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“Luxury Inn?”

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Ancient Oaks Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #9 of 17 Sevierville B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 18, 2012

My wife and I stayed here in August of 2012 for 6 nights. Having traveled to over 15 Bed & Breakfasts around the country in the last 10 years, Ancient Oaks' claim of being a luxury Inn was enticing. The pictures and descriptions on their website led to great expectations about what we would encounter there.

If you looking for the bottom line here it is: Ancient Oaks is not a Luxury Inn. It is a $2.2 million dollar private home with rooms for rent. What's the difference? Let me state a few for you. (1) A Luxury Inn has more than one on-site employee to handle everything from check-in to housekeeping to chef duties. (2) A Luxury Inn has enough hot water to actually fill and use the Jacuzzi in your room and/or for a couple to take showers without wondering if other guests are showering tonight. (3) A Luxury Inn doesn't provide a shower with multiple shower heads, body jets, and rain head and then disconnect all but one because that was the only way to ensure hot water for the other rooms. (4) In a Luxury Inn you don't have to request to have your room refreshed (bed made, general cleaning, vacuuming the carpets). (5) In a Luxury Inn you don't have to clean the Jacuzzi yourself each night before using it. Ancient Oaks is not a Luxury Inn.

Our experience began as we arrived early. We called because we were in town early and were told by Ida that our early arrival would actually help her as she had an errand to run before 5pm. As we arrived, we were shown directly to our room. We assumed that the brevity of our check-in was due to her impending errand and that we would get more information when she returned (Where to park, where and when breakfast was, other amenities of the inn, etc.).

It is important for me to say at this point that Ida is not totally at fault. She is the ONLY staff member at the inn. 24 hours. 7 day a week. She is it. How can you run a 5-room "Luxury Inn" with one employee? Ida is a nice lady, but honestly she seemed tired and burnt out.

We stayed in the Renaissance Suite, the Master Bedroom of the house. The suite is huge. The pictures don't lie, they just don't tell a complete story. After getting over our impression of the room, reality set in. As my wife loves to soak in a good jacuzzi, we inspected the Jacuzzi for cleanliness. It was not clean. The cups around the jets were dirty, so we went to ask Ida about it. She said that she had some spray that would take it all away. She grabbed the spray, squirted in the jets a few times and left (leaving a dirty footprint in the tub). She never returned. We really felt like we were disturbing her, so I grabbed a spare toothbrush that I had in the car and cleaned the tub myself. This was not the end of our Jacuzzi adventures during our stay. Turning the jets on yielded black flakes that we were told were probably old rose petals from a couple who stayed there a few weeks earlier. Apparently no one had cleaned or used the tub since then. These flakes appeared almost every time we turned on the jets.

The tub may have been a clue about the cleaning patterns of the inn but we still had "Luxury Inn" in our minds. So we were surprised when our room was not freshened in any way when we returned after a day of sightseeing. Bed not made. Towels not changed. Tub not cleaned. Sinks not wiped down. Floor not vacuumed. Nothing. When we asked Ida, she said that the room could be cleaned any time we desired -- all we had to do was ask. The long blonde hairs (my wife's hair is not blonde) that my wife kept finding in her toes from walking on the carpet in our room made us think that it had been a while since anyone asked for that service.

The shower was a tease that just left us frustrated. Imagine a 6x8 foot shower room with a seat and as their website describes: "a dual rain shower head and massage system." Sounds amazing right? Not when all but one shower head has been deactivated (so that the other rooms on the floor could have hot water)and the remaining one has minimal water pressure and lukewarm water. The lack of sufficient hot water also meant that it took 1 hour or more every night to fill the jacuzzi (Fill until water ran cold. Wait for hot water to recover. Repeat)

Oh. And there is no WIFI at this inn. No internet connection at all. They advertise a business center but have no internet connection. When we asked about an internet connection, it was suggested that we go down the street to the local McDonald’s (a 20 minute drive). This might be fine but there is also no information about the area around either. No menus for local restaurants. No information on local hikes. No direction to the things to do in the area. Nothing. I don’t mind being cut off from my email but provide other resources so that I can plan my days and enjoy the area.

