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“Upscale and clean rooms, service ubrupt”

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The Inn at Ormsby Hill
Ranked #3 of 12 Manchester B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 August 2009

I will agree with many of the other reviewers and say that the Inn at Ormsby Hill is quite lovely, truly respecting it's history and well maintained in all areas.

While I know Ted is one of the owners of the Inn- I'm unsure how he came to be the host. It seems like a strange vocation for a man with such a gruff manner. My husband likened him to a retired drill sergeant- who mellowed a bit with age.
We only saw his wife Chris once, briefly. She was chatting with a couple in one of the common areas and said a friendly hello to us as we passed. That was the extent of our experience with her.

Most of my complaints have to do with Ted's lack of 'people skills', as you will see below.
Unfortunately I have many more grumbles than accolades. Here is my list:

Grumbles:
No a/c or even a fan in common areas- including the dining room used for breakfast. During our stay it was horribly hot and humid. It was very uncomfortable to eat breakfast with no circulating air.

The Library room has a portable a/c that had to be emptied of accumulated water (by the occupant) every 3 hours during our stay. That meant waking up at night to empty it, or it would stop running.

Another reviewer stated that his wife wanted to stay in the car as he checked in and Ted refused until she joined them... the same thing happened to us! He was absolutely insistent and wouldn't deal with me until I went back out to the car to fetch everyone (we were traveling with guests in another room).
During check-in we were given a long presentation, more like rules. While I understand and appreciate knowing how things are run- we quickly got the impression we needed to 'walk a straight line... or else'.
Another reviewer likened the experience to being treated like a child, and I agree 100%.

At our first breakfast- we used a small flat plate, rather than a bowl, for our fruit. Ted pointed out that there were bowls for the fruit. We apologized, saying we didn't see them, then he muttered that now they would run out of plates! This seemed to mess up his order of things.
From then on we knew he had major hospitality shortcomings, and we certainly didn't ask him for anything or bother to voice a concern during our stay.

When we returned to our room after breakfast I noticed another person's key in our door, and found housekeeping making up the room, even though I had locked the door and hung the 'go away' sign on the door knob. I did this because I left my valuables in the room since we were only downstairs for breakfast and would soon return- so I was visibly upset to find her there. I pointed to the sign and she said 'I'm done already'- which did nothing to address my concern- her intrusion. As she left I asked for more towels and she returned stating that guests customarily leave their door unlocked during breakfast so that their rooms can be made up.
During our lengthy check in presentation Ted made no mention of keeping the door unlocked for housekeeping- and I have never been asked to do so at other inns. Nothing was missing and no real harm done, but it was not acceptable protocol. Luckily it didn't happen again- though on the following days I brought my purse with me to breakfast- just in case.
Our running joke was that the strictly enforced rules were for the guests to follow, but the staff could opt out. We wanted to have as pleasant a stay as possible, so we developed a sense of humor about the gruffness and quirks.

Here are some examples of the lack of hospitality shown to others that we observed during our stay:

Ted reprimanded someone for having their fluted glass off of the coaster. He rudely reached over the guest and moved the glass while stating that a coaster is to be used. The poor guest felt terrible and touched the spot to make sure no damage was done- it was perfectly dry of course, as was the flute. Not only did this embarass the guest, but it made the rest of us feel very uncomfortable.

Another guest asked if they could pay their bill- and Ted matter of factly told him no, that he was busy and they would have to wait until after breakfast. The guest stood there partially stunned.

We overheard Ted re-iterating the importance of ringing the bell upon check in or he won't know you're new. The couple was apologizing profusely.

One day in the afternoon we walked by while Ted sternly commanded his dog- but we didn't understand what the dog did wrong, as he was simply walking at Ted's side. I think he wanted him to stop- though I can't be sure, but my husband and I agreed that his tone was a bit frightening.

On the next day Ted was having a full blown argument in the kitchen with a guest during breakfast. The guest ended it, saying she didn't want to hear any more about the issue and stormed out of the kitchen to her table.

