“Website Marketing Misrepresents - Not appropriate for groups - Lovely home and grounds.”
We are a group of three couples, mid-30's, all professionals and parents of young children. Three years ago, after all of our children were young enough for overnight stays with Grandparents, we started a get away weekend trip each Summer. It is something we look forward to all year and keeps us in touch with good friends (we all live in separate cities) and gives us some much needed couple and adult time together. Each couple takes a turn researching, selecting a booking the trip each year. Our goals are to relax, unwind, enjoy fine cuisine & wine and have some fun.
My husband and I were in charge of booking the trip for last Summer (2011). After much research and deliberation we chose the finger lakes as our destination. We had visited the area previously and fell in love with the scenery, wineries and great people. The travel time ranged from 3-5 hours for each couple to Auburn, New York.
10 Fitch advertised on their website a package called "perfect vacation for friends". It explicitly suggests this is for 2-3 couples travelling together. They also have several other small group packages they advertise. We thought this Inn would be perfect for us.
The visit to 10 Fitch started off really well. The grounds and Inn at 10 Fitch were beautiful. The Inn owner was initially friendly and inviting. They had a beautiful patio on which we greeted each other with cold drinks. We made our way to dinner downtown Auburn. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner that was extremely well priced at Moro's Table. We highly recommend it.
The beds and sheets at 10 Fitch are very good quality and make for a comfortable sleep.
The problems began the next day when a member of our group inadvertantly broke a foam lawn ornament that they had picked up to take a closer look at. It was a mistake. The owner was approached, an apology was made and an offer to pay for replacement costs was made (which was accepted by the owner). Despite this, without getting into too many details, the tone of the owners changed after this incident, despite it being a mistake and an apology and payment made. We were treated like scolded children, the atmosphere was cold and tense and we no longer felt welcome. The inadvertantly broken item was placed at the front entrance on a chair on display so that every time we walked down the stair case to common areas or in or out of the inn it was their to remind us of the how angry they were. We felt it was very poor etiquette and very demeaning to us as guests. It could have been handled much better. We are well mannered, reasonable people and this treatment was not justified. Just as one example, I had even brought some local peaches to the Innkeeper as a gesture of kindness.
Lucky for us, we are not the kind to sit idle so we did not spend a lot of time at the Inn. We had booked a winery tour in a limo. We had a great lunch on a patio at one of the winery's. Americana was hands down our favourite winery. It was a great day overall. Very relaxing day, interesting and great wine.
We were happy enough with the transportation company that provided limo service, Finger Lakes Winery Tours. They even sent us a Christmas card four months following our excursion.
The second issue occured the same evening:
It was stateed that the Inn owners have separate quarters. This was important to us as we wanted to feel free to sit in the common areas and socialize as friends without feeling like having to make small talk or not share inside jokes etc. We wanted to have privacy and our own space. We picked this Inn as it only had three suites and therefore we would not be sharing the common space with other couples etc.
At 7:30 in the evening we were preparing for a nice dinner out in our rooms, one room was playing music though a small ipod Doc at a moderate- loud volume but definitely not blaring. The door to the room was open to the hall as we were all socializing back and forth between the rooms. The music was also not offensive in any way. In fact, I am pretty sure it was Carly Simon. The female Innkeeper came down in her bathrobe from her quarters that were unknown to us, directly above us, and her facial expression said it all. She was beyond annoyed with us and demanded the music be turned down so they could enjoy their evening and pointed out that they lived directly above our rooms. This certainly does not qualify as separate quarters. The interaction was awkward and embarrassing. It was like we were teenagers being told off by our disappointed and angry Mother. Because we are decent people, this really bothered us. We were made to feel as if we interupted them and we did something wrong. I reinforce again, that it was 7:30 in the evening. We certainly aren't heavy partiers but we do like to enjoy ourselves, have a few drinks and have a good time.
Following the confrontation, we just left earlier than planned for our dinner reservation, since we felt we could not even laugh out loud following that without causing a stir. We tried to forget about it and the marvelous dinner we enjoyed in the dining room at Mirbeau in Skaneateles, just down the road. Highly recommended dining experience.
10 Fitch is a lovely property and Inn with nice amenities and great location. It is only about a 15 walk to downtown. Unfortunately, we will not return to this Inn as a group or as a couple because we were treated so poorly. We have stayed in many B&Bs, large and small across Canada and New York state and have never encountered this type of disrespect. Considering, we were paying $900/night between 3 couples for the rooms & breakfast alone, I think that we deservered to be treated as guests, given privacy and permitted to play music at 7:30. It is not acceptable for an Innkeeper to present herself in a bathrobe, angry over such an issue.
