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Lakehouse Inn
401 Shelly Hill Rd
Stanfordville, NY 12581
(845) 266-8093

Lakehouse Inn Home Page

September 2000

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Lakehouse Inn near Rhinebeck, New York.


Accomodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather

Accommodations

We reserved the Lakeside Quarters room, advertised as being the "most private," having a queen bed, deck with lake views, fireplace, and 2-person Jacuzzi. The picture on the website showed lots of wood and appeared somewhat rustic, and not too "frou-frou." It was very expensive (about 2 times as much as we usually pay for what we felt was a comparable room), and there was a 2-night minimum. We were required to send a check for the full amount prior to arrival.

When we arrived, we were informed the heat was not working in our room and we had been upgraded to the Master Suite. This room is advertised as having a king canopy bed, two walls of glass overlooking the lake, a deck with hammock, fireplace, and 2-person Jacuzzi. This room was more expensive than our original room. The room was very large and nice, but it definitely was "frou-frou," with lots of pink and antiques sitting about that we were afraid we would break.
There was a wood-burning fireplace and a supply of wood. The view of the "lake" (a pond, really) was quite beautiful and tranquil, and all of the windows had shutters to shut out the light in the morning. There was a table with chairs for breakfast and two over-stuffed chairs. Robes and slippers were provided, along with a basket full of goodies for the bath. A refrigerator was in the room, stocked with some spring water, iced tea, and some sort of natural carrot juice we were a little afraid of. Although it was not the room we had reserved, it was very nice.

A major disappointment was the television. When we turned it on, all we saw was snow. A phone number was by the phone for contacting the innkeepers. We had to try several times before we got an answer. The innkeeper sounded irritated that we had called (it was not late in the evening), and explained the reception was "not always that great" and they did not have cable or satellite tv. She suggested we select a video (an assortment of videos was in the room). We explained nothing was coming in on the tv at all (we were hoping to at least get the news so we could check on the weather forecast), and she said to wait and "try it again in the morning." We were disappointed in the service (considering the high price we were paying), and Keith fiddled around until he saw the antenna had somehow become disconnected, perhaps when the room was being cleaned. Once he re-attached it, we were able to see a few channels, albeit with a considerable amount of "snow." We thought that for the price we were paying, the inn could at least afford a satellite dish.

Inn Amenities

While the Lakehouse Inn is advertised as being "near Rhinebeck," guests should be advised that Rhinebeck (a quaint town along the Hudson River), the inn is located way out in the country, and is in fact about 10 miles from Rhinebeck. There is nothing nearby, and the inn's drive is gravel and not easy to maneuver. It is so remote that there are deer and wild animals to be on the alert for when driving.

The only real amenity is the lake (pond), and rowboats are provided. As soon as guests check in, they are requested to sign forms absolving the owners of responsibility if anything is to happen while guests are using the rowboats. It is very quiet, and if the goal is to spend some quiet time far away from everything, this is a good place for that.

Inn Food

We were pleased when we were told breakfast would be dropped off at our room each morning. As promised, a discreet knock at the specified time informed us a basket was waiting just outside of our room. We were honestly disappointed in the food. It was really a continental breakfast, not a full breakfast, and we were expecting more for the price we were paying. The best part was probably the fresh orange juice and fresh fruit. Other than that, the breakfasts were mostly made up of bread products. The inn advertised "afternoon hors d'oeuvres." Upon checking in, we did not see anything in the main area. Finally on the second afternoon, we found the hors d'oeuvres - plastic bags of peanuts and some bite-size candy bars in a bowl. We actually laughed at this and definitely did not feel it was something the owners should advertise.

Inn Bar/Lounge

There was no inn bar or lounge. We brought our own and used the refrigerator.

