My wife and I stayed two nights at the Carriage House Inn, largely on the strength of TripAdvisor reviews. We weren't disappointed. But everything wasn't perfect either.
First, the positives. Valerie and Jim Mellett are extraordinarily hospitable. Between Val's home cooking and Jim's attentiveness, guests are well taken care of. The Melletts bought the six-room inn in 2010, an ongoing business that had already earned its stripes as a top B&B. The Melletts have only improved on that record.
The centerpiece of the inn is a two-story colonial house with an inviting living room featuring a huge comfortable sofa and a game table. The inn maintains an extensive library of brochures on local attractions, restaurant menus and DVDs. On the other side of the main floor is an invitingly decorated dining room and a sun porch where guests eat breakfast. Three are tables for two, and the big dining table holds six guests.
Nice touches include snacks every afternoon consisting of fresh fruit, fresh-baked cookies and a variety of chips and granola bars. A small fridge stocks complimentary bottled of water and sodas, and an ice machine with plenty of wine glasses, corkscrews and other glassware is laid out for guests. The guest rooms also include small refrigerators and flat-panel TVs with built-in DVDs. The guest rooms in the main house are all upstairs.
One downside is the location, on a busy road at an intersection with a stoplight. On our first night there, staying in Room 3 with open windows, we woke up several times to squealing tires and the rumble of motorcycles. On the second night, we turned on the window air conditioner, which created some welcome white noise.
But the location does have the advantage of being central to the town. Prestigious Shore Drive is just down the street, and downtown Chatham is less than 5 minutes ways by car. The grounds are beautifully manicured, and the parking is extremely convenient.
Breakfasts are solid, and Val offers her own creative touches to supplement the bacon and egg dishes -- from fried apples topped with chipped cream to an exotic mixture of pineapple, mandarin oranges and toasted coconut.
But one big disappointment was the coffee. Unlike many B&Bs, the Carriage House does not have coffee set out for guests on the main floor in the morning. Instead, guests are given in-room coffee makers to make their own Folger's. The coffee that is served with breakfast is ordinary and left us yearning for something stronger.
Another disappointment was the king bed, which turned out to be two twin mattresses that had been pushed together on a king-sized frame. That would have been OK had the mattresses not started to separate in the night. Jim and Val were surprised when we told them in the morning that it wasn't really a king.
Jim and Val are so personable that we almost hesitate to mention these negatives. But a final disappointment came after we accidentally left several items of clothing in a drawer. When we called Jim to ask whether the inn could mail the items, he was less than enthusiastic, implying it was too much trouble and expense. We offered to pay the shipping cost, but ultimately decided to drive out of our way to pick up the items. Mea culpa.
Room 3 is a very nice size, but keep the air conditioner on at night or risk hearing street noise.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC