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“Family Weekend at the Newly Renovated Barrows House”
Review of Barrows House

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Barrows House
Ranked #1 of 7 Dorset B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 5, 2013

My husband and I and our dogs have been going to Dorset VT for the last 20 years. Our younger son was an acting intern at the Dorset Theater Festival in 1993. We have stayed at he Barrows House and the Dorset Inn many times. Now that the Dorset Inn has acquired The Barrows House our options for dog friendly accommodations has expanded. Ten family member including five children just returned from a wonderful stay at the Barrows House which included delicious dinners at both Inns and breakfasts at the Dorset Inn. The grandchildren especially enjoyed the lemonade and cookies after returning from a swim at the Marble Quarry and before a dip in the BH pool. They also enjoyed dining on the new terrace, sitting by the fire pit and running on lawns surrounding the terrace. Parents and children shared the Raven's Loft while the grandparents enjoyed the Wren's Nest next door. Our favorite lunch in Manchester was at Al Ducci's, and Cissy's Kitchen in Middleton Springs. We also enjoyed our visit to Merck Forest and picking and eating blueberries and raspberries on their working farm, which has spectacular views of the mountains. Sat. night my granddaughter and I saw a excellent performance of "Barefoot in the Park" at the Dorset Playhouse. Looking forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank RJG91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 - 147 of 152 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2013

Early July was the time frame and Groupon seemed like such a deal. When we arrived, the inn itself looked fantastic and the personalized tour we received was a classy touch. Our expectations were high based on what we had seen on the website and we immediately thought, it's better than planned. Then, things began to change.........

We now know (after we left) the inn had just reopened and that could help explain the following disappointments:

1- We had the Bed but the Breakfast was down the street at their other inn. Not a huge deal but advance notification would have been appreciated. (Suppose there was a guest with a disability or similar)

2- Two relatively minor issues: The luxurious robes mentioned online were nowhere to be found and access to the main inns' front balcony was none existent. However, if I'm being honest. the balcony was a selling point and is positioned that way on the site.

3- A beautiful gas fireplace adorned our room. We turned it on, moments later a strange smell, a few more minutes, the smoke alarm and in 15 minutes we had the entire fire dept at the front door of the inn, ourselves and other guests evacuated and carbon monoxide testing in progress. Needless to say, the fireplace was not an option and as we found out the hard way, had never been properly tested.

Now it's understandable that problems happen and things go wrong, but how about some semblance of customer service. Not an apologetic tone to be found within miles of the place after the fireplace debacle. Is this the Barrows Inn or the Hampton Inn? In a service business sold as top tier, this was and remains a huge miss. In fact, it's the primary reason why I'm so disappointed.

To top it off, foolish me left my Ipad charger behind. After a week went by, I contacted the Inn and they confirmed it was there and offered to ship it back at my charge on my American Express card. Three problems here: 1) I never provided an American Express card- feel bad for the card owner who almost bought my shipping 2) Would it have killed them to phone me letting me know they had it? 3) After #'s 1-3 above, you would think charging me wouldn't even enter their minds!!! I stated the above and asked it be shipped back at the Inn's expense and reached agreement. Another 10 days (I'm only a day or two away by mail) and nothing. I followed up and got the response that the package was mislabeled and was being returned. As soon it was received back there it would be shipped back to me overnight with some sort of compensation. Another 8 days later...........I'm still waiting.

I waited a while to write this review for good reason. A chance at redemption for an Inn that initially appeared to be something similar to the other reviews I've read. The clock expired on my patience and folks should know that while I think they have a good start, they aren't close to the level they promote themselves to be.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank GreatFacilitator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorsetinnkeeper, Owner at Barrows House, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2013

