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“Still wonderful but with just a little effort could be fabulous”

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Inn at Montchanin Village
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Montchanin
Certificate of Excellence
Lambertville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
318 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
“Still wonderful but with just a little effort could be fabulous”
Reviewed 21 January 2013

We’ve just arrived home from another stay, another fantastic stay, at the Inn at Montchanin Village, feeling calm and serene, as if we had had a week’s vacation even though it was only a couple of days. At its best, Montchanin has this magical quality of pampering and soothing and I say this as someone who’s been going there for some 15 years (if I figure it right). I adore this place.

Could it be better? Yes. For however many years I’ve been going, the inn has been somewhat mercurial when it comes to staff quality (this time around it was terrific but it does vary). I think the inn’s marketing staff (if there is a marketing staff) is downright useless – as someone who lives within easy weekender distance, an occasional email touting new stuff, last minute deals, new menus at the divine Krazy Kat’s would definitely result in increased awareness. And obviously increased patronage.

This time we were in Bradford (not one of my favorites here – where I really love Morgan and Lamotte and Coleman and, in a splurge, Jefferson) but still, the rooms to me, are just beautiful. We especially loved that the smallish bedroom looked out on the rare green tree in January (meant to ask what it was but forgot!), so it's a pretty view all year long. Well equipped with everything you need (one night we dined at Krazy Kat, another we ordered apps at the BCC gastro pub for dinner later and heated them up in the microwave). Great details: A good, really good corkscrew, not a cheap one. Two cans of three kinds of soda (Coke, diet Coke, Sprite), nice touch. Lots of bottled water. TV tables if you want to dine in (great touch). Fireplace. Lovely bath products (sorry, I did take the shampoo home with me, it’s a lovely memory). Comfortable bathrobes (though a tad worn, might be time for replacements), generous towels, good bedding, thoughtful lighting. Free WiFi.

Sure there could be improvement. The carpet up the stairs in our two-level suite was dirty and stained. Either clean it or replace it. The towel warmer didn’t work, the hot water ran out on our day of departure, the bathtub drain had a tacky rubber stopper (though the tub itself was perfect and deep). There was no “do not disturb” sign available and housekeeping, doing the lovely turndown, walked in on us both nights (one night, when we had a reservation on record at Krazy Kat, the hotel should have known better). Also, the queen sized bed (frankly the room could have supported a King), seemed...mushy, despite the great sheets. The mattress felt old. Ick and ugh.

None of this is a huge deal, but as frequent travelers we notice details. It’s these details, and they are all small ones, that make the difference between the Inn at Montchanin and a Relais & Chateaux property. If the owners of Montchanin wanted to be part of the R&C umbrella they have the basic foundation but it’s all in the details (and of course, if it went R&C it would be more expensive and probably more pretentious).

Two final things. I love the idea of the barn’s common room, with its honor bar. It’s potentially a lovely space for “residents” to relax in. But: Ugh. The execution is poor (when we got there at 7:15 p.m. there were few clean glasses left, the area was dirty and un-kept up, and the drinks were rather expensive $9 for indifferent wine that you pour yourself). Also the lighting was too bright. Could be a bit more subtle. By the way, one difference we noticed in the year or so since we’d last been to Montchanin is that Krazy Kat now has a bar and it’s a great addition but sort of odd, too, so if the Barn was available it would be preferable for a pre-dinner aperitif.

It did seem to me that the inn was under-staffed, again, something that would keep it from a higher quality level (from trying to make reservations and getting a "please hold please hold please hold" message to check-out, in which a housekeeper was trying to manage 6 different rooms, at check-out time (which should be no surprise), and handle reservations calls. Bad management.

And the last thing? Because I really do value TripAdvisor as a place to get information, especially on hotels, I find that inns/hotels that neither respond to criticism nor praise send a message that they’re not responsive to their own customers. And it does appear that the staff of The Inn at Montchanin either isn’t aware of TripAdvisor or doesn’t care. That’s a concern for me. Not enough to prevent me from returning. But just enough to sow a seed of doubt – and that does influence our vacation decisions.

Room Tip: The rooms vary depending on category and it's a good idea to call the inn directly. I will say t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Carolyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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253 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
181 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2012 via mobile

This elegant inn features exquisite American (and some European) antiques in totally renovated environments that bring together the best of old and new. Package prices, at least at the holidays, effectively turn this into a bed-and-breakfast. No meals otherwise are included in the very steep prices. Packages also offer tickets to wonderful historic nearby attractions and the exquisite Longwood Gardens. We initially requested the Jefferson Suite, which we did not like: gorgeous bathroom with jacuzzi but the sitting room was tight with an awkward layout. We moved to the much better and more spacious DuPont one-room "suite," which was $100 less per night and had a perfect layout for me and my husband. The gorgeous furnishings were accompanied by a comfy Berber carpet, grand new bath with two-person tub, majestic high ceilings and a small kitchenette. The gas fireplace was a very nice addition, welcome on the frigid nights of our stay. The package also included one $60 dinner credit at the on-property Krazy Cats Restaurant, where two will likely eat for $150 or more. It's a good, but not outstanding, restaurant. In all, this place is a treasure, but be mindful that it is akin in price to Relaix Chateau in Europe. My few quibbles: front-desk staff are very nice, but not all were familiar with the area. Also, the TVs are small for an inn of this quality. The workout room also is small, though not bad. We did not sample the spa. These are minor points in an otherwise fabulous place to rejuvenate away from home.

Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank EmilyMartha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2012

Stayed in the Inn for business and was quite pleased with the cleanliness and spaciousness of my room. The grounds are beautiful and very pleasant to walk around, but be very careful after dark as they are very poorly lit and consist of multiple stone stairs and walls. Bring a small flashlight with you if you have to wander around after dark. I'll be back.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sdr19899
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2012

I think another reviewer summed this up best - comedy of errors is accurate. The Inn itself is beautiful. The rooms are gorgeous along with the main lodge. We stayed in the Carpenter House and had all of the rooms rented. No one really gave us a tour - we found a conference room and fireplace on the first floor - we weren't really sure if we could use the space or not. Three items stick in my mind regarding our stay. 1. The bed was so uncomfortable, we debated on whether or not to sleep on the floor. Bed was as hard as a rock. Plus it was a small bed, I think a double, but for two people it was kind of squished and we are thin in stature. 2. The toilet was a little tricky - but that may be because we stayed in one of their older houses, not sure. 3. Trying to get our bill worked out was a JOKE. Since there were so many of us (family got together for Thanksgiving) we each paid for different items - like breakfast and drinks. All of the charges were placed on different rooms and when I went to pay for the breakfast + drinks, they took all of my credit card info, but never charged it and then charged another room in our party. It was all very strange - it's like no one double checked anything.
I will say that our room was spotless. Someone came to tidy up twice a day. I am a neat freak and did not find one bit of dust anywhere. Really clean rooms,
Krazy Kats is their onsite restaurant - which was good, but their customer service was also horrible!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank caroliner0101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan Capistrano, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Having left our B&B days behind, we regularly stay in upscale hotels and international resorts. We have been coming to Delaware for 20 years, and never knew a place like this existed, or we would have come here before. We had 3 adults, an adult-size teen and a 7 year old staying in the Morgan suite, which consisted of a cozy sitting room downstairs; a steep and narrow European-style staircase, a large master suite with large bathroom, and a bedroom with two twin beds and its own large bathroom. My husband and I are stomach sleepers, and we both commented on how comfortable the mattress was... even though we just purchased our own new mattress a year ago. The rooms were decorated with minor antiques and felt homey, but not fussy as you would find in a B&B. The exterior area looked as though we had taken a step back in time. The fitness center was smallish (one cross trainer, one treadmill, weights, etc.) but no one was there when I was there, so the size didn't matter. I made the mistake of waiting until the week we were going to make spa reservations, and the times left were not convenient to me, so did not get a chance to try it.

Both the hotel manager and restaurant manager were very service-conscious in working with my husband. We held the 80th birthday for my Mother-in-Law in the Crow's Nest above the Krazy Kat restaurant. We had sixteen people, and my husband custom selected the menu and spoke extensively with the chef. He had forgotten to order flowers, so at the last minute they found flowers for us. The food and service were excellent... the best I've ever had in Delaware, and everyone wanted to come back and do it again next year. Indeed, the food was ample as well. All in all, if I had a chance to see the other rooms, I would definitely consider the venue for a wedding reception and wedding "housing." We had a great stay and would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SanJuanCapoMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2012

The Inn has cozy lounge with a large fireplace, honor bar in the evening, hot coffee all day, comfy chairs, and several seating areas. The staff is helpful in every way. The rooms are well equipped with TV, coffee makers, nice bathrooms, and plenty of room. The Krazy Kat's restaurant is in the complex and has excellent food from breakfast to dinner, along with support for groups. All in all, a great place to stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob-WorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2012

This is supposed to be an historic inn with impeccable service. What it is, unfortunately, is a comedy of errors and excuses when it comes to customer service. Lost dinner reservations, spa reservations and make excuses such as this department didn't do this or that. Worst of all, Jessica the manager takes no responsibility nor does she offer compensation for time lost and aggravation - simple things like a free dessert or late check out, etc. The front desk personnel are rude and indifferent - but no wonder, they mimic the attitudes of management. A total disappointment.

Room Tip: Choose another Inn
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jake4352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Inn at Montchanin Village

Property: Inn at Montchanin Village
Address: 528 Montchanin Road, Montchanin, DE 19710
Region: United States > Delaware > Montchanin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Montchanin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Inn at Montchanin Village 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small hamlet, once used by workers, has been converted to a hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Inn At Montchanin Village Hotel Montchanin
Village Montchanin
Inn Montchanin
Inn At Montchanin Village Delaware

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