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Reviewed September 11, 2016

i have never written a review about any of my travel experiences would prefer to leave my opinions to word of mouth i do however feel compelled to tell any of those who use these sites as a basis upon which they select their venues that this particular establishment is nothing short of spectacular. my wife and i have been marred for over 28 years her cousin and his wife married the same day both of us living in different cities we have always gotten together for our anniversary weekend we usually end up in niagara on the lake but fortunately this year ended up in grimsby ontario and vinifera inn from the moment you drive down the laneway of this historic establishment you are mesmerized the grounds are beautifully manicured and the buildings in impeccable shape best part of all the front porch with those awesome swings the interior is full of vintage antiques history character and charm the bedrooms were beyond expectation very spacious neat and tidy the beds were so soft we even bought pillows from her supplier as for the owners Barb and Ron they were incredibly gracious hosts gave us a great tour of the facility a fantastic wine sampling made our stay very comfortable took care of all our dinner reservations set up our transportation to and from our venues and served us a delectable breakfast each morning of our stay Barb and Ron are an extraordinary couple who go above and beyond to ensure that your stay is one which you will cherish they are fun and yet still very professional I would recommend Vinifera Inn to any of those reading this I have already booked my return stay for next year

  • Stayed: June 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Monica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vinifera-Inn, Owner at Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2016

Thankyou so very much guys! I needed that!

You were delightful guests and we do look forward to your next visit. Like many of our guests you return as friends that we always appreciate!

I'm glad you are enjoying your pillows. I now stock wine aerators and carafes for our guests to purchase. Since everyone ended up saying they needed to buy one after the tastings I figured I might as well sell them. However, no room to stock pillows! LOL

Thanks again and see you and your friends soon.

Barb

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2016

I have really debated giving this review because it wasn't going to be the most positive. I realize that negative reviews for a small business owner can be detrimental to their business. I also try to take in consideration my own personality and consider I may have been being overly sensitive when we visited this B&B. This visit to one of my favourite spots in Ontario was to be a romantic getaway to destress and choosing a B&B has always been beyond enjoyable.. Left feeling even more stressed.
The absolute positive, the place is stunning beautiful, well kept home and gorgeous grounds. Owner made an amazing breakfast, no detail missed.
The negative! Same as the two previous comments, the owner is overwhelming. We checked in late, called to apologize from the highway and when arrived explained we needed to get out to eat right way. We told her at least five times that we needed to eat. Owner continued to ramble on and just refused to hear us, we listened to go on about the house, her decorating skills. She quizzed my Marta Stewart skills to find the flaw in the towels in the pail by the back door, the fringed wrap on the bed and insisted we do the wine tasting with her because she was going show us something amazing. Again we need to eat.. Again she rattled on.. We finally got to the door to leave was told where to eat and what vineyards to see.. We have been to wine country 10 times... Know where we are going. When we got back from our wine tour and food, was questioned by the owner why we didn't go to the place she recommended.
Following morning showed up for breakfast 4 minutes early and was snapped by the owner we were early. Was advised how to eat our food, we got this adult thing down pretty good at 50. Owner also demanded to know what my husband was grinning at during breakfast... It was a private comment between a married couple. She kept insisting she be told what he was grinning about... Uncomfortable!!
Owner then asked our plan for the day... We had a plan.. No we had to get the map and she was telling us what wineries we needed to see. I grew very quiet and was questioned by the owner as to what I work at as I was hard to read. Very uncomfortable we finally got out the door and both took a deep breath and said that was intense.
Not trying to be mean... You do need to know how your customers are feeling, not all granted you have lots of great reviews...however you should know "some" customers are feeling. Wish you all the best.

  • Stayed: July 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
7  Thank SusieQ1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vinifera-Inn, Owner at Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2016

So you decide to do it now on top of what's already keeping me up all night. One would hope that your delay meant that you recognized my good intentions otherwise you would have posted this sooner.

So here's my dissertation:

If my enthusiasm is too much for some people then I'm sorry! I absolutely did NOT go on about my decorating skills as I don't even bring it up unless asked about the decor and certainly don't go on about it then either. I wouldn't have mentioned the fringe in your room out of the blue!

I do tell people that the stone walls are actually vinyl siding to share an idea. Most guests are quite interested and ask a lot of questions about it.

The tour of the house is to let you know where everything is so you can enjoy all the ammenities we provide. The whole thing takes about "7 minutes". I'm glad you were counting how many times you told me you were hungry as that would have been why I suggested a great spot for you to eat.

Again, accommodation providers are judged well on restaurant and area suggestions but perhaps I should just let guests eat somewhere that I know they won't enjoy! It's called a concierge and our guests always ask us for food and winery suggestions.

