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“A Difficult Stay”
Review of Secret Garden

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Secret Garden
Ranked #3 of 8 Ouray B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We have been staying in B&B's for over 30 yrs. and thought the description on TripAdvisor and the Secret Garden website fit us, especially since we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. Upon arriving on Thursday it became apparent that Sara, the owner/chef was not feeling well physically and emotionally. We were sympathetic to learn that she was dealing with complications from a hip replacement that should have healed long ago. She proceeded to talk so much about being interrupted Thursday in getting ready for a party on Saturday that we felt we were just another interruption to her. But we did understand, so the next morning my husband offered to help with the coffee since she was having to walk with a walker. She was extremely rude to him, not once but several times. After we had eaten, although she did not apologize, she did let my husband know what a nice person he was. Speaking of the meal - it was not what we would consider gourmet - sausages and pancakes heated in the microwave, but which is understandable considering how she was feeling. We are very easy-going people and would not have minded jumping in to help create a more enjoyable meal. That is what we have liked about the B&B experience - it is like visiting a friend. In addition to dealing with her crankiness and food that left us wanting, our first night there (in the Devonshire), we were awoken around 3:00, and frequently there after, by what we later found out was the irrigation system. Since my husband was still reeling from her reaction to his offer to help with the coffee I asked her about the noise and received a very argumentative explanation. When I asked if she could turn it off for the remaining time we were to be there (Friday and Saturday nights) she was unreasonable until I suggested she just do it for Friday and we would decide what we would do about Saturday (implying that we would not stay). She did turn it off for both remaining days. The silly thing about this whole issue was that it had rained on Thursday and the grass was soaking wet. Saturday she was able to enlist a friend to prepare breakfast while she worked on her party which made for a more pleasant experience, although the food again seemed lacking - ready-cooked bacon and no bread items to go with our cheese casserole until we asked for something. Sunday she was in a better mood because her party went well and the food she served was better. We understand that she needs to work during the summer as much as possible because, as she told us several times, this money must last her the winter. What would have been nice is a gesture of some kind showing she recognized how uncomfortable and lacking our visit was. The complementary happy hour was forgotten and we were not going to bring it up in fear of getting reprimanded again. It truly was like visiting a cranky aunt!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MES20142014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Secretgardenouray, Owner at Secret Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2014

I am truly sorry and deeply regretful that I was not at the top of my game the first morning of your stay. I apologize that I appeared rude to your kind and generous husband. I remember at that the moment of the coffee assistance he offered I was worried that I would be perceived as not doing my job when he jumped up and offered to help. My face apparently conveyed irritation but it was NOT irritation at him but annoyance at my own physical limitations.
I recall the conversation about the irrigation differently than you do. I recall that it took me a moment to grasp that you had not slept at all well the night before but in my memory I quickly volunteered to turn off the irrigation for both your remaining nights, which I did, right after breakfast. I am sorry that we have different recollections of the conversation.
As far as the pancakes were concerned, I had made those special gluten free ones for you the night before in an effort to expedite breakfast that morning. They do not suffer in the reheating and I was trying to be efficient knowing that I have been struggling a bit on some mornings. As far as the partially cooked bacon is concerned, I do favor that product because it keeps the open kitchen/dining room area that I have free of excessive ambient grease in the air, which I have thought created a nicer breakfast environment. I am glad you asked for bread on Saturday morning, because as you know I had several gluten-free varieties available for you. I imagine my friend did not offer it outright because what she served you was a strata which of course has bread in it.
I am so sorry that I neglected to offer you the happy hour. It was an oversight for which I apologize. As a small token of my sincere regret that you did not have the experience that you hoped for at Secret Garden, I will be sending you a gift from a vendor in Golden. I realize that I cannot redo the weekend, but I hope that you will forgive me and accept my most sincere apologies. I have had many many happy guests and I am truly sorry that you were disappointed in your experience here.

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57 - 63 of 145 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2014

My wife and I were really glad we decided to stay at the Secret Garden. The views were great. It was right by the river. We had the jacuzzi all to ourselves, and the bed was super comfortable! Believe me--I'm a pillow guy, and I left my own in the car because theirs were so soft yet supportive! The house is in a quaint part of town (even though all of Ouray is!), far enough from Main Street to avoid noise, but close enough to easily walk anywhere. The service was great. Sara, the main host, was out of town, but her helpers took great care of us--EXTREMELY accommodating! Make sure to talk about breakfast if you have specific desires. This is a really small town, so they are down to earth, friendly people. But if you are uppity or really Type A, you might want to go to Aspen or Vail. As for us--we love the quaint, charming quality of the Secret Garden. Plus, Ouray is nicknamed the Switzerland of America--so where can you go wrong??

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PTandRachel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

What a great gem in Ouray, CO. Sara, the owner/host of this cozy and delightful B&B is great. She also own a catering business so her breakfast was always delicious. If you are looking for a home-like clean environment...with a hot-tub, this is the place for you!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank Yebel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

Sara is an excellent hostess. She is affable, knowledgeable about Ouray, gracious, and accommodating. she is also really fun to talk to over breakfast.

The house is IMMACULATE and spacious. There are 5 rooms in the house, and we stayed in one of the smaller rooms, which had a queen memory foam bed. we love that she tries to use organic and natural products where possible, and she provides q-tips and REAL maple syrup (it's the little things people, and I despise that 'breakfast maple flavored' stuff). She also has an extensive tea collection, well balanced between caffeinated and herbal teas. The fruit at breakfast was delicious--especially the berries.

We stayed for two nights, and the first breakfast she fed us a meal that was heavy on protein, but had enough slow and fast absorbing carbs to get us through 5 hours of ice climbing with nothing more than a 300 calorie snack (although we were really hungry by the time it ended, lol). It also wasn't too heavy to prevent us from moving around comfortably, which was nice. This was a well thought out meal for the activity we'd planned.

The second breakfast was just as delicious, with lots of fruit, homemade jams (from her own trees), a most excellent and veggie-filled omelet, and a kind of dense bowl-shaped crepe called a dutch baby.

She didn't rush us out, and let us pack and leave at our own pace, which was nice.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Shera X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2014

We stayed for a Friday night. Sara was delightful and gave us good advice on what to do while we were in town. Breakfast was wonderful. The room was great, probably the most comfortable sheets I've ever slept on! I would definitely recommend The Secret Garden to others!

Room Tip: The Devonshire!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

The Secret Garden was a lovely place to hold a fund-raiser event. Sara and her staff served a delicious luncheon for 30 guests and we received many, many compliments for the Austrian menu food. We are grateful to have such a quality caterer in our small town -- thank you!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

This sweet B&B is a gem. The rooms are well appointed. The beds and linens are excellent. Our room had a great view of the morning sunrise on the mountain. Best of all were the homemade breakfasts that Sara makes. She made our stay in Ouray special.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank leeleachman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Garden

Address: 101 6 Ave., PO Box 862, Ouray, CO 81427-0862
Region: United States > Colorado > Ouray
Amenities:
Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Ouray
Price Range: £105 - £118 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Secret Garden 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The sounds of songbirds and gurgling brooks greet you in the morning at Secret Garden, even though we are only two blocks from charming Main Street. Enjoy your custom breakfast, prepared by an experienced caterer, in your room, the dining room, or in our lushly-planted gardens. Relax in our hot tub under the stars. Reserve our entire property for your wedding, reunion, corporate meeting, or any other special event. Sorry, no pets. ... more   less 
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