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“Beautiful property, but lacking...”

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Henderson Castle Inn
Ranked #6 of 6 Kalamazoo B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, but lacking...”
Reviewed 4 May 2014

My husband and I stayed at the castle in the Tower Room (Donjon room) in April on a Saturday evening. The building is amazing, and the views from the roof are wonderful. The castle is obviously in need of restoration, but they seem to be working on that. We did not dine there that evening, so we can't say anything about the dinner.

The Tower room is situated through a banquet room - I would hope they wouldn't rent it out if they had one that day. We noticed a lot of the lights were burned out in that room. Our room had a private porch with a view of Kalamazoo - a wonderful touch.

The bed was comfortable - but my husband did have to put his feet on the wooden foot board to be able to fit. The bedroom had cobwebs on the light fixture, two of the bulbs were burnt out in the room. There was a pile of sand at the corner of the bed - presumably from a previous occupant. And the worst part about the room - no shower. The hot tub is tucked under a very short ceiling (not unexpected in a sloped roof situation) - but the problem was, the water smelled awful when it started to fill up, and it was cold. We tried to let it run for 10 minutes, but the water stayed cold, and started to smell like rotten eggs. So, neither my husband or I were able to take a shower or a bath.

We are early risers, so we were up and on the way downstairs by 7:30 am, but the fire alarm went off because the kitchen burned something, so everyone else came out in their robes... not the best way to start the morning. The included breakfast is a plate of fruit, juice/coffee/tea, and a slice of banana bread. We didn't feel like paying any extra at that point so we left at that.

After we ate, we tried to check out, but apparently, the person who could check us out wasn't arriving until 9 am, so we were supposed to get an emailed confirmation of checkout, but, it never arrived.

The staff was friendly, but there is a lot of work to do.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the tower room. I didn't see the rest of the rooms.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MandyD_1
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, 2 June 2014
Hello ,

Thank you for your comments I will address them with my staff . As far the plumber issue we fix it , thanks god. It was just an historic 129 years old pipe who decided to fissure on us....Sorry about that , we try our best to keep up with every thing the best we can. The tower how ever is a very charming room on the small size and have the benefit to be in a real Tower...in a real castle with a private balcony over-viewing the city of Kalamazoo. I agree than the whirlpool Jacuzzi tub is not designed for tall peoples and wish you had ask to switch room if you was not comfortable.
As far the breakfast is concerned we offer complementary continental breakfast witch include a homemade banana bread, fresh fruit plate , juice , coffee and tea and your choice of cereal or hot meal cook to order.
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219 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Crown Point
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We stayed in "Cottage A" -the online photos look quite appealing! Actually it is run down! Someone tried to give it an Asian theme, (which is weird if you're emulating a castle.... in the USA) I think - but ended up falling short, and decorating with garage sale grade items. There were electric cords running across the floor from a lamp and fireplace. The bathroom left a lot to be desired. There was black mold in the corner ledge of the tub, and the tub was peeling! and dirty in appearance, as was the sink. We chose to not use the tub. My booking.com reservation noted "breakfast included" yet we were told that was not the hot breakfast, but the continental. All in all, our goal was to stay in a "castle" and we did. For $159 per night, it was way over priced. The owners really need to clean up and spruce up the place if they're going to continue to charge that much. If the saying goes, "you get what you pay for" -- we didn't.

Room Tip: Don't stay in a cottage
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dorothy J
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, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your review . Actually my wife decorated the cottage A & B last summer and spend quite of money not for any garage sale, but antic shop thank you. For the record there is nothing Asian in the decor it is a boutique hotel style fusion contemporary. As far the extension cord are concerned I will find out what happen . The bathroom is not dirty but 129 years old and yes will be the object of a total remodeling very soon , how ever we did re-glaze tub and sink last month to resolve the issue.
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Travellers are raving about these Kalamazoo hotels

Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 May 2014

My wife and I stayed at the hotel last year for our honeymoon. Being a professional magician ... I love the whole mystery and feel of a castle. We stayed in the Italian suite with the heated floors and amazing shower! We received a couples massage from the therapist too. The meals were amazing! The owner Francious pays attention to detail and making sure guests are pleased. We HIGHLY recommend staying at the castle, eating there, enjoying the roof top hot tub or attending a dinner and a show.