I could go on but you get the point... simply disappointing. We honestly felt like borders in someone's home rather than guests in a luxury inn. This beautiful property is being squandered by owners who appear to be too cheap to put in place the staff and resources necessary to make this a truly luxury experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank studio428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4 - 10 of 16 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2012

My husband and I stayed in the Palace Room at this inn May 22-24th 2012. We have stayed in B and B's all over the southeast and southwest. This was one of the strangest experiences we have ever had. The inn is touted as a 5 star hotel. The service and the accommodations were far from 5 star. We arrived early, 2:00 and hoped to check in early. We drove out to the isolated location, up a winding 1 mile road to the top of a mountain. We then encountered a gate. We called what we thought was the inn but actually was a reservation service. We normally go to inns owned by couples who live in the inn, Early arrivals have never been a problem because we could always wait in the parlor. One lady lives in this inn and is in charge of getting the rooms ready and breakfasts.. She is not the owner and doesn't make reservations. We were given her number by the reservation service. We called and she blatantly told us we would have to come back at 4:00, that she would give us the code but under no circumstance were we to use it until 4:00 because the house would not be ready. We went away and came back later. We used the code and drove to the house. She showed us to our room. The kehrig coffee maker was half empty of water and we didn't have many coffees provided for that. She quickly removed a dirty ashtray from the balcony. It was pretty obvious that the bathroom was not freshly cleaned. We found out that we were the only guests for the three nights and were the only guests in a while I would imagine. It looks like this is a weekend getaway. Since our room was not up to 5 star par, I am curious as to why we had to wait two hours to check in. They have their rules and that is all well and good. However if you are looking for personable service and five star accommodations, you might want to look elsewhere.

The biggest problem we had was the temperature in the bedroom. It was very hot. We used the ceiling fan, opened windows (no screens so we had to take our chances), and Ida provided us with a fan. The thermostat is permanently set on 69 degrees by the owner. Since this inn was a built as a private residence, when the door is shut, the circulation doesn't work properly. We would have been better off in a motel temperature wise. I can't imagine trying to stay there in August. It would be unbearable.

There are plenty of inns in the area and we will be definitely be trying our luck at a different one next time.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bigred8675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Anicent Oaks last fall for the fall foliage. This B & B is a must to stay at. The b&b has close to 10,000 sq ft. It is wonderfully decorated, and the grounds are beautiful. The basement is what they call the man cave, it has pool table, airhockey board, media center. We stayed in the Master Bedroom. It has a hot tub outside of your private balcony and a bathroom that you would fall in love with. King Bed with canopy. The biggest jewel at this B&B is the innkeeper Ida. I am gluten free and she cooked for me things that I could eat and they were wonderful. She makes you feel like your at home. We live in Houston and would love to go back. You will not be sorry if stay at Anicent Oaks. They also have great shopping and places to eat. Bill & Cindy

Room Tip: The master bedroom is great. We stayed for a week. Very peaceful and quiet.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank finleycss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

What an experience! My wife and I just returned from a 3 night stay at Ancient Oaks. Of the numerous stays at B&Bs over the past 10 years, this one was the most pleasurable experience. First of all, the B&B itself is extraordinary! The rooms are well appointed, the amenities are beyond what we expected, and the house itself was unlike any we had ever stayed in. The innkeeper, Ms. Ida, is a treasure! We knew that we had just met a new friend from the time we first met her. She is an excellent cook, preparing some of the best nreakfasts that we have ever had. She also made us feel at home. Due to inclement weather, we were concerned about leaving on Saturday so she was able to work with us to stay for a third night. She showed much concerned for all of the guests, especially with the weather conditions. On Saturday, My wife and I got together with Ms. Ida and prepared desserts, snacks and chili for all of the guests to share since the weather was not favorable for going out. We had a great bunch of guests so Saturday evening was a great time. Everybody blended so well that we felt more among friends than being with strangers we had just met. Kudos and many thanks to the owners for sharing the house and to Ms. Ida, for making us feel so welcome and so at home! We typically do not re-visit places that we have stayed but this is one place that we will return to and bring our friends!
Our only negative thing to say is that the inn currently does not have wifi. Because of our business, this was a major disadvantage to us. Ms. Ida said that the owners are working getting this resolved so hopefully this will occur soon. Otherwise, it is a great place and ours was a perfect trip!

