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“We had a nice time, but...”

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Henderson Castle Inn
Ranked #6 of 6 Kalamazoo B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Paw Paw, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“We had a nice time, but...”
Reviewed 1 February 2014

My summary of our stay at Henderson Castle B&B:

The food was very good. We had a 4 course meal of Tomato Bisque soup, bread, Flounder over rice and a Creme-Puff type of dessert. For breakfast we went with the continental breakfast option which included a fruit plate, coffee, orange juice and whole grain oatmeal. It was pretty much what you would expect for a continental breakfast in any other nice hotel.

The mansion is amazing. We were allowed to explore at your leisure as long as nobody was occupying a room, but the entire mansion was book on this night, so we couldn't see what the other rooms were like.

The staff was very friendly and courteous and service was excellent.

We stayed in the "Miracle Room" aka the "Donjon" room that is in the north tower of the mansion. The room is not what they advertise it to be in the photos on their web site. Their web site shows a larger square room with a Queen sized bed and we were in a round room (it was in the tower) with a Double bed. Also the room seemed unfinished, like they had just completed the remodeling and never bothered to finish up with the decor. The walls were bland, and the room only had an electric heater.

All this I could forgive, except that the bed in this room was way too short for me to sleep. I kept either bumping my head on the headboard, or hitting my feet on the foot board. WiFi in this room kept going in and out so I had to use my own mobile connection.

In conclusion, because the pictures on their web site are not necessarily representative of what you will actually get. for a room, I would recommend (if you can) take a tour of this amazing mansion before you book a room. That way you can get a feel for all the different rooms and make an accurate choice. The food was fine and the staff was friendly. It was a bit pricey, but we had a good time there. Too bad I didn't get a lick of sleep though.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Joe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Hello Sir,

Thank you very much for your review. I appreciate your comments. I just realise the mistake on our part as far the wrong room description and picture of the room between the Tower and the miracle room.I will communicate that matter immediately to our web master to remedy the issue right away.

Best regards,

Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2014 via mobile

I took my leadership team there for the 4 course lunch. Our waiter, Mike, was attentive and very good. The food was fresh and we immediately said that we would come back in the summer. The dining room was very comfortable and the table was set with crystal and china. The staff was very nice in giving us a tour of the facility. Some have said they will return for a personal outing. Great place for a good meal.

Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Dear madame,

I want to thank you personally to take the time to wright your review on your experience at the castle.It means the world to me as we use them to improve our self all the time.

Truly yours,

Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mattawan, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 January 2014

Can not say enough about the Castle. Every visit is incredible. The food is a reflection of pride by this owner. Every dish is magnificently prepared and beautifully plated. The staff is as warm and inviting as the Castle itself. Put this on a bucket list of places to visit!
Enjoy!

Room Tip: Look on line and select. You will not be disappointed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ldoorlag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
It is always such a pleasure to read such positives comments , thank you so much for taking the time to do so . See you soon ,

Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

I had my wedding here at the castle on Dec 22nd 2013 and I can't say how much we loved it! Everything was gorgeously decorated for the Christmas atmosphere and we didn't have to do much at all to add to it. The staff was also wonderful to work with and always answered all of our questions promptly. They also helped us out so much on the wedding day with set up. We had our ceremony inside on the beautiful staircase, and the staff was able to accommodate all of our 90 guests. Many people said it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies they had ever seen!
We then had a cocktail hour and the bartender (who was great and very knowledgeable/experienced) made a specialty candy cane martini just for our event. Guests were also free to look around the castle and loved seeing all of the different rooms and architecture. Dinner was amazing also! We had chicken, pork, or stuffed peppers with creamy tomato soup, rolls, and salad. The cake was custom designed by their pastry chef and made to look like a stack of Christmas gifts, everyone was very impressed and thought it was very unique.
We had the reception upstairs in the ballroom and it was really fun. The DJ that the castle provided was great and took requests and did games with the guests all night long. We also had a photo booth upstairs which the guests loved (provided by studio 616). At the end of the night, my bridesmaids and I went up into the rooftop hot tub with our wine which was a perfect end to the night. Many of our wedding party and family members went down into the "man cave" to enjoy some after party drinks with the bartender which was a great way to wind down after the party.
We rented out the castle for 24 hours so my wedding party and family all stayed the night in the castle. It was a great night and we had a true French breakfast in the morning which was delicious.
I had such a great experience at the castle and it honestly exceeded my expectations. I planned this wedding from Virginia since my husband and I go to school there so I was a little worried about how things would turn out, but the staff was so great and knowledgeable that many guests said that it was the best wedding that they had ever been to. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my experience. My husband and I will definitely be back to the castle to celebrate anniversaries in the future!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Bonjour Madame,

That is a beautiful review on our performance at the Henderson Castle. Thank you so much. We work very hard to try to please every one all the time for any occasion , especially for any wedding.
This is why we certainly won the Best wedding venue in MI 2013 brides and editor choice from the knot magazine . I will make sure than all my staff read it as they will enjoy your comments I'm quite sure. Again thank you so much and we will see you on your anniversary oif not before .

Love,

Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
70 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We attended a family wedding at Henderson Castle. The castle is actually a large Victorian mansion set up on a hill. It was a very lovely winter wedding destination. The exterior and interior was decorated for Christmas and looked especially beautiful in the evening. The staff was very nice and helpful if a little inexperienced. They really worked hard to make the event special. The woodwork, stained glass, bathroom fixtures are all original/period. The bedrooms vary in theme/decor and were very clean. Each has something interesting whether it's a period ceiling, fireplace, or tile. There are great steam and sauna rooms available. My only recommendations are more staff training for large events, upgraded bed linens, and a seating area to read in. I would stay again if I were in the area.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank atdrg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 15 February 2014
Hello ,

Thank you very much for your review. I appreciate it very much. Staff training is always on the top of my mind and allocate every years a large % of our time to do so. How ever as you said there is always room for improvement of course and we are working diligently on that every day.

Sincerely,

Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

We had some reservation issues that were caused by a computer switch over. However, my wife and I enjoyed celebrating our anniversary with our one night stay at Henderson Castle. The room, French Room, was clean and comfortable. It could use a comfortable chair for those of us with back problems, but the other amenities were nice. Food was excellent for both dinner and breakfast. I have to say that the staff, especially the manager, was excellent and very accommodating. We do plan on a return trip as soon as possible.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 18 December 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind words. We looking forward to seeing you the next time you stay with us.

Your host,
Francois Moyet
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Clair, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

We wanted to love Henderson Castle and to be honest, we did the minute we saw the website and all of the pictures that were on the internet. Trying to find a venue for an elegant, intimate, and Victorian-themed wedding seemed improbable until I came across Henderson Castle. I should have looked to what others said before I decided to reserve all of the rooms, pre-pay for dinner and breakfast for our guests, and do everything I could to make it a very exclusive and private wedding.

At first, the staff seemed interested and helpful; wanting to answer all of my questions and address any concerns that I, or my wife had. Over the next few weeks, we reiterated numerous times our plans and schedule. Wedding at 6 pm followed by a cocktail hour and dinner. Once done, we'd all gather in the ballroom for cake, singing, and dancing. We hired a barbershop quartet, Four Got to Shave (who are very talented, amazing guys) to serenade us all after the ceremony.

The night before our wedding, they called to let us know that a political fundraiser was going on in the ballroom on the second floor the same time as our wedding. My wife was also to be descending down that stairwell for her procession. Mind you, weeks earlier, we already had the OK for MacKenzie's Bakery (wonderful by the way) to deliver the cake and set up in the ballroom where we would retire to after dinner. We were also told we had no dinner reservation and it would be difficult to work us in due to the other dinner reservations for the night. I asked how that could be possible when our reservation already has our meals pre-paid and I discussed the number of guests and their dinner options weeks prior to my point of contact there. Coincidentally, like others have said, "Francois was out of town". He's quite elusive apparently.

After much heated argument, we were told to deal with it and contend with having dozens of political supporters crossing through our wedding (how romantic!) as well as keep us confined in a small dining area. They also told us that they would not refund any part of our reservation because we didn't cancel eight or more days ahead of time. We had a solid agreement well ahead of time and well before the fundraiser wanting to come in. We were never given any notice until the night before our wedding so I wondered how I was at fault and having to pay out over $2000 when we were being grossly inconvenienced, encroached upon, and having our wedding utterly ruined.

The staff was insensitive and unremorseful in every conceivable way. My wife was a nervous wreck and left in tears. Their 'event organizer' clearly heard her. She was wicked, wretched, heartless, extremely rude to us in her put-down commentary over the phone, and displayed diabolically crooked strongarm business tactics. I have never been so disgusted in my life. Their business practices are extremely shady and their promises are empty. For such a place to look and exude so much class and elegance, the staff lacks all class entirely.

Francois called me the following morning after we had stayed up until 3 AM making new plans and pleaded with me, offering us the sun and the moon basically if we would reconsider. However, we were already en route to a new venue and honestly, I would have taken him up on his offer if it came the night before to remove all the heartache and tears this had caused my wife and it would've given her the wedding she desired. It was simply too late. That shadiness from the night before surfaces once again as I have to decline Francois' offer. From originally telling me he wanted to make it right and that he would issue a refund, he recants and tells me he now that he could only book two rooms to other guests and only those rooms would be refunded. As he said that was only fair. Still no refund even on that. What of our meals which were never prepared, served, or consumed? Its left unanswered.