I don't normally vent like this in reviews, but I really feel that other groups looking to enjoy their stay and be social should be advised. I have also waited 9 months to let things digest and settle before posting so that it would be tempered.
I truly wish I could give this Inn a higher rating but unfortunately our experience there was spoiled by these incidents.
The breakfast at 10 Fitch was good but not as high quality as one would expect at a fine Inn and at $300+/night. The presentation was impressive though.
One final note - Sally - the Innkeeper's Mother was a sweetheart and always pleasant with us.
I do highly recommend the Finger Lakes regions for it's wine, cuisine and generally friendly people.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
31 May 2012
I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations and appreciate the positive things that you did mention in your review of 10 Fitch- our sheets & beds, the decor, grounds and my mom, Sally :) I'm also glad that you enjoyed Moro's Table, your winery/sightseeing tour, and your dinner at Mirbeau.
Report response as inappropriate
As you mentioned, your stay with us was August of 2011 so some time has passed but I do remember your stay with us. The first problem that you mentioned was the lawn ornament that was accidentally broken. It was actually a floating alligator head that was in the middle of our large Koi pond at the back of the property. It was new and had been put in the pond exactly one week earlier to try and help keep out a large blue heron who had been visiting the ponds all summer trying to eat our fish. The decoy was found out of the water laying in two pieces on a large flat rock at the edge of the pond with the fishline and sinker that kept it in the middle of the pond still attached to it. My grown son discovered it after you all had left to go on your winery tour the morning after your arrival. He thought that the heron had broken it, making some kind of comment about how persistent he was and that the decoys obviously didn't scare him because he beat one up! When I went out to investigate I realized that there was no way a bird could have broken it. And how would the heron have put both piece up on the rock next to each other? Yes, it was upsetting to discover because we were trying to protect our beautiful Koi and also to realize that a guest staying in our home must have broken it and left it there. So, I brought it inside and left on the chair in the foyer.
The confession, apology and offer to pay to replace the decoy came after you all came back from the winery tour and saw it sitting there. The person responsible told me they had been "goofing off" and had fished it out of the pond and held the end of it while snapping it to get the water off it and that's how it got broken. I did not leave the decoy there to punish anyone or remind anyone of how angry I was. I was hoping to fix it so I could get it back in the pond and in fact tried to do so with super glue, duct tape but to no avail. I printed out the order from Amazon that I had for it so that you could see where I got it and what it cost and left that with the decoy. I am sorry that this was so upsetting to you and perhaps I could have handled it better but I did what I thought was best at the time and was not trying to make anyone feel bad, I was simply trying to take care of things and get a decoy back in the pond as soon as I could.
The peaches- so sorry! I did not realize that you meant them as a gift to us and hope that you were not insulted when we served them to you for breakfast. I remember you bringing them into the kitchen and saying that you found some local peaches. I misunderstood and do apologize.
10 Fitch is our home and my husband and I do have separate quarters on the third floor of the inn which include 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and a large living room. The entire floor is ours alone and that is where we spend out evenings. All guest suites are on second floor and common areas, including a living room, sunroom, library and outside veranda & deck, are all on the first floor of the inn. We try to make ourselves "scarce" when we have guests so that they have plenty of space, although we do often eat in the 1st floor library and watch a little TV there in the early evening before retiring for the night, usually between 8-9PM. We have had many groups come and stay in our home, as many as 9 laughing, chatting ladies at once, all excited and having a good time and I have never before, or since, had to go down and ask any of them to lower the volume of their music, TV or talking because we could not hear our television. All our suites have iPod docking stations and iPods so I was really surprised when I went downstairs that night and discovered you all were in Equestrian Suite but the music was coming from Garden View! Perhaps you did not think it was blaring but we could not hear our own TV in our separate quarters on the 3rd floor without turning it up to an unbearable level. Yes, I was in my night clothes and I'm sorry that you found it inappropriate and it was just as embarrassing and awkward for me I assure you. I don't recall the time but I am not normally in my night clothes at 7:30.
For those who read this review and my reply I would also like to mention that one couple left behind a phone charger and some envelopes of personal photographs. When we realized that all the guests were gone, they left right after breakfast without saying goodbye, we tried to contact them via their cell to let them know hoping that they might be able to come back to retrieve their belongings if they had not gotten too far away. We were unable to get through and left a message on their voicemail. Several hours, perhaps the next day, I don't remember exactly, the guest who had left the things behind contacted me via email and said that they did not get my message until they were home which was back in Canada, and she said that the photos where very important to them as they were photos of their children and would I please send them to her which I promptly did. The guest paid for the postage.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC