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“Frank-Inn-Stein”

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1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage
Ranked #25 of 39 Asheville B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We booked a 5-night stay in the Guest Cottage for our winter getaway, beginning on a Friday evening. We thought it worth $279 per night to have a comfortable setting in which to relax, read, cook a little, etc. The only nice features were the two-sided fireplace and bed. The advertised “handsome antique” furniture is thrift store stuff. The cottage is dumpy and rundown. The too-small, cheap TV hung crookedly on the wall far from the seating area, with wires and cables hanging down from it to the outlet at the base of the wall. The Jacuzzi sits in the middle of the living area under a window looking onto the front porch and the Inn’s parking area and adjacent to a little kitchen table from which it is separated by a Chinese screen (see above reference to thrift store). There are no closets in the cottage. The only capacity for hanging coats and clothes is provided by a small bedroom armoire.

The bathroom and kitchen are both sorely in need of an update. The bathroom is very small, capable of room only for a pedestal sink with old, loose faucets, no counter space or even suitable shelves for toiletries; the plastic shower surround had a curtain liner that constantly blows to the inside of the shower. The shower leaks onto the bathroom floor because the curtain won’t stay in place. The hair dryer was stowed in a kitchen cabinet (no space for it in the bathroom). Just as well, because we had to stand in the kitchen to dry our hair – no bathroom outlet for that, either.

The cottage kitchen is a kitchenette – not outfitted for cooking, and tired. The kitchen stove’s old electric burner pans were lined with aluminum foil, and the counters were covered with green linoleum. We were disappointed and felt ripped off.

Shortly after checking in, I walked to the main house and told Kyle that the accommodations were a bit rustic for our liking and that we’d like to see if other options were available. He was busy checking people in, but called later to tell us we could move to the Joyce Kilmer suite on Sunday for $20 more per night. We couldn’t see that room because guests had already checked in. We briefly contemplated leaving early and returning home instead of paying even more for a room that might be equally unsatisfactory, but decided we were already in for $1,500 – how much worse could it get?

When we arrived for cocktail hour that evening, the new charges were reflected and I was asked to sign the credit card receipt. Nothing was said to acknowledge our inconvenience or betray any responsibility for the shabby state of the cottage.

Breakfast is “The Frank Show,” served up promptly at 9 a.m. No exceptions. We decided to go with the program the first day, arriving at the main house a few minutes before the appointed hour to wait in the sunroom with the other assembled guests. The baby grand player piano is cranked up and playing a very loud and festive show tune. Frank opens the doors grandly at something slightly later than 9 a.m. and allows everyone to file in for the formal, 3-course affair. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre – some kind of unidentifiable cooked fruit in a lovely antique bowl, followed by a baked egg dish, and finally – chocolate brownie pie? See also other guest critiques on the house special Folger’s coffee blend. Frank hovered loudly and inquired about us not finishing everything on our plates and not partaking of the pie.

I’m sure he is well-intended, but the breakfast timing and production are consistent with the sense one gets that Frank’s needs are paramount. Once released from that torture, we opted to go it on our own for future meals.

Sunday arrived and we moved to the Joyce Kilmer Suite – a relative palace. Truly a full kitchen, not necessarily fully equipped but with a dishwasher and modern appliances. The suite has two bedrooms, with a comfy king-sized bed in the master, a large bathroom with 2 sinks, roomy tile shower, and Jacuzzi tub. But the walls are really thin - we could hear the neighbors when we were in the kitchen – not yelling, mind you - just clearing their throat and talking at normal volume. We took note to try to be extra quiet.

The JK Suite was probably worth $300. The cottage? Either cut the price by half or make improvements needed to justify the price point. In hindsight, it was no surprise when we saw that Frank had posted lengthy replies attacking reviewers who had raised concerns. NOTES TO SELF:

• Pay attention to critical reviews noting common complaints (breakfast, accommodations
needing updating, paper-thin walls, and an overbearing innkeeper)
• Take note when the website lacks pictures of kitchens and bathrooms
• Pay special attention to the proprietor’s response to those who have raised issues. This one
is especially critical. Had we looked beforehand, we would have gotten a sense of the
owner’s insecurities and general attitude, and stayed somewhere else.

Frank?

