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“Need I say more”

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The Black Sheep Inn
Ranked #3 of 12 Hammondsport B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York City, New York
1 review
“Need I say more”
Reviewed 3 June 2010

Nothing could have made our stay in the Finger Lakes more perfect until we met Deb and Marc, the owners. The inn was not only more beautiful than imagined, but their knowledge of the area, hospitality, and interest in the locally sustainable food culture (not to mention the cooking) was unsurpassed!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Daniellekingnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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183 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Philadelphia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2010

I stayed at The Black Sheep Inn in May and was very impressed. Since there were mixed reviews of the Inn, I had to find out for myself. The Inn has a strict 2-night minimum on weekends, but Debbie bent the rules for me for a one-night stay. I found Debbie and Marc to be gracious and accommodating, and they had a good knowledge of the area. The Wood room had a very comfortable bed, and I did not miss the TV. The decor was Craftsman-esque and the colors they chose were warm and soothing. Breakfast was an adventure for the tastebuds — a Mexican strata with a baked rhubarb side. A spicy breakfast choice, but with nice heat. Debbie brought out coffee for me as I read and enjoyed the quiet sunrise on the back terrace.
I will return again — for 2 nights AND with my wife. The Black Sheep Inn is a winner.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Hudsonaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia PA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2010

Every time we travel to this area, we make sure to stay at the Black Sheep Inn. That wasn't always the case, as we stayed in a couple of so so motels and overly flowery B&B's previously, but since we found the Black Sheep Inn, we love staying here.

Debbie and Marc have great personalities that compliment their well appointed Inn. Whenever we arrive, be it late at night or early afternoon, we are greeted by a big smile and warm conversation. The Inn is beautifully decorated with earth tones and William Morris Arts and Crafts reproduction wall prints. The furnishings are an eclectic mix of local antiques which keeps it grounded in the local design vernacular. It is not overly flowery or frilly, and there are no lace doilies! Debbie and Marc paid particular attention to the decor and bedding in each room. The adjoining baths are well appointed with their marble/tile showers, and the lush bath robes are cozy after a shower. The outside patio is beautiful when the weather is cooperating, and the fire is romantic.

Debbie uses local organically grown food when preparing meals. Breakfast has always been something deliciously different for each of our 6 visits, although this past year was one of the best. (We have stayed once in Aug, twice in September, and three times in early May.) During one visit, we celebrated my husband's birthday and had one of Debbie's scrumptious dinners. (something not to miss!) But if you are looking for your average meal or fast food, just head into Hammondsport or Bath.

We are hoping to rent most of the Inn next year for a family gathering. My husband and I have traveled around the country and Italy staying in B&B's, and I must say, The Black Sheep Inn is at the top of places we have stayed for style, comfort, and hospitality. My husband and I especially enjoy the absence of tv, although if you really have the need, just bring along your laptop as the inn has wifi and you could just stream your favorite shows. We have since recommended this inn to several friends and have made a few new ones during our stays.

Its been a long time coming, but I had to write this review after reading some of the others that didn't enjoy the Inn. I will say this, if you are looking for a hotel or a motel atmosphere, don't stay at the Black Sheep Inn. You won't ever be happy here, as Debbie and Marc aren't servants, they are pleasant innkeepers. When staying, be sure to ask for suggestions for dining, shopping, and wineries, as Debbie and Marc are a wealth of information!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sikider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Black Sheep Inn last summer and were somewhat disappointed. I feel like the owners have their hearts in the right place and clearly worked hard to restore this unique and interesting historic home, however, you get the sense that they did not fully comprehend what they were getting into. If you want to own and operate a top-notch B&B and market yourself as such, you need to follow through on the promise in every way. They clearly invested in a beautiful website to market the property, but the property itself could use some more investment (I'm sure much to the owners' dismay).

As I said, the octagonal house is interesting and is a real draw to the property. But once inside, it was like visiting a crazy aunt -- somewhat cluttered with ill-matched furniture and decor. The owners are very nice, but as others have indicated, they have some unusual house rules. Also, they don't seem to have quite mastered the art of balancing friendly with overbearing. Unlike most B&B's, it felt at times like we were guests in their house instead of guests in a B&B. Its a fine distinction, but has to do with a sense of private space and comfort as if you are in your "own" space instead of someone else's.

The room was fine, but had that mismatched, hodgepodge sensibility going. Everything was absolutely clean, but again, like your aunt's house, you were never quite sure where to put your things and settle in.

I am very sorry to write this review because I feel bad for the owners. However, I hope they might take the advice to heart and make some changes that can make their inn the truly wonderful place that it could be.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DCSKN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gasport, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2010

I guess I'm really not into Fried eggs on a bed of collard greens for breakfast....not to mention the organic yogurt sauce topped with granola. Organic and healthy is fine, but you can still make organic and healthy taste good....it was awful! The inn is nice enough and they really have done a wonderful job renovating it, but we never really felt comfortable there.

Don't get the special "dinner for two"...you would be disappointed - and frankly, it was kind of weird being served dinner in the middle of the house with other guests milling in and out. The dinner for two needed to be in a side room more private. We both felt kind of awkward. We thought the dinner was SERIOUSLY overpriced - and since my husband doesn't drink wine, he brought a bottle of beer to dinner. I think she was offended by that - and even more so when he dared to drink his microbrew out of the bottle!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank WNYer1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2009

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Black Sheep in April this year and since returning to the UK from our trip to New York have told all of our friends that it should be their first choice if they ever travel in upstate New York.

We were driving around the state for a couple of weeks and some of the driving distances were much greater than we are used to so we often misjudged our arrival times quite badly. On our way to the Black Sheep, we got it seriously wrong and ended up arriving REALLY late; so late, in fact, that we fully expected to have to sleep in our car.

