As we live in Rhinebeck, we had often passed The Veranda House.
We were planning our Wedding, an informal affair, and intended to marry in Woodstock, NY in two months. We walked the two blocks over to The Veranda House knowing nothing except the excellent reputation of the previous owners. We were both disappointed with the Innkeepers 'reserved', almost unfriendly attitude. But we went ahead and asked her what she thought we needed to know (since we had no brochure) and then booked 3 rooms for guests from out of town. We gave her a check for the correct amount. What could go wrong with a neighbor???
Two weeks later, we found out that my fiance was going to need open heart surgery. I called the inkeeper up to tell her we needed to change our Wedding plans/dates and she was VERY surly and unpleasant. She told me she would be keeping 20%. Now, I probably should have been expecting this. but I had much more serious matters on my mind, I told her I didn't think this was fair since I had booked only 2 weeks prior. She told me to look at her brochure. I told her we didn't have one! She hadn't given us one when we were there. Then she told me it was policy.
Ok. Then I asked her to reconsider considering our circumstances. She finally agreed. A week went by and I received a check for our deposit in the mail MINUS the 20%. I tried calling her multiple times to ask her for the other 20%. Once she said it was an oversight and I'd get the check. When I didn't get it, I called back but whenever I identified myself, she made excuses to not speak to me.
Life gets pretty busy, especially when you are facing life threatening conditions. I let it go.
Yes, we're married now - tomorrow is our one year anniversary!
So all went well. When we rescheduled our, we DID NOT call the Veranda House.
I'm not really upset about the 20%. That is the usual policy in most places. I DO OBJECT to the nastiness of the innkeeper, to her refusal to take my calls and to her lying to me about returning the money.
Please know that Rhinebeck is a wonderful place. Just check reviews such as on this website before booking lodging. And go with your instincts!