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“High hopes turned to dissapointment”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Talus Rock Retreat

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Talus Rock Retreat
Ranked #1 of 7 Sandpoint B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“High hopes turned to dissapointment”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

First off, Sandpoint is great. Wonderful food, beautiful lake...quiet and serene. For a five night stay, we chose to stay at Talus Rock because we like B&B's, peaceful settings and something unique and different. I had a few reservations about this place based on some of the previous reviews but the owner assured me we would love it there so we took a chance. A big chance if you consider your booking is non-refundable and non-cancellable which is a lesson we learned on this trip and is something I would carefully consider staying anywhere else ever again.

Talus Rock is a short drive out of town and the house is interesting and the land is quite beautiful. We really enjoyed picking raspberries and exploring the area. Our room, the Syringa suite, was larger than it looked on the photos and had everything we needed, when we arrived. I say that because throughout our stay, we were surprised that none of the kitchen items were stocked up and no one appeared to come into our room to do anything, such as empty the garbage which we would have expected for the hefty price per night. The shower was slimy and some aspects of the room were not that clean but overall, we wanted to enjoy our stay so we overlooked these small issues.

A few notes about staying here that were not what we are used to with B&B's, they ask you to remove footwear at the door but the floor was dirty all the time from the dogs running in and out. If you have allergies to animals, I wouldn't recommend staying here as the animals roam the house.

Out of five nights, the first two were fine. On the third, the resident dog barked for hours at something in the woods throughout the night. We tried to get the dog inside but weren't sure why the dog was left to make that much noise. We mentioned it in the morning to Heather and she was apologetic and we didn't want to make a big deal about it but it put a slight damper on our stay. The fourth night Sandpoint had a major storm and we were without water and power for the entire night and it still wasn't on the next morning. After this we decided we were ready to go. Not knowing if the power would come back on that day, we packed up and asked to check out a night early.

To our surprise, the response we got from the owner was that we would still have to pay for all 5 nights! Full payment for a night kept awake by a dog, full payment for a night without water and electricity and full payment for a night we weren't staying due to these issues. Bringing up these problems, we thought it was fair to only pay the four nights. She agreed, we paid and left.

We understand the power outage is not the fault of the property but as a business owner, you need to be prepared for these things. You can't expect your guests to pay so that you can save a few bucks. Really unprofessional and whatever the excuse for margins, the charity they run, high season...I'm sure they have their reasons, your guests need to feel that their hard earned money is going towards a stay they will be satisfied with. When they are not satisfied, you need to be prepared to deal with that. We certainly left with an uneasy and disappointed feeling and for that, we would not chose to stay here again. There are many good reviews for this place and I'm sure most people enjoy their stay so for the ones that don't have a stellar experience, how that's dealt with makes all the difference in making a place mediocre or great.

Room Tip: Rent a house or condo in Sandpoint instead
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank FluffyBunnyFeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hpedersen, Owner at Talus Rock Retreat, responded to this review, 26 August 2014
Thank you for your candid feedback, as we take it very seriously. If on the rare occasion we receive a negative critique, we immediately meet as a team and go through our checklists and best practices, address the issue and, if something was missing or amiss, we put it right permanently. To err is human, and we do our absolute best to ensure one person’s error doesn’t bring dissatisfaction to a guest. Please see our response to each case in point.

In review of the perceived “slimy feel” of the shower, we believe it was caused by our water conditioning as your stay apparently coincided with a recharge of the water system. We ran a new cycle and this can cause what can sometimes feel slippery. We have adjusted our practices to ensure this does not occur again. The small cleanliness issues are unidentified, so all we can do is a team is make sure that our “I check/you check,I look/you look” strategy maintains strength and integrity.

As mentioned in your confirmation, we do not provide turndown service and therefore do not enter your room to assess personal needs. However, we happily respond to any and every request a guest or guests make and are committed to making all visits and stays with us comfortable and carefree. A guest has only to ask and we will do all we can to answer or fulfill the request, we will happily restock anything requested or remove garbage, however we do our best to maintain personal space and privacy as an act of respect, not inattentiveness. We offered our usual concierge service in a string of emails before arrival and verbally during your stay honoring each and every request from boat rentals, where to eat, town highlights, brainstorming ideas for great days, pet allergy concerns and other family interests and requests.

Yes, we love bare feet (or socked). While our “no shoe” request presented on a fun and whimsical chalkboard is a gentle nudge, we aren’t like the TSA where we demand your shoes be removed. It is not a mosque but a simple courtesy to protect the house for future generations. At the end of the day in the countryside of Idaho, the floors can get a bit dusty and socks, rather than shoes, are welcome and always an option. And yes, Panda, our resident quintessential B/B dog, did bark as we had a moose mother on the property with two calves which caused her some concern. Bear and moose are the two animals and we can’t seem to stop the protection bark immediately. While we do have a delightful steady stream of wildlife through our pond and land, it is not such a routine event she is not a “barker” by any means, however, those large animals close to the house causes her hard wired response to protect and serve. We are sincerely sorry for that nighttime interruption as it is not a customary event. As for the other dogs, they happened to be guest’s approved pets which we do allow but are not the usual circumstance by any means.

