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“Exactly What We Were Looking For!”
Review of Front Street Inn

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Front Street Inn
Ranked #8 of 18 Wilmington B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 May 2010

We looked online at many B&B's looking for a romantic getaway to Wilmington. This place caught my eye because it wasn't the stuffy looking, flowery bedrooms that remind one of Grandma's house (sorry if that offends) I wanted to stay somewhere more modern, but still have that pampered feeling you just can't get from a hotel. We couldn't have made a better choice! Upon entering, we knew we'd chosen well. The home is enormous, the entrance resembling a little cafe. There are about 4 rooms on the main floor of the house, down a quiet hallway. We stayed in one of those room the second night we were there-the Pearl Buck, which ended up being my favorite! The first night we stayed upstairs in the Bistro Room, a very private and large room with a whirlpool tub just feet from the beautiful king size bed. That's the other thing, the beds are incredible-Very comfortable, and everything is very clean.
There are so many wonderful things about this inn I am trying to report all of it. The location cannot be beat. Either cross the street to walk the boardwalk of the Cape Fear River and all that is on the path, shops, dining, entertainment, etc. or walk down the street a little to be in the heart of the action! My husband and I stayed out until 2 am both nights we spent here, feeling very safe to walk the street back to the inn at such an hour.
The other thing and the reason beyond the inn itself we will be returning is Richard and Polly, the owners. They are the best!!! We are a younger couple, but they made us feel right at home, like we were staying with family. They love what they do, and you can tell. Polly prepares the breakfast in the morning I believe, and it's the best! Richard is funny and charming, very accommodating. For all you military, there is a military discount, a nice surprise! Needless to say, we will make a trip to Wilmington again just to stay here. It was a much needed time together and to pick the right place to spend it at made it perfect! We originally wanted to stay near the beach and Im glad we didnt. We could enjoy the nightlife in the city without having to drive and the beach is a short drive away. Downtown was the way to go!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LovetoGoVaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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107 - 113 of 138 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2010

This review will be rather lengthy, I am going to use my time to first, give a straight review of our personal experience, but second, I want to address some of the other reviews I have read on this site about this inn. If you are only interested in the review, our experience, I’ll note when I change over so you can stop reading where you wish. You may find it useful to continue though. I’ll leave that to you.

My husband and I went to Wilmington to celebrate our anniversary together. We have stayed in 2 other Bed and breakfasts in Wilmington on 2 other occasions and The Front Street Inn quickly became our favorite. Wilmington is an easy weekend getaway for us, so we love to go for a night or 2 during the year and The Front Street Inn may become our more regular stop.

The Inn itself: Its unique and eclectic in its décor, it has a quiet, romantic charm, the owners themselves, and their son, are quite friendly and enjoyable. They have a wonderful seating area where they do breakfasts in the morning and they also do snacks, baked cookies and wine/beer and coffee each evening. Breakfast is absolutely delicious and surprisingly generous for a B&B. Polly’s homemade quiches are delish! The fruit is very fresh. They have baked goods, cereal and yogurts with granola. Also, the coffee was quite good, and I’m a harsh coffee critic. The bar setup in this area works on the honor system which we found to be a wonderful touch. You feel completely at home as no part is off limits. If it’s 2AM and you want to go get a bottle of water or a bottle of wine for that matter, you just let yourself into the bar area, take what you want, and write it down. Prices were very reasonable. It was so nice to feel so at home. It felt just as a B&B should.

Now, I have to admit, I normally take all reviews with a grain of salt as I find there are some people so hard to please, but, that being said, we originally were booked in The Georgia O’Keefe room and after reading the previous persons post, we decided to switch. Not b/c of DVD’s and TV’s, etc, when we go to a B&B for a romantic weekend, we could care less about those things, if we wanted full technology, we’d go to a hotel set up for that. Anyhow, the one thing that swayed us was the description of the bed. My husband and I both tend to have back issues, so we did not want to take the chance. That being said, after seeing what the whole inn is like and even getting to peak into a few rooms, I think we would have loved that room too! The bed was probably fine!

Our room: “The Bistro Suite”. Ohhhh, what a room! Very nice size, great little area with fridge, wonderful outside sink area for bathroom as well as sink in bathroom. Plenty of space. Loved the wood floors! Loved the Jacuzzi tub…and a great little view of the Cape Fear River too! Thought the decorations were just charming and delightful. Bed was very comfortable and the back porch has great views of the garden. It was so peaceful, so pleasant. We enjoyed reading on that porch during parts of the day with some wine, cheese and olives picked up at the italian market down the street!

We agree with all the other posters on here about the location, you could not ask for better. We always like to stay close in the Historic area and walk, this allowed us to do just that and it was fabulous.

