Trip Pics: Not quite as expected

My mom is notorious in my family for finding “bargains” on vacation lodging.   Her most famous find was the Red Wing Motel near Pikes Peak, which was nothing like the glamorous ad we viewed in the  AAA tour book.  Apparently I was trained well, because the “fancy country inn” I splurged on for our stay in Acadia National Park the last few nights was nothing like we expected.

Let me just say this first:  I never, ever, like to pay more than $100 a night for a hotel room.  I like to save my money for food, more food, and shopping for gifts for people.  But when I saw that this Inn had a breezy blue and white room offering wall-to-wall windows and a sweeping view of the bay, I thought Ryan and I could treat ourselves.

This is what was advertised on the site.  Isn’t it a breezy, beautiful space?  I couldn’t wait to wake up in it.

Unfortunately, when we arrived there Friday night, this is what the room really looked like:

Do you blame us for being totally disappointed?

Gone is the breezy white bedding, replaced with an uncoordinated rust and gold bedding set.  The upper walls are painted white, and topped with a tacky nautical wallpaper border that edges only two of the four walls in the room. What on earth possessed them to add rust and gold to a pale blue room, complete with blue wall-to-wall carpeting??

I guess they decided to angle the bed against the corner because the room is narrow. . . but if it were me, I’d place it squarely against the wall.  Angling it only makes the room feel more cramped and awkward.  Does this look like an almost-$200-a-night room to you?  Because it doesn’t to me.   Even worse, the bed was so rickety that we slept horribly.  Any time either of us moved the littlest bit in our sleep, the entire bed rocked to and fro like a ship in stormy seas.

Anyway, the common areas of the Inn were cluttered with antiques displayed in every possible space.    The owner clearly loves collecting, which is cool . . . if you know how to display things well.  And know when enough IS enough.  When moving our luggage through these spaces, we were terrified that we were going to break something.

These photos don’t really show the extent of the clutter, but take my word for it.

There were some great pieces mixed into the space.  I joked to Ryan that a team of thrifty home decor bloggers could totally flip that place around in one weekend, using only the pieces the owner had on hand.  Here are some of my favorites:

Totally digging these lamps that light the front room:

I love, love, love this telescope.  I’d leave the corner uncluttered to really show the piece off.

I’m not trying to be overly critical or judgmental.  I know that everyone has a different style, it’s just that I don’t think the website represents the space accurately.   I also respect that they’re a small business owner and I was glad to support them. I thought of a way to help them out more, but Ryan wouldn’t let me rearrange the furniture and leave a note explaining why I made the changes I did.

So what do you think?  Am I being too harsh, or do you agree that if your business is that of creating a cozy home-away-from-home for travelers, wouldn’t you want to ensure your look was a bit more coordinated?

Have you ever been disappointed by the difference between how a hotel or Bed and Breakfast was marketed and what you really saw when you arrived?  Or do you always stick with a brand-name hotel chain, just to avoid this sort of uncertainty?

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  • Reply Julie at 11:40 am

    Not harsh. I’d be pissed at $200/night for THAT.

    “Ryan wouldn’t let me rearrange the furniture and leave a note explaining why I made the changes I did.”

    I would have helped you!!! LOL!


  • Reply Katie @ Making This Home at 11:57 am

    This is so weird! We find places in this sort of state a lot, too…. but at the price you paid? SADNESS. I’ve dreamed of vacationing where you guys are. Thanks for the little peeks. Enjoy!


  • Reply Kristin at 12:15 pm

    That has totally happened to me! We were even shown a suite before we booked our wedding night suite and they didn’t give it to us when we arrived. We were so disappointed!

  • Reply Mikalah at 12:15 pm

    Yikes. I agree, it’s too bad when rooms are so different from what they advertise! =(

    I always have the urge to make-over things too! I do love a lot of the pieces, and without so much clutter it would have been a lot nicer!

