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“Great getaway”

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The Inn at Starlight Lake
Ranked #2 of 2 Starlight B&B and Inns
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Hi all... I have to say that I have been coming here with my husband for 3 years now. We have been here 4 times and its our escape from the city. We both love the feel of this place. It definitely has old school charm. I hate when people write bad reviews of this place. People... please don't think your staying at the Marriot. This is a historic inn. Sari always treated us well and so does her staff. The food is amazing and the bedroom is so rustic. You have to understand and appreciate the vibe of this place. I started coming here when I was 24 and my husband was 27 so its a place for people of all ages. We made it a ritual to come here every year. Love it!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank shadowiz85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 76 of 135 reviews

Reviewed September 19, 2012

Our stay was in May of 2007. I was moving up to Binghamton for school and had to find an apartment... and my only time off before the June lease cycle started was SUNY Binghamton's graduation weekend - zero hotel rooms. My mom and I chose to stay at the Starlight Inn, and it was a great choice. After a stressful day of looking at apartment after apartment, it was nice to come back to a wonderful meal, a paddleboat ride around the lake, and great conversation. Yes, my three night stay at the Inn at Starlight Lake was pricey, but it was well worth it. The food was great and I found Sari to be very welcoming. Yes, the building is old and a little dated (and it leaned in our room - hey, if I was over 100 years old, I'd lean too.) Some of the furnishings are also dated, but the room was clean, the beds comfortable, and the setting peaceful. I'm planning a return trip this holiday season.
Also, no cell service, so you get a *real* break from the everyday grind.

Room Tip: Top floor, facing the lake.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank dontcallmekrissy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