Glad that you liked the property. Sorry, that we had a series of service issues related to your stay. We have offered a repeat stay as our guest at the value of what you paid. Our guest experiences have been exceptional and the experience that you had is not what we are about. We do provide the basic coffee as such at Barrows House and we do provide an excellent "hot breakfast" that receives rave reviews at our sister property, The Dorset Inn, that is a short walk or drive and yes this is and should be communicated on the phone. The fireplace is new and was not setup to be turned on nor expected to be turned on during the 90 degree heat wave (you had to work hard to turn this on, as it had never been on) ---- working great, will be cozy option for the fall and winter. We have six acres of grounds , pool, gardens ect. and do have a front balconey that can be accessed from the inn (your room) ---- mainly for viewing or getting fresh air, but there are lots of areas to getaway. There are robes in the room now and our mantra is to go the extra mile and when there is an issue fix it. Again, we muffed it on your charger that was left behind ----- well intended and poorly executed, we have bought you a new one and have sent it to you. As you can see by the consistently rave reviews for Barrows House and The Dorset Inn, we have excellent staff that connect with guest . We are confident that our service and experience at Barrows House is awesome now (not perfect) and will continue to improve . Hope to see you again.

Best,

Steven & Lauren Bryant
Owners

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

My wife and I recently went up to spend a weekend at the Barrows House in Dorset, Vermont. We wanted to experience the Inn and we are glad that we did. Barrows House is a unique experience of a cool and modern atmosphere yet within the context of a new England Inn. We stayed in the Cardinal’s Retreat, Rm#3. This is a wonderful room that spans the entire second floor of the cottage. It is very large and spacious with beautiful views out all of the windows and a nice outdoor deck for sitting and relaxing. The grounds are nice with a refreshing pool and a fabulous patio just outside of the restaurant and pub. The patio has umbrella tables and chairs with gas lights/heaters and a cozy fire-pit which all create a great atmosphere for relaxing and socializing with cocktails and a bite to eat.

The Restaurant and Pub are very cool with a Modern flare to them. Right up the street is the Dorset Playhouse. We made reservations in the restaurant one evening and had a wonderful meal. The food there was delicious. Following dinner, we went up the street to the Dorset Playhouse to see the closing night of a terrifically entertaining play called the Scene. It was a great evening out. Following the play we went back to Barrows House for cocktails on the patio and noticed the cast from the play showed up and were also enjoying the pub and the patio. We briefly said hello and chatted a bit. They were all very friendly. It all just seemed to tie in with socially friendly, fun, and modern vibe that exists there.

Our Stay at Barrows House was very enjoyable. The Staff and the Innkeepers are very helpful, and friendly. It was fun and exciting, yet relaxing at the same time. A truly enjoyable and unique experience and would highly recommend staying there


Joe and Andrea, South Glastonbury, Ct.

Room Tip: The Cardinal's Retreat rm. #3 (upstairs) is an Awesome room, very spacious, very comfortable, lo...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorsetinnkeeper, Owner at Barrows House, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2013

Claudia,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and glad that you had a good time and will return! You are right that we did shoot for a different look and feel from the typical Vermont experience that includes a bar with a "two sided fireplace" that can be also seen in dining area and also an outdoor "wood burning fire pit." We have highlighted the history of the area with lots of black and white large photos of the Dorset Marble Quarry (oldest in the US and now a swimming hole) and blended this with a hip bar that has back lit marble, craft beers, gastro pub fare , wooden floors ---- yes, a different experience. We also have our classic sister property , The Dorset Inn, Est. 1796 that is in walking distance that is your classic Vermont experience with several fireplaces ---- goal is to provide two very different and awesome experiences.