That’s it for my personal post, now I want to take a moment for those who are not familiar with the Wilmington area and how things work. Before some of the reviews here make you nervous, you should know:
1. In Wilmington, they don’t really have a season. People go there all year long. The prices of inns and hotels don’t drop dramatically, especially in the Historic Downtown location. You are paying for location. Those that said the inn was not worth the price, well, first, it was worth it, but second, if they had checked the prices on some of the other downtown B&B’s, they would have found them to be as high and some, quite higher. You pay for location in this area.
2. Those that found the honor system bar unreasonable? I just hope your complaints don’t ruin it for the rest of us. We think it’s a great option. In the morning, you get so much included in your price. In the evening, you get cookies and snacks and hot beverages. They only thing you are required to pay for is alcohol/sodas and a few candy bars if you want them. I don’t think this is a big deal. You’re on vacation at a romantic B&B…enjoy!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank oinee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2010

We visited the Front Street Inn for Valentine's Day. We used to stay in lots of B&Bs, but it has been several years. The reason to stay in B&Bs for us versus a hotel was the change of pace and the food. So we did an Internet Search and found the Front Street Inn. What all of the reviews say about how good the location is are very true. We loved the location. However our experience was no where near the $249 (plus tax) rate we were charged for Saturday night (and since we had to stay at least 2 days) the $150 for Sunday night.) We were in the Georgia O'Keefe Suite. This is an older suite that has not been upgraded for a while. The website says that each suite has TV, VCR, DVD, CD players. The TV was quite old, small (not flat screen like most hotels will have these days). It was in the living room area of the suite (there was no TV in the bedroom). I had brought some of our favorite DVDs. There was no DVD player in the room so I went down to ask about that. The owner said he could give me a player but he couldn't hook it up. I had to make a second trip down to get an extension cord. When we went to bed I had a CD with some romantic music (it WAS Valentine's day) and there was NO way to get it to play a CD which was very disappointing. The sink in the tiny bathroom is really old and chipped. The shower's plumbing is backwards (hot is cold, cold is hot). It took a while to figure that out. There was no bedside table on one side of the bed with a light. (no place to put glasses or water.) Some hotels will give you a free bottle of water for each day. Here we had to go down and get them and were charged for the water. The worst part of the room was the bed. The mattress is really uncomfortable. And didn't make for a good nights sleep. The workout room in the basement has 1 tread mill facing a wall, a pool table and was very musty smelling. That is where the massages happen. The bottom line- while this is an "OK" bed and breakfast, and maybe the other rooms are new and wonderful- however the O'Keefe sweet was terrible and WAY OVER PRICED. The owners need to take the revenue from 3 weekends and buy new TVs/DVDs, fix the shower plumbing and buy a new mattress. We checked the price of the Hilton in town and its most expensive room was less than we paid for Saturday. Nice people, average food. I would not stay in the O'Keefe suite again, and would ask some very specific questions about how old the bed is in the room you are booking, what kind of TV/DVD etc is there etc. With the way the economy is, these prices are ridiculous.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Doomjam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hueyhuey, Owner at Front Street Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 8 March 2010

We thank our guest taking the time to write a review...we always appreciate honest feedback.

For the sake of complete disclosure, it needs to be said that this particular guest called to cancel his reservation and was told he would be responsible for the charges since it was well less then the 48 hours (a very liberal cancellation policy for bed & breakfasts) we require--especially on huge weekends like Valentine's weekend. Although, in the end, the guest was able to come, our insistence on following policy may have played a role in his review.

As for the review itself...

**The CD player was obviously broken..it was replaced, with a NEW CD player with-in a few minutes.
**Although every room has a tv (very true not all are flat screen) we have several DVD players at the inn...that can be installed in minutes--they're requested very infrequently (most of our guests are in town to enjoy all that Wilmington has to offer and don't spend much time in their room watching tv and the like...especially on Valentine's day).
**The sink is an antique mosiac-tiled sink...it's supposed to be "chipped" though it serves its purpose well and is very handsome.
**The water in the shower is backward...it's been like that since the inn was renovated 18 years ago...it's easier for us to have labels on the shower (which you clearly didn't see) rather than to rip down the wall...in 5 years of owning the inn, we've had 3 (out of hundreds) guest comment on it...not counting you since you didn't mention it when we had a very nice chat.
**The bedroom in the suite does not have a second night stand (beware!)--there is very little space between the king bed and the wall on that side of the bed...we think one night table is sufficient though we'll take it under advisement.
**Some people like a hard mattress, some like a soft...it's difficult to make everyone happy though we've had very little negative feedback, if any, that I can recall about the mattress...perhaps if it was mentioned the morning after the first night the guest stayed with, we could have made adjustments (flip out the mattress, move to a new room, etc)...but it was never mentioned until I read about it!

