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“Good location for West Seattle”
Review of Chittenden House

Chittenden House
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Chittenden House
Ranked #19 of 28 Seattle B&B and Inns
Reviewed 25 July 2013

I am writing because I promised the owner I would do so, partially to modulate some of the really harsh reviews this property has received. Marcia, the owner, seems to have made an effort to respond to previous reviews... in detailed written responses to those reviews and in her job as host and cook. Unlike most American B&Bs, there has been an effort to truly serve a full (if not English) breakfast, rather than pastries and coffee. I appreciated their attempt to meet my wife's dietary restrictions, which rather complicated their day-to-day practice. The dog, complained about in previous reviews, was a factor but again, I appreciate the effort to minimize his presence, so it was never a deal breaker. The room worked for our requirements and our four-night stay was satisfactory overall. The location requires only a brief and easy walk to the primary shopping/restaurant/activity of West Seattle, for which I would recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank LDPKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia C, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2014

Thanks for getting in touch! While I know that it's been a few months since you and your wife stayed with us, I wanted you to know how much your feedback means to me. I've always been a believer that a hearty breakfast is the best way to start the day, so it's good to know that you enjoyed the full spread. As for your wife's dietary restrictions, we're always more than happy to accommodate those types of needs as best as possible. Everyone should be able to partake in the deliciousness, after all.

That said, we want nothing more than to be your go-to spot when you're in Seattle, so please don't hesitate to let us know what we can do to make sure that happens.

All the best,
Marcia, Owner

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Reviews (21)
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14 - 20 of 21 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2012

OMG. This innkeeper must understand you can't charge $150 a night, and offer fewer amenities than a Motel Six! Mid week, her poor 81 year old mother does all the work, and the mother complains to guests about it!! When choosing on TripAdvisor, existing reviews seemed harsh, from dog haters, so I was moved to try them for one night, with my 81 year old mom in tow. Now, these are simple, lovely people, who really mean well, but seemingly one day said "Hey, Let's open a B&B", and did no further research on how to make guests either comfortable or welcome. The top price I would have felt fair for the Jungle Room is $50 a night, not 3 times that. So I do not seem harsh, I will just list facts/what appalled us, so you decide for yourselves. The innkeeper's mom did not say hello when addressed. My 81 year old mom carried her suitcase up steep stairs while the innkeeper just stood there. There is NO water view or private bath for the Jungle/Castle rooms as stated on the website, the bath is shared. We saw no hand soap provided, and extra tp is stored way 7 steps from the toilet; so look before you sit! There were black hairs on the sink.The shower is teensy. The downstairs was freezing.The bedroom decor is old,musty & oppressive, like thrift store. The tiny side table lamps don't give off enough light to read! Grandma couldn't work the downstairs shared TV, and the innkeeper ran off after check in, during which she shared no info, not even checkout or breakfast times.There were no tissues in the room. The bed sloped down hill. Breakfast was made/served by Grandma, who complained about her daughter making her come work. We received spoiled coffee cream with sour clumps, an awful pie filling, cookie and grape juice(!) and cut fruit "crumble" and Grandma allowed as she was "not sure how old the fruit was", oh SO bad ! When the egg box came out of the fridge, I saw the expiration date had passed 3 weeks ago! The homemade potatoes were not cooked fully; raw and greasy! Grandma actually leaned in and watched us eat and commented on what we did and did not chose to eat! WORSE- this gets serious, my mother actually did become sick later in the day, and vomited. I stuck to just toast. This negligent owner is paying zero attention to her business during the work week ! I can not say if it is better on the weekend, but their Jekyll/Hyde reviews suggest work week stays with Grandma running the show pales to the weekend experience. We agreed it was SO very very BAD, we must WARN others. No amount of rebuttal from the innkeeper would persuade us to recommend this place, or forgive possibly sickening guests and serving old spoiled food. This experience is like being sent to stay with Grandma, and Grandma does not want you there! There needs to be a serious rethinking of hospitality priorities here; we were completely appalled, and you can believe ALL of the TripAdvisor reviews you read. It was overpriced, depressing and seriously, just an awful experience.