This is going to be lengthy. Its’ hard to restrict myself to just a few words about my great times at the Inn this past summer.
Part of our enjoyment when we travel is that we never know what we may end up doing, who we might meet, or how we will spend every moment. Oh, I’m a planner – I know our routes, where we will stay, where we will eat (most of the time), and have a basic itinerary to follow. But part of the joy of staying off the beaten path is for a little adventure. I rely on trip advisor for a lot of the information I use for planning.
This past summer I worked a 9-week job in the Preston Park area. That was between a return to trip Amsterdam & the Keukenhof Gardens and before we depart for a return trip to France (road trip in Alsace, a wedding in Versailles, road trip into Brittany – thru scenic towns into San Malo, Mont St. Michel, Giverny return to Paris) So for 9 weeks I was alone at a central location – visited for a week by my husband and for 2 nights by a daughter & son-in-law. I worked hard but on my days off I needed a real getaway.
I found The Inn at Starlight Lake online and arranged for a 90-minute massage. My plan was to sleep late in my room, run errands, do laundry, then get to the Inn for massage, cocktail, and nice dinner. I had no other expectations. The folks who go there with unrealistic expectations and without flexibility or a sense of adventure are the ones I think who are disappointed. THE PLACE IS A GEM.
The setting is beaucolic, the staff friendly (you’re not in the big city so treat them with a little friendliness and you’ll be rewarded), the cocktails perfect (consistently one of the best manhattans I’ve had outside of the ones I make myself @ home), and delicious food.
Firstly, the massage room is on the second floor, air conditioned, and serene. I purposefully arrived early each time to allow myself an opportunity to relax. I would go to the second floor landing to read or explore the room and hall of the antique shop. I use the latter term loosely in that it’s a bit like wandering into the storage room of an aunt’s house with finds of linens, frames, glassware, furniture, and something old tucked into each corners and nook. A rocker, a wooden baby’s highchair, a wooden sleigh with seat, lamps, doilies, milk bottles and more. Relax and explore. The massages were great. I returned nearly every week of my summer.
Ah, relaxed and now it’s cocktail time. The little bar is comfortable and charming. Although I still had my book with me, at the end of the bar I discovered 4 or 5 little vintage books of quotes, poetry, games, and easy quick things to read. I chatted with the bartender, I talked to others on the stools or seated at the tables. All it takes is to ask, “where are you from” and you’ve got a conversation started. Even the couples there for romantic getaways took occasion to join in conversations that sometimes ended up involving 6 or 7 people in the room. Or take that cocktail out to the front porch and sit a spell in a rocker. One week I observed a group of 10 or so who were reuniting there during a nearby camp parent’s visiting weekend. It was a great people watching experience. Or take that cocktail out to the dock to sit and watch boaters, kayakers, fishermen, or just stare at the lovely lake.
Time for dinner – one night when my husband visited, he was out on the dock photographing the fall of evening, so our waitress obliged me and went out to the porch to call him in when our table was ready. That moment is caught in my memory – how easy and gentle the whole experience was – he was out doing what he loved, I was in chatting or reading, and I heard her call “Walter, it’s time for dinner”. It was like we were visiting a relative. Just the experience I wanted.
Over the course of the summer I experienced in the dining room 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and about 7 dinners. I was never disappointed. I ate on the enclosed porch most of the times, but was also in the larger dining room and in the bar at club chairs once (where the TV is to see some of the Olympics). Linen tablecloths and napkins, a view of the lake, and a menu with something for everyone. Although I loved the wild mushroom ravioli with the sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers, cream sauce and generous shavings of parmesan Sari pointed out to me that I really should try some other things on the menu. While my eye would always find the ravioli dish first on the menu, I am really glad I tried the wiener schnitzel, the turkey, the fish, the pasta night. The appetizer of smoked trout was so large and so good that a few days later my husband and I ventured into the local town and tracked down the supplier (a real character and an adventurous day) and bought enough to bring home for a dinner party. . Wine by the glass is perfect for the solo diner and as reasonable as the cocktail prices with a nice selection. Homemade pies, special coffees, after dinner liquors – sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.
Sometimes I’d end up chatting with other diners, sometimes I’d read, sometimes I had a dining partner. One night the historical society from Honesdale were having a dinner when I happened into the Inn (not a regularly scheduled massage/dinner night for me) and I met some folk who knew my beaches in DE (that conversation began when I commented on the woman’s starfish necklace), and I ran into a shop owner with whom I’d had a great conversation the week before during a special art tour. Sari asked, “your regular?” and fixed that manhattan. It was great – no pretentions, just fully relaxed with no regard for time, just pleasure.
I was at the Inn often enough and at such a variety of times of day, that I was able to overhear many conversations. At least twice I heard women talking their men into not staying at the Inn as they had originally planned. The women were looking at such minor details and therefore missed the entire experience. Instead of looking at the piano and thinking she could tickle the ivories with her childhood memorization of Fur Elise or Solfeggietto (both of which I heard played more than once by different folk), I overheard one woman talk about the random pile of sheet music as if it were clutter. Well, I had just enjoyed rooting through that clutter the week before and sight-reading an old cowboy song! My husband had joined me by singing the words (he remembered the song from his youth) and we enjoyed that moment. No one cared if my fingers were hesitant, my timing off and he sang off key. The piano and sheet music were there for our pleasure and we now have a memory.
I overheard another woman complaining about the one window on the dining porch that she couldn’t open and saying that maybe they ought not spend the night lest they discover other flaws. The Inn is like any other comfortable older house or home – windows sometimes get stuck! I don’t want perfection – go to a chain hotel if you need the sterility and a janitor/maintenance worker wandering about. For me, the Inn was all about the CHARM.
There are various art works (watercolor, wood, jewelry) to peruse and purchase, there’s a ping pong table, an enclosed library porch for reading or games, an indoor shuffleboard, outdoor playground equipment, kayaks, rowboats, books and magazines by the fireplace in the large main reception living room, lots to look at, lots to do. Or nothing to do. It all depends on your expectations and what you are open to.
Sari was always kind and friendly to me. She’s a business owner. She was appropriately consumed with her work when she needed to be (taking reservations, supervising her staff, assisting her staff when the number of clients warranted it – I saw her in all those capacities as an organized, capable woman) Most often, however, Sari was a relaxed and congenial hostess whether it be mixing a cocktail if the bartender was not there, refilling wine, suggesting a dessert, mingling with her local regulars, chatting with those who return annually for family respite, or orienting new city folk.
This is the lengthiest tripadvisor entry I have ever submitted but I think that’s because the experience for me was just what I needed. The Inn at Starlight Lake was an oasis for me – a step back in time on slow summer days. A place for me to relax, be carefree, do what I wanted when I wanted to, interact with others if I wanted or be alone if I wanted. Finding such a good masseuse was a perk I hadn’t anticipated but was thrilled to look forward to each visit.
The bottom line? I would go back. I would recommend it to others who are looking for charm, relaxation, and a friendly place.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank netherholt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Not to pile on, but all the negatives in the other reviews are true...and then some. The owner...Sari is brutal. I have never seen a more unhappy innkeeper in my life. One gets the feeling that she decided to buy this dump seven years ago and has the itch to unload it. Yes it's dirty. Yes, it's dingy. Yes the screens are torn and the furniture is Salvation Army reject. Yes the rooms are small and ugly and inhospitable. But what really got me in the end was the restaurant. OK, you say to yourself. The hotel is horrible but the restaurant/bar must be the charm. So, against your better judgement you decide to eat there. Mistake. The wait staff...dumb as stumps.Wife: What's the soup de jour? Waiter: Ummm. What's that? Wife: Soup of the day. Waiter: Oh, that!! The food...inedible. The fish: frozen. Vegetables: frozen and tasteless. The wonderful owner Sari challenging me because I sent a glass of wine back. Breakfast: Eggs that looked like plastic and on and on and on...Please Sari, do your clientele a favor. Go out of business soon.

