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“Farm First, Inn Last”

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Lake Orchard Farm Retreat
Reviewed September 23, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this B&B last August for a getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We thought staying on a farm would provide a unique experience and thought the farm tour would be interesting. We set up a time for the first day for the tour and were told that morning that the owners were too busy and rescheduled the next day. We sat out the next day waiting for the tour to start. It never did. Again, after hunting down the owner, we were told that farm matters needed to be attended to first. A little notice would have been appreciated. We never did get our tour. The accomodations are clean and spacious and the jacuzzi in the room was really nice. The breakfasts though were pretty ordinary. The first day we had scrambled eggs, sausage, and sticky sweet french toast. There was no fruit, pastries, cereal, yogurt, or anything that we are used to getting at other B&B's. The next day we had an egg and cheese casserole that was excellent but again not much else. Not even OJ was available - just apple cider. The inn keeper was not the owner but a hired hand who came in at certain times of the day to check on the guests. For the money spent we expected more. We've been to many other B&B's where the guests are treated with special respect. With this B&B, the cows and hens came first.

Room Tip: We had a room with the patio facing the farm. This is NOT the room you want if you like to sit outs...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gwhite617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jules1232013, Owner at Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2013

We are sorry we were not able to provide you with a farm tour - we have a newborn baby and our innkeeper was helping us out because I am unable to do as much with our new baby to care for. We typically check in guests and serve them breakfast ourselves whenever possible, but we feel our innkeeper is a very capable and professional replacement for the times we are unable to tend to our guests personally. My husband had some unfortunate mishaps on the farm those two days and was very apologetic about not being able to give you your farm tour - we have since changed our policy to weekend farm tours only, because weekdays are very busy on our working farm and weekends we have more help. As you can see from the many other positive reviews we have, we provide excellent customer service and respect to our guests, and we are sorry to hear you were disappointed with your experience here. We would love another chance to show you a better experience next time, and hope you consider staying with us again in the future.

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58 - 64 of 94 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2013

My wife purchase a surprise 2 night stay for us here last summer. It was an add-on to a stay at a friends house in the Green Bay area and was meant as a nice romantic treat. The problem was I developed terrible vomiting and diarrhea the night before our stay (which continued for 2 days). While driving back to Milwaukee we stopped here for the surprise check in. I was so sick that I couldn't even get out of the car. Our stay was going to be anything but romantic and all I really wanted was to sleep in my own bed. My wife went in and talked with Mary the owner. Surprisingly, instead of allowing us to cancel and reschedule (Sunday and Monday night, so unlikely that we truly cost them money), she charged our credit card in full (over $300) and told us we could have a 2 night credit in the future. We left, my wife feeling bad about the missed stay and I was just feeling bad in general. We were both looking forward to coming back and enjoying ourselves when time allowed.

Fast forward to this summer when we had time off again to reschedule. We called to make a reservation and we were informed by Mary that she wasn't going to honor her offer of a credit for two reasons: 1) apparently I wasn't sick enough and 2) it had been too long. Now when we were signing our $300+ credit card receipt last year she couldn't have been more sympathetic and certainly didn't tell us about any time limit for rescheduling.

We are VERY unhappy with the way this has been handled. After this latest experience there is no way we would stay there and really just wish we could get our money back (which I'm sure their "policies" won't allow).

Please BEWARE. The owners do not behave like reputable innkeepers!

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank clundh03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jules1232013, Owner at Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2013

My husband and I saw the review you posted yesterday regarding your feelings about our customer service. We take our customer reviews very seriously and we are sorry that you feel you were treated unfairly. In response to your criticisms, we feel obligated to further explain our reasons for denying your request to utilize the credit offered to you in July 21012.

From our point of view, these are the facts:
1) You called my husband stating that you wanted to redeem a credit for a stay with us last September, you had no dates, and you told him you weren't sure when you stayed with us, but you just remember that we offered you a credit for a 2 night stay. You had kept no record of your stay nor had you asked for any type of confirmation of the credit offered to you in writing.
2) I looked up your stay and it was July 22 and 23, 2012, Sunday and Monday nights. It had been over one year and any credits we offer need to be redeemed within one year and for the same type of stay (weekend or weeknight as our rates are different). We always tell our guests this when offering a credit - it is possible your wife doesn't remember the terms since she was upset about missing out on your stay, and it was so long ago.
3) I had no obligation to offer you a credit in the first place, as our policies clearly state that cancellations made less than 2 weeks in advance will be charged the full amount if we are unable to rebook the room. We ourselves have lost out on trips, airfare, etc. due to unexpected illness or events. We would never expect a business to honor a credit over a year old that we had not even kept an accurate record of. Our customer service is top of the line, as you can see by reading our other reviews - offering you a credit was incredibly generous of us, and it is unfortunate that you did not utilize it earlier.
4) According to your review, you said you doubt we would've lost money on a Sunday/Monday in July - that is incorrect - we were full that Sunday and Monday as we are 90% of the month of July. We most definitely would have lost money the nights you were scheduled to stay as there was no time to rebook the room.
5) Finally, I did not say you "needed to have had an emergency appendectomy" I simply gave that as an example of another guest I offered a credit to - and they used their credit 2 weeks later.

