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“An Unfortunate Experience With So Much Potential” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Phoebe Pember House

Phoebe Pember House
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Phoebe Pember House
Ranked #33 of 40 Charleston B&B and Inns
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“An Unfortunate Experience With So Much Potential”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

This bed and breakfast is good for several reasons. First, the location is just inside of the historic/touristy area. It is within easy walking distance of the French Quarter. Second, the room in which we stayed was comfortable and offered plenty of space to spread out and relax. However, there are some unfortunate characteristics about the home that deserve mentioning. First, the room in which we stayed was directly beside of a staircase that led to guests rooms upstairs. In fact, the head of the bed backed up to these stairs. This feature caused for less than desirable sleep, especially late at night and early in the morning. Second, the kitchen/office for the bed and breakfast backed up to the room. The wall and doors between these rooms and ours are paper thin. Conversations and movements in these spaces were clearly heard in our room. Third, another guest room's bathroom was just above our bed. Whenever the guests above us visited the restroom, we could clearly hear what they were doing and the flush that accompanied each and every visit they made. Fourth, cockroaches were in our room. The first one we saw was flipped over dead on its back in the bathroom. The second one ran between the door of our room that led to the kitchen/office for the bed and breakfast. Additionally, knobs on the closet door and bathroom sink became unattached during our vist, falling off. Finally, the breakfast portions were small and repetitive. A blueberry muffin, a very small container of fruit, and plain yogurt with optional granola was offered each morning. These negative aspects of our stay are unfortunate, as the owners and staff of the bed and breakfast are kind. Also, as mentioned previously, the location is just on the edge of the historic/touristy district, which makes walking instead of driving to areas of interest easily possible. Due to these experiences, we will not make a return visit and cannot recommend this property to you.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank rictonyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

Phoebe Pember House is in an excellent location, within walking distance of all the beautiful streets in old Charleston, near the water, and with a 24/7 supermarket and Starbucks over the road and a free parking place. When my husband tried to book on the internet, he had terrible trouble trying to get confimation of the booking from the owners, and eventually had to ring to confirm - bearing in mind that we live in the UK that wasn't cheap, with the owners claiming they had never received the e-mail. However, we were looking forward to our visit, as the property looked lovely, and a nice change from the chain motels we usually use. When we were shown to our room, we were delighted, it was beautifully decorated, and even had bathrobes and proper glasses (not plastic cups!!). We were a little disappointed not to have a coffee maker in the room, but the owner pointed out one on the landing, which we were to share with the people in the room opposite, so weren't too bothered by this. Then when we went to have a shower, neither of us could get the thing to work, but there was no one there to fetch. Eventually some time later we managed to get hold of one of the owners, who showed us how it worked, and we were left feeling a little stupid, but it was not straightforward, so maybe instructions could have been provided to save the owners the bother of having to help us.
Everything was fine that night, and we had breakfast (we enjoyed the granola, yoghurt and fresh fruit) sharing a table with a lovely couple from Texas and had great conversations with them. However, when we arrived for our second night back tired and in need of refreshment after a long day of walking around Charleston, I was shocked to find our room completely untouched - bed still unmade, dirty coffee cups and glasses still sitting there, bathroom not cleaned, and no more coffee provided with which to make a drink. When I stay for a two night stay I automatically assume that someone will come into our room and tidy/freshen it up before our return - maybe I am expecting too much? - but not to have the bed made, coffee replenished, and cups washed seriously affects my rating of this beautiful house.
When we left the next morning, my husband went to pay the bill. We had paid one night already as a deposit, but needed to pay for the other night. The owners were not anywhere to be seen, but instead the lady who served our breakfast each morning took the payment, otherwise we would have mentioned about the lack of servicing our room. She then proceeded to take the payment for two nights on my husband's credit card, so we had now paid for three nights!! When my husband pointed out her mistake, she was very apologetic and tried to phone the owners. Surprise surprise, they did not answer the call. After about 15 mins we were impatient to get on with our journey, so we left our e-mail address and moble number, and waited all day for a reply from the owners, which was not forthcoming. Eventually my husband e-mailed her (through some holiday accommodation website as it was the only way we could find any contact details), and we finally got a reply, and assurance that we would be recredited for the extra night we had mistakenly been charged for.
NOW - Phoebe Pember house is beautiful, in an excellent location, with lovely accommodation, and this could have been a wonderful stay. However, we have so many "niggles", not small ones which could possibly have been overlooked, but quite major ones considering the money we paid for the room, that I cannot justify giving the hotel a good rating. Had the owners been around when people needed them, and our room been looked after as anywhere else we have ever stayed had done, then I would not hesitate in giving a 5 rating.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SwindonMoomin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2013

To say that this place is decrepit, run down and horrible is to over rate it. The staff were non-existent, the duvet on our bed had a hole in it and the wall paper was peeling off the walls. When you pay $230+ for a B and B, you expect a little bit of protein with your breakfast; not just cold cereal, coffee and stale muffins. The pillows were hard and lumpy. Look elsewhere!