Room Tip: If you must stay here, the downstairs room was the nicest.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank whatsitwerth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chittend, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2012

First, I'd like to thank the reviewer for taking the time to post this review. We try to view each review as a means to make improvements to the business.

I'd will respond initially, to the food handling concerns that are pointed out in this review. Despite the concerns that are stated in this review, we do take food handling very seriously. In the case of the concern for the pull date for the carton of eggs, I have an explanation. I buy my eggs at Costco in bulk. The packaging that they come in is a large cardboard tray with no covering other than plastic wrap, which is removed when opened. I have been transferring the eggs from that packaging into existing egg cartons that I have on-hand here. The eggs in question here, I had just bought that weekend, so they were in the house about 3 days. In retrospect, I admit that I should have recognized the fact that the pull date on the carton I moved the eggs into might be cause for concern if viewed by a guest. In future, I will ensure that the original pull date on these cartons is blocked out and that we pencil in the correct pull-date on the carton at the time of transfer.

The milk issue is also my fault. I had taken what was left of a small carton of half and half and added vinegar to it as a preperatory step for a baked dish that I planned to make that evening. Unfortunately, I neglected to let my Mom know that I had done so, and she apparenly used that carton for the coffee creamer that day. I realize now, that I should have put the carton way in the back of the refrigerator to ensure that this could not happen and also left her a note so she knew not to use it. That said, Mom should have recognised that there was an issue with the creamer and pulled out a fresh carton. I will discuss this issue with her as well as the issue regarding the potato dish..

As far as the comment made about the fruit, Mom would not know how long the fruit had been in the house since she doesn't live here, nor does she do the shopping for the business. I can assure you though, that to my knowledge, nothing served to this customer was more that 3 days old and bought during my Costco run the previous weekend. I don't know what it was that made this guest's Mother sick, but if it was anything that we served her I do not know what it might have been.

Hospitality comments - Bath: I keep hand soap available in the bath in a soap dish on top of the small white cabinet where the hair dryer is located. Based on this comment, I'll move it to the small table next to the bathroom sink so it cannot be overlooked. The shower is a walk in kind with a glass entry door. It is not the largest space, but is more than adequate to accommodate one person. This bath also contains a very large claw foot tub. Also, this bath is not shared. It is however, the only bath on the upstairs floor. The bath assigned to the room next door is located on the main floor below. There are times when people staying in that room choose to use the upstairs bath, rather than go down to the one assigned to the room. I always make a point of letting everyone who stays in that room know where their bath is located. Some people choose to use the upstairs bath despite that (especially during the night). If I know of this, I can ask them not to do so. However, I am not always made aware of this issue.

Bedroom: I do keep tissue in each of the guestrooms. In this room, a box is located on the small table next to the rocking chair. Based on this comment, I will move it to one of the bedside tables so that it cannot be missed. The decor in that room consists mainly of antiques. The bed I got about two years ago & I bought a new mattress and box spring at that time. I have also added a feather mattress and cotton bedcover atop the mattress, which are about a year old. The bed coverings I bought less than a year ago and are of a very high quality. I can assure you that there are no thrift store items in that room or any other room in the house. The lamps on the bedside tables are of a certain type for a reason. The one on the right has a switch that allows two different levels of lighting. Turning on the second level lighting should be more than adequate for reading purposes. The lamp on the other table is right beside the entrance door. The light swith for the overhead light in the room is right behind the lamp. I used a small wooden lamp on that table because I wanted to ensure that if it got knocked over, it would not break or cause a hazard. I will look into another type of lamp on that side of the bed. Maybe a pole lamp would work better. The view for both of the upstairs rooms has changed since I bought the house and created the website. There is still a pretty good view during the winter months when the leaves are off the trees. However, come spring those leaves come back and the water view deteriorates as the season progresses. These same trees grow taller every year & further obstruct the view. I will commit to updating the website to refer to the views as partial, so there is no confusion in future.

