My mother and I take a yearly vacation together every summer. This past summer we decided to explore the Hamptons. I was there for a brief time over ten years ago, and my mother has never been. We were there for five days. We stayed in Bridehampton at a fabulous B & B for the first part of the trip and then headed to Sag Harbor for the remaining few days. We had a great time in Bridgehampton and that B & B completely exceeded our expectations.
We were very hopeful as we arrived in Sag Harbor, but the time spent actually finding Harborwoods Guesthouse, brought our hopes down a bit. Yes it was located back in the woods and was a little tricky to find. This might be nice if you are looking for something off of the beaten path and not in walking distance to downtown.
When we finally found the place, we actually thought we were lost. There were three people on the back porch and one of them waved, so we thought ok maybe we were in the right place. I do not remember seeing any signs once we parked. We left our bags in the car and went in the back door, really not sure if this was the right door or not since there were no signs posted, no one came to greet us, etc...Once inside we found a chair with a stack of papers on it. Our names were on one of the papers. It gave directions for opening up our room. We actually did not even know where our room was at this point though! Finally a man walked in from the back porch and introduced himself. He was one of the owners, Dean. We tried to chat with him for a few minutes. We asked him to show us where our room was. He showed us where our room was and how to open the door, which did not have a key, it used a lock pad. He did not show us anything else in the house, the patio, where breakfast was served, etc..
Now this next part really took this place down a notch in our eyes. At the time of our trip I was 4 months pregnant and still suffering from pretty bad morning (all day) sickness and my mother was 61 years old. The stairs to our room were solid wood (aka: a bit slippery). We asked Dean if he would mind helping us carry our bags up the stairs. I would not have asked if I had been with my husband, or my father or not pregnant. My mother has a bad back as well. It was early in the evening too, we were not asking Dean to help us at 6am or midnight. And we each only had one bag. Maybe this was asking for too much, since Dean seemed VERY surprised and a little taken back that we had in fact asked him for his help. Very shocking especially since we were paying over $300 a night, if I remember correctly, for the room. He did help us with the bags, but the attitude really put us off.
We went to our room and settled in. The room was basic to say the least. And in basic I mean very little IKEA-like furniture. A piece of wood installed into the wall to represent a "desk", no tv, no clock and a shower so small that luckily I was only 4 months pregnant and not 9, because I would not have fit in the shower. We decided to get ready for dinner.
We went downstairs and Dean was there. We had been given some recommendations for restaurants from some friends we had met in Bridgehampton. We asked Dean's advice on these restaurants. He told us that he did not like either of them, they were for tourists, too $$ and that was it. He never actually suggested a place for us to go or a better location. Ok well no help there so we went with our original suggestions.
When we came back from dinner I noticed that there were tea bags on a small table. There were mugs as well. I was looking around for the hot water and could not find it. There was a carafe but it was empty. I had been drinking a lot of herbal tea due to the morning sickness and cup of tea would have really been helpful at the time. We were looking for the hot water when Dean came out from behind the kitchen wall. We asked him for some hot water so that I could make tea. Again he seemed very shocked and bothered! But since there were tea bags and mugs sitting out I did not think this was such an odd request. He again filled up the hot water, seemingly very bothered by the request.
Once the water was ready I poured tea for myself and my mother and we sat on the couch. We tried making small talk with Dean. We wanted to find out about the area, the beaches, etc..Dean seemed to open up a bit and began chatting with us. He then said a few comments that really made my mom and I feel uncomfortable. He informed us that his B & B is not a place where people should expect full service or to be waited on at all (as if asking for hot water was too much) and that if people wanted that they should go somewhere else. He said sometimes people are shocked but that this is not the place for them. It was VERY clear the message he was trying to send us. Very rude and very clear! We had not asked for anything out of the ordinary (help with our bags....being pregnant and my mom being 61!) and some hot water. That was it. We never expected to be waited on at all. We enjoy going to new places, meeting and talking with people and exploring new towns and beaches.
During this time Dean also informed us that they only had one bad review on Trip Advisor and that the women who wrote the review was in a "bad mood" from the start. He was very cocky and said the women had been miserable and that is why she wrote the review. I thought in my head that if I had to write a review it would not be that great either and I had NOT arrived in a bad mood. I had actually been very excited about the next stop on our trip.
Well after that little conversation we decided to head up to our room. Being downstairs in the main room felt strange. It felt like we were unwelcome house guests. I did not feel comfortable being there at all. And to top it all off we were paying A LOT of money to stay there and this is how we were made to feel! Unwelcome! So we went to bed and hoped that tomorrow would bring a better day..
We the next day was better. We actually interacted with Barbro and not Dean. Barbro was as sweet as could be. She had prepared an amazing breakfast complete with different breads, cheeses, fruit, jams, yogurt, granola, etc...She was nice and welcoming. We ate outside on the back porch and started talking to some of the other guests. After breakfast we talked to Barbro and she gave us some good advice about the beach. She was lovely and the breakfast was really outstanding.
We spent that day at the beach and then went to dinner in town. The next morning we had to get up very early because Hurricane Irene was coming and we wanted to head home (we are not big TV watchers, but this would have been one time I would have liked to see the news!) Luckily we had planned to get up around 5am, because the chicken next door would have woken us up anyways. Yes I said chickens. I heard noises early in the morning and looked out the window. I hadn't noticed before but there was some sort of chicken farm next door. There was a women out there feeding the chickens and they were very loud. But we were up and leaving anyways. I lugged all the bags down the stairs, because I did not want my mother doing it.
I am rating this place average because of the breakfast and Barbro. If I had to rate Dean's attitude and the price I would say poor. I would expect a nicer, more welcoming place for almost $300 a night. I would expect a nicer room and a more welcoming and helpful owner. I would say this place should have cost no more than $150 a night. If you are looking for a bare bones place with an excellent breakfast, this may be the spot for you. If you do not mind paying that much for bare bones though. For me, it seemed a little pricey.
My mother and I did have a great trip though because we made it great. We found some nice restaurants, walked around the town and went to the beach. We made the trip great because we were not going to let someone with a bad attitude ruin it for us. I would go back to Sag Harbor, but I would look into staying somewhere different.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A well-appointed bed and breakfast located just south of Main Street in Sag Harbor. Built in 2006. All rooms have private baths and wireless web access. Breakfast on the porch in the summer and in our dinning room all year. We have central a/c to keep things comfortable. In the winter sit by our hearth and relax in the warmth. In the summer enjoy the shade on our expansive porch and deck. For a day a weekend or a week. One room or the whole house. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Harborwoods Guesthouse Sag Harbor, Hamptons