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“Grouchy Inn-Keeper and dirty room ruined our stay.”

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Cairn House Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Elk Rapids B&B and Inns
Reviewed 12 August 2009

We stayed at the Cairn House Bed and Breakfast to celebrate our anniversary. We were planning on spending most of our time in Traverse City, and this bed and breakfast seemed out of the way, and the rate was reasonable.

We arrived at the bed and breakfast, and it looked just like the picture in the website. We were greeted by the inn keeper. To be honest, I cannot even remember her name. We were shown our room. We had booked the Oriental Impressions Room for $135 a night. The house was beautiful, decorated like one would expect most bed and breakfast's to be: frilly, flowery, and like a grandma's house.

We had a private bath, and a king sized bed. At first glance, everything seemed nice and neat. However, I went into use the bathroom, and found a razor blade in the toilet. Upon fishing it out, throwing it away, and using the restroom. I proceeded to wash my hands when I noticed the toiletries on the sink. There it was, shampoo, lotion, conditioner, and even MOUTHWASH that was OPEN and half gone! The toiletries were open and used! They had not been replaced. I started to wonder what else had not been done in our room. Had the sheets been changed? Had the towels been washed?
We were the only ones staying at the Inn that night, but we were strictly told that breakfast was from 8:30-9:30. We were not asked what we would like, and we were very disappointed. We were served fruit, muffins, and a breakfast burrito. It was not very good, and we were not even left to enjoy breakfast in peace. The Inn Keeper decided to sit and watch us eat, rambling on and on about her travels abroad. She kept talking about how disappointing it was to have to pay $45 a night to stay abroad when she was "volunteering" her time. I wanted to slap her. I am sorry, but when you stay in a third world country, even if it is to volunteer your time, you do not complain about having to pay a very small amount for accommodations. If you are volunteering, you are not on vacation! Annoyed, we excused ourselves as soon as possible, and proceeded to go to our room, gather our things, and get on with our day. This was a shock to us, having stayed in many of the area's bed and breakfasts inn's before, we had always been treated like royalty, and were sad that this was not the case during this stay.

The next day was no better. Breakfast was some awful blueberry and cream cheese baked bread, with super sweet (homemade) syrup. The Inn Keeper kept going on about how she makes absolutely no money running this place. It was apparent that she does not enjoy being a hostess, and my husband and I could not help but stifle laughs when she mentioned not being booked at capacity this season. Perhaps it was her personality that prevented people from coming back.

I would never recommend this Bed and Breakfast to anyone. We were practically ignored until breakfast, there were no special mention of our anniversary, although there was a place to list if we were celebrating anything special on the reservation. I am not sure the room was cleaned before we arrived, and the toiletry issue was simply disgusting. It also would not hurt for the towels to have been washed with a bit of fabric softener!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Horsemad27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rosebud0, owner at Cairn House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2009

I take pride in my Bed and Breakfast and my first priority is the comfort and welfare of my guests. Had you made your concerns known at the the time of your stay, I could have addressed them and hopefully we could have worked them out to your satisfaction.

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Reviews (84)
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78 - 84 of 84 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2009

My friend and I drove up from Ann Arbor for a 2 day trip to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival, and after doing a bit of online searching, found the Cairn House Bed and Breakfast. When we arrived there, we saw it wasn't that far from Traverse City at all, maybe 10-15 minutes. Helen, our host, was so nice, attentive, and had the best stories. I almost didn't want to leave the house, I just wanted to sit in the yard and hear her life adventures. The room was very comfortable and clean. The en suite bathroom was also very clean (great shower!). In the morning, Helen made us a delicious breakfast: french toast with fresh berries and bananas; she bakes her own yummy breads too! I plan to stay there again in the future. Thanks for a lovely stay!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank PlanetCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

We enjoyed the room accomodations as well as the good company in the morning that was served up along with delicious food. Thank you!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank morganfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2009

Lovely home with a great yard and wonderfull landscaping. Our room with the king bed was great. Our hostess was very friendly and has great stories to tell about her travels around the world. Food was great. We really loved the hickory wood floor. Price was lower than most in the area. Great value for the money.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank dicknbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2008

Cairn House is run by Helen, a welcoming and gracious hostess, who goes out of her way to welcome guests and accomodate their individual needs. The house is beautifully kept up and clean. The bed was comfortable and the breakfast delicious! I would highly recommend staying here. It is an oasis of quiet comfort located in beautiful surroundings near the charming town of Elk Rapids.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank owlladymi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2008

We stayed at the Cairn House for one quick night, and wish we could've stayed longer! We will definately be back.
We stayed in the Northern Reflections room during a break in our drive along the coast for a fall color tour. Helen knew we would arrive late, and was extremely gracious in accomodating us. Not only did she have restaurant suggestions at the ready, she offered tips on discounted meals and quicker entry (to make it past the lines!). Due to our brief weekend trip, the fact that we planned to rise early and leave before breakfast didn't bother Helen at all - In fact she went way beyond our expectations. She had a special breakfast prepared for us, complete with homemade breads, homemade juices, and a phenominal egg strata. She had fresh coffee brewed, and offered suggestions on places to stop for the best sunrise photographs.
We really look forward to our next stay at the Cairn House Bed and Breakfast - whatever the time of year.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank MichiganKatie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2008

The room was small but very clean, comfortable and elegantly decorated. The landlady was very hospitable, warm, welcoming, helpful and friendly and cooked a great breakfast.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank WalrusGumboot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cairn House Bed and Breakfast

Address: 8160 Cairn Hwy, PO Box 858, Elk Rapids, MI 49629-9310
Region: United States > Michigan > Antrim County > Elk Rapids
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Elk Rapids
Price Range: £73 - £119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cairn House Bed and Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An elegant colonial style home, Cairn House Bed and Breakfast, a Northern Michigan Bed and Breakfast, welcomes you to enjoy this serene natural setting near the coastal village of Elk Rapids, MI on Lake Michigan, twenty miles north of Traverse City, Michigan. Cairn House B&B takes pleasure in sharing the elegant furnishings collected from around the world. Relax in front of the fireplace in our formal living room or retreat to the sun room to enjoy a good novel. ... more   less 

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