  • Reply Michelle at 1:27 pm

    Our first B&B experience involved finding our room reeking of bug spray, finding the windows missing their handles so we could open them and having no clue how to contact management since the room was in a house on a complex instead of a single house with staff available downstairs. And our second experience involved paying more for a room with a cast iron claw foot tub (which are the most awesome for nice hot baths), only to get there and discover the tub enamel was chipped on the bottom (eliminating one of the perks of a bath in such a tub) and lacking a stopper (so much for a bath at all), it also lacked a place to put soap and shampoo while showering – at least the rest of the room met expectations.

    I too would be pissed if I paid almost $200 for that (unless the nearby budget places were also $$$), but really I’d just be pissed that it wasn’t as advertised. I’m guessing you are paying for the view more than the furniture.

  • Reply April in CT at 1:39 pm

    Wow, they REALLY need to update the pictures on their site. Why did they go BACK in time with that ugliness in the room? Yikes.

    I was getting desperate when planning our trip this weekend to Acadia a few weeks ago, but thank goodness I came across a site that lists cottages/homes for rent. We found a house to rent for the week at a fraction of the cost a hotel would have been and I’ll have a kitchen to help save a few bucks on meals. Believe me we’ll be eating out too though! On the way up our lunch stop is Pie in the Sky, so thanks for posting about that!

  • Reply Abby @ abby & her boys at 10:43 am

    Yikes! I am bummed for you! Loving the chair and light though–loving.

  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 11:33 am

    At least the view was accurate, but yeah, That’s like opening a box marked “Cuisinart Blender” and discovering a whisk. I would have said something.

  • Reply jenifer at 7:40 pm

    i’m with you on this one, and it’s rather notorious in “new england” areas for this to happen. i don’t know why it happens, but it does.

    our best friends got married in a remote little CT village–one of their favorite spots–at a b and b. we stayed in the b and b with them, in the “second best room.” we had no pictures before hand, but at $250 per night (for two nights), and the description on the inn that we were given, as well as what was on the website (mostly exterior shots, view shots, and shared-area shots, with multiple shots of the “honeymoon suite” from different angles such that it looked like–and seemed to be advertised as–different rooms), i was expecting something quite nice.

    we were in a small room with peeling, white-cream painted wall paper and a window running along the ceiling that looked out into a peaked roof of another part of the B and B.

    the bedroom furniture was stuff that looked like it was pulled from a house decorated in the 70s–that heavy wood with the very dark stain stuff. we had with stinky linens that had holes in them. they were also scratchy and in that 1980s mauve-ish color. the carpet was stained, completely tramped flat, and that lovely orange-and-gold stuff from the 70s.

    and then comes the bathroom. you go up three pink-carpeted steps into a pink-carpeted bathroom. the walls were dark wood paneled. the tub, sink, and toilet were teal, yellow, and cream with a wood toilet seat respectively. The tub was up three more pink-carpeted stairs, and had a gold, again 70s-y, shower curtain complete with mold.

    the rooms smelled like mold, of course, and old cigarettes. we had a tv in the room, a small black-and-white ‘vintage’ number with rabbit ears and no clear stations. and, it was a very cold room. the alarm clock would go off at random times, so we unplugged it. oh, and the mattress was terrible. it was all springs.

    we learned, too, that the room was up against a second room, and that the door between those rooms–where someone else was housed–didn’t lock. initially, i thought it was a closet door. that’s how i discovered it was an unlockable shared room door. i opened it onto undressed neighbors.

    so, there was no closet for our wedding attire, nor a hook to hang it on.

    our friend’s room, the honeymoon suite, was quite nice, and everyone else was staying in a hotel about 30 minutes from town.

    i went to the manager and begged out of our second night, going to a hotel down the road (for $69). clean little road side hotel with HBO. not perfect or fancy, but clean and comfortable.

    and i told the B and B manager it was the *worst* room i’ve stayed in, and i’ve stayed in some crazy places.

  • Reply Trip Pics: The perfect log cabin at 11:01 pm

    […] our extremely disappointing stay at the Moorings Inn near Bar Harbor, Maine, Ryan and I were thrilled when we arrived at the Rustic […]

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