Room Tip: Italian Suite is the best!
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Green Features: Everyone is super friendly, care about every need and they try to meet each wish you have. Awesome experience!
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tomcoverly
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, 1 June 2014
Merci beaucoup mon ami . I truly appreciate it !
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Jackson, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2014

First of all, I would like to say that Henderson Castle is absolutely GORGEOUS! We had our wedding there last July, I never thought I would be able to have my wedding someplace so beautiful. Everything is very European and elegant. Our guests loved how unique it was and we got some really awesome wedding pictures. The owner is very nice, I really liked him a lot. And the food is amazing, Both dinner and breakfast were simply wonderful, I LOVED them. There were a few things, however, that were frustrating that occurred. Since it was July, it was VERY hot, even in the castle ( they have air, but they are all window units and we had a lot of people, so it was really hot inside) My husband and I had chose to stay in the Italian room and by the end of the night I was hot and worn out and looking forward to hoping in the Jacuzzi tub and going to bed. So my husband turned the Jacuzzi on, it took forever for the tub to fill... probably at least a half hour. and then I got in, the jets worked for about one minute... then just quite. We couldn't figure out what went wrong, so I just gave up, a little bummed that it didn't work but thought "oh well could be worse". Well it got worse because our air conditioning unit had stopped working as well. By this time it was two in the morning and we couldn't find anyone who worked in the castle around to fix it. So we ended up sleeping in a room that was about 90 degrees on our wedding night... you can imagine that really puts a damper on things. The next morning I told the staff and they said a fuse had blown because we had the jacuzzi and the air running at the same time (we were not warned not to do this) and did not even seemed very concerned or apologize for the rough night. Another thing that was frustrating was there was this little kid running around the castle all day while we were getting ready and taking pictures. I believe he was the child of one of the employees at the castle and, I like kids, so normally it wouldn't have been a big deal, but he was very intrusive, he kept trying to come in the room when we were changing and would not leave us alone while we were taking pictures. He actually ended up in a handful of our posed wedding photos. I did not want to have to worry about controlling someone elses child on my wedding day on top of all the other things I was already worried about. Lastly, there were some times when the castle just did not seem very organized. For example they tried to charge us for chair rental when we rented chairs through another company ourselves, and I asked for my wedding cake to be mint chocolate, was told that it would be, but when I tried it there was not a hint of mint in it, and several other things like that. Despite those frustrations, if someone asked me if they should check out Henderson I would say they should. The rooms and the food are wonderful and staying the weekend there would definitely be an enjoyable treat (also their massages are the best i have ever had) I do wish that I would not have had to deal with those stressful things on my wedding day, and hope things are a little more organized for the next wedding season for the sanity of other brides, but all in all it is a charming place and I think the people who run it are genuinely good people who try to take excellent care of their guests and give them a good experience.

Room Tip: All of them are lovely, but the french and Italian rooms were my favorite
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kate 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, 2 June 2014
Thank you so much for your genuine and very valuable constructive review. I will look at all you suggestion and implement them right away.
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Battle Creek, Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

