Circa 1886. Situated on Shelter Island between North and South Forks of Long Island, New York, Olde Country Inn was built in 1886 and has been renovated for comfort. The old English décor and Victorian charm has ...
La Maison Bland
The hotel is a solid middle ground stylistically between the Chequit and Sunset Beach hotels in terms of direction. Not as “Euro” as the high end Sunset, and not as “Stodgy” as the old school Chequit and its priced in between them both accordingly. That said, La Maison Blanche neither hits the high end “Surprise and Delight” of Sunset Beach in terms of service or amenities, nor the solid value (and location!) of Chequit. Doing nothing all that well, the hotel leads me to call it “La Maison Bland”
My wife and I stayed in Room Number 2 in the carriage house in mid-July, a room I was promised would be "romantic" when I booked directly with the hotel in March.
First off, the price is $400 per night during high season - for that you get a VERY small room. I appreciate good design, and lots can be done in tight spaces, however this hotel misses the mark in design detail. As others mentioned the TV has exposed wires and looks 2nd rate. They've placed the mini-fridge next to the bed as a "nightstand" and covered the top of the fridge with $5 water and junkfood. Mind you this is 4 inches from your face when you're sleeping and there's no extra room on the fridge for personal belongings. My first night I couldn't sleep with the clicking and whirring of a refrigerator condenser. If you know that noise, imagine you have to endure it several inches away from your face all night just to keep some pepsi cold that you have no intention of ever purchasing (a mini mart like this shoved in your face in a $400 per night room is incredibly tacky in my opinion). Bedding was OK, and if you like stiff and overstuffed pillows that destroy your neck you’re in luck! Mirrors in the room were in akward places, rotting wood by the foot of the bathtub and an ever constant stream of ants from the window to our sink made for lower rankings from this reviewer, but it was the lack of WIFI that was the biggest miss. Though “Free WIFI” is advertised on their website, a staff member told me that the WIFI was in the main house only. For me personally this meant my online Sirius subscription on my phone would be inaccessible and my personal playlists saved “in the cloud” couldn’t be played. How a $40 router and WIFI extender is beyond the capabilities of the hotel is beyond my comprehension. My romantic getaway was diminished as a result (or at least the hours spent developing the perfect weekend playlist rendered a waste of time). Again, good design in small spaces is about usability, and this room was poorly thought out, and in my opinion and priced at least $100 too high relative to competition on the island especially without WIFI.
And then there is the service. After hearing the back cottage gets no WIFI, I was referred to the manager who met my questions with a blank stare. While he promised to resolve the issue the next day – he never followed up with me, nor was the issue ever resolved. I had to ask twice to have the items cleared off the refrigerator so I would have room for a drink of water leading a desk clerk to announce that she would “do it herself” and she marched to the room to remove the mini-bar despite my plea to simply have the maids do it while we were at dinner. The way that scene played out (as awkwardly as possible) gave me the impression the staff are overwhelmed. With only 8 rooms, I’m pointing the finger squarely at management and not at college kids working their way through the summer.
While on the plus side the hotel offers fine food, a lovely back porch and a good (if a tad small) pool with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. The free bikes were a godsend, but also a must given the location (the hotel claims easy walk to the beach but trust me that hill is a killer even with a bike on the easiest gear) – as others have mentioned why offer ramshackle bikes in various states of condition? If you’re a “design hotel” why not have new bikes? Or at least uniform looking and all in similar working condition? But I digress, this hotel offers the broad strokes of good design, while missing the details. The clincher? On my way home on Sunday evening I received an email from the hotel – were they offering me a discount to make good on my complaints? Perhaps a personal note from the manager? Nope. The email offered directions to La Maison Blanche and wished me well for my upcoming stay. The reservation dates in the past clearly on the email, but still joyfully welcoming me on my “upcoming stay.” I can find no better way to summarize my stay with this disorganized hotel. Given the price and the competition on the island, it is unlikely I will be back.
|My ratings for this property|
What a great find!
My husband and I stayed here in August and had a lovely time. The proprietors are a pleasure. Its big enough not to feel like you are in someone's house but small enough to have the opportunity to get to know everyone, if you want to! We loved it.
|My ratings for this property|
At A Glance
50% would stay again
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