Best,

Steven Bryant

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Reviewed July 23, 2013

I stayed there on a Saturday night in mid-July 2013. Our room was in the main inn. I was greeted by a friendly manager and the owner, taken on a brief tour. The inn has been restored with historic touches in most rooms but with a modern flair in areas like the very large bar, dining room, our door patio, and the bathrooms. Our bed was all brand new and the styling and quality of the finishes are excellent. Some of the older decor includes refinished plank floors, well done moldings, a classic traditional living room, and old style wooden rocking chairs on the large front porch. The pool was warm, clean, all new lounge chairs and tables, and the attendant gave out nice plush colorful towels. Cold beer and drinks are sold right at the pool. We ate at the Dorset Inn (same owners) for lunch and breakfast (breakfast included) which was fantastic and two blocks away. The sidewalks between the two properties is white marble ... pretty cool! For dinner we ate right at the Barrows House. Lobster mac and cheese was good, service was good and the ale was cold. Before and after dinner we hung out at the fire pit with people we had met at the pool. The location of the Barrows house is walking distance to the theater, general store that stocks a nice selection of wine, cheese and fresh baked goods. About one mile away is the Dorset Quarry with fresh water and cliffs ranging from 5'-25' which we did the second day. About 5 miles away is Manchester, VT and Bromley. Stratton is 15 miles which was a beautiful motorcycle ride for us on this gorgeous summer day. Thank you. We will be back for certain.

Room Tip: Ask for an updated room, but I believe most are by now!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ZenRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

We spent four nights at the Barrows House in conjunction with the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show. We found the sense of space at the inn and the resort amenities of a pool and tennis courts to be a big plus. The restaurant is great and has a very appetizing menu, and the food and service brought us back three nights during our stay. The staff at this inn is friendly and helpful. We loved our room which had been recently renovated. Swimming at the nearby Dorset Marble Quarry was a highlight. We will return to this inn again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Wend b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

First stayed here two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality. The place was purchased by the Dorset Inn and the main house has undergone extensive renovation. There is also evidence of ongoing renovation to the out buildings as well. Currently the included breakfast is at the Dorset Inn and is fabulous. The Barrows restaurant which used to be extensive now looks to be more pub style food so we did not partake. However we noted an active patio with fireplace and a busy bar scene at least on the Friday and Saturday evenings we stayed. We like the Barrows house and will likely return.

Room Tip: The front rooms in the main house are both beautifully remodeled. We took Pipit's Plume and love...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Frenchguy48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

This place was just renovated and you can tell. They did a great job. It's modern, fun, loud and lively. We really loved the metal bar with backlit marble.

The food is what really shined. Since the restaurant is brand new, we decided to order a bunch of things to try. The menu seems well edited and thought out.

We started with the scotch eggs, oysters, chicken liver pate and the summer mushrooms. The mushrooms were great. They tasted really fresh. The scotch eggs and pate were good, but nothing outrageous (they are what they are).

The oysters were awesome. We actually ended up order another half dozen. Unfortunately, the server wasn't able to tell us what type of oysters they were and didn't make the effort to find out. The restaurant has some issues with service quality.

For mains, we had the mac & cheese with lobster, oyster po'boy and the lobster sliders. The lobster portions in both the mac & cheese and sliders was generous. We live and NYC and are used to paying up at dinner. We thought the value at Barrows was great.

I'm not usually a big fan of cooked oysters, but the po'boy was really great. Possibly the best I've ever had.

As I said before, the service needs help. It felt a bit like we were at Applebees - the server didn't seem very excited about being there. The atmosphere and food overshadowed that grumpy guy, though, so we left happy. I also give them a bit of a pass, having only been open something like 10 days. Hopefully they'll spend some resources on staff training.

All in all, very happy to have a hopping, young place (that isn't a ski lodge) to hang out when we visit VT. We'll be back for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank andrewbaisley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barrows House

Address: Vermont Route 30, Dorset, VT 05251-0740
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Vermont > Green Mountains > Dorset
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Dorset
Price Range: $193 - $328 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Barrows House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Barrows House offers 27 guest rooms and suites located in the Main Inn and separate cottages throughout our 6 acre property. Guests can enjoy use of our pool, tennis courts, and outdoor patio dining -- complete with a firepit! Barrows House was recently purchased and the guest rooms and grounds have all been completely updated and renovated. We have transformed the Inn into a quintessential New England Bed & Breakfast. Barrows House maintains the charm of an old Inn while providing guests with modern amenities. Our newly renovated Gastropub boasts an expansive bar, craft beers on draft, an outdoor patio for dining, and nightly specials! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barrows House Hotel Dorset

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