Sunday, April 11, 2010

This is what happened.

The Mr. & I had reservations at a bed & breakfast in Irish Hills on Friday night but ended up in a hotel. We've gone to a few B&Bs, which offer a variety of experiences. We don't want the true B&B experience of shared bathrooms and one big breakfast table. Many people choose B&Bs to meet other people and spend hours together getting to know one another. That's lovely, but it's not us. We choose the lodgings that offer private bathrooms. We like the older homes and the ambiance with a few modern amenities. So we had reservations at this old manor that was absolutely beautiful. No doubt about it, one of the prettiest settings I've ever seen. An old white mansion on a lake, what could be better?
The room we requested was the most expensive, $139/night. This was for a room with a jacuzzi tub. Like I said, older home with modern amenities.
When we arrived we were escorted through the owner's living quarters and up a flight of stairs from their kitchen to our room. A room directly above their kitchen and in fact, we could very clearly hear them speaking downstairs after we shut the door. There was a jacuzzi tub with a sign that said no use after midnight. This reaffirmed by theory that there was a sound issue. The cable was out, only a few local channels. Seems like not a big deal but spending the night out in the country with no restaurants nearby and a pretty cold wind blowing, we expected to snuggle in and watch a little TV. We were a bit disappointed with the room itself. Water stains on the ceiling, it seemed drab and in need a little freshening. The bed pillows were flat and the quilt was dingy. And then the straw that broke the camel's back; no shower. What? The website stated private baths in each room, I never thought to ask specifically for a shower!
We weren't there half an hour when we concluded that we didn't care to stay. Especially not at the $139/night rate, which is high by B&B standards.
We went downstairs to the owners to let them know that the room wasn't what we had hoped for and told them exactly what our concerns were and Dean offered them $20 or so for the cancellation. Well, that wasn't going to do. No, we were being charged $139. Despite the information half an hour earlier that we were the only guests during a very slow season, the hostess now informed us that they had refused two other requests for that room for us. Hmm. Well, we felt there was no privacy for our romantic get-away in a room situated directly above their apartment. If we can hear them, they can hear us. And we didn't know there was no shower. Her response was that they never had a complaint before and we could "use the shower down the hallway." No, not for $139 am I going to wander through the house looking for a shower and trying to keep my voice quiet so as not to disturb the people directly under us.
Finally she relented and changed the rate to $135. Wow. I informed her that we were very disappointed not only in the accommodation which was not clearly described on their website but moreso that she was insisting on the entire room rate. This is not typical of B&B experiences and her attitude was devoid of customer service altogether. There was no offer of a reduced rate, the option of choosing another room, nothing.
Dean gave her the cash and as we turned to go saying we were so disappointed in the entire experience the host said, "Yeah, and you're leaving a whole lot poorer too."
Well, that did it.
This woman was a nurse, I had learned while making reservations on the phone. I turned back and said I would think that in the interest of professional courtesy and good business there should be some effort for us to try to meet one another halfway. Additionally, although I would not necessarily criticize the house itself, as I said B&Bs come in many styles; I would expect any inn keeper would want to please their guests and her response to our displeasure would be noted in a review I would add to the website that had referred us to their establishment.
At this point the woman shoved $60 at me without a word and shut the door.
In short, we spent $75 not to stay.
I am willing to accept that there are B&B guests who would not have had a problem with the accommodations and so I really didn't think that the hosts were entirely in the wrong at first. I believed that the lack of a shower should have been disclosed and that the utter lack of privacy should be acknowledged if it bothers the guest. However, the incredibly rude response was the source of my anger.
Ultimately, we left and checked into a hotel with a jacuzzi tub in the room. We went out for a wonderful dinner and had a great evening. I did post a review of our experience. Of course, I'm thankful that we could still afford a hotel room having lost $75. And I'm grateful for the great time we ended up having. Most of all, I find myself most peaceful about the fact that this didn't ruin our weekend. What a wonderful gift from God to have the ministry of the Holy Spirit to allow us to put the unpleasantness behind us and just enjoy one another. This could have put a damper on everything sending us home in anger.
The moral for us?
Never check in without first seeing the room.
Never presume that what you see is what you get.
When in doubt, choose Holiday Inn over B&Bs!
Even if things go wrong, let it go and move forward. Your joy comes from God and never from your wallet or your surroundings. Give anger no place in your heart.


Mrs. Mac said...

This may be the reason my hubby always insists on staying at a Best Western. He doesn't want to share a bath or wonder about noise issues. You had a redeemed weekend and have given God the credit. A wise wife you are, Sister Sara.


Debra said...

Wow. Sounds like this woman is in the wrong profession which is really sad (to spend your life doing what you are not called to do). Perhaps she should be a bookkeeper or something else where she doesn't deal with the public at all. :) I'm so glad you were able to go on and have fun! That's definitely a sign of maturity. Blessings, Debra

Louise said...

Oh, I am SO glad you let us know about this place. After seeing the picture I seriously considered my Fred & I going there for a week-end. NOT! Should let this dear 'lady' know she's lost customers thanks to her rudeness to you & Dean.