Do not bother to view the Phoebe Pembe House website since it is misleading, to say the least. It shows a beautiful four poster bed in a spacious bedroom - NO. It indicates piazzas with rocking chairs on which to relax and view the walled gardens - NO. It has photographs of a gorgeous sitting area in the bedrooms and a magnificent bathroom- No. It promises silver service breakfast - NO. And, for all these amenities and more, it asks a healthy price tag for one would gladly pay if it were true. The best part of the House is its location but that in and of itself doesn't make up for its pitfalls.
We have travelled throughout the world and have stayed at hotels, boutique hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts and have learned to 'read in between the lines' of descriptions. We could not have imagined anything but a top notch establishment. Next time, we will also consult Trip Advisor!
We were told that we had to arrive before 5:30 in the afternoon otherwise noone would be there to greet us, so we made sure to get there at least an hour ahead of time. As soon as we showed up, we were told by the owner that she and two others were in the middle of a meeting. The owner gave us a quick and cool welcome and returned to her meeting. She handed us over to the manager, who was new but quite sweet. She then showed us upstairs to our room. We felt a bit like intruders or distant cousins arriving unwanted at the front door.
Things seemed to turn around when the manager offered to leave breakfast for us since we had to leave early for golf the next morning. She showed us the inside way through the sitting area to the kitchen and advised us to double lock the front door since we were the only ones staying there, that night. The next morning, we went downstairs only to find someone sleeping on a pull-out in the sitting room that connected to the kitchen and when we went outside to see if we could get in another way, we discovered that the front door was unlocked. It turns out that the owner's son uses the sitting room when he gets in too late. Well, there went breakfast.
When we asked for ideas for restaurants and tours, the new manager again was quite lovely and friendly but had little information to share, so we were relegated to consulting the computer and making our own way. Not so bad but for this type of service, we could have stayed in a chain motel.
It felt as if the bandb had become only an investment or tax write off for the owners who lived in the main house, next door -- the the actual house that appears on the website and has the one room pictured with the magnificent bathroom and sitting area. With love, effort and some major changes in amenities, this establishment could possibly be made into a charming place. Add a chest of drawers in which one could place some clothes instead of living out of a suitcase. Add a mirror in front of which one could dress. Add a shelf or two in the bathroom on which one could put toiletries. Let the guests use at least one of the piazzas on which to rest. Clear the dirty coffee cups and coffee machine on the coffee stand outside the door during the day and leave some creamer for the coffee. Place some books and pamphlets about the area in the bedroom or sitting area...
Finally, ask your guests if they need anything and if they had a good time.