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“Just relax and enjoy ....”
Review of Fern Hall Inn

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Fern Hall Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Clifford B&B and Inns
Clarks Summit
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Just relax and enjoy ....”
Reviewed January 30, 2012

After a day of skiing at nearby Elk Mountain, Fern Hall gives the chance to sit at a dinner table, next to a blazing fire, and enjoy a wonderful dinner of crab-stuffed salmon. Before dinner, a drink at the bar adjacent to the dining area gave the opportunity to informally enjoy the company of others sharing the dining room. Service was very efficient and pleasant - informal and friendly - but very well trained. I live close to Fern Hall - so an overnight stay is not in the picture. But getting a rerservation for a massage after skiing on a Sunday does not require an overnight. Finally - there is no greater greeter than Sam - Samantha - the owner of Fern Hall. Her warmth guarantees you will feel like family

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MikeSkis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
Larchmont, New York
1 review
Reviewed December 2, 2011

Fern Hall is an old and historic property from the Roaring Twenties, the former James Wood Johnson estate (of Johnson and Johnson fame). As you can see from the pictures, it is simply charming inside and the property views in the midst of the Endless Mountanins are out and out amazing. What a great place to watch the sun down! The charming owners Sam & Ed, have been, over the last few years during my wife and my visits, constantly improving all aspects of the property. The rooms are large and gracious, and our meals have for both breakfast and dinner have been great. I've read a few of the negative reviews and it is true there are no TV, radios or Telephones in the rooms. I say "Thank the lord!" Finally a place to simply relax. If you want a traditional business hotel, this ain't it. But if you want to cozy up, sit in a friendly bar or have a great dinner this is a wonderful place to be. On a side note, the home is quite interesting aarchitecturally, full of incredible period details like hand plaster work, terrazzo floors,hand painted murals, and showers with 9 nozzles, etc. which remind one of times gone by.

Mary, the inn keeper, is as several mention very friendly. Definitely check out both the inn's nearby boat house on the lake, and the golf course which are great destinations. The beds are extremely comfortable, in fact I'm calling to find out what the mattress was so I can buy one. We love the fluffy bathrobes. The last time we came with our friends. I'll come back with my son to hang out and go skiing nearby during the winter and with my wife for r&r.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MellowTravelGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2011

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.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank sistahsays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnsville, Minnesota, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed November 22, 2011

Fern Hill Hall is extraordinary in so many ways; from the elegant ten-course, dining experience to the hearty, freshly prepared breakfast, to the stunning, clear, and quiet waters of Crystal Lake, there is just nothing like it in my bed and breakfast experiences. Add to that the historical nature of the building. I felt like I was part of a Jane Austen novel, visiting the nobility up the hill from my cottage. I kept wondering when the men would show up, barking dogs at their heels, all fresh from an outdoor hunting experience.

Fern Hill Hall is a stone mansion built in 1916, originally the country estate of one of the Johnson and Johnson brothers. Sam, one of the new owners, has a reverence for the building, the grounds, and the community that certainly must arise at least in part from her PhD. in architecture from Princeton. And her husband, Ed, was quick to point out that the mural painted in the entry way was done by students from the Hudson River School of Painting. The two of them have teamed up to make Fern Hill Hall an experience I will remember for as long as the Endless Mountains that embrace it.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank maryaltermanwrites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2011

We stayed at Fern Hall Inn Nov. 19th, for a much needed get-away. Dinner was a wonderful, relaxing experience, the food delicious, the staff attentive, the setting & atmosphere - cozy...
The rooms were beautiful, spacious and comfortable. I sat in the corner rocking chair and read while my husband tested the sleep-worthiness of the bed. Suffice it to say - he had a great nap before his great night's sleep.
The morning brought us to the breakfast room for a leisurely repast of some great cinnamon raisin French toast, and more visiting with Michael.
We were very satisfied with our time at Fern Hall Inn, and would love to return again for another visit - with Michael, Sam, Mary, Connie
and the beautiful historic inn.

  • Stayed November 2011
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Helpful?
2 Thank reinings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2011

This place is truly special. We have stayed at Fern Hall 3 times now and it gets better each time. No TV's no computers. All you need is a good book and a good appetite. The food was always good, but now that Jason Hook is in the kitchen, it's flat out amazing. Every time we go, we end up with new friends. A great escape from NYC.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank ADH1130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2011

It is a real shame that such a beautiful home, on gorgeous grounds, is run by a bunch of penny pinching incompetents.

When we arrived for a two night stay, no one was anywhere to be found. We walked all over the first floor and eventually went into the kitchen and found someone to take us to our room. The room was FREEZING. We asked Mary (the person that we found in the kitchen) about the heat and were told that they usually turn on the furnace at 4:30 pm. At 5:30 pm, still no heat. At 6:30 pm, the one radiator in the room felt just the slightest bit warm. The room never warmed up and we awoke the next day to a freezing room again. I talked to Sue, the owner, and asked about the heat. She said that it was terribly expensive to heat the building, quoting us the cost of about $150/day. SO WHAT... You have guests and taking care of their comfort is your business !!! During our second day and night, we had absolutely NO heat at all, day or night. Inexcusable !!!. By the way, if you are planning to going there in the summer; there is obviously no A/C either (not that they would want to waste the money and turn it on anyway).

Two days of not being able to take your coat off in your room was not a pleasant experience. Luckily, the den had a gas fireplace where we were able to get warm. We had to ask them to turn it on (we wouldn't want to waste money on our guests now would we !!!).

They changed the sheets each day and gave us fresh towels, but the peeling wallpaper and bedspread that obviously hadn't been washed in ages was a real turn off.

Not only didn't the rooms have any heat, there was no TV, no phone, no radio, no clock, no lock on the door, and no electrical outlets. To be fair, there were 2 electrical outlets in the base of the nightstand lamp. There was also a sign that told you not to plug more than one "appliance" in at a time. There was no outlet in the bathroom, so if you want to shave or dry your hair, you had to do it in the freezing bedroom with no mirror to look into.

Their restaurant had been rated very highly but we didn't want to eat there. First of all, we saw the menu and they are VERY overpriced for the area, Second, there was nothing on the menu that appealed to us, and third, even though there was a fireplace, the restaurant was also freezing. If you want to eat really well, go about 1/4 of a mile down the road to the Crystal Pines restaurant. They have fantastic home made Italian food at about half the price. Absolutely delicious.

Bottom line... RIP OFF.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Al M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fernhallinn, Owner at Fern Hall Inn, responded to this review, November 2, 2011
We are truly sorry for this experience. As you can see, we do not get a lot of negative reviews so we take it very seriously when we do. Because of your feedback, we are installing gas fireplaces in every possible guestroom and new space heaters in the others. We have gone through the entire Inn and winterized of all the windows. We are adjusting the overall heating downstairs for the comfort of the diners and guests. Thank you for the feedback as we are constantly striving to improve our guests experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fern Hall Inn

Property: Fern Hall Inn
Address: 2819 State Route 247, At Crystal Lake, Clifford, PA 18413
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Clifford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Clifford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Fern Hall Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 9
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

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