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Reviewed 24 October 2017

Back in August my husband and I decided to take a short 3 day get away to Door County, WI. We also decided we would like to take our dogs along with us. After doing research into "dog friendly" hotels, we narrowed it down to 2 places with availability for the dates we wanted to go. Before booking the hotel through Hotels.com, I contacted both places to ask some questions. The first place I called I was told they had size and room restrictions. This was not going to work for us because we have 2 large dogs. I then called the second place, Open Hearth Lodge in Sister Bay, WI. It was later in the evening when I called (my reservation was actually made around 10:00 pm on the Hotels.com web site). A very nice gentleman answered the phone and we ended up having a fairly lengthy conversation. I explained that I had found their information on Hotels.com and I asked about any restrictions they have with dogs. I was told they had no restrictions on size of dog or rooms (I did ask both questions, since I had just talked to a place that had both). This gentleman told me there was a $15 per dog, per night additional charge. I gave him the dates we were planning and he told me they had 1 room available, which matched the information on the Hotels.com website, indicating only 1 available room for the dates we had selected. He then asked me what type of dogs we had, when I told him, he said he was looking forward to seeing them. He did indicate that if we went out and they had any complaints because the dogs might be making noise, they required us to leave a cell phone number so we could be contacted to come back to quite the dogs down. I then asked about the outside area and if we needed to bring anything other than leashes for taking the dogs outside. He told me we should have no problems, the dogs could run free since they were on 6 acres of property. I asked if this was fenced and he told me it wasn't. After having this conversation, I told him he had answered all my questions, and told him I would be booking the room after I got off the phone with him. He said they would look forward to seeing us in October.

The time for our little get away came, with the car all packed, including the 2 dogs we drove 5 hours from our home in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to Sister Bay, WI. We arrived a little earlier than the 3:00 check in but decided to see if we could check in a little early. All of us went inside and we were met by a very nice lady at the front desk. We gave her our name and her first reaction was that we had dogs with us and we did not have a reservation for one of their "dog rooms." Imagine our surprise, so I explained about the conversation I had with the gentleman back in August and him saying they had no restrictions on dogs or rooms. She seemed to get a little flustered and said she would have to talk to the owners, who were just leaving in their car and hoped she could catch them before they left. She went outside and was able to stop them, spoke to them for several minutes, then she and a lady I would later realize was one of the owners (she and her husband own the lodge). The lady owner was the only one who came in, the gentleman stayed in the car during the entire encounter. Once she looked at our reservation, she made the same statement about the room, which I repeated the conversation I had with the gentleman the night we booked. She said there were only 2 men there, her husband and she mentioned another man, she did mention that her husband was normally in bed and would probably not have been the one I spoke to since the reservation was made on line at 10:00. I pointed out to her that my conversation with the gentleman was prior to 10:00 and according to their web site, they take calls until 10:30. I explained the lengthy conversation I had with this man and she told me I should have asked him to book the room for me at that point. I told her that perhaps he should have asked me if I wanted to book the room at that point with him rather than go through Hotels.com. At no point during this entire conversation did she take any responsibility for the mix up. I tried to point out since they only had the 1 room available he should have taken care of the reservation, especially since I explained that when I did book the room, during the booking process I was waiting for it to ask about pets, which it never did. That just confirmed in my mind what he had told me about having no restrictions for rooms and once the room was booked I rechecked that Hotels.com web site and the 1 room they showed available was no longer shown. The web site told me 1 room available, he told me 1 room available, he told me no room restrictions for rooms, the booking site never asked for pet information. When I brought this up to this woman, she said that you can only book rooms with pets by calling them or on their web site! So, I pointed out again that the gentleman I spoke to should have asked me to book the room with him since I was on the phone with him. I also reminded her that I had mentioned I found them on Hotels.com and at the end of my initial conversation and that I would be booking the room through Hotels.com! She said he probably didn't ask because he didn't know what dates we wanted, I reminded her that I gave him the dates before he could tell me there was only 1 room available. Her customer service was terrible! Every step of the way she was blaming us! At this point she mentioned that if she could do something we would have to take the dogs everywhere we go, that if they were left in the room and they barked we would be asked to leave (she asked me if my dogs ever bark, no, they are that very rare breed of barkless dogs......yes, they do occasionally bark) at this point she mentioned that all the "pet rooms" were at the end of the building. I asked her what we would be able to do for meals, she explained that there were several restaurants that have outdoor seating that do allow dogs. I said, what if it's raining, she recommended that we leave them in the car if that was to happen, if it wasn't too warm outside. I told her we do not leave our dogs in the car unattended, besides, police tend to get called about that. Or, she told us we could get take out food and come back to the lodge to eat. We had planned on taking the dogs out for walks in the area and being with them the majority of time, but we had also been told about a few unique places to eat that we probably couldn't take the dogs to. She then started talking to the original lady we encountered at the front desk saying that she could give us a "non-dog room" but it had a white bedspread and that would have to be changed. I interrupted her and told her that we had brought bedspreads because we didn't want to get dog hair on their bedspreads. Her response was a heavy sigh, and telling the other lady that they would have to really clean the room extra well after we left. I told her to hold that room and I would be right back after talking to my husband, who at this point had taken the dogs outside and was sitting by our car at a farther end of the parking lot with the dogs. I quickly explained the options and we decided to cancel the reservation and drive the 5 hours back home, knowing there were not any available rooms, let alone dog friendly rooms available in the area. I turned to walk back in and the woman was coming out to get in their car, I told her we were not going to be staying, we were canceling the reservation and informed her there had better not be a cancellation fee. She said she would have to talk to Hotels.com about that, and stated to turn around to go back inside when I told her not to worry about making that phone call, I would contact them myself. She then told me, as she was going to her car, that they get hundreds of phone calls a day to stay at their place, they shouldn't have any problems renting that 1 room, I told her "good luck and thanks for the hospitality" and she preceded to get in their car and they drove away. We got our dogs and ourselves in our car and I made the phone call to Hotels.com, I explained what had happened and within a few minutes the reservation was cancelled. Hotels.com contacted Open Hearth Lodge and they agreed to the no fee cancellation. We then started back for the 5 hours drive home.

