It upsets my wife and I to write this review because the Inn means a lot to us. We were married here last year and had a magical experience. It really has a special place in our past. The staff were wonderful and catered to everything. All of our overseas guests had a wonderful time.
We returned for the first time since in December this year to find that a lot has changed. Cost cutting seems to be going on behind the scenes and it is starting to show to those who have stayed at the inn before.
During our stay there was no night manager or inn keeper present over the weekend like there used to be. We were almost smoked out of our room on the third floor due to an incident with one of the fireplaces and the staff tried but didn't respond very well. We had to leave the building and sit outside because the barn was hosting a function.
We also missed the personal touches we'd taken for granted before. The 5-10 minutes of catching up and hearing personal stories from the inn keepers for example. We were always made to feel special and welcomed back each time as if it were a home away from home. It was the kind of place where you got the table, chair or server you liked without asking. People just knew. It was so rare.
We had dinner in the restaurant on one night and the food appeared within 3-4 mins of ordering. It tasted like it had been pre prepared and re heated. It was busy but we'd never had that problem before. The food had always been impeccable. So fresh and tasty.
I felt sorry for the housekeeper servicing our room. She was rushed and seemed to almost be under a time limit. There were small things missed. Things weren't as clean or in place as they used to be. We also didn't get cheese and an apple in the room like we used to.
The staff themselves were still trying hard. They were still friendly. We saw some familiar faces but they struggled to find the same welcoming touches they had before. It was almost like they'd been briefed before about return guests and it only showed this time when they struggled to remember our names. This had never happened before.
All of these things while small individually contributed to making the inn a very special place in Vermont. It is still a peaceful and enjoyable place to stay but I really hope it improves over the next few months and gets back to how it used to be. New guests probably won't notice the difference but if you've stayed before you definitely will.
I'm not sure the reasons behind all of the change by the Windham Foundation, but it's had a negative impact. I hope the new staff work hard to bring the special touches back soon. They're going to start to see a financial impact next year when weddings cut back and return guests notice the difference.
We'll be back to see at some point. Maybe not as soon as we would have previously.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since 1801, this historic inn has been providing visitors with the finest comforts and amenities in a quintessential Vermont setting. The inn features 44 individually appointed rooms, including seven suites and four guest homes. The award-winning Old Tavern Restaurant features locally inspired American cuisine; open nightly for dinner. Pub menu at Phelps Barn Pub. Members of Distinctive Inns of New Englands. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grafton Hotel Grafton
- Old Tavern Grafton
- Old Tavern Hotel Grafton