My husband and I (both late forties) stayed at the Thorncroft in August. We were swayed by the AAA rating. I intend to investigate with AAA as to why they consistently rate the Thorncroft so high. It's a mystery to me. Unfortunately we did not have Internet access just prior to arrival and couldn't go to the Trip Advisor reviews. Even those reviews may have swayed me to stay. I'm glad most of the reviewers had a good experience; wish we could say the same.
At $400 per night, I feel the right to expect more than average. We arrived early afternoon and were anxious to get out and explore. Karl, a rather stiff but very polite gentleman, sat us down in the parlor and droned through what appeared to be a well-rehearsed script, going through the history of the inn, the couple's history, etc., and mercifully finally described the inn's copyrighted to-do manual for Martha's Vineyard (which is very informative and was much appreciated). However, with ALL of his chatting he never once mentioned that Vineyard Haven is a dry town and you can't get a cocktail anywhere; you must BYOB to a restaurant. Most folks would want to know that before going to a VH restaurant! You can only get a cocktail if you go to Oak Bluffs or Edgartown. Everyone we met during our stay mentioned that as soon as they heard we were staying in VH.
To finally end the introductory monologue we mentioned we were from NYC and very versed in finding our way around maps. He responded "My condolences." I was shocked. I think it's a huge customer service error and frankly downright rude to disparage where your guests have come from.
On the way to our room we passed the AAA Award hall of fame. Plaque after plaque after plaque. So much for charming B&B artwork. In my opinion one plaque would have sufficed with a notation of the consecutive years earned. I'm looking for charm in a B&B, not a brag wall.
We were shown to our room and I must admit I was disappointed. Not surprising for a B&B, it was small, but the layout was quite awkward. Sorry I do not remember the room number, but it was directly over the dining room in the main inn (so you could hear all the lovely traffic on the main road into Vineyard Haven in the morning).
The bed looked directly at the toilet (photo attached). If you didn't have the door closed that was your view. The online literature stressed that many rooms have jacuzzis, fireplaces, or balconies. We were 0-for-3. This was a mystery to me because the Inn seemed fairly empty. We didn't see many cars parked nor see lights on when we returned in the evening, we didn't hear many guests, and we ate alone in the dining room in the morning. Why weren't we given one of the nicer rooms for that price???
The bathroom was cramped, and in decor not unlike the Days Inn we stayed in on our way to MV (photos attached). There were cheap vinyl roll-down shades with K-Mart feel lace valances in both the bath and bed rooms. If you were at the sink you couldn't open the door to get in (and since the closet was in the eave of the bathroom you do have to get in). When blow drying your hair at the sink, your elbows hit the wall on either side. The generic beige floor tiles had cracking grout and there was a faux-tile shower surround with another cheap lace curtain on plastic rod/rings. A cheap chrome Delta faucet didn't match the other bronze-finish fixtures. No shower cap or shoe-shine cloth. Completely run-of-the-mill motel style. Really, for $400/night?
The bedroom: minimal artwork which lent very little charm (see photos). The online site said there were some flat-screen TVs, but on top of no FP, no jacuzzi, no balcony, there was no flat-screen (so really we were 0 for 4). The type of TV is not a big deal to me at all, but again we wondered exactly which amenity we paid so much for.
The location of the TV (see photo) became an issue as well. It was on a desk near the wall adjoining another room, and I can only guess that the folks in that room had their headboard right up against that wall. We were watching a quiet, romantic movie at around 11:30 and they knocked on our door and asked us to turn it down. We were shocked that they could hear us. It didn't take long for us to conclude they were probably hearing a lot more than the TV. To accommodate them we turned it down so low that in order to hear the ending we both sat on the floor in front of the foot of the bed.
My husband flipped through the books in the room and said, "you know, we are right above the dining room and previous guests are warning that if you're "busy in bed" in the morning the chandelier will shake. Very relaxing. It turned out nobody was in the dining room but we didn't know that. However, we could hear the clinking of food prep and setup.
As another reviewer mentioned, at 8:55 in the morning the cleaning staff was out in the hallway vacuuming on the other side of our heads. Our breakfast seating was not until 9:30. I stuck my head out the door and said, "Is there some reason you are vacuuming outside the rooms at this time?") They immediately put the cleaning items down and went downstairs. We mentioned this to Karl, and he said he would speak to them about it, but I noticed another reviewer mentioned the same thing had happened prior to our stay. Perhaps they didn't mention it to Karl, but how does he not know what time his staff is cleaning?
A bright spot: Karl's breakfasts are inventive and very filling. I'm not sure sure I want a heavy breakfast burrito for breakfast, but I was game and it was interesting. We were both pleased and were not hungry for some time after. Dining service was excellent. Well, we were the only ones in the dining room! I recommend you go down for breakfast rather than in the room to at least get your money's worth on that. From what I hear in other reviews the breakfast delivered to the room is very basic. Breakfast was the only thing in my opinion that made the price we paid somewhat palatable.
We walked the grounds, and based on the B&Bs we explored (we made a point of it for a future stay) in other MV towns, Thorncroft's grounds pale in comparison. They are very woodsy, yes, but little of that garden cottage feel I want to have at a B&B. We looked at B&Bs in Nenemsha, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown (all mostly lower and some a similar price range), and they were overflowing with baskets, fountains, garden accents, etc. Really lovely. I have a vacation home in PA and if I want woodsy I'll go there. In the instance of a few inns we were really interested in, they let us view some vacant rooms. The rooms did not feel as "generic" as the one we had at Thorncroft.
In summary, I will say I wish we had the experience it seems the majority of other folks have had, but for my money I was sorely disappointed and frustrated I hadn't chosen somewhere else on the island. Next time it will probably be Edgartown, where you can be on a side street but still walk into town. It's a much livelier town in the evening as well (probably because VH is dry and fairly desolate by 10). Oak Bluffs is not as upscale as Edgartown but fun as well (ask someone about the late-night bake shop - heavenly!), and the B&Bs have just as much if not more to offer for much less money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thorncroft Inn is a romantic, secluded, first class, exclusively couples oriented, fourteen room country inn situated in three restored buildings on 2½ acres of landscaped treed grounds, in an area of summer estates in the West Chop area of Vineyard Haven, on the Island of Martha's Vineyard. The inn specializes in honeymoons, anniversaries, engagements and birthdays. Most of the inn’s bedrooms have working fireplaces; some have furnished balconies, private exterior entrances with private porches, two person whirlpools or private hot tubs. All room prices include renowned concierge service, full country breakfast in our dining room or breakfast in bed, wireless and wired high-speed internet access. ... more less
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