I don't mean to make Ted sound like a monster, he really was more like a grumpy man with stern rules. Some of these complaints about him have nothing to do with me, but it is uncomfortable to be a guest at the Inn and having to hear and see this lack of hospitality all around you. It made us feel pretty ill at ease.

On to the positive!
Accolades:

Ted offered to carry bags for us and allowed us to use the fireplaces in the summer. He even showed a bit of friendly interest on how we had spent our previous day once. (He's not all bad ;-)

While the food was not always in agreement with our tastes, it was clear that everything was fresh and thoughtfully prepared. Portions were large and food was rich. No one leaves hungry! There were always cold items available, like the delicious granola and fresh fruit salad.

The grounds were lovely.

While maintaing the integrity and history of the place, there were still many modern amenities offered in the spacious rooms- such as large steam showers and whirlpools, flat screen cable tv's and cd players, wi-fi, etc...
------------------

In conclusion- I think the inn has a lot going for it. The innkeepers have a lovely place that they maintain very well.
Unfortunately for Ted, in an intimate inn such as this- guests are looking for a friendly atmosphere.
I don't think Ted is a bad man... but he is not a warm & welcoming fellow and this really turned us off.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank sofifi97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 August 2009

Every summer my wife and I tour the USA for 3 or 4 weeks. We have stayed in many Romantic Inns and this is without a doubt the best!
Ted the inn owner is rightly proud of his inn. We arrived fairly late in the day but he still took the time to show us around and offer to help us in with our luggage. We asked for a recommendation for a late meal and Ted was pleased to help. He also showed us the guest folder in the lounge which was full of menus from local restaurants, a nice touch.
We stayed in the beautiful Library room. The bed was so high we were able to fit our four pieces of luggage under it. Everything in the room was top quality.
We sat at an eight-seater table for breakfast which gave us an opportunity to meet some very interesting Americans. Ted joined in our conversations cracking jokes and making suggestions for places to visit. He has been in this business for many years and certainly knows what he is doing.
Be warned the breakfast is out of this world and you will put on weight!
Take the time to sit and watch the birds at the feeders, it was just so relaxing.
We stayed for 5 nights in this magical place and we will certainly be returning.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BigCSM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2009

Celebrating my birthday at the Ormsby was a lucky choice for my husband and I. What a treat! We spent three fabulous days in one of the best B&B's ever. The owners and staff were friendly and helpful. Ted suggested Mistral's for a romantic dinner with excellent food and was it was right on the money. The rooms were beautifully furnished and comfortable with all the imenities down to the cork screw and needle and thread. The breakfasts were supurb--something new and gourmet every morning. I even got a special plate on my birthday. I could go on and on. We were thinking of coming back before we left.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank contentedtraveler9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2009

My significant other booked a two-night weekend stay at the Inn at Ormsby Hill and chose the Anne Eliza room using the "Spring Fling" rate (half off the second night). We had read the many reviews on TripAdvisor and were intrigued by the polarization--people either loved their experience or hated it, it seemed. So we approached our stay with a bit of trepidation, but were pleased to find Ted to be quite personable. Perhaps we're used to rougher client "service" in NYC but we didn't find Ted to be at all meddlesome or eccentric in ways I've personally found some Vermont innkeepers to be. We were definitely impressed with the condition of the inn both inside and out, and the room furnishings were impeccably elegant and well-maintained.

First off, regarding breakfast: we did not partake either day, as we are late risers on the weekend. Ted seemed totally fine with this, and we actually didn't see him (or Chris, or other staff) the entire weekend until we left. We were also fine with this as we had a good idea of what we wanted to do that weekend, and my s.o. had lived in VT before...so we were probably more independent than most travelers might be. There's a back door entrance that allowed us to come and go as we pleased. We also didn't find any thing resembling a "rule book" that other reviews have mentioned (perhaps this has been dropped in recent years?), nor did Ted have anything to say regarding rules--he seemed more informative than authoritative when showing us the place.