If you were late, and I appreciate you calling ahead, then that would have been why you were so hungry. I still have to do my job. The few minutes worth of patience on your part might have been applicable since I had waited for you.

If you already know the area then I might have mentioned a couple of standouts or new wineries that you may not know about. I would NOT have reprimanded you for not seeing Vineland Estates, as I assume it was, but would have said that you really should check it out some time.

Hotels have constant front desk staff while they do other things. I have many hats in my bed and breakfast so we have to work around our early check options as apposed to the typical 3:00. This allows our guest to get checked in early enough to enjoy the area more.

I have never insisted that anyone partake of our free wine tasting experiences and guests love it. If you weren't interested you simply could have said no. As you are 50 I'm sure you know how to see no and I'm not that scary!

I clearly misunderstood something in the dining room as I would not have meant to interfere in your conversation and would have been joking with you.

My success has come from repeat and new guests who love what I do!

I'd like to be able to publish all the lovely things guests say in my guest book and how many people have signed up for our wine pairing chefs dinners.

Or, how many people go on at length about how much they love my wine tastings and how much it improves their experience out on the wine route.

Almost everyone mentiones the attention to detail, my food and the restaurant and area suggestions. Great beds, all the extra ammenities etc.

Yet, I have to listen to another attack on my personality and intent and am vulnerable to these damaging critiques.

Of course, not everyone will appreciate my big personality but most others see it as me wanting their experience here to be the best it can be. If you want to be invisible you should stay in a hotel.

You've said that you don't want to be mean but do you think jumping on those two reviews was anything less than mean! And, very damaging combined with the other two.

You know nothing about what transpired in either case.

I've been doing this for 15 years and must be doing something right.

It would have been nice if you had had a sincere conversation with me at the time so we could have cleared it up. Instead you wait two months and just happen to be on Trip advisor, on my page, and happen to see those reviews. Really?

Thanks



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2016

We stayed here as we did some winery tours and were in the area for a wedding. The owner greeted us and was extremely rude and condescending. We were in a hurry to get on our way (late for a pre-wedding party) and she insisted on showing us everything, including a cellar wine room. We kept saying that we had to go, but she pretty much rolled right over us. We were too polite I suppose. We stayed two nights and did not appreciate the high handed manner with which she spoke to and of others. It reminded me of Mean Girls -- a bully in high school. Would not recommend unless you were in the "in crowd" in high school and feel okay speaking with negativity. I recommend that she run the business, but perhaps stay in the background and get someone warmer and kinder to run the front of the house.

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank gardnerrobertjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vinifera-Inn, Owner at Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2016

I'm so sorry for the misinterpretation of my intent! I would have happily shown you around afterward had I realized that you were in that much of a hurry. I was showing you where everything is such as pool towels etc.

I show you the tasting cellar so that you can taste wine, play billiards etc. when you return and I may not be able to show you later at night. The extra things we provide are for our guests enjoyment.

I never got the impression that you were offended or unhappy when we were chatting or during breakfast service. I wish you had mentioned it to me then so I could apologize for misreading you.

As we strive to ensure that everything is clean I'd like you to specify what you are referring to so that I can address it with my staff? We have been training a new employee and he may have missed something?

However, I do not have a mean bone in my body and always befriended any kid who was bullied! Despite your impression my guests return every year because we don't take ourselves too seriously and have lots of fun. Our business has doubled every year for the last four years and that doesn't happen if what you've said is the impression everyone gets.

Not all personality types connect and this is clearly an example of that! My intentions were nothing but pure and I'm sorry that you misread that.

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Reviewed August 21, 2016

I write this review with the full expectation that the proprietor will respond entirely refuting my experience. Other even-handed reviews have elicited from her a tirade of a response. We were scheduled to stay one evening at Vinifera. We were attending a family party in Grimsby and simply needed a place to spend the night and Vinifera is within walking distance of my family member's home. We had written Barb the owner advising that we hoped to arrive yesterday at noon for check-in. When busy weekend traffic turned what should have been a 1.5 hour drive into 3 hours, we called Barb en route to adjust our expected time of arrival. When we did arrive at Vinifera, we followed the signs to the front door for check-in and entered the property. We were met by Barb who advised us that the door should have been locked and we were to have used the doorbell. We were next advised that breakfast was only offered at 2 times and were asked to pick one of the slots. We looked at each other and landed on the later of the two - 9:30. Barb then advised that there were no locks on the room doors (if we hadn't had enough warning signs to this point, this one should have stood out) and only a key to enter the back door of the property. She asked which one of us she could trust to give the key and return it to her. She gave us a quick tour of the property, warning us about a sudden step out the back as she didn't want a lawsuit from us. Barb then took a call and from what I could piece together, other guests were running late for their expected check-in. She asked them to leave their activity and come to the property to check-in, to which they apparently refused. She asked if she could call them back and after ending the call let out a long groan with us, sharing how disrespectful some people could be with her time. At this point we were finally escorted to our room, only to find two young staff members turning down the bed (at 1:20 pm). We had a very uncomfortable few moments with Barb berating these two for the poor job they were doing. She advised us that the young man named Trey was nothing but a "goof ball" and that as he was in trainiing, she had to correct him. He was left to apologize to us for something entirely unimportant. There are a number of signs with instructions all over the property, including one on the vanity advising guests not to use the towels if their products would stain the linens. After having a few minutes to drop our things and use the washroom, we went to leave for our party and Barb could be heard chastising Trey for something he had or hadn't done with the fridge. We returned that evening for an uneventful sleep. In the morning, having experienced Barb to be quite a stickler, we went down to the dining room in plenty of time for our 9:30 breakfast. There was a table free of guests that was immaculately set and included what we understood to be the first course of individual fruit bowls. We took our seats at 9:25 and were abruptly advised by Barb that we were early and were asked to leave the dining room. We were deeply enbarassed and when I expressed my dissatisfaction with Barb, she began to defend her standards quite loudly. We then advised that we were not interested in staying for the breakfast and asked that she check us out. She continued to argue that we shouldn't have been offended and that we should follow her rules and have our breakfast. By this point a number of other guests were milling about waiting for breakfast, but not entering the dining room. Barb was quite angry that we wanted to leave and would not accept that we were unhappy with the experience. We were past the 9:30 start now, but she continued to insist we have the breakfast. We were prepared to pay the full bill, even though at one point she said the deposit would suffice. As she got angrier, she changed her mind and said that as we refused breakfast, she wanted full payment. She then asked if we were American and exclaimed surprise that we were not, insinuating that would explain how rude she believed us to be. All of this heated discussion was happening in front of other guests who very well could have been American. We were finally able to pay and leave.

I do not take anything away from the good reviews Vinifera has received. The property and grounds are very well maintained. We have stayed in accommodations all over the world and have never had this kind of experience. There was nothing relaxing about staying here. A hostess with such exacting standards and the need to control things around her, must work harder not to extend that tension to her guests.

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank NYC2012_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vinifera-Inn, Owner at Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2016

It is always interesting how people can turn things around to support their cause. You have skewed everything I said, for instance; "lawsuit" which I didn't say! I simply didn't want you to trip as it is an unexpected step.

I won't bother to bore the readers of this with further corrections. Just take the nasty part out of each sentence and then you'll know what I actually said!

I will respond to the comment about Americans which you have purposely distorted or misunderstood as you clearly didn't hear what I said.

I said, I'm sorry but you have to sign the receipt. I then asked if you were American as it was the only time I had that request on a Canadian card, only U.S. How you interpret that as insulting is odd but note that you've tried to hurt my reputation with Americans. We have many returning guests from the U.S. all the time.

You are entitled to your opinion but I also had the right to defend myself from your beration of my entire character. Note that you didn't list any of the things you said to me.

The guests you refer to in the dining room said, after apologizing to them for the situation, that they were appalled by your behavior and that I shouldn't give it another thought. Upon check out they "all" said that their experience had been the exact opposite of yours.

A forum to review "guests" for the benefit of other accommodation providers would be helpful so we can avoid guests who choose to find fault in everything!

Also, you do not know whether the two bad reviews I was given were "even-handed" and they were not!

Constructive ideas and opinions are always welcome! Attacks are not! Fortunately most people can see through that.



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2016

If you love historic homes, a B&B atmosphere, antiques, beautiful gardens and sitting areas, and cozy rooms, then you have to stay here! Barb, who owns and runs the Inn, also gives complementary wine tastings in the tastefully decorated basement tasting room. I had no idea that the type of wine glass made a difference to the taste of my favourite wine. Thanks to Barb, now I know! You will learn this from her (approx.) 3/4 hr. presentation. She also suggested some wineries close by to visit and sent us to the beautiful Lake House Restaurant for dinner. There is nothing that she offered that could have been done better including the delicious breakfast and her attention to my diet restrictions.

Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful, and Barb lets you look at them all if they are not occupied by guests.
  • Stayed: July 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank debit7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vinifera-Inn, Owner at Vinifera, The Inn on Winery Row, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2016

Thank you very much! It is very rewarding meeting people like yourselves and nice to have our efforts appreciated! We definitely look forward to seeing you again soon.

Cheers, Barb

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