I have spent a lot of time, effort, heart & money on this business. I sometimes struggle to accomplish all I'd like to because there is only so much time in a day. I work full time at a job that recentIy transferred me to Everett. This means a longer commute time to & from work and the need to leave here at 5:30 a.m. and not return until around 4:00 p.m. As this writer points out, I am away from the business for a good portion of the day, so I don't see anything that happens during my absense. I run this business by myself. I don't have a husband or a partner to help me with it. I have to rely on employees, service personnel and family to help me keep up with things. I essentially work two jobs. I spend my evenings and weekends taking care of customers, doing indoor cleaning and outdoor yardwork as well as taking care of most of the required shopping for the business. I am recovering from a bulging disc in my back. I cannot do any heavy lifting (read luggage transfer). These are not excuses, they are facts. Because of these limitations, I have a monthly deep cleaning done on the entire house. I have a gardener come in twice a year to help with the heavy gardening requirements. I have a carpet and window cleaning service come in twice a year to take care of those items. The business does not bring in enough money to cover as many employees as I'd like to have. Without my other job, I'm not sure I'd even still be in business. I did just bring someone in part time to help with the daily cleaning, room turning/preparation and shopping requirements, etc.. She started about 2 weeks ago. That should help with items such as the tp issue that is mentioned in this review.

I will speak to my Mom about the comments that she made in this case. I do appreciate the heads up on this issue. If she is unhappy with the job, she has not said anything to me about it. I don't expect anything from her except for proper breakfast preparation, periodically covering early (prior to 4 p.m.) or late check in for customers that arrive after 8:00 p.m (since I have to get up at 4:30, staying up late can be challenging) and appropriate customer contact. I can assure you we will have a discussion about this case. The outcome of that discussion will determine whether I start looking for someone else to cover her current responsibilities. I need whoever is representing me and the business to behave in the appropriate manner. The behavior described here was not appropriate.

Again I'd like to thank this reviewer for voicing these concerns. I have tried to make commitments for each of the items that were discussed. I am truly sorry that this visit was such a disappointment to both parties.

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Reviewed 2 November 2011

We love to visit Seattle and whenever we're here we love to stay with Marcia & Marge at the Chittenden House.
Last couple of times we stayed in the Evergreen suite, which is a lovely two-bedroom apartment. There's a private entry and access to a beautiful garden with a large gazebo and a charming cottage with a burbling fountain outside.
The Evergreen allows you the luxury of making your own meals or snacks if you like with a fully equipped kitchen, a dinette area, a spacious living room and two bedrooms.
The master bedroom has a huge 4-poster bed that's SO comfortable you won't want to get up.
The Chittenden House is a great place to relax and plan your touring and a perfect place to unwind after a long day. The West Seattle location is close enough to the City center and is easily accessible from I-5 and WA99, but affords the peace & quiet of a suburban locale.
We wouldn't think of staying anywhere else.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank suntourhank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia C, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2014

What a lovely review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it up a few years ago. It's so nice to know that you not only love our fair city of Seattle, but you've always enjoyed your stay here as well. You're right — the Evergreen Suite is a lovely place to relax and feel at home when you're away from your own place. It's great to know that you've taken advantage of the kitchen and the spacious living room, too.

Needless to say, we can't wait to see you back for another trip. Seattle is calling your name!

All the best,
Marcia, Owner

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Reviewed 23 September 2011

This B and B looks great on paper and has well meaning caretakers: a mother and daughter.
However, quaint as it looks, it lacks professional cleaning big time. We stayed in the Evergreen suite and at first glance things looks ok until I went in the bathroom and found black hairs all over the tub and long black hairs in many corners of the bathroom and on the furry white rugs. I left a note on the sink the first morning. The note disappeared, but the floor NEVER was cleaned nor was the sink. Towels reminded me of "garage sale" specials. Inn keepers were somewhat friendly and food was ok. If you like " lots of stuff" and don't mind a less than clean bathroom, this is a place for you. The downstairs kitchen was new and clean, but that didn't help the bathroom situation. Our five night stay was dampened by a less than clean bathroom! A 788.00 disappointment!

Room Tip: Have someone do a walk through if possible.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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Thank doc39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia C, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2014

I know it's been quite some time since you wrote this, but we're just getting active on Tripadvisor and this kind of feedback is still very important to us. I'm sorry if the cleanliness of the bathroom didn't meet your standards and put a slight damper on your vacation. With two extra years of experience and customer service under our belts, I'm confident we've got what it takes to impress you. I hope you'll give us another shot in the future.