I am a big fan of Francios and still am BUT we had such high hopes for this place. I took my husband here for our 1st Anniversary. First, we are on a middle class budget so I purchased a Groupon for the couples massage and an extra service for $189.00. We tipped $40.00 to the therapist but still had $122.00 charge on our card afterward that I later found out (the next day when it appeared on my card) to be a service fee/tax on the full price of the amenities. I didn't realize there was tax on a service in MI but was quickly schooled in this area. Next, we paid for two services (which I though would each be one hour) and only received a 45 minute massage and a 15 minute sugar scrub. This was to include use of the hot tub and sauna as well although when I checked in I was told not to bring my suitcase with me (it had my swimsuit in it) since there were robes to use... but the hot tub was OUTSIDE on the roof which meant we couldn't use it at the time and who wants to be in the sauna with workers there? I told the therapists that Francios said not to bring it and so they assured me that since we were staying the night at the castle we could use it anytime we'd like that night. Much to our surprise they were having a private party later on that no one told us about! So using anything after 6 (we planned for after dinner) was not going to happen and the party went until around 11 (I could hear them from our room till then). Dinner was another story since we were seated and waited 20 minutes for someone to acknowledge us-not an offering of water or a hello from the server- disappointing since I would have waited if I would have at least had a drink. They did give my husband a free glass of wine (or so they said at the time). When I called to work everything out the manager after a mysterious $122 appeared on my credit card told me she would speak with Francios and get back to me-no call, nothing. She also said didn't you have drinks at dinner? That may be part of the charge. I had bottled water and my husbands wine I guess did show up on the bill! Unfortunately, I am a little more sensitive than the next person since I worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years. I also run a groupon myself so I was shocked that they could add on such a high tip without your consent (It is on the original amount of $388.00 so mind you we paid over $600 for one night at the castle and that was with our dinner coupon (free 4 course) and a free continental breakfast...ummm what would it have cost without? I'm sorry but I could have went to a really nice resort for a weekend in the Caribbean- schooled again. Nothing like a million dollar education I guess. Unfortunately as much as we love the beauty of the castle and our friend Francios we will probably not be back nor share a good experience with anyone.

Room Tip: We stayed in the French Room bed is really high so if you get up a lot this may not be the room for...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank HolisticNut
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, 1 June 2014
Dear Friend,

I 'm truly sorry about your experience but once again as a groupon user you should know since it is clearly stated on their web site and the coupon itself than taxes and gratuity will be added on the full value of the package. For the record all of our massage are 1 hour massage and the sugar rub is actually 20 minutes and follow with a 10 minutes steam shower and then a 30 minutes oil massage. As far your dinner bill is concerned as we discuss it over the phone you was charge correctly. As far the party upstairs ,I apologize for the inconvenience but the roof top is a public area and nowhere it is stated than you may some privacy or intimacy in my hot tub. Again thank you so much for your review and I'm glad than you consider me as a friend as I can't imagine otherwise what kind of review you will have posted...
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Dimondale, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay at the Henderson Castle. We booked a room and dinner and both were fabulous. We had an awesome time when we stayed at another B&B in Michigan, but this goes so much farther above and beyond that. The castle was so beautiful and authentic. It was so unique and romantic for us. We enjoyed the delicous meal and the overall service at the Inn was exceptional. We really felt welcomed and special. The staff went above and beyond and we can't wait to go back again in the spring or summer and enjoy the rooftop hot tub!

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are quite larger than others. I would suggest calling to make reservation rather...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Karen 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, 1 June 2014
Thank you so much we appreciate it very much .
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Richland, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed 14 February 2014

I took my wife to the castle for an early valentines dinner and couples massage and stayed the night in the castle. Our couples massage was very relaxing and enjoyable(not sure if I like having the camera in the room while we were getting dressed or undressed). We had the 7 course meal amazing taste and very filling. On room looked great at first inspection, however when we bulled the blankets down the under blanket was ripped up very badly in the Dutch room. Badly needs to be replaced. Even with thta, I will definately go back.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are very small, if you have the opportunity to go to the castle in advance to look...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank imeck1968
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
Thank you very much for your review. We appreciate your input. For the record the camera in the nail salon is not activated as you can imagine. We provided the massage temporarily in the nail salon just for the last couples of days as we was remodeling the real massage room where there is no camera what so ever. I apologize for that inconvenience.As far the blanket in the room We already take care of it . I do not know what happen here but thank you for letting us know.

See you soon , It was very nice to meet you and enjoy our conversation the other morningat breakfast.
Truly yours,

Francois Moyet
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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 Hotel Kalamazoo
Henderson Castle Inn Bed And Breakfast

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