We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great location, seriously needs service training and rehabilitation”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Inn at Shelburne Farms
Ranked #2 of 4 Shelburne B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2008

First the postives:
Wonderful location, a working farm with a wonderful view of Lake Champlain and the mountains of NY on the other side.
Photos of inn from the outside will look great.
The food was wonderful.

The negatives:
Service staff seems to be mostly well meaning but utterly untrained college kids. If you have ever been to a Ritz Carlton, and if you are able to pay for this Inn, you probably have, you will immediately know what I mean. A typical example: when I brought my car up from the parking area to the front entrance to put the luggage in at check out, I was immediately told "I hope you will be out of here quick." It was very odd, and typical of the service.

The rooms are interesting. If you like dusty old furniture and moldy old bathrooms, I guess you will be happy. I felt like every time I turned over in the bed, a cloud of dust arose. At the least, for $ 300+ per night they could replace the beds this century.

I would not stay here again unless professional management were to manage the property and to rehabilitate the physical plant. It was fun, but not worth over $ 1100 for a family of four for one night with dinner and breakfast.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank hockeydad2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (206)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

189 - 195 of 206 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2008

This place is an old estate on the grounds of a working farm. The location is world class - perched on top of hill with 360 degree views of both the farm and estate as well as the lake. The house is an enormous mansion that has a ton of character. Rooms have a huge range some are a large and rather grand others are quite small although i believe they are priced accordingly. This is not a Four Seasons or a Ritz so don't expect it to be.

Its grand in an old world way - with cool architecture and period decorating and furniture but its also a bit run down in the way you might expect a house of its age to be. The bathrooms while fine are not recently re-done - and the public spaces are very nice - but again a bit worn.

I think it would be a great place to spend a weekend - its small enough that even with other guests there - you feel like its kind of your own house. Staff was very nice and helpful.

There are dirt roads and trails that go on for miles - all across the property - which are great for runs or walks.

Big bonus is the food - which is top notch - gourmet quality.

If you are looking for a relaxed weekend at a cool old school place - this is a great call - the location - the house and the grounds are all very unique and enjoyable.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank CriticalView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2007

The Inn gets mixed reviews here and I understand that. My guess is half the world would love it and half not care for it at all.

The Inn is a historic property, the circa 1900 home of one of the Vanderbilt daughters and her husband who created a model farm that also served to demonstrate how to conserve the landscape. In fact the inn is part of an educational foundation and model farm to this day.

So, if you want to pay top dollar to stay in a room that is still a lot like Mrs. Vanderbilt-Webb kept it in 1900, you'll love it. You'll be glad your room tab supports the farm's wonderful endeavor. However, if you compare it to wholly commercial endeavors at similar price points, you might be disappointed. You'd likely say, "these bathrooms look like my grandmother's."

We chose the Pottery Cottage because some comments here suggested the rooms in the main house were small. We saw most of the rooms on a house tour and they were actually fairly good sized, not small at all. We thought the house was wonderful architecturally and regret not staying in the house. The work done when the house became an inn served to both adapt the use and preserve an historic landmark. It did not comprehensively update the property to contemporary luxury lodging standards. If you want to know what it was like being invited to the Vanderbilts in 1905, stay at Shelburne. It's a kick. However, don't expect a Jacuzzi tub- they didn't exist then. Knowing what you are getting into is key, I think.

The Inn is operated seasonally by a non-profit foundation. The good part of that is an absence of slick commercialism. The bad part is an absence of commercial efficiency. On balance and for the experience, that is fine with me.

The restaurant for dinner was awesome. I have lived my life in Manhattan and San Francisco. The food stacks up well against any competition.

The farm is a hoot. It hit us just right and we happily occupied ourselves for a full day. We even milked a cow. The museum, about a mile down the road, is a surprise and delight too. It is a micrcocosm of Vermont life over the past 300 years. Again, allow a full day- if living history is your thing.

Bottom line- most reviewers here have highlighted as strengths and weaknesses genuine characteristics of the property. You need to decide if the big picture works for you or does not. I'm personally glad I spent a weekend at Mrs. Vanderbilt's and am pleased the profit from my visit supports the farm, a most worthwhile endeavor.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Tom2592
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2007

We stayed at Shelbourne Farms over labor day weekend and the experience was rather sad. The grounds were breaktaking, very similar to Olmstead's other Vanderbilt property-the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. What struck both my husband and me was that it should have been a much better experience than it was.