Take care,
Marcia, Owner

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Reviewed 27 July 2010

Our experience did not start well when we were greeted by two large barking dogs at the entrance to the B&B. One dog had to be dragged away so we could enter. The B&B was not as clean as you would expect and had dog odors. The manager did not seem to be very warm and inviting. The room was only okay. The worse part of the whole experience was the breakfast. The first breakfast was just okay. Very little food was offered. The second day the breakfast was not edible. It consisted of what the manager called a "strata" baked left overs from as she described from the "kitchen sink". It tasted like the kitchen sink!
I would spend the night in my car before going back there again!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank dog321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chittend, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2010

Well, I'm really sorry that these guests were so disappointed. We try really hard to make everyone's stay here, a good one.

I must say, that I do have a challenging puppy, who we are working hard to try to make manageable (we've already had two different obedience trainers in to try to help). He's just a little too friendly and, without intervention, will jump all over new guests if we are not careful. He loves people and is a little too happy to see them when they arrive, so I sometimes have to intervene if he is out of his confined area when new guests arrive. I generally try to keep him in his own ( confined) space to avoid this type of problem. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to have him confined when a new guest arrives, especially if they arrive outside of the normal check in time. This is likely what happened in this case.

Cleanliness - we do a good cleaning of every space every day, and also have a cleaning service come in once per month to do a deep cleaning of the entire house, so I'm not sure where this comment comes from.

Breakfast - we do a full breakfast, and this year have added a first course of some sort of fruit dish prior to the main course. The strata recipe that is mentioned in this case, is my Mom's specialty dish. She does sometimes joke that it has everything but the kitchen sink in it, but that is because it is a very compicated dish with a lot of ingredients included within it. Every time we make it, it is slightly different; because we use ingredients that are currently in the fridge. It's a very hearty, complicated dish and I've never heard a complaint before. My Mom loves to make this dish and it's generally quite popular with the guests. Not sure what happened in this case. Maybe there was some ingredient, or ingredients, included in this version of the dish, that was not a favorite of this particular guest.

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Reviewed 22 July 2010

On a recent vacation, I decided to attend a workshop in Seattle. Chittenden House was close to the location workshop, and the pricing was reasonable, so we booked a night, planning to move on from Seattle the next day.

Our room was lovely. It was clean and had a lovely view. There was a little room off our room that acted as a closet. The bed was really comfortable. We had a full bathroom next door for our exclusive use that even had a claw-footed bathtub. I would have liked a lock on the door, but given it was not used by other guests, it wasn't a big problem.

The hostesses served up lovely breakfasts and they were quite friendly and helpful.

We decided to stay another night, in large part because we enjoyed staying at this bed and breakfast so much. Chittendon House offers lovely hospitality for a reasonable price.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled on business
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Thank LoriS65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia C, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2014

I'm so glad you decided to stay with us while you were visiting Seattle. Hearing that you thought the room and breakfast were lovely is like music to my ears — thanks so much for getting in touch with us here on Tripadvisor. I hope you'll consider staying with us again the next time you're visiting the area.

All the best,
Marcia, Owner

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Reviewed 1 April 2010

This was very convienient for me - less than a mile from the people I was visiting. Quiet, safe neighborhood.Beautiful home, gourmet breakfasts, friendly innkeepers (mother and daughter).

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
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Thank CtSiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marcia C, Owner at Chittenden House, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2014

I know it's been a few years since you wrote this, but I just wanted to reach out and say thanks for taking the time to leave us a review! We want our guests to enjoy a relaxing stay and delicious breakfast when they're with us, so it's really encouraging to hear your feedback. Thanks again for getting in touch, and I hope you'll keep us in mind for your next trip to Seattle!

All the best,
Marcia, Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chittenden House

Address: 5649 47th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136-1406
Region: United States > Washington > Seattle > West Seattle
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Seattle
Price Range: £73 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chittenden House is a European-style bed and breakfast located in a historic 1926 Craftsman home. Just ten minutes from downtown, we are located in the heart of beautiful West Seattle. Come relax and enjoy the quiet and serenity of the area, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We are just minutes away from Alki Beach and Lincoln Park, so you’re never far from an adventure. ... more   less 

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