Room Tip: Renaissance room is the most elegant of the rooms and the only room with a hot tub!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

I absolutely loved my stay here. My boyfriend and I stayed 4 nights for our 5 year anniversary and we felt right at home. Ida the house keeper was super friendly and helpful. She cooked our breakfast each morning and it was amazing! Each room here has a unique style. We stayed in the Zen room. It was very peaceful. The only suggestion I have to make is that there should be a hot tub for everyone in the house- as I thought there was. Only the reneissance room has the hot tub. (Keep this in mind while reserving your room.) All in all the house was absolutely beautiful! I was really impressed- decor, layout, the view, etc. I would definitely stay here again. A+

Room Tip: the enchanted room is upstairs, the medevial room is downstairs with the game room, the other 3 roo...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank melodi g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2011

We recently stayed at Ancient Oaks for our annual vacation. We start the week out each time with a B&B stay on our first night in TN. We arrived and got settled in our room which was the Zen room. It was very nicely decorated and as you would imagine was very relaxing. There were Guradelli chocolates in the room and also a Kurieg Coffee Machine with lots of coffe/hot cocoa choices. We opted to have romantic 4 course dinner prepared for us. Ms Ida served us in the library complete with candles, a fireplace and dimmed lights. It was very very nice. I told her that we felt like Price William and Princess Kate. Then we went downstairs and they had almost any game imaginable for you to play. And then we went into the movie/theatre room. WOW.... this entire place is gorgeous with its furnishings and tapestries and flooring....We had a very restful nights sleep and it was awesome. Then breakfast the next morning was out on the terrace overlooking the mountains, Just beautiful as far as they eye could see. We made it back into town the next day and on to the Titanic exhibit. We got a vmail from Ms Ida that my husband had left his pillow at the inn. Well let me tell you, she was so thoughtful and helpful that she actually drove part of the way back to town and met us with the pillow., She got out of her warm car to hand it to us and give me a pat on the back to console me since I was a little upset that he had left the pillow. But that just goes to show you the kind of caring and tender love and car she pays to each and every guest. I WOULD GO BACK HERE AGAIN FOR SURE and I HIGHLY recommend this B&NB to any and every one....

Room Tip: Zen room is very tranquil and relaxing
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank suquannas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2011

We cannot express in words how outstanding this B&B is. However we will try. Ms. Ida is such a wonderful person and takes such great care of her guests. She has a great knowledge of the area and can recommend all the good shows and attractions. Take advantage of the amenities card for shows and things to do off site.
The property is a beautiful home and every detail is done to perfection. You could spend a week here and never leave the grounds. Everything is so luxurious without losing the home like appeal. The atmosphere is very relaxed and comforting.
Ms. Ida is an absolutely wonderful cook. Waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking is the only reason you will want to get out of the comfortable bed and cozy room. Her stuffed French Toast and pancakes are heavenly. And there is no shortage of it. If you leave the table hungry, it is your own fault.
The game room and theater provide plenty to keep you busy while relaxing and enjoying all that there is to offer. If nothing else, you have to experience the seats (recliners) in the theater.
As soon as we walked in the door, Ms. Ida made us feel as we had known her all our lives. We are so proud to have met her and will always consider her our friend. We plan to stay in contact with her as we feel she is a great person.
We plan to make this an annual event, if not more often, especially as long as Ms. Ida is there. This is definitely our get-away from home destination.
Thank you to Ms. Ida and the owner of Ancient Oaks Bed and Breakfast for a unforgettable honeymoon from Sidney and Lisa Booth.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sidney B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ancient Oaks Bed & Breakfast

Address: 431 Thomas Loop Rd, Sevierville, TN 37876-1221
Location: United States > Tennessee > Sevier County > Sevierville
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Sevierville
Price Range: $119 - $329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ancient Oaks Bed and Breakfast offers exclusivity, sophistication and personalized service combined with an unrivaled relaxing atmosphere. The discriminating traveler looking for a five-star Smoky Mountain Lodging experience combined with a low key ambiance will find this unique Smoky Mountain lodging experience place to come back to time and time again. ... more   less 

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