Again, our apologies for your feelings of unfair treatment. However, you need to understand that small businesses need to function as a business and protect themselves from being taken advantage of. You can be generous only to a certain degree, and then it becomes the consumers' job to ensure that they keep accurate records of any offers or stays that they have reserved and/or cancelled.

Respectfully,
Mary and Nate Calkins

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Reviewed September 10, 2013

We recently visited the Lake Orchard Farm Bed & Breakfast to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We found the room to be spacious and very clean. The breakfast was delicious and filling. We enjoyed walking along Lake Michigan and Sheboygan had plenty of activities and restaurants to meet our needs. All of the details are provided at the B & B-glasses and a corkscrew for wine, candles by the whirlpool, cushy robes, custom scented soap and shampoo. The hosts are welcoming and friendly. It's a great bed and breakfast!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Brenda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

I surprised my husband with a night away for an early anniversary gift. We came up from Florida to visit family and my sister was kind enough to take our three kids for the night. We stayed in Doris' room as were blown away by the ammenities and the attention to detail, from the soap and shampoo from Olivu, the sleep number bed, the antiques passed down from generation to generation...incredible! We immediately exhaled when we walked in...a feeling of relaxation washing over us. Mary and Nate are wonderful hosts, kind and welcoming! Maggie is a fearless guide dog that took us on many walks down by the lake. Lake Orchard Farm is a beautiful place, a slice of heaven, that we cannot wait to get back to.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kristine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We stayed at the Lake Orchard Farm B&B July 26-28 in Doris' Room. The drive along Lake Michigan was beautiful -- coming from Milwaukee, I forget all the lush green space Wisconsin has to offer!

Pulling into the Lake Orchard B&B, the first thing you see is a very well maintained working farm. The cows are grazing or peeking out from the barn. Checking into the main house you find a lovely seating area and then the community room which has a small bar, refrigerator/freezer and pool table. We met Mary who was very warm and welcoming. We briefly met Nate who was very friendly.

Walking into Doris' Room, I was pleasantly surprised at how big, spacious, clean and comfortable the room was. I instantly went "ahhhhhh". This room was sooo much cleaner than my own house!! :) We spent the first hour or so driving around a golf cart and played a few holes of "farm golf" -- an unique and very cool and fun idea!! Especially for people like me who are horrible golfers -- it was truly fun! We had a bottle of wine with us and it was a blast! I especially loved getting close to the gorgeous cows on one of the holes.

We wanted a "true Wisconsin fish fry" experience and Mary recommended Rupp's on Washington - what a GREAT recommendation. The restaurant/bar was exactly what I love most about Wisconsin - friendly people, good drinks and many laughs. Buzz the bartender makes a mean brandy old-fashioned! We both had the fish fry - the cod and the perch - the cod was especially delicious, but so was the perch.

Our first night's sleep was pretty heavenly. The sleep number bed was very comfortable, and the bedding plush and soft. And not a noise could be heard!! It was sooo quiet!! We woke up, grabbed some coffee from the community room and waited anxiously for our first breakfast. Mary delivered to our room some really good farm cooking -- I have to say she has some mad cooking/baking skills!! Sometimes "breakfast included" means some stale danish, or some cereal -- not at Lake Orchard! Each morning we had a freshly-baked egg bake with veggies and cheese and herbs! We also had some brulee'd grapefruit which is my new favorite thing in the world, some watermelon and fresh raspberries. AND don't get me started on the coffee cake!!!!! Each morning, a different slice of warm, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth coffee cake -- truly made with love and great ingredients.

Saturday, we went into Sheboygan and it was too cold to kayak but there was plenty to do. Prior to going to dinner, we enjoyed a soak in the lovely hot tub with a bottle of wine, listening to music -- it was awesome!!! We had dinner at Trattoria Stefano which was very very good, but I must visit again to explore the menu some more.

