Being new to Texas, my husband and I decided to take a quick trip to the east to learn more about our newly adopted state. When we travel, we prefer to stay in a B&B. So we have stayed in the best of them and the worst of them. After much research, we decided to stay at The Culberson House B & B, located in Jefferson, TX. We chose The Culberson House because of its close proximity and easy walking distance to the town center (all of about 4 blocks). This B & B is rather new (opened in October 2010) as it was previously a private residence. It is a beautiful, grand historic home that shows it's been well loved and taken care of by the previous multiple homeowners. That being said, I will list the hits, misses and opportunities below:
Hits: 1) The B & B is gorgeous. It's filled to the brim with exquisite antiques, paintings and collectibles. It does not present or smell like an old, musty home. In some ways, it felt as if we had walked into a Roosevelt or Vanderbilt estate. 2) Its location is central to all things to do and see in Jefferson. 3) It has nice, spacious rooms (6 in total) with luxurious baths. Website says private baths, but one is actually a hall bath (see below). 4) Excellent 3 course breakfasts served daily. You won't need to eat again until 2 or 3 pm.
Misses: 1) Because the proprietors are new to the B & B business, unfortunately, in ways it shows. When we arrived at our scheduled day and check in, we noticed not a soul was around. We knocked on the door and saw that all the lights were off. We immediately called the proprietors to let them know we had arrived and soon discovered that they had "forgotten" we were to check-in that afternoon. They quickly responded by letting us know they would be there in a few hours to check us in. Fortunately, there were things to do in Jefferson to occupy our time while we waited. However, this could be frustrating for those travelers who would like immediate access to their rooms in order to settle in or freshen up before going out again. (Note: the owners do not live in or nearby Jefferson. They reside in Dallas and travel to Jefferson on weekends or when they have a booking. It's about a 3 hour commute. This could present problems in the future if they continue to forget about their bookings.)
2) When booking our reservation, my husband confirmed that our bathroom would be private. However, when checking in, we realized that "private" meant our exclusive use to the hall bathroom. (Note to selves: Next time we'll make sure to confirm "en-suite".) Also, because of the location of the bathroom, no bathrobes were provided for our comfort and discretion. It was a hassle to carry our clothing to and from the bathroom each morning. I figured this was something that wasn't provided (and was not mentioned on the website) so I didn't ask for a robe. However, on the final day of our stay, as I was leaving our room to go to breakfast, I did notice a bathrobe draped over the bed of another guest's. I realized, then, that it was an oversight on the proprietors' part, but it was too late to ask for one since we were departing that day and we had already showered. 3) I would have given the establishment 5 stars for cleanliness had it not been for the big dog poop on the outside porch. They have a tiny resident dog but this didn't look like her offense; possibly the doings of a neighborhood dog. In any case, it's not very pleasant drinking your morning coffee and looking out the window and seeing a "gift". Attention to detail was certainly a miss in this category. However, as near as I could tell, the rooms looked spotless and no mold in the bathroom (a deal breaker). 4) My husband and I did a lot of research on Jefferson before booking our trip to ensure there would be plenty to do. Because we were traveling over the New Year's holiday, the only thing their tourism website listed as a local activity was their New Year's Rail of Lights Train (I would NOT recommend). We booked that because it was really spoken of glowingly on their website. However, the morning of the train ride, we were told by the proprietors of two other events taking place that evening. It would have been nice to know this considering my husband had asked when booking the room. We couldn't get out of the train ride reservation and didn't really budget for the other unexpected events. I would say this was a miss on the proprietors' part because it certainly would have been a nice touch to have been well informed of the town's NYE events prior to the day of and would have given us other options. By the way, the train ride was a real bust.
Opportunity: I believe The Culberson House has the potential to be a 5 star establishment. With some tweaks here and there and more attention to detail, this can be a real winner. This house was first owned by a prominent attorney and later by other noted homeowners, so there is a lot of history. As I mentioned before, it is filled with so many antiques and paintings. It would have been nice to hear about the history and provenance of these fine furnishings. Being new to the biz, I got the feeling the homeowners are rather overwhelmed by all of this. They have the opportunity to learn more about the special treasure they own and to share this wealth of information not only with their guests but also during the home tours they conduct on weekends.
I would recommend this B & B with caution. If given a couple more months for the new owners to settle in and work out the kinks, this could be a nice gem.
Other noteworthy items: WiFi is available but service is sketchy. Could not use it in my room. Parking is "free" if you park on the street. There is no on-site parking available. The proprietors are not squeamish about guests consuming coffee/wine/other beverages in the bedrooms. The local train is very active and runs through the town about every 2 hours. They WILL blow the horn. This was not a problem for us but could be for light sleepers. Don't miss touring Caddo Lake on the Graceful Ghost paddle boat, located in Uncertain, TX. You won't regret it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC