Okay, first off, this review is not about the restaurant or bar at the inn. I had a very satisfactory meal the night I stayed at the Inn, and have no complaints about that.
Unfortunately, the Inn's hotel rooms were far less than satisfactory. The left A LOT to be desired. If there was an option for 0 stars, I'd choose it. I'm easy to please when it comes to a hotel room: a sturdy door lock, clean sheets on the bed, and a clean bathroom are really all I require. Everything else is just a bonus. But the Riegelsville Inn didn't even meet those minimum requirements. Even the check-in left a lot to be desired. When my colleague and I arrived, the woman checking us in (at the bar) didn't even know that guests were expected for the night. She asked who I had made the reservations with. I told her I'd made them through whoever responds to the hotel's reservations email address and showed her the print-out of my correspondence with the person. So, we had to wait a few minutes until our rooms were "prepared". The woman checking us in mentioned that there were keys to the hotel's front door on our room key chains, as well as the room keys, "in case we decide to leave in the middle of the night." WTF?? Okay, so the hotel is supposedly haunted, but based on my experience, I'm betting that's not the reason people leave in the middle of the night.
When I got to my room, I noticed that the deadbolt (all antique door hardware, pretty, but not very effective) was barely secured in the very worn and damaged door jamb. The room looked fine on first inspection, except it was clear that the towels in the bathroom hadn't been changed. The previous occupants' damp towels were hanging on the rack and there was a balled-up washcloth still in the tub. I mentioned it to the woman who had checked us in, and honestly I couldn't tell if her look of exasperation was directed at me or towards the young kid who was supposed to have cleaned the room. Also, there was still change on the dresser from the last occupant, which really should have been a big red flag, but I was tired. When I got back to my room after dinner, the towels had been changed. I took off my shoes to relax, only to find that the floor was gritty. On closer inspection, I found cobwebs in the window (inside) and dead bugs in the room corners. The hotel apparently doesn't own or use a vacuum. When I turned down the bed, I found grit between the sheets--obviously the sheets had not been changed either. Unfortunately, it was after the hotel's Sunday closing time by then, and there is apparently no one on duty at the Inn overnight. I slept on top of the top sheet, without the comforter. In the middle of the night, my coworker texted me to report that she only had ONE sheet on her bed, and it smelled sour. Also that her floor was dirty, too. We managed to sleep despite the desire to go sleep in the car or find another hotel (several miles away). In the morning, I found that the shower had obviously not been cleaned either, as there was still hair on the drain cover and gritty stuff from the floor, plus the bath mat looked nasty. We cleared out as fast as possible, locking the door behind us like good guests since no one on staff was at work yet. Too bad our hosts weren't as kind.
Bottom line: Just because an inn is historic and likes to retain an aura of antique charm, doesn't mean it has to be ramshackle and filthy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Riegelsville Inn, when originally built, served as a hotel—housing barge operators on trade trips between Allentown/Bethlehem and Philadelphia. Today, the rooms at the Inn still exist and are available for overnight lodging. Our location on the Delaware River (and of course the food and drink available here) make the Riegelsville an ideal home-base for travelers, tourists and adventure seekers looking for a place to rest. Please consider the following information before deciding to book a stay with us: • Friday, Saturday and Monday night stays will include live local music until about 11pm. • Inn rooms are original to the building, some updates have been made but please do not expect the modern conveniences of a hotel. • Most of the rooms at the Inn share bathrooms and have vintage furnishings. • Third floor rooms with shared bathrooms are $65/night; rooms with in-suite bathrooms range from $80-110/night. ... more less