Room Tip: No such thing.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Dennis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

I was so shocked at the inattentive, rude, entitled service that I shivered at leaving even a penny for the waitstaff and housekeepers. This was peak parents camp visiting day when they get away with doubling their rates knowing parents have to stay there due to total sellouts in the area. You could feel the resultant attitude from the staff toward the privileged parents/guests. Waiters refusing to get coffee for another waiter's table (who disappeared all meal), sodas in the "honor system" refrigerator that expired over a year ago, dirty eggs from an unclean grill, the inn keeper yelling at guests for locking their door on check out, no staff to be found to seat you, the wait staff exiting the kitchen with food in their hands eating away while on duty, bedroom fans caked with dust/grime. Now I don't expect the Four Seasons in Starlight, PA but here's the kicker that permits me to be as candid here as I have been. After this horrendous service which I would have just held my breath and suffered through, upon check out there was a new charge for 15% on top of my room charge that they decided was the gratuity for their service. That's right. An unadvertised, non-optional 15% of my room rate which was already doubled for this weekend. I see that as simply an increased, falsely advertised rate since it was not optional and certainly not related to the service I received. So an extra $60 on the room for someone to make my bed?!? I do have to mention that the setting is nice. Renovate the place, clean it occassionally and hire new staff and maybe you can charge $250/night for a tiny room (after tax and required tip). If you have choices, choose somewhere else. This place does not like its guests.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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5  Thank MrFordCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Rustic Inn; very quiet location on a lake just over the NY border into PA. The main Inn is quaint and the dining room has good food with attentive and pleasant service. The rooms in the Inn may be better but we had the "suite" which is in a detached building. A small bedroom with a small sitting room. The best part is the large bathroom and whirlpool tub.

Room was dark, in spite of a sliding glass door which is the front door to the room. Not so comfortable bed and the furniture was new in the 1960's or 70's. Couch looked stained, not really clean and just old looking. The owner's house is directly across from the door with their two large and loud dogs.

The lake and boats look like they have seen better days. They add a 15% surcharge on the total bill including food and room. The dining room staff are prohibited from taking tips because of the surcharge which is fine but 15% gratuity to the housekeepers is high especially given that the room charges are not cheap. Breakfast is good and included.

If you like rustic, don't worry about cell phone service, can do without a TV in the room and internet only in the lobby, you may love it

Room Tip: Go with the main lodge; the customers staying there seemed to he happier with the accomodations
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Medlaw_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

My cousin and I meet every year at the Inn. The surroundings are beautiful and peaceful. In the morning you wake to beautiful bird songs carried on a breeze and the rustle of trees. The Inn is clean and so comfortable. Sari welcomes us like family and we feel "at home". A very peaceful, trouble free home!
We had a massage which was the one of the very best I've experienced. The room is comfortable and clean. The bar homey and has a great selection of drinks.
The food is delicious, as is the service. It is a place to reflect, relax and disconnect from life's pressures.
We will continue to come to the Inn and soak in all the nature in the years to come.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank cyn40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn at Starlight Lake

Address: 289 Starlight Lake Rd, PO Box 27, Starlight, PA 18461-1035
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Starlight
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Starlight
Price Range: $79 - $172 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Inn at Starlight Lake 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Starlight Lake Hotel Starlight

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