A couple pieces of advise......the six acres of unfenced property, are not so safe in my opinion for any dog that likes to run and play. Even the best behaved could run out on to the "frontage" type road that runs along side and leads to the property. Plus, just in front of the entrance is a main, busy road going in to what my guess would be the town of Sister Bay. Again, a very busy road. I have also since discovered that their web page does have a contract to sign, another piece of information that neither the gentleman I first spoke to or his wife informed me of. Apparently they do encourage you to bringing crates for your pets, again, not mentioned when speaking to the gentleman back in August. A BIG suggestion to this place and any other hotels catering to more than just people......if you are going to allow booking though outside sites, such as Hotels.com or others like them, make sure all your stipulations are shown and listed. If "pets" can only be booked on your website or by only calling you, then you need to let people know this on those outside sites so this type of mistake doesn't happen again, or f someone calls you, take the reservation then and there! Or, don't use outside booking agencies.

This might be "pet accessible" but there is no "friendly" that we encountered.

Room Tip: If you have pets.....call and make sure they give you all the information and restrictions.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Service
5  Thank Disappointed090111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHLodge, Owner at Open Hearth Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2017

We are sorry your trip was disappointing. With a full weekend and everyone checked but you, we had no flexibility in moving any rooms. We have dog policies for the safety and comfort of all guests. Some people have allergies or fears. On the online sites, we have listed NO pets, so guests would contact us direct. If you call and get information from us and book online, we do not know it is the same person who's reservation shows up in our email, later. There was no message referring to the conversation.
We do not want anyone to have problems scheduling their trips, so we are working with the outside booking groups to make process better for future guests.

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Reviewed 22 October 2017 via mobile

We have been staying here for years and never been disappointed. The owners and staff are friendly, rooms always clean and it's a peaceful setting to return to after a busy day of activities. The value is unbeatable in Door County!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank wiscmom2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHLodge, Owner at Open Hearth Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2017

Thanks. Hope to see you again soon

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Reviewed 22 October 2017

This is the first time I felt absolutely compelled to write a review for a hotel I stayed in. Over the past 30 years I have been travelling, I have stayed a number of awesome places and seen exceptional service. However I have never come across the level of integrity shown by the operators of Open Hearth Lodge.

My wife and I decided at the last moment, literally yesterday, to come to Door County to see the fall colors and eat fish boil. We have done this several times in the past. The only option we could find was Open Hearth Lodge on Hotels.com. During booking we saw a price which was higher than we expected and wanted to pay, however considering it was all last minute, we could rationalize.

When we were checking in this afternoon, the front desk manager/owner informed us that actually the price quoted was $130 more than what their rates are (as per him this happened due to some technical glitches), and our credit card has been charged only for the appropriate amount. This was a first !!!!

The staff has been great, and rooms are very nice.

Great place to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Sudhi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHLodge, Owner at Open Hearth Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2017

Thanks for kind words and taking the time to write a review..

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Reviewed 20 October 2017

Once again, we were planning a trip to Door county WI. As usual the last three years we have stayed at the Open Hearth Lodge in Sister Bay. It is clean, quiet, and well cared for. Twice we have stayed in the new lodge, once in the older part. My preference is the new lodge. Rooms are bigger and just more comfortable.
We have been to Door many times and this is the first ever that we have chosen the same hotel each time. I also like second floor, they do have an elevator. But my choice of second floor, is that usually people have no manners when it comes to walking hard on the floor . It will be my choice again when next we visit Door county and Sister Bay

Room Tip: Newer Lodge is my Preference
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank babica49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHLodge, Owner at Open Hearth Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 October 2017

Thanks for taking the time to write a review. We appreciate you returning. Have a great winter.

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Reviewed 19 September 2017

This family really cares about their guests, as they were seen toting luggage to rooms and making sure that everyone was taken care of. We stayed there while we toured all over Door County, including going to Washington Island. They were very knowledgeable of things to do and places to go, and were very available and friendly.

The rooms are quaint, clean, and quiet. They have a small breakfast area, but a nice continental breakfast is offered as part of your stay. It has a nice, central location, and you an easily walk to downtown Sister Bay to all of the restaurants and other things to do, if you like to walk.

They have a fire pit and BBQ's outside, as well as corn hole and other games for families to play. Plenty of parking.

I would stay there again the next time I'm in Door County.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank emdicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHLodge, Owner at Open Hearth Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2017

Thanks you for your comments. We hope to see you again.

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