The Baker House is a very well appointed historical property, in an amazing location. However, these high points also contribute to the negatives about this property. When we first arrived, we were struck, as many of the reviewers, by the service and decor - having a butler is a nice amenity, and the property has a special atmosphere. However, the extra service is really a necessity because its popularity makes this property a busy place where guests would easily get overlooked otherwise. There were several tours of the "private" second floor area that houses the hotel during our stay. While they didn't occur when we were in the common areas, it interfered with the private, relaxing getaway that we expected.
That being said, you can really choose your level of privacy in this hotel. I love that you always had reserved seating in the restaurant, and the main floor & outdoor areas are beautiful. Even during the busy time we stayed, we were able to find a quiet nook on the patio to sit later in the evening, but this prime location was packed during a good chunk of the night. So if you wanted to spend time outside, it would have to be with a crowd. It has a bit of a B&B feel, with indoor common areas that you share with the other guests (and an occasional tour group) on the second floor. However, the rooms are so nice, you can choose to spend your time there - with the butler to fill your needs.
The main negative was that the Champagne Room, where we stayed, is located directly above the bar, and next to the main staircase & entry. The quiet time we sought while alone in our room was often interrupted by the noise of people waiting by the main staircase for restaurant seating, or tipsy people leaving the home. Additionally, the noise from a lively group in the bar kept me up half the night - this is an old home, and the floors evidently do not have enough soundproofing. I assume you would have a similar problem in the largest suite, as it is located above the parlor that houses live music on the weekends. They do have 20s style music piped into every room (with your own volume control) throughout the home, it can alleviate this problem. Additionally, there's an I-pod dock in the room that can help with the noise issues, but I still feel this issue is worth mentioning, as it dampened our stay.
Unfortunately, our amazing service ended immediately after breakfast. The maids came early to clean our room, and even though there were still a few hours until checkout, it seemed the rest of the staff were preoccupied with recovering from the previous night's festivites. When we checked out, there was a casual "how was your stay" and nothing more. It was such a drastic difference from our welcome that it was very off-putting. Additionally, I had questions about the murder mystery dinner, and the staff again wasn't very helpful (our butler was MIA after bringing us our coffee, croissants & fruit), they gave me a pamphlet, and went back to their business.
The great service at the beginning made up for the contrasting service at the end. We still had a wonderful trip (my husband is a much harder sleeper than I, and was less bothered by the noise). We would stay again, but try to choose a less busy time to stay. With the other reviews, I expected excellence, but the disappointments we encountered would not rate this a 5 star, especially considering how much we paid for the inconsistency.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Indulge Yourself at Lake Geneva's MOST LUXURIOUS Boutique Hotel on the lake. Designed with a hint of vintage glamour, and a dash of old world aristocracy you will be completely swept away to a world of Gilded Age living within this decadent lake-front mansion. Every room has lake views and original working gas fireplace, stretch out across the signature "Baker House Bed" with King size, hand-made mattress by OSTERMOOR and travel back in time as you melt into the softest sheets you've ever experienced. Guests are provided with room service, private bar and lake view dining room as well as private Butler and exclusive access to the English gardens during the day and reserved garden pavilion for al fresco cocktails in the evening. The "Baker House Bath" is rumored to be ranked as one of the "Sexiest in America". Select between decadent steam showers built for 2 with rain head and multiple massaging sprays or submerse yourself in an over-sized soaking Jacuzzi tub with aromatic bath salts. All baths are equipped with heated marble floors, state-of-the-art Grohe fixtures and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. For your convenience and enjoyment, modern amenities of flat screen television with DirectTV, in room Wi-Fi, refrigerators, safes and hair dryers are standard in all rooms. BEST Panoramic Views, Lakefront Garden Lounge, Listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER of HISTORIC PLACES, 13 Original Fireplaces, Decadent Furnishings make the Mansion suites a truly memorable time for every guest. ... more less
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