recommended this Bed & Breakfast to our closest friends. It was our first stay at a Bed & Breakfast and must say that is was a wonderful experience. Chuck really made us feel welcomed ....we felt like we made a good friend. The rooms were clean and very cozy and provided great attention to detail. There was a slight confusion with our invoice but he handled it immediatley and we had no further concerns. We are planning on returning in April ! I dont know if I will be interested in trying out any other place in the local area.....its truly the "gem" of Hunter!
"Thank you" to all the staff ...they were all so kind and sweet.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank coatique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2011

My Fiance and I went to the Fairlawn Inn for our anniversary. We brought our 2 dogs along for the weekend, and when we arrived at our room there was a dog bowl and little dog cookies waiting!! The rooms are very well kept, and you can see that a lot of time and effort is put into the decor. The next morning we went downstairs for the breakfast (that is included), Chuck, the owner was there to greet us. He was very friendly and offered us a lot of information about the Inn and the ski resorts in the area. In addition to running the place, I think he also cooks the breakfast.... without hesitation, i can honestly say that this was the best breakfast I have ever eaten in my life. I had a goat cheese omelet and shared my fiances pumpkin & glazed walnut pancakes. I would go back to this place a million times just for the meal!! We ended up having to leave a night early, and a week later Chuck sent us a very sweet card along with a voucher for a discount on our next stay (because we left early).

If you are looking for a warm, friendly bed and breakfast, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dmanzor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2011

I booked a room here for an upcoming event back in November of 2010 through Hotels.com. My Charge card was charged right away for the cost of the night. then on Jan 5th of 2011 I was informed that my reservation was canceled by the property with no explanation. My only conclusion was that they hotel got a better offer for my room or something.

So although it says I stayed in Jan 2011 I never really stayed there, but you have to pick a date by default

Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
2  Thank shaff01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ctomajko, Owner at Fairlawn Inn, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2011

My apologies to this disappointed guest. I can understand this persons disappointment but I have withdrawn from the hotels.com, expedia.com sites as I cannot offer quality service using them as a "partner." Over the holidays I got a last minute reservation and received no contact information and called Expedia to make a request for that information. I waited 1 hour and 17 minutes for a customer service representative. At that time she could not identify the reservation though I can identify it as an Expedia reservation through my program. The total phone call exceeded 1.5 hours to leave the system without the information I needed.

I inquired of the guest upon arrival and they said they booked with Expedia. I would be happy to book this room directly with the guest but cannot "partner" with organizations that make you wait that long, provide me with erroneous or no contact information on their guests. In addition to this being my business it is also my home and I am unwilling to allow guests with NO contact information on file access to the inn. I offer to every guest regardless of where they book, directions, a list of area restaurants where guests can have great service and meals, things to do in the area but only if I can communicate with them. I had not communicated with this guest as his reservation was months away. My apologies to this guest as he was an unfortunate consequence of my decision to withdraw. Yes he did pay in January for an August reservation, had he come, I would have waited until four days past his check in time for my part of that billing. Again my apologies, book directly with the Fairlawn and you will get all of what you are supposed to and quick and friendly service.

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Additional Information about Fairlawn Inn

Address: 7872 Main Street, PO Box 182, Hunter, NY 12442
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Hunter
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Hunter
Price Range: $159 - $246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fairlawn Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Circa 1904 fully restored and updated Victorian Mansion. Nine bedroom B&B all with private baths, free WIFI queen sized beds, Flat Screen TV's with DVD players, includes a full cooked to order breakfast. Centrally located in the Catskills with many attractions, within walking distance to Hunter Mountain a four season Ski Resort. Newest attraction is the Zip line adventure, the tallest and longest in North America. Adjacent to the Hudson Valley and many activities too numerous to mention. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairlawn Hotel Hunter

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