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“Home away from home”

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Bibi's Garden Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #9 of 58 Brooklyn B&B and Inns
Reviewed 29 August 2011

This is a beautiful Victorian house situated in a nice and safe neighbourhood in Brooklyn. A short ride on the subway will take you to the heart of New York City. Bibi, Harry & Stephanie are the most hospitable hosts I have ever met. The house and the hosts have made me feel right at home. Bibi's a magnificent cook, I looked forward to her breakfast every morning. Unfortunately Hurricane Irene passed through NY during my stay there. Bibi has made the most delicious lunch AND dinner for all her guests. I am very grateful to Bibi and her family and will definitely be coming back to visit them again.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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4  Thank Lizontheroad0706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (165)
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Reviewed 25 August 2011

I booked a room for two nights at Bibi's Garden after reading many positive reviews on this site; regretfully my experience was very different from those travelers. I've written several reviews for TripAdvisor, and this is my first negative one.

First, let me start with the positives. My partner and I were in a second-floor room with a queen-sized bed. The room was clean, as was the bathroom, shared with two other rooms. There was a full-size kitchen on the floor, which would be convenient to those who wanted to cook for themselves during a longer stay. The location was also convenient - less than 10 minutes walk to more than one subway station, and to streets with restaurants and stores. The street itself is fairly quiet, although you can hear sirens from the main roads nearby, as is normal for a city.

What I found disappointing, unpleasant, or downright unacceptable:

(1) I emailed the owners a few days beforehand and asked about parking. They did not respond, so I called the night before arriving. Bibi said simply, "There's plenty of parking on the street." First, that's a bit of an exaggeration - there is parking, but you may have to look a block or two away. Second, parking is *not* allowed at all times! Street-cleaning occurs mid-week, and I got a ticket for not moving my car. Now granted, that's my own responsibility as well, but I would expect a long-time innkeeper to mention the fact that the morning after I arrived, I should move my car if I was on the side being cleaned. Ah well, $45 lesson learned.

(2) For a B&B, the breakfast was very ordinary. I should say the first breakfast was okay - toast and scrambled eggs with tomato and spinach, and a fruit bowl (bananas, apples, peaches). But on the second morning, we were served a small bowl of watermelon and canteloupe and ... a toasted bagel. I've eaten at a lot of hotels/B&Bs all around the world, and have to say that I've had much better self-serve continental breakfasts at chain and no-name motels, where there’s at least cereal and oatmeal in addition to a selection of carb options like bread, English muffins, bagels etc. I've never stayed at a B&B where no meat/protein was served as part of the meal, or when a single, very common carb-only item is the sole substantive offering.

(3) The kicker, though, is that the first night, we discovered that there was no blanket, no comforter for our bed, just a sheet. I went down at 10:45pm to try to get something (we'd been out all day, or else we would have asked earlier), but the owners didn't respond - might have been asleep. My partner likes to sleep more warmly than I do, so she had to use her bathrobe. I felt like the room was actually a bit hot with just the window open and the ceiling fan on, but didn't use the AC because I didn't want to make it too cold for either of us. It turned out to be an uncomfortably warm night for both of us.

In the morning, I asked very politely for a blanket, expecting Bibi to express surprise, perhaps even contrition, for the omission of something as basic to a bed as a blanket/comforter! Instead, she responded as if I was asking for a favor, and an odd one at that. Well, in any case, that evening, we returned to find that we did have a blanket - hurray! We ran the AC - which is a separate point I'll discuss after this one - and I slept better than the night before.

The next morning, we went down to breakfast, and my partner said "Good morning" to Bibi as she saw her in the kitchen. No response. We sat down, another woman brought us some fruit and asked us if we wanted tea and coffee (neither of us did), then went to the kitchen, where we heard her tell Bibi "no tea, no coffee." A couple of minutes later, Bibi came out with a pot of tea (a pretext, we realized later on, to accost us), and without preamble, addressed us with accusation, "You asked for a blanket, but you ran the air-conditioner last night!" We were ... well, flabbergasted at the rudeness, the condescending tone of scolding, and the unprofessionalism. Frankly, it should be none of her business how we are choosing to adjust the temperature in our room, and if you're charging $135/night a room, you can afford a guest running the AC in August in Brooklyn. Still, we explained that we had different comfort levels for temperatures, where I was too hot without the AC, and my partner needed a blanket. Bibi didn't acknowledge the normalcy and validity of this situation at all; she in fact tried shortly afterwards to chat to us like she hadn't just been the rudest innkeeper I have ever experienced in my many years of travel.

(4) This B&B is run more like a youth hostel. There are signs everywhere dictating how one is to conduct oneself, e.g. for the bedroom itself, guests are to make their own beds, in the bathroom, ladies are to "remain seated for the entire performance" etc. etc. The room air-conditioner situation fits into this unfriendly regimen - a sign covering the controls states that it has been set to "optimal performance," and settings must not be changed, under pain of having to pay. "Optimal performance" turned out to be 75F, which personally, is okay for me, but I would imagine is not cool enough for others. Also, the AC was set to turn off the *second* some point (probably 75F) was reached, as it would literally turn on and then off in a minute. By off, I mean no cooling, no fan, nothing, so you go from a steady hum to silence. I was wearing earplugs, but I can imagine that for many people, that kind of AC on/off noise could make it difficult to fall asleep.

There were other slightly disappointing things, like a bed that wasn't particularly comfortable, pillows that were too flat, and the lack of a living room area that many B&Bs have, but those aren't things to make or break a visit for me.

I don't really know why my experience was so different. I wondered about possible homophobia, since I had specifically booked a room with a queen-size bed (and had received an email confirmation for that), but Bibi first offered me a room with two twin beds when my partner and I arrived. However, I don't have enough evidence for that, I just know that the service and treatment we received was astonishly unfriendly.

There are enough other accommodation options in the area that I can be very sure of giving Bibi's Garden a wide berth should I ever stay in Brooklyn again.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank Tripperal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

I loved staying here so much. It was an excellent service, VERY nice people and very, very clean! I just can recommend this place to everyone! Best B&B in NYC! The quality of service you get is worth every penny....the breakfast was very delicious - homemade! :)

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Brooke L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2011

We've been staying at Bibi's Garden for the last three years. And we're not the only repeat visitors to this delightful B&B. The accommodations are perfect for a 2-day or a 3 week stay with full kitchens and sitting rooms on the 3rd and lower level floors. Subway stations are just a few minutes walk and provide easy access to Manhattan and other areas of Brooklyn. Area restaurants provide a wide variety of excellent dining options. Bibi & Harry are friendly and take care of you as if you were part of their family. We had to extend our stay last December due to "the blizzard." Our hosts promptly invited all the guests to a barbecue...a Christmas to remember! This May we had to extend our stay twice while we waited for the birth of our first grandbaby...9 days late! We highly recommend Bibi's with it's beautiful garden and friendly hosts!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank ParBaby72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

Bibi, Harry, and Stephanie,

The hospitality demonstrated by these very considerate hosts was phenominal and completely exceeded expectations. The value was great for the services and accomodations that were provided. The subway station was only a couple blocks away and is located in a safe neighborhood.

The house is very clean and well-kept, and the service was outstanding. The hosts completely bent over backwards to make our stay excellent and memorable. They also provided assistance in suggesting good places to visit and dine in New York City.

I would very highly recommend Bibi's Garden to anyone looking to stay in the New York City area.

-David S.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank sudafedcrackerjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bibi's Garden Bed and Breakfast

Address: 762 Westminster Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11230-2402
Region: United States > New York > Brooklyn
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 58 B&Bs / Inns in Brooklyn
Price Range: ₹ 8,020 - ₹ 11,870 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 20 minutes to downtown New York and three short blocks to the subway, Bibi's Garden border B&B is close to the excitement of New York City yet offers all the comforts of home in a quiet and friendly residential neighborhood. Rooms include a delicious extended continental breakfast and fast free Wi-Fi internet. Suites are available! ... more   less 

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