Having been in the hospitality industry for over twenty years, and firmly believing that graciousness has no cost, it was terribly disappointing to stay at the beautiful Fern Hall over Thanksgiving.
Firstly, the food was terrific, and Michael, the chef, is a charming. The whole place is shabby chic, a little down at the heels, which only adds to the charm. I would replace the cheap curtains with much higher quality for a lesser price on ebay, but that is minor.
When we made our reservation, we talked to Mary, who was very upbeat and lovely. We wanted to stay two nights, but when we were informed that Wed was forty dollars more than Thursday night, we decided to make it one. It wasn't so much the price as the policy that made us change our minds. You can imagine how surprised we were to find the place almost empty.
When we arrived, there was no one at the desk. We wandered around, toward the loud music coming from the kitchen and found someone. The woman in charge looked at us as if we had wandered in from the woods to stick the place up.
We loved our room, although all the inconveniences listed by another reviewer are true. No outlets in the bathroom, freezing, we had to get water glasses from another room, a very crinkly and noisy waterproofed mattress cover that we had to remove, no tv or clock, but none of that really bothers us. It was a large, sunny comfy room with a great bed, once we rearranged the bedding.
Dinner was excellent and the waitress was very sweet, although obviously not professionally trained.
After dinner I asked the same woman who checked us in what time breakfast was served. Her answer, after a pause: "I think it is at 8:30." Later I asked her about wi-fi and she told me they had it. I asked "what about for guests?" She told me she didn't know, but I should be able to get it.
At breakfast the next morning, the coffee was more like brown water, but that could just be the sticks. The water for tea was only lukewarm, but the very friendly gal in the kitchen gladly put it into the microwave and delivered it to me while she was chatting on her cell phone. Amazing. Not even at McDonald's. This is only a matter of training because otherwise she was very accommodating, making me a nice omelet. However, she did tell me that "they" didn't have any milk. Just half and half. There was one other couple at breakfast, the only other guests as far as I could tell.
I teach group seminars on communication skills and was considering Fern Hall for a conference for my clients. Not in a million years.
We have a house in the area, which was rented out, and were so thrilled to be there for the holiday. Next time, we will go to the Elk Mountain Resort, which has a much better handle on the meaning of hospitality.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 1916 Stone Estate once the residence of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Pharmaceutical fame. Currently Fern Hall is home to our Inn and award winning Golf Course! All at your disposal when staying with us. Summer provides use of the boat house on glorious Crystal Lake, and winter offers an 8 mile drive to Elk Mountain, the highest vertical ski mountain in Pennsylvania! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fern Hall Inn Bed And Hotel Clifford
- Fern Hall Inn b&b