St. Marys is a charming little village, and overall we enjoyed our stay at Spencer House, but we felt it was lacking in a couple of areas, including value.
On the plus side, everyone at the hotel was very, very friendly and helpful. The location, just two blocks from the water and the ferry landing for Cumberland Island, is ideal. The included breakfasts were enjoyable. Our corner room was pleasant enough, though not overly large. We also liked having an elevator, a rarity in B&Bs in older homes.
As B&Bs go in Charleston, Savannah, Asheville and other popular destinations in the Carolinas and Georgia, Spencer House is not one of the more luxurious, but it is comfortable and well-maintained. As we own a 19th century house ourselves, we understand that old homes like this don't have all the modcons and that the walls are thin and noises carry, but we can live with that.
On the minus side, during the two nights we stayed here our room was never really cool and, especially in the afternoon, felt hot. The B&B has air-conditioning, much needed in this steamy coastal area (it was in the mid-80s by midday when we stayed here, in mid-October), but rooms don't have individual controls, and obviously the owners and staff are more acclimated to hot weather than we are. With the fan going, the room cooled off enough for sleeping, but because the old windows in our room didn't open, the room felt stuffy.
Most significantly, we felt prices here were a little higher than they should be. With taxes, my wife and I paid over $440 for two nights, more than twice what the Riverview Hotel two blocks away charges, and almost twice as much as the DeSoto Hilton in the Historic District of Savannah charged use for a beautiful corner room a day later.
I stay in hotels 50 to 100 nights a year, and I've written more than a dozen travel guidebooks, so I think I have some idea of value when it comes to hotels, and as pleasant as Spencer House is, I don't it quite cuts it in the value department when you compare it with other similar B&Bs in the Southeast.
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