Do yourself a favor and never give a second thought to Henderson Castle. I am only one of many who have said much the same. If I had read all the reviews of how they don't deliver what you pay for, I would have looked elsewhere. Consider that by going here, you may well find yourself in the same predicament they put us in.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Eric G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flmoyet, Owner at Henderson Castle Inn, responded to this review, 22 December 2013
There are many facts left out of this story. In MID-OCTOBER, 2013 of this year this reviewer contacted us inquiring about our Wedding Package, which does include private and exclusive access to the Castle, guest rooms, grounds, and dining/event areas, such as our Ballroom, for 24 hours. We provided him with a packet detailing the package and the costs, deposits, and procedures associated with it.

A few hours after speaking with our event coordinator, reviewer and his fiancé chose to go on-line and book themselves guest rooms and dinners a la carte. They did book 10 of our 11 guest rooms and several dinners. We contacted them to ensure that they understood the Castle would remain open for business, they supposedly understood. We did know they planned on having a small ceremony for 15 people with dinner to follow, we were not given details. They contacted us a few weeks before their NOVEMBER, 2013 reservation to make some changes to their dinners and let us know they’re entrée selections, and that they would be using a coupon.

We are a Bed & Breakfast, Restaurant & Spa, specializing in weddings. Our guest rooms are private, the rest of the Castle remains open to the public for tours, our spa and restaurant patrons, and event patrons. While we allow our B&B guests access to explore the Castle and use our available facilities, like our steam room, sauna, and rooftop hot tub, we do not make any guarantees that they will be available to our overnight guests let alone promise them the space for a private function. When the castle is booked privately for a wedding, via the proper channels these extra areas are guaranteed privately.
We have several areas that can be booked for private events, our ballroom being one them, rates to book the ballroom privately start at $250.

While the reviewer was busy planning his barbershop quartet, and cake, and everything else he neglected to share any of this with his supposed venue.

In the meantime, the ballroom was booked by another event. They paid a deposit for their rental, made menu and bar plans with us, and had a contract with us to use the space.

We did contact the reviewer the night before to get some final details about his dinner and shared with him that there was another event being held that night as a courtesy. The groom told us then, and only then, that they had planned their ceremony at the same time the other parties’ guests were scheduled to arrive.

We made many attempts to arrange a schedule that would accommodate their wishes. One was to move the ceremony either up or back just a ½ hour, so that we could block the staircase while they held their ceremony. They could not budge on the time they had scheduled. We offered to allow them to use our private dining room at no additional cost, which comfortably seats 20 (their party was only 15), and with never seeing the room they decided it would be too small. Over an hour was spent on the phone with them, with many options offered. We were under no obligation to provide any of these options, but felt like they could use a favor. Bottom line: they booked 10 rooms and made dinner reservations, both of which we were prepared to provide.
They would not even drive the few miles from their other hotel in town to view the spaces we were discussing. They had never seen how beautiful or ideal for a party of their size the spaces we were offering were.

The couple received correspondence that clearly stated our cancellation policies when they booked their reservations on-line, which require 8 days minimum notice for a refund in the event of cancellation.
At 4:30 in the afternoon, the day of their event, they cancelled. The food had been ordered and partially prepared, their rooms were ready. One more consideration was offered: if we could rent any rooms at this late time, we would refund them the rooms that became occupied. After accepting this offer over the phone, the couple went on to dispute their credit card charges. Surprisingly we were able to fill 2 of our rooms. We were prepared to give them their partial refund.

We are experienced at hosting weddings and private events. We’ve had almost 60 weddings this year, some large and some small, 99% of them have had very happy brides and grooms. Had this couple booked a wedding instead of booking rooms, they would have had a memorable, successful wedding at our beautiful castle.

Sincerely,
Francois Moyet
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Henderson Castle Inn

Property: Henderson Castle Inn
Address: 100 Monroe St, Kalamazoo, MI 49006-4433
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Kalamazoo County > Kalamazoo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Kalamazoo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Henderson Castle Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Henderson Castle, the most popular bed and breakfast in Kalamazoo. Whether you're local or coming from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, South Bend or Chicago, you'll find us to be the best destination for your anniversary, birthday, wedding, graduation or romantic getaway. Situated in the historic West Main Hill neighborhood, you're minutes away from the theatres, shopping and vibrant night life of downtown Kalamazoo, but secluded enough to enjoy a quiet night free from the noise of the city. When you're with us, you'll have a royal experience. Wake up to an incredible breakfast prepared by our French chef Francois Moyet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Henderson Castle Inn Bed And Breakfast
Henderson Castle Hotel Kalamazoo

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