It was apparent that the house itself has seen much better days. We stayed in the Webb room and paid over $400 a night. I dropped an earring and while I was crawling on the floor I was dismayed to see how dirty the room really was. The lighting is dark and the furniture is in bad shape, particularly in the game room.

In order to command the room rates, the house needs a real overhaul and thorough cleaning. It also needs attention to the service staff. We encountered some surliness with the breakfast staff. Perhaps there has been a change in management recently?

On the plus side, the food was good. But beware, they say breakfast is included. It's not. Muffins and coffee in the living room are included.

We went to breakfast thinking it was free. After we paid the high room rate, we were surprised to see an extra $37 charge on the bill for our breakfast.


We are very experienced travelers and had heard wonderful things about the Inn. We were glad we only stayed one night and moved on to Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont for the rest of the weekend. If you can afford it, that's the place to go.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank LisaKnoxville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2007

One reviewer has already covered a lot of the ground, better than I (What You Won't Find/What You Will Find). My family (including 3 generations, ranging in age from 5 to 71) and I stayed at the inn for 3 nights and it was quite a pleasure. My husband and I stayed in the Green Room on the third floor and it was comfortable, spacious and quiet, with an en suite bathroom that had an old-fashioned clawfoot tub (no separate shower but the showerhead in the tub was perfectly adequate). How wonderful to wake up to a light breeze off the lake and birds chirping, with the occasional clopclop of a horse drawn carriage in the background. Too warm to require a fire to be lit, unfortunately!

Our group commandeered a portion of the South Porch for afternoons - reading, chatting, napping, enjoying tea or a cocktail, etc. We took breakfast and 2 of our 3 dinners at the Inn (they don't serve lunch) and the food was mostly local and very delicious. Well-selected wine list too. Like some other reviewers, we too found the service to be slow at times, but not unbearably so, and mostly at breakfast.

The entire Farm is generally accommodating of children but one warning - while I'm not sure I fully understood why, it appears that they don't allow young children in all of the rooms (possibly because of the antique furnishings in some rooms?), so my very tall brother and sister-in-law had to make do with a double bed with a solid footboard in the Lilac Room (a cot was provided for my niece), despite explaining the height situation and asking if there were any other beds to be had to accommodate their tall frames.

Other than the slow servers at breakfast, we found the staff overall to be very friendly, professional and helpful. There are a number of activities to undertake on the property, from kayaking to strolling (close to 1,500 acres means lots of roads and paths to wander along) to croquet to visiting the farm (chicken parade, cow millking, ...) to touring various aspects of the property, plus plenty of sights nearby in Shelburne (Museum), Burlington and environs.

I spent some time on the phone with one of the staff arranging our stay and visited the website frequently, and I would say that the website is complete and accurate in its pictures and descriptions of the grounds, farm buildings, inn and rooms (I can't speak for the separate cottages/house, however, as I never saw them). The entire property was magical and we enjoyed this unique opportunity to experience a slice of life as it might have been lived over 100 years ago.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank ackophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

Incredible experience! 3 days seemed like a month of relaxation. The house is surreal. We can't wait to go back! The kind of place that you go back to every year.

    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank bluemtnman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2006

We recently spent a night at Shelburne farms during foliage season. Our room with a view of the Lake, lounging in fireplace-lit rooms before and after dinner, and hiking the farmland and surrounding forest combined for an enchanting experience we would readily repeat again.

  • Stayed: September 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank cminny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Shelburne
3.5 mi away
Quality Inn Shelburne
Quality Inn Shelburne
#1 of 4 in Shelburne
371 reviews
6.5 mi away
Green Mountain Suites Hotel
Green Mountain Suites Hotel
#2 of 12 in South Burlington
700 reviews
3.2 mi away
Days Inn Shelburne/burlington
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.4 mi away
Courtyard Burlington Harbor
6.5 mi away
Hotel Vermont
Hotel Vermont
#1 of 8 in Burlington
787 reviews
6.9 mi away
Hotel Burlington & Conference Center
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Inn at Shelburne Farms? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Inn at Shelburne Farms

Address: 1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482-7697
Location: United States > Vermont > Shelburne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Shelburne
Price Range: $155 - $480 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 27
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA so you can book your Inn at Shelburne Farms reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Inn At Shelburne Farms Hotel Shelburne

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing