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“A Hilton or Westin in B&B Clothing”

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The Inn at Manchester
Ranked #1 of 12 Manchester B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New England
Level Contributor
58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“A Hilton or Westin in B&B Clothing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2009

Our arrival at the Inn at Manchester defined the remainder of our stay. We entered the Inn without being greeted at all. In fact, we called out “hello” a few times before finding the office with an employee. Janet acknowledged our presence in a pleasant and professional, yet impersonal manner (“hello, are you checking in?”). We learned quickly that she was “very busy” and leaving in “thirty minutes”. She was clearly in a hurry to check us in and carry on with her end-of-the-day duties. Moreover, it was business first when we stepped through the door (“your credit card please”). Frankly, this was off-putting and something I would expect from a hotel, not a B & B. Why start in this manner, especially when they already have the first night’s deposit in hand?

Janet’s initial whirlwind Inn tour revealed spotlessly clean and tastefully decorated – but, cold feeling -- public rooms. The stately house has been lovingly renovated and this alone makes it worthy of its Select status. Nevertheless, “impersonal” comes to mind when referring to the décor. There are few personal touches here beyond renderings of the Inn and Chai, the Inn mascot. The aesthetics are as though someone read a decorating handbook carefully, but forgot their imagination and creativity. Still, every book was in place – every picture straight on the walls – and every newspaper exactly straight on the table. It is almost a bit weird.

Our stay was soured by the fact that the pool was drained and being renovated. The weather was lousy, so our swimsuits would probably have gone unused, but no one thought to call or e-mail us in advance regarding this closure. Moreover, no apology or make-up (perhaps a drink coupon, or something of the sort) was offered when we politely inquired about the condition of the pool mid-summer (we didn’t complain, just inquired). We felt tricked by the advertising materials touting the in-ground pool, only to arrive and find it nothing more than a dry pit behind the carriage house. The explanation given was that the decision was “last minute” and they didn’t know when the contractors would actually be showing up. Huh?

Our room, the Sage Suite, is billed by the Inn as one of their best. We were certainly satisfied, but not blown away, by the accommodations. Initially, there was an odd inexplicable odor when we entered the room. We opened the windows and the smell was generally gone within a few hours. The room is plenty large with a nice seating area that we used for three games of Scrabble over two nights (thoughtfully provided by the Inn, along with other games and puzzles all in good condition). The bathroom is also a good size by any standard. The advertised “jetted tub” is a standard-size bathtub with jets. Again, nice, but not exciting. Shower pressure was adequate, but hot water was sparse in the morning hours and improved later in the day. The amenities usually found and expected in a $200 suite were sorely missing here: Soap was of the paper-wrapped Motel 6 variety (“White Rain”) and the small lotion, shampoo and conditioner was of a similar variety with Inn logos. Institution-white towels were scratchy and uncomfortable. No robes or anything else (except a makeup cloth and small paper wrapped sewing kit) was to be found. Ironically, the nicest personal touch was the toke envelope left by the housecleaning crew. They could definitely do better – especially in their top suite.

There is a small LCD TV in the room with a DVD player (and an odd assortment of DVDs), but it is strangely located on the side of the bed in an armoire (I had to lay on my side to watch before going to sleep). A better spot would be hung forward of the bed over the nice gas fireplace. Isn’t that the purpose of LCD TVs: to be hung on the wall? Again, a potential nice touch overlooked.

The service did not impress over the next two days. One employee, Ellen, was friendly enough, but initially answered our request for dinner suggestions by directing us to a drawer of unorganized menus. Eventually, when we pressed further, she recommended a restaurant on the other end of town that we learned upon arrival is closed on Mondays (the day we wanted to visit). We ended up at a random steakhouse in town that was very good.

Innkeeper Frank flew by us several times without stopping to say hello even once. Co-innkeeper Julie graciously served us breakfast with a polite smile – twice -- without introducing herself by name (or asking ours). In fact, we only knew it was Julie by her photo on the internet. While there is certainly no requirement by innkeepers to greet their guests, we missed this sort of personal touch from our previous two B & B stays reviewed here on Tripadvisor. We were also somewhat surprised that Julie did not ask if we enjoyed our stay when we checked-out with her. In retrospect, it was a fitting end to the indifference we experienced at the Inn (and in the town of Manchester overall).

What was even more interesting to us is that the Inn dog, Chai, was also indifferent! Chai was not interested in fraternizing with guests -- except at breakfast when a table of Canadian visitors snuck scraps to her when Julie wasn’t looking.

Moreover, one ever-present employee has a “punk-like” look to him with a substantial nose ornament. We are a relatively young “hip” couple – and have absolutely no problems with nose rings and other eye-catching body decorations. But, it struck us as odd at a $200 per-night hotel accommodation to have front-line staff without limitations on this sort of thing. Progressive? Perhaps.

With all of this said, there are several good things worth mentioning: Everything was absolutely spotlessly clean. We literally could not find a spec of dust or dirt anywhere. The queen bed was very firm and comfortable with luxurious feeling linens and fluffy pillows to sink into. Lighting was ample (although a general overhead light was lacking). An air conditioner and ceiling fan kept the room cool and comfortable. The small personal (although not private) balcony with two chairs (with a view of the parking lot, carriage house, grounds – and then the mountain in the background) would have been nice had the weather cooperated.

Finally, the food also reflected the overall mood here: Crisp and tasteful, but nothing particularly special. One morning the menu consisted of pancakes and bacon. My request for scrambled egg whites in addition was accepted. The second morning was a “cheese omelet or eggs any other way you’d like”. The pancakes were perfect – but, just pancakes. No berries, or other fillings. Bacon was crisp and tasty, but cold on both mornings. The omelet was essentially a slice of cheese folded inside of eggs. Again, nicely presented – but, impersonal and boring.

We cannot recommend the Inn at Manchester. While it is certainly meticulously clean, and country-club sharp – it is cold, impersonal and essentially a solid Hilton or Westin in a B&B’s clothing. That’s not what a B&B is about for us. But, then again, that’s just us.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Father-of-Dragons71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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597 reviews from our community

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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (151)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
VT
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2009

While visiting on Business (opening the new Zutano Shop in the Northshire Bookstore...a must see in Manchester), I was lucky enough to stay at the Inn at Manchester. Frank and Julie couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating; last minute a colleague had to stay overnight and we were moved to a two-bed room (Rosemary) with no fuss. The beds were VERY comfortable and breakfast was excellent each morning...I especially enjoyed the "Cottage Cakes" one of Franks specialties (that's right, Frank does the cooking while Julie greets you). Having breakfast in the dining room each morning was not only economical (one less item on the travel expense sheet) but time efficient as well. Frank and Julie made this business trip a joy.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank betzigirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2009

This was our first stay at Inn at Manchester and everything was as advertised in the consensus reviews on this board. Frank and Julie do a nice job with their hospitality and are helpful with reservations. We stayed in the Primose Suite which was spacious and relatively quiet. Wireless internet access/complimentary workstation and afternoon goodies/drinks are a nice amenity as well. The only suggestion I would have is if the breakfast menu can be expanded a bit more. There are only a couple of hot entree offerings which is fine if you're going just for the weekend but a bit surprising if you stay more than two nights. Overall, my personal opinion is the Inn at Manchester offers guests the best value amongst the Manchester-based B&Bs. Thanks again Frank and Julie.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cardsany1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Dakota
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2009

We really enjoyed our stay. Wonderful service, cozy clean room. Delicious breakfast and snacks. Beautiful grounds.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank roadtrekers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shrewsbury, New Jersey
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2009

We had the pleasure of staying at the Inn at Manchester for a weekend of spring skiing at Stratton. The innkeepers, Frank and Julie, were warm and welcoming. The entire place if fabulous and breakfast was delicious. Our room was big, comfortable and very clean. The sitting areas abound with books, puzzles and games. The atmosphere is of relaxed comfort in a beautifully decorated setting. It close enough to walk into town and far enough away where you don't feel crowded. I know exactly where I am staying the next time I find myself in Southern Vermont. No need to look anywhere else.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikeyman67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Attleboro
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2009

We spent one night in Manchester and had a a great time at the Inn at Manchester. The owners are so friendly and welcoming. The rooms are so sweet and clean, and the breakfast was delicious. Highly recommend it.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jetdubin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
257 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2009

I can quite see why the Inn at Manchester has such a great following. Rarely have I been somewhere where the owners appear to care so much that all the guests have a good time and that they are so personally pleased to have met you. The service was exceptional, the rooms were well appointed and the food was great. The fact that hot and cold drinks were available 24/7 at no extra charge with fantastic cookies and cakes was an unexpected bonus. I would not hesitate to go back - top marks to the Inn at Manchester

  • Liked — Frank and Julie
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Surreyite
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 Manchester

Property: The Inn at Manchester
Address: 3967 Main St, Manchester, VT 05254
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Vermont > Green Mountains > Manchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Manchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Manchester Village, this accommodation has 21 rooms and offers a full breakfast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Manchester Hotel Manchester
Inn Manchester
The Inn At Manchester Vermont

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