Giving the establishment a Poor rating here to highlight the glaring problems and incidents encountered. (Once again it is so hard to do a rating with one bullet, Poor, Average, etc given many pluses and many minuses, but to attract attention of mgmt. and future guests, I evolve to having to choose Poor to meet these ends!)
The Wellington Inn Bed & Breakfast is a majestic old home two blocks from Front Street and within walking distance to the State Theatre and many restaurants.
We completed our tour of the Pirate’s Cove mini golf courses in Michigan in Traverse City. We stayed two nights at the Inn. If you are in Petoskey or Houghton Lake, like courses are available and you will find delight at each.
Before a bit of detail about the Inn etc. I wish to start with the most very annoying thing that occurred at this Inn. When partner and I ever stay for longer than a one-night stay, we exceedingly rarely seek any sort of room service: dusting, vacuuming, towel change, sheet change, bed-making etc etc etc. We make the room our own (as it is!) including setting up medical equipment.
There was no “hanger” to place on the exterior door knob, so I personally went down and found Barb and told her we needed no services. I expanded to mention towels and sheets. Should have said EVERYTHING.
Already traveling in multiple contexts where infrequently we find no “hanger” to relate “NO SERVICES” OR “DO NOT DISTURB”, we travel with a home-made door knob “hanger”. It states “PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB. THANK YOU.”
You’re already ahead of me! Sure enough we returned after a day shopping etc to find that someone with a key had come into the room and bath. The trash receptacle(s) was/were empty and there was another tip-off.
It does not matter why we wanted no staff member to enter, it matters only that it was patently obvious that all staff members were to honor the “hanger” left on our door.
This might not be a deal with you, but it is to us. The monetary tip for staff reflected our complete annoyance. Also a note was left for the appropriate staff member relating that DO NOT DISTURB does actually mean DO NOT ENTER. ADVICE TO WELLINGTON: properly train staff re lodging employee etiquette.
Food at breakfast: both days featured a nice fruit cup to begin with; the first morning we were served orange juice, coffee, blueberry pancakes (3 or 4 medium to small sized), and an ample side of bacon. All items were very good to excellent. The second morning we were served a southwestern breakfast with an egg casserole with salsa atop, a perfectly executed cornbread muffin and a good portion of sliced avocado.
While we had no issue with the juice, we noticed another couple did not touch their juice. ADVICE TO WELLINGTON: there are a multitude of other kinds of juice and it would be nice to offer one or two of them to guests.
The room: the bed in Hannah’s Chamber was way too big for the room. Like another B & B on this journey, partner, though thin, had to squeeze past the footing and wall to get into bed. The mattress was not so firm. I wonder if staff ever turn or flip the mattress?
The room was replete with fake flowers and bric-a-brac and thus it proved a challenge to look about the room upon checking out to see if we picked up things we had unpacked. Appeared to me to be dust-catchers, mostly as another reviewer commented on TripAdvisor! The attached bath was a trip! Ancient shower fixture and huge pedestal tub along with pedestal sink showcased the air of a certain bygone era. Again there were accessories in the room: spats and a case of antique brush and accoutrements were interesting.
A small television was in the room. ADVICE TO WELLINGTON: it would be prudent and immensely helpful to provide a laminated paper listing of the channels. It takes forever to click and wait for stations/channels to load, when all one maybe wants is TWC.
Just outside this room was a common area that originally served as a ballroom. A larger television was in this room but the unit had a distinct vertical blue on the right half of the screen. Watching Shark Tank was not hindered but a new TV might be order.
See packing tip to follow.
The most vibrant asset to this B & B is Barb, the innkeeper. She was gregarious and genuine! She stands alongside an inn employee at the Inn At Ellis River in New Hampshire and a kind soul in Taos at Casa de la Chimeneas Bed & Breakfast as the most engaging and friendly B & B representatives encountered in our varied journeys.
The most interesting and off-putting thing to provide here, aside from the previous notation re staff ignorance re DO NOT DISTURB, occurred at breakfast time. Breakfast is served only at 9 a.m. per conversation with Barb. And not unlike a Swiss train or Queen Elizabeth’s court the timing is sacrosanct.
We appeared in the “lobby” at the foot of the stairs on the first morning at about 8:57 a.m. The pocket glass doors to the dining room were 85% closed. We could see the place settings. I longed for coffee.
One of the hired workers poked most of her head and body into the room from an ante-room next to the kitchen. (Barb conducted a tour of rooms the afternoon before this day.) I slipped through the opening seeking to catch the woman. She disappeared back into the ante-room. I crossed the short distance in the dining area and stepped inside this room between the kitchen and the dining room. I spied coffee in a pot sitting within the maker. I asked if I might get a cup of coffee. The worker engaged me in a mini-debate. She finally said, “Well, if you have to have coffee!” She began pouring and added, “You know there’s coffee available in the kitchen by the ballroom.”
(There is a coffee maker and coffee in this room. But, if you’ve ever read the writings of or seen Peter Greenberg on TV, you know you would not make coffee in that kitchen without a bit of KP duty first and I was not so desperate to wash the instrument.)
She handed me the cup and I retreated to the lobby and within seconds, the doors were opened by staff. (Later, partner told me that Hank, the husband of Barb, who stood chatting in the lobby with four other guests and partner and noticing me retrieve coffee, remarked, “He couldn’t wait two minutes?!”)
Some oddity, huh? The next morning, when the house was full or mostly full (all rental units, taken) partner and I waltzed down to the lobby area at 8:58 a.m. To our shock nine people were already seated around tables! Go figure.
We sat this day at the long table, me on the one end and partner to my right. A couple soon joined us and the two sat at the opposite end and beside partner. Hank, who appears to only chat up persons prior to breakfast and not much else in the Inn, approached this couple and told them they should move so they could be beside each other in case the final couple did not appear for breakfast! Meddlesome? Jeezealou. Perhaps they wanted to sit catty-cornered from each other so they could easily see one another without pivoting heads a full 90 degrees if seated beside each other. For whatever reason, the couple jumped up and moved to sit side-by-side. Go figure since they had full opportunity upon entering the room to select their first choice of seats. Generally, I'd say Hank is a meddlesome sort of person! (i would have ignored Hank's comments about "first grade seating arrangements".
A nice note in the confirmation email upon reserving was restaurant suggestions.
We ate a Phil’s on Front the first night for “dinner”. Very good spot. We had lunch both days in Traverse City at the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Once at both location downtown and location further west on Front Street. Second night we ate at Copper Falls Steakhouse. See separate reviews.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Newly-restored 1905 neoclassical mansion with nine guestrooms featuring period furnishings and private baths. Full breakfast served in turn-of-the-century dining room. Complimentary guest kitchen and wireless internet. Two vintage 2-bedroom carriage house apartments available. Walk 2 blocks to downtown beaches, restaurants, shopping and antiques. ... more less