Ahhh, the power outage. Yes, this was an absolute unprecedented event, and it was one the longest power outages since 1985. Like the many other lodging establishments around this small town, we, too, were indeed unprepared for one which lasted through the night. In response, we have heavily stocked both the common areas and individual rooms with lanterns and emergency gallons of non-potable water as well as labeled drinking water in response. We are considering a generator and have it on our wish list; as a small business, this $15k fix for a place this size is daunting to us but have come to realize this is something to seriously consider.

In summary, I’m human. The confrontation in front of other guests the morning of your departure caught me completely off guard. While I was trying to assess and plan for the full extent of the emergency to Talus Rock Retreat, which was potentially disastrous, I was a bit frazzled, and unprepared for the lack of understanding and empathy for the situation. I sincerely apologize for not handling the situation with my full attention on your perspective.

Under these trying circumstances, I listened and heard your issues of the impact of the storm and Panda. Only one of these issues did I possibly have control over. I mistakenly thought I had a reasoned dialogue with you, and endeavored to be fair in offering remuneration. I am deeply apologetic, as this certainly does not reflect my usual tact and thoughtfulness. In recollection, I had honestly thought we had come to a mutually agreeable conclusion at the end of what I thought was a nice vacation. I’m left saddened after, what I considered a more than cordial departure with a sympathetic ear backed by a full financial resolution, retaliation was still necessary in this public forum. I am financial cognizant but do not place it above the comfort and satisfaction of our guests. Again, please accept my heartfelt apology. All in all, I do hope someday soon you remember a wonderful holiday with a few unfortunate challenges and decide to return to Talus Rock Retreat and try again. You are always welcome here!
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Meridian, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We chose Talus Rock from a search for elopement packages and are SO glad we did- Heather is a wonderful, accommodating, & welcoming hostess that made it all the more amazing of a stay (as if the scenery & beautiful property wasn't enough)...would stay again & highly recommend to anyone looking for a peaceful retreat

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lovebirds625
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boise, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 June 2014

If your looking for a wedding venue that is out of the ordinary, this is definitely for you! We wanted a simple getaway wedding with close family. They took care of all the dirty work and all we had to do was show up plus our first night stay was included! We had such an amazing stressfree ceremony. We were cared for by a gracious staff that did nothing but make us feel welcome. The retreat is on a breathtaking piece of land that will make you never want to leave!

Room Tip: Arbor room is the perfect "honeymoon" room
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

And if you are so blessed to be able to stay at this wonderful retreat - you simply MUST sleep in the Arbor Room. And don't rush away. When you wake up, watch the songbirds land on your balcony and take time to walk and reflect on the beautiful grounds.

Room Tip: They are all wonderful and unique but the Arbor Room is beyond compare.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ImHilarious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Talus Rock Retreat is a home/ b&b full of love, positivity and peace a few things all of us can use. This place is absolutely beautiful inside and out, and so is the Pedersen family. Thank you an amazing get a way for Joe and I. Keep spreading the love :)

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jklampe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spokane, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 April 2014

After a long few months of travel for work, I was looking for a peaceful weekend getaway; boy did I get that at Talus Rock Retreat. I felt right at home when I arrived at the bed & breakfast and by the time I left I had fallen in love with it. The staff - which you can tell are close as family - were very attentive but not overbearing; there to answer any questions, give suggestions about food/activities and there for friendly conversation. I stayed in the Syringa Suite; it was spacious, had a full kitchen and a beautiful view of the mountains. The main room is where I spent most of my time; breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere. Half the time I sat and read and the other half had great conversations with Heather and other guests. Heather is amazing and by the time I left I felt a part of her family. I am now hoping to make this an annual weekend to Talus Rock Retreat.

Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Liz S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Priest River, Idaho
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

My wife and I stayed in the ARBOR room for her birthday. She told me I earned "1 million points" for this. Wow, the most I have ever received in 14 years of marriage. :-). I recommend this place highly.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Talus Rock Retreat

Property: Talus Rock Retreat
Address: 291 Syringa Heights, Sandpoint, ID 83864
Region: United States > Idaho > Sandpoint
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Sandpoint
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Talus Rock Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the privacy and peacefulness of Talus Rock Retreat for your special getaway. A private, chic, and eclectically elegant timber frame and Tuscan-style retreat, this exceptional property caters to those who appreciate nature combined with old world charm. With 6 individual suites available, the cozy provisions can be enjoyed by a couple for a weekend getaway, a romantic honeymoon, a pristine mountain vacation, or a simple get-away to enjoy rejuvenation and inspiration. Or, take the tranquil villa in its entirety to accommodate an intimate extended family reunion of up to 24 people, a spectacular rehearsal dinner, an indoor catered holiday gathering, or a corporate or other non-traditional, informal group affair. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Talus Rock Retreat Hotel Sandpoint
Talus Rock Retreat Sandpoint, Idaho

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