Secondly, we ordered one of the wines that they had available (they have a liquor license so they have wine and beer available for purchase at very reasonable prices). We were going to go to dinner and knew we wouldn't be back till after 9, which is when Ted and Chris retire. He assured us that he would leave it in our room uncorked so we could have it when we got back from dinner...and sure enough we were greeted by the welcome sight of the wine and two glasses waiting for us.

Thirdly, the facilities and grounds are really wonderful and well-kept. We loved the room and found everything to be immaculately laid out and very clean. Saturday night we hung out in the gazebo and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves listening to the winds blowing through the hills. We also enjoyed the jacuzzi and fireplace the first night. Everything worked perfectly (although we didn't expect the two-way fireplace to feel as hot as a regular open fireplace, but watch out, it does get toasty). The bathroom was very spacious and clean. And last but certainly not least, the bed felt as amazing to sleep on as it looked. (We also had no trouble getting onto the wireless network with my laptop.) We would definitely like to spend more time in the indoor common areas the next time we come back...and we do plan to come back again.

I thought that the Inn's location was ideal as well--not in the middle of town but certainly close enough to Manchester Center to be convenient.

I'm not sure how different our experience would have been if we were the type to wake up early on the weekends and possibly involve ourselves more with the Inn breakfasts and whatnot. All I know is we thoroughly enjoyed the inn, would definitely return, and would recommend it to others who might be similar to us, i.e. relatively independent and happy to loll around in bed in the morning. For us it was definitely the perfect foundation to a very romantic getaway.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beninbrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2009

This inn, although beautiful and convenient to skiing, is run by the rudest inn owners I've ever seen. The rules and limitations are truly oppressive. In fact, one morning I failed to sign up for breakfast because we planned to ski but got fogged out. We sat down to breakfast and without asking anything of us they placed that day's breakfast in front of us. We dug in but shortly the inn owner came by and asked if we had signed in for breakfast. We explained our situtation and unbelievably he took the plates from us and brought them back to the kitchen. They couldn't serve it to anyone else because we had eaten a bit. I was flabbergasted at this treatment of two guests paying full price. Upon seeing it, other guests complained of other incidents of heavy-handedness - lectures about using too much soap, scolding for placing skis on the porch (not even in the room), etc. Despite a pretty place, this treatment spoiled the whole stay. Avoid this place unless you like to be treated like a child.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank skitchsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2009

This past weekend my significant other and I spent a very romantic weekend at this decadent bed and breakfast just outside Manchester , Vermont. The innkeepers Ted and Chris are very accommodating and pay special attention to little details, that make you feel like they went out of their way to make you comfortable. In addition to our beautiful and spacious room, we also had a wonderful jacuzzi and fireplace too. In addition, we also had an in-room massage for two (1/2 half hour each and we paid extra for this) which was outstanding!!!!!! We had the fire going while we had our private massuse sp(?) and Chris brought up and lit a homemade heart candle, which was part of the special, along with ,tea ,and special cakes for our enjoyment as well.... Chris outdid herself again with her decadent breakfasts the both nights we were there. Unbelievable!!!!! I expect nothing less from this fabulous bed and breakfast though as I've been to this inn several times over the years and NOPLACE, I mean noplace (bed and breakfast inns that is ) compares to it.....