But when we eventually made it, everything was fine. Debbie greated us is with such warmth, enthusiasm and understanding that we instantly felt at home. Even though it was really late, Debbie did everything she could to make sure we were settled in to our room and offered us food and drink.

We fell in love with the house from the moment we saw it, and the interior lived up to the promise of the view from the road.

In the morning, we came down to a delicious breakfast made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. In fact, I was awake a bit earlier than my girlfriend so I had wandered downstairs where I was able to get some coffee and chat with Debbie about the place and things to do. She is a mine of information and enthusiasm about how to spend your time in the Finger Lakes.

I am horrified by a couple of the recent reviews which mark this place down - which is why I have finally gotten around to reviewing this place. The main criticism appears to be that there is a no eating and drinking in rooms policy.

In my view, to complain about that is to miss the point. For a start, the place has been so lovingly restored, and the rooms decorated to SUCH a high standard, that I can totally understand them being protective of their sheets and carpets etc. In lots of B&Bs, the bedding etc is cheap and easily replaced. But the quality at the Black Sheep is the highest you will find. If the price for that is a ban on eating/drinking in rooms then it is worth paying.

But there is another very important point. The policy encourages community. The communal areas of the Black Sheep are as beautiful as the rooms and are perfect for sitting with each other, with other guests, and with the owners. There are plenty of communal areas so anyone in need of privacy won't have to look far.

When you are allowed to eat and drink in the bedrooms, many people can be a bit shy about sitting in the communal areas and miss out. We might have been like that. But as it turned out, we had a great evening, eating cheeses and drinking wines we had bought locally. Debbie put it all on plates and provided everything we needed to eat with. That is the Black Sheep experience - nothing is too much trouble for the innkeepers.

I would go back to the Black Sheep Inn in a shot. It was the perfect choice, and I wish we could have stayed longer, had more of those breakfasts and spent more time in this beautiful old house. We thought the place was beautiful in the Spring, but the pictures of the house in the Fall look stunning too.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonTraveller1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester County, PA
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2009

While I resist the temptation to pile on - I have to agree with the previous reviewer. We found the Black Sheep Inn provided much less then we expect in an excellent B&B in this price range.

The first - and I mean very first - experience we had walking in the door was to be asked for our credit card. We were hardly welcomed before it was requested. Now - rest assured we had provided it prior to arrival to guarantee our room and had shown up precisely on time - we have stayed at many B&B's and frankly were sort of taken aback by the brusque behavior. If the inn had been very busy - we would have been less surprised by the relatively short treatment.

While we had read the fine print about no food or beverages - we did find it odd - we were also surprised that no guest coffee or tea or even water was offered. In fact, even weirder, there are not even water glasses in the bathroom. I didn't realize it until I went to take my medicine before bed and had to slurp from the sink since since no glass was provided.

I would have been willing to overlook that had the house been heated. We stayed in the largest room and were told that the little faux fireplace electric heater would help take the "chill off" in the morning - and we tried to comply BUT the room was literally frigidly cold. The room was lovely but it would have been a lot lovelier if it was warm enough to sit on the couch and enjoy. It was not.

We finally got some heat on the morning of the second day. Of course, we loved snuggling in the big beautiful bed - but we would have enjoyed the stay so much more with a few little amenities like heat, hair dryers that don't have to be requested (even Holiday Inn has that). Literally - this inn is just a few critical steps from being so special. It is beautiful - the breakfast was fine. But it is missing those very things that make an inn feel like a place you love to stay. I have to say - reading some of the early reviews - I almost wonder if the innkeepers are finding it too expensive to heat/cool the big house and becoming disinterested in the whole thing. That is sort of how it felt. I felt like we were accommodated rather then welcomed.

While the innkeeper seemed to try harder after the first day, our rough start was hard to overcome. She also complained about the locals and went on and on about things that were really not very positive about the area. Not so much what someone on vacation needs to hear about....

If the small issues we encountered may not bother others - for us, we will look elsewhere next time we visit this beautiful part of the country.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank BikeCouple2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Black Sheep Inn

Property: The Black Sheep Inn
Address: 8329 Pleasant Valley Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840-9549
Region: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Hammondsport
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Hammondsport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Black Sheep Inn and Spa located in the picturesque Wine Country of New York’s Finger Lakes Region offers you a tranquil setting from which you can explore the many unique experiences awaiting you here in the Finger Lakes..Welcome to the Black Sheep Inn an historic Octagon house lovingly restored with style, grace and charm. Your Finger Lakes experience begins here in Hammondsport, voted by Budget Travel as the “2012 Coolest Small Town in America.” Hammondsport sits at the southern tip of Keuka Lake, centrally located to the many award-winning wineries, micro-breweries, local cheese producers and a tremendous selection of cultural and outdoor activities. No need to pack and un-pack in several places, we are just a short scenic drive to everywhere you want to go!Open all year long, the Black Sheep Inn and Spa is open whenever you need to relax, rejuvenate and refresh. We offer distinctive Spa services to ensure an unforgettable massage experience. Our focus is your comfort, from our emphasis on local & seasonal organic ingredients, to our hand crafted soaps and spa products.You may choose to set out on a hike on the nearby Finger Lakes Trail, or take in one of the many waterfalls within a short drive from the Black Sheep Inn. There are also miles of scenic country roads to explore as you bike from one charming small town to another. Keuka Lake offers a cool, refreshing opportunity for a swim, kayaking, or just spectacular views.At the Black Sheep Inn, an historic Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast, choose from one of our 5 guest rooms, each featuring its own unique design & style and private bath featuring lush towels and monogrammed robes: ... more   less 

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