Saturday night we got a solid 10 hours of sleep - woke up refreshed and enjoyed another delicious breakfast. Then Maggie the dog joined us on a walk down by the lake. She's a very friendly dog and made missing my 2 dogs at home easier. We also were chaperoned around by Pepper the little black/white cat - we love animals so didn't mind the furry escorts at all.

Then, we had to check out and say goodbye to Lake Orchard B&B. I HIGHLY recommend this B&B for long weekend! We came back so relaxed and recharged and loved spending some quiet time together.

Thank you Mary and Nate for opening your home/farm to us! We hope to visit again soon!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank chrhkheh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Well.....I am just blown away. This was a specially planned anniversary get-a-way for my husband and I, and I wanted it to be GREAT as there is so much that goes into getting away for us. If you are parents of little ones you can understand :)
We arrived for our stay in Helen's room late as we were driving some distance and stopped in Milwaukee for dinner. Mary and Nate were so accommodating for our late arrival and we found our front lights to the door on welcoming us as soon as we pulled into the drive. I wish we could have arrived while the light was still up as the views are just amazing of Lake Michigan. Even so---we settled right in and enjoyed the amazing space they created. Every detail is covered and there are so many touches to the room that go above and beyond what is expected. The room is immaculately clean, the Jacuzzi is large enough for both my husband and I who are quite tall, everything is cozy and inviting down to the sleep number bed and beautiful bathroom. There was also a mini-fridge in the room where we could keep snacks, wine and anything else over the weekend that needed to be stored. The flat screen TV was never used but is a nice addition if you brought something along that you wanted to watch.
The next morning we woke up and took in the view of the water that just makes you exhale and breathe a little lighter. Mary makes sure coffee is ready in the common area if you want it early( which my husband did) and we relaxed and took in the view until our fabulous breakfast arrived. And let me tell you....it is worth the wait. Wow!!! Literally you say wow as you take each bite. Thanking God we had a very active weekend ahead of us--we didn't feel bad polishing off every bite :)
I had no idea the grounds were so lovely. This is one of the most clean and organized farms I have ever seen. We borrowed the bikes Mary and Nate have available to take a little ride along Lake Michigan before venturing into town to Kayak. As we went to get them, Mary said she was just going to collect the chicken eggs before heading out for the day. I immediately said I wanted to come :) So----she very graciously let me tag along into their beautiful walk-in chicken coop. I wasn't brave enough to reach under the hens, but was able to grab 3 in the roosts. SO FUN!!! On our way back to the bikes I of course had to say hello to each of the young cows in the barn as well. Something about being around animals just makes me smile.
We had a fun filled weekend of golf, kayaking, lots of biking and hiking-----and LOVED coming back to our little retreat for a hot bath and time of relaxation. We slept wonderful and left each morning filled with scrumptious food ready to take on the day. Please don't pass up walking around the farm and having Nate and Mary give you a tour. Also, make sure you do a round of golf on their property---it really is a lot of fun. You might even have an entourage of about 30 cows at hole #5. One of the funniest memories of the trip :) They are 15 minutes from Sheboygan where we biked and dined and kayaked. So close to it all.....yet so far away for when you want to feel secluded. The private walk down hand-made stairs all the way to the beach of Lake Michigan was the cherry on top before we left. We are already planning our next trip back. Thank you Nate and Mary for an amazing and memorable anniversary weekend. You couldn't have been better hosts. I enjoyed getting to know you and your farm.....and I just LOVE your little slice of heaven on Earth!!!! Summer and Jason
(visited in July when the temps were 55-60------had a fabulous time!!! )

Room Tip: We loved Helene's room as it faces the water and it the lesser expensive of the 2 facing the wat...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jbagley77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary at the Lake Orchard Farm Bed and Breakfast and wished we had been able to spend a few more nights. Our room was great and had a wonderful view of Lake Michigan! Breakfast was served in our room and was excellent! We are really looking forward to going back!!

Room Tip: We stayed in " Doris' Room " .
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mukwonagolizandjeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Orchard Farm Retreat

Address: W839 Lake Orchard Ct, Sheboygan, WI 53083-5125
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Sheboygan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Sheboygan
Price Range: $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our sixth generation farm is your perfect retreat. Our historical, picturesque setting will put your mind and body at ease. With opportunities for recreation on site and nearby, you can reconnect and recharge however you see fit. ... more   less 

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