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank lovevacations2gether
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2009

My 2 sisters and my 81 year old mom decided to take a leisurely few days and stay at the Ormsby Inn, since we had stayed there many years ago we were familiar with it. Unknown to us the Inn had changed hands. I have to start with the positive. The Inn is very nicely decorated, everything has a place, it is extremely clean and well kept which is very important to me and my family. We rented 2 rooms, the Thompson Purdy and Pierrepont. Both rooms were nicely appointed, flat screen TV, oversized jacuzzi tub and fireplace. The shower is separate and pretty small. The bathroom itself was very roomy . Upon arrival we had cookies and tea or hot chocolate which was a nice touch. Now for the not so good.....In booking this Inn, I corresponded with the owners, Ted and Chris via email. We emailed back and fourth a few times deciding on which rooms to rent since we had a budget to work with. We wanted to make sure we got 2 rooms, each with a King size bed which we did end up getting. Living in the North Country (Queensbury, NY) we certainly understand that the weather can be an issue when planning anything in the winter months. When I booked the rooms, I specifically asked Chris what their cancellation policy was. Chris kind of hemmed and hawed about what the policy was and I asked that if we had a snow storm could we reschedule and she said well if we get a big snow storm.....and that was the extend of the cancellation policy conversation. Low and behold, the day we were to leave it was predicted that we were to get 8 inches of snow. I am 49 years old and am not comfortable driving my family over an hour away in a snow storm. I did what I thought was the right thing. I talked with my sisters and we all agreed that we did not want to chance driving over an hour to get to Vermont. So I called the Ormsby to let them know that we may want to reschedule our trip and spoke to Ted. I told him that the weather didn't look good for travel and we were coming over an hour away. The roads we have to travel are extremely curvy and trecherous on a good day and traveling these roads in snow would be extremely dangerous and I didn't feel I wanted to risk it. Ted argued that we were only supposed to get a little bit of snow and that people travel in snow all the time to get there. I again explained that I was not comfortable driving in the snow even though others were. I asked if we could reschedule our stay ASAP and he said he would not issue a refund. I told him I wasn't asking for a refund I was asking to reschedule to a better day. He said that it wasn't my decision to reschedule it was his decision if I was to reschedule. I argued back stating that since I was driving it WAS my decision to reschedule. He said he couldn't rent the rooms in this short amount of time. I responded by saying of course you can't rent the rooms. There's a snow storm coming! I told him I would take one last look at the weather at 6 PM that evening to see if the weather had changed to more favorable conditions and call him back. He said I could call but I was wasting my time. He ended the conversation by stating he had to cook breakfast and practically hung up on me. Later that evening my sister called and spoke to Chris, his wife. She was kind on the phone and said we could change our reserverations for the next day and stated that they had another couple coming from further away and they didn't cancel. I My sister stated that we weren't comfortable driving in the snow. We agreed to delay our stay by one day since the roads would be clear by then. Now I don't know about you, but anyone who tells me that I don't make decisions about driving in a snow storm is nobody I want to do business with. I was appaled that he could be so unaccomodating and sharp on the phone. It wasn't like the Inn was full. They appeared to only have one or two other couples staying there at the same time we were there. So it wasn't like they had others waiting for rooms. Infact with the slow economy, we got a deal on the rooms. We got the second night free. In closing this review, I have to say that this Inn was very pleasant to stay in.. If only the owners were more people friendly. The rest of our stay was nice. The breakfast was wonderful. I gave the Ormsby Inn a good rating since the Inn itself is a great place to stay and one of the cleanest places I've been in. If you can get passed the attitude, you'll have a great stay. There are shops just a few miles downtown to go in and browse, although many of them were closed for the days we were there. I'm not sure why. I would recommend the Ormsby but be prepared for not so people friendly owners.

  • Stayed: February 2009
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Thank kathydnys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Inn at Ormsby Hill

Address: 1842 Main St, Manchester, VT 05255-9282
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Vermont > Green Mountains > Manchester
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Manchester
Price Range: £165 - £271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Inn at Ormsby Hill 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If our lavish rooms and full, energizing breakfasts aren't enough to take your breath away, our spectacular mountains views will. Recipients of the AAA Four Diamond Award for the past fourteen years and a Select Registry property - a Manchester inn exclusive. One enchanting evening with us and you'll understand why. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Ormsby Hill Hotel Manchester
The Inn At Ormsby Hill Manchester, Vermont

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