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MangoChutney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
whitegate, Owner at 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

Thank you for your review!
We are really sorry you did not enjoy your stay with us. Rest assured, the cottage is not “dumpy and rundown” (our inn and rooms have been approved ‘Four Diamond’ by AAA three years in a row). Frank, one of the owners, has graciously been hosting breakfast for 14 years. While pouring coffee and serving delicious food, he is chatting with the guests about their adventures in Asheville. We’re sorry you felt he was overbearing.
Additionally, our breakfast is anything but mediocre. We serve dishes such as blueberry & cream cheese stuffed French toast, spinach artichoke egg soufflés, and even a flourless chocolate torte for dessert.
If you don’t like charming accommodations, gourmet three course breakfasts, or friendly innkeepers, why are you staying in a bed and breakfast?

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 - 218 of 553 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2013

This was our first visit to the 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage which we chose because of it being a Select Registry Property! The property and home are beautiful! We were welcomed by two furry doggy babies which are absolutely adorable! The staff were very friendly, attentive and delightful. Our only disappointment was the breakfast - the food was not anything more than what I could prepare at home myself (Granted that this was the first week for the new chef and the owners were out of town).

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 10discovery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Ralph and Frank are great hosts. It's obvious they love what they do and they are so fun to be around.

My fiance and I stayed in the Wilde Oscar Suite and loved it. Each morning we looked forward to an amazing three course breakfast where we got to know the other guests and give recommendations to one another. In the evenings, we relaxed over hors d' oeuvres and wine before heading downtown for dinner.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Oscar Wilde Suite but heard great things about all the rooms! Rooms were very clean...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kkepley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My husband and i stayed in the Walt Whitman suite for three nights. We had a wonderful time! The room was gorgeous, and I loved the fire place in the bedroom and bathroom. it was also exceptionally clean and neat. The Innkeepers and the owners were excellent company, and they were always helpful with restaurant recommendations. Oh, and you HAVE to go to the breakfast each morning. I loved visiting with all of the other guests, the owners, and of course Ida Claire and striker Rock. When ever we return, we will go right back to the Whitegate Inn. There is no reason to try anywhere else!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank almsw119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Maya Angelou suite for 2 nights. The MA suite is ADA compliant, so it was very spacious. The bathroom was gigantic! We really enjoyed the whirlpool jet tub.
We have stayed at many B & Bs in Asheville---every time we come we want to try a new one. But, we might just have to make 1889 Whitegate Inn our "go to" Asheville Bed and Breakfast. The owners were friendly, the staff was helpful, and the grounds were beautiful. The breakfast was also delicious! We loved meeting the other guests at breakfast, and the owner made us laugh while we enjoyed our meal :)
Also, if you don't mind a short walk---downtown Asheville was just 1/2 mile away!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sweetcheeknc09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

This Inn is everything and more. From the champagne at arrival, to the delicious breakfasts, to the accommodations, to the in-room spa treatments, we could not have asked for a more relaxing, peaceful romantic weekend away. Frank, Ralph and staff are the consummate hosts. If you plan to visit Asheville, or have a milestone event and want to get away, do yourself a favor and stay at the 1889 White Gate Inn--you won't be sorry!

Room Tip: The Ralph Waldo Emerson room is palatial, with a jacuzzi tub, multi-stream shower and in room fire p...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed in the Walt Whitman suite for two nights. The room was absolutely gorgeous, but the bathroom was incredible (complete with miniature chandelier!). There was a steamer/sauna shower and a jacuzzi tub not to mention a fireplace in the wall that can be used to heat up both the bedroom and bathroom. By all accounts our accommodations were palatial. Ralph and Frank are the perfect hosts. They are are both quite charming and kind. This was our first stay at a B&B so we thought breakfast with strangers may be awkward, but Frank (who is not only a comedian but also very knowledgable and full of useful advice) kept the conversation light and interesting. The food was fantastic. Maybe even better than the restaurants we ate at (which were excellent as well- "Tupelo Honey" and "Strada"). What a perfect place for a romantic getaway! Couldn't say enough nice things about the service, decor, rooms, food, and overall experience. Not to mention, we are a military couple and we received such a warm reception from the owners. Excellence!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage

Address: 173 E Chestnut St, Asheville, NC 28801-2339
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Asheville
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 39 B&Bs / Inns in Asheville
Price Range: $165 - $380 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to our Four Diamond, romantic Asheville bed and breakfast offering majestic Blue Ridge Mountain views only steps from downtown. Our charming Asheville, NC B&B features amazing rooms and private garden cottages with Jacuzzis, fireplaces, flat screen TVs & luxurious amenities. Don't miss out on unforgettable gourmet breakfasts, afternoon refreshments & award winning gardens our Inn in Asheville, and reawaken your senses with amazing treatments at our on-site Asheville spa. Pet friendly units available. A 4 Diamond, Select Registry Property. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
1889 Whitegate Inn And Cottage
1889 Whitegate Inn & Cottage Hotel Asheville

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