The guest also comments on the rate he was charged...keep in mind this was Valentine's weekend and we did NOT raise our regular rates, as many hotels do, despite all of Wilmington being full/nearly full. The guest came for a Saturday/Sunday night (rate was $239 and $149, respectively...though our normal rate for the O'Keeffe is $239 and $189, respectively)...We were also running a promotion, which he was informed of...though he really only wanted a single Saturday night, where he would stay a Friday/Saturday night and pay the mid-week rate ($189) each evening.

Altough he did mention location (we're directly in downtown Wilmington...with free off-street parking), he missed a few things about the inn that, in the spirit of full disclosure, need to be said: full buffet breakfast is wonderful, Internet DSL port and wireless in each room is free, the O'Keeffe is a large suite with separate bathroom and two-person spa tub should you avail yourself of the amenity instead of, for instance, watching DVDs, with wet bar area and very comfortable sofa w/ches in the livingroom...though the tv is in that room and not in the bedroom (which is typically used for ...other things!).

We're not perfect and certainly don't claim to be. We're a very relaxed, very unpretentious, family-owned and operated quaint inn 1 to 4 blocks from anything you'd want to do in downtown Wilmington...come see us.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2009

We eloped to Wilmington earlier this month, and chose Front Street Inn because of it's excellent location. This inn is very quaint and so charming. Brick walls, arched windows, plantation shutters, and the tallest ceilings I ever saw, graced the Kipling room where we stayed. The room had a separate kitchenette with coffee maker and fridge. We appreciated the eclectic decor and unique furnishings, which were pulled together tastefully. The owners and staff were so kind and helpful. Not only did they allow us to use the inn's back porch (actually a small sun room) for our simple informal wedding, they moved their Christmas poinsettias to the room as decoration! We found the breakfast both mornings was very good, with fresh muffins, sweet breads and fresh fruit (melons, strawberries, etc.) on both days, and on Saturday morning a quiche and Sunday morning a baked casserole. The experience was so enjoyable, we plan to return next December for our first anniversary!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MarshHen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2009

This hotel has an amazing location, free parking, and beautiful interiors. The Segovia room was particularly tasteful and not too 'bed and breakfast'. I missed the complimentary breakfast but the person at the desk was quick to prepare a tray of goodies to bring back to my room. The only thing that prevented a perfect score was that for a hotel of its price range, I would have expected a complimentary glass of wine or two.

Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
2  Thank talpas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2009

My girlfriend and I spent two nights at the Front Street Inn, and had a great time. We were definitely the youngest guests during our stay, but everyone was very friendly and welcoming. We stayed in the Pearl Buck room on the ground floor, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The hotel is such a short walk from all of the action in the historic part of Wilmington. There are so many great restaurants and fun bars in the area. The great thing is that you can't hear the nightlife sounds from the hotel. This is definitely a relaxing atmosphere and not a place to stay if you have a loud or rowdy group. I found the place to be ideal for a weekend getaway. The owners were extremely nice, and provide a great breakfast each morning.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JH1976JH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2009

I must admit, I am quite shocked to read some of the negative reviews people have posted. I am an inn keeper for a B&B in the mountains of NC and know what to expect for a nice stay. My date and I traveled to Wilmington over Halloween for my brother's wedding and absolutely loved staying at the Front Street Inn. I think that the rates are a little steep but it was well worth the money! The owners were a total pleasure and very nice to talk to. We stayed in the Kipling Suite and thought it was really pretty. Our room was on the main street and even though we stayed in on Halloween, we were never disturbed by the ruckus on the streets. The Inn is right downtown and you can walk to almost everything you need. We were surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shopping, a plenty. Breakfast was great and it definitely fills you up. Overall, out trip was amazing and we will definitely be back to stay at the Front Street Inn.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Travelfreak878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Front Street Inn

Address: 215 S Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401-4414
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Coast > Wilmington
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Wilmington
Price Range: £108 - £149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Front Street Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named one of Our State magazine's "21 perfect places to stay in North Carolina." The Front Street Inn is an inclusive, award-winning, full-service boutique hotel and bed & breakfast offering peace and privacy in the heart of Wilmington’s historic downtown business and entertainment district. Decorated with beauty and comfort in mind, the Front Street Inn is alive with American art and furnishings gathered at galleries, fairs, auctions and attics. Each spacious and bright room and suite has a unique personality and amenities. The grounds are peaceful with well-kept gardens and pleasant outdoor seating to relax the mind, body, and soul. The Front Street Inn is exceptionally well equipped with everything the discerning leisure and business traveler is looking for, including a daily complimentary full buffet breakfast, FREE high-speed wireless Internet and probably best of all...FREE on-site parking. There are many places to stay on the Cape Fear River and Carolina Coast, none as wonderful as the Front Street Inn. Come join us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Front Street Hotel Wilmington

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