Room Tip: Don't come here!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LansingMaF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Charleston hotels

Boston
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

Was warmly greeted, but the place is a bit rundown and shabby. Promised a wine and cheese cocktail hour but it never materialized. Was interrupted twice when paying guests sought our help for linens and a room key. Staff were nowhere to be found.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank memastro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

This place is a hidden gem in Charleston! I happened to hear about it from a friend who had stayed there. We stayed in a carriage house that was clean and well kept. The location is great! It is in the historic district, but it is isolated enough so as to be quiet and not as loud as the hotels near the market. Carolyn and Henk are what makes the place special. They are truly hospitable and exude southern charm and graciousness! You can also take Yoga and meditation classes which are a nice amenity. Hands down THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN CHARLESTON!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank M B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2012

I would like to start by saying that to stay in Charleston, SC is expensive compare to other cities in the U.S., especially in the small area of the downtown historic district that we wanted to stay in. With that being said the PPH was the most affordable place with the perfect location and free parking. I booked the room over the phone with Beth. There was a minor issue with confirmation because at the time of our travel Beth was no longer there and they were in the process of replacing her. After a few tries we were able to contact someone over the phone (which happened to be the owner). It was a good thing we did because the booking was off for one day. At the end it was resolved to everybody’s satisfaction and we do believe this was just a one-time occurrence. Also, the new innkeeper (at least we thought she was), Charlotte was really friendly.

The B&B itself is a quaint and quite place, which made it an adequate place to stay. Again, it is situated in a perfect location with a 24-hours supermarket right across the street. Also, we only had to walk a few blocks down East Bay to get to the area with all the restaurants and bars and the historical exchange building.

As mentioned in the previous reviews, it is an old house with paper thin walls and we could hear everything going on around us. But, as mentioned before, it is an old historical home and we sort of expected to have some of the ‘issues’ that come with it. Also, our neighbors kept similar schedule to ours so the noise factor was not too bad. But we could definitely image a worst case scenario such as loud neighbors. We did not find the place dirty at all, in the contrary, we think the room was well maintained. Breakfast was served every morning in the little courtyard, which felt refreshing. It consisted of granola, yogurt, coffee, muffins, and juices.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TeamRoJo2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

Staff was terrific, very down to earth and helpful. The setting is fairly serene, considering the location is right off of a very busy street. It's conveniently located, within walking distance to everything and very close to local supermarket...that's the good news. The staff doesn't have far to go to pick up the supermarket made muffins for breakfast. So if one of the things you look for in a B & B is a lovely homemade breakfast (even a continental one)...PP House will disappoint. Even the fruit seemed pre-cut.
The other very bad news is that the place is a wreck and a kind of dirty. The paint was peeling off the rotting wood of the windows and the bathroom needed a good "toothpick" cleaning. Oh, one more thing, my toe kept getting stuck in a hole in the sheet.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lv2trvl714
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhoebePemberInn, Manager at Phoebe Pember House, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
We're not sure who this anonymous February guest is and do not understand these complaints. We have no complaints from guests brought to our attention during that time. It is important to us that our guests have good experiences here and we take great measures to provide that. We have many favorable reviews in our guest books from guests who tell us how much they enjoy our stay with us--the kindness and professionalism of our staff, the beauty of our 200 year old property, the amenities such as yoga, massage, and personal retreats that we offer. We are constantly doing upkeep on our historic property and it has been lovingly renovated. Our linens are top quality and replaced frequently. Our property is on Charleston's Historic Preservation list of Category One properties, which is the highest category it gives. I hope such a negative review will not give others the wrong impression of Phoebe Pember House. We have many, many happy guests.
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 Phoebe Pember House

Property: Phoebe Pember House
Address: 26 Society St, Charleston, SC 29401-2629
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 40 B&Bs / Inns in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5

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