Inn People/Service

The service could definitely use improvement. When we arrived at the inn, there was no one to greet us. We found this odd, since we had been contacted several times in the previous weeks by someone from the inn, asking exactly what time we would arrive. Since we had quite a way to travel, we specified sometime between 3 and 5 p.m. (we actually arrived close to 4 p.m.). There was a note by a phone in the lobby that indicated if no one was there, we should dial a number listed. We tried to dial the number, but when we picked up the phone, we could hear that the line was in use by a modem. We tried picking up the phone several more times, but the line was still in use. Frustrated, we started looking around the lobby and talking loudly, hoping someone would hear us and would check us in. It was apparent the lobby was on the top floor and there were rooms below, so we hoped that someone who worked at the inn was nearby. We finally got to the point where we were going to go out to the car, get the cell phone, and call the inn to tell them we were trying to check in, but no one was there, when finally a woman walked upstairs and greeted us. Needless to say, we felt the set-up was strange. We had called ahead and expressed our dining preferences and asked the inn to make some recommendations on where to eat and to make reservations. We asked the woman who checked us in if reservations had been made, and she told us yes, she thought at Cripple Creek that night and at another restaurant the following night. We asked what time, and she asked us back, "What time did you request?" We said 7 p.m., and she said, "Then the reservation is probably for 7 p.m." We were a little shocked at how haphazard and remote the innkeeper appeared. Aside from that first meeting and the above mentioned phone conversation (under Accommodations) where she was irritated that we had called, we had no more contact with the staff. We found the whole atmosphere to be fairly unfriendly. We would like to stress that the room was beautiful, but the food and service were lackluster, and we cannot recommend this inn as a good value for the very high price

Area/Attractions

We went to the Hudson River Valley to visit the wineries. After a restful night, we embarked on a tour of the Dutchess County wineries (Dutchess County is on the eastern side of the Hudson River). Check out the Hudson River web site for more information on area wineries. Please visit our wine page for addresses and links to the wineries. Dutchess County has three wineries: Cascade, Millbrook, and Clinton. The wineries were all very different but interesting. We were surprised at how far people had travelled to visit this wine region; we came into contact with people that day from all over the US, the UK, Italy, and France.

There are many historic sites in the region. On our way to the inn, we stopped on the east side of the Hudson River in Hyde Park and visited the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site (Route 9, Hyde Park, NY, 845-229-9115, open May 19 - October 31, daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). This wasn't a planned stop, but it was right on the way, and we had some time to kill. We both enjoy historic buildings, and this reminded us of something that we would see on the Arts & Entertainment cable channel's "America's Castles." The tour lasted an hour (it does require walking and going up and down stairs), and gave us a fascinating glimpse at how the independently wealthy lived in their "summer homes" around the beginning of the 20th century.
The tour ends with a jaw-dropping view of the hudson and the west bank of the river and the Catskills beyond. The tour guide was informative and interesting, and we recommend this tour. There are many other historical mansions in the area that provide tours.

Dining

Cripple Creek - 18 Garden Street, Rhinebeck, NY 845-876-4355
We were hungry and arrived a half-hour earlier than when we thought our reservation was. No patrons had arrived yet, but the hostess smiled and showed us to a table. We would describe the cuisine as nouveau American/California. It was very tasty and the service was excellent. The restaurant was upscale but casual, and we felt comfortable clad in denim. The check for 2, which included appetizers, a bottle of wine, salad, entrees, a shared dessert, and after-dinner drinks, was about $100.

Rolling Rock Cafe - 46 Route 9, Rhinebeck, NY 845-876-7655
After a day spent on the road, we wanted something less formal. We believe Rolling Rock is somewhat of a local chain, as we had seen another one down towards Fishkill. This restaurant was very casual, a bit raucous, somewhat on the order of TGI Friday's. It was fine and exactly what we wanted that night. The food was good and reasonably priced.

Nightlife

Some of the local bars have entertainment; consult local guides. After dinner on both evenings, we ended up at a unique place called Le Parmigiana Trattoria (37 Montogmery Street, Route 9, Rhingbeck, NY, 845-876-3228). (It was formerly called Marco Polo, and that sign was still up when we were there.) This is actually an old church converted to a bar and restaurant, located on a major intersection in the town. It was interesting to sit at a bar and have a drink within what was once the sanctuary of the church. The bartender was friendly, and we stopped in there both nights.

Weather

The Hudson River Valley is in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. We were there in early fall (the end of September), and the leaves had been changing colors for a little while. The days were sunny and in the 50s and low 60s, but the nights got quite chilly (down into the 30s, which may have been a little cooler than usual for that time of year), and we were thankful for our fireplace. The Mid-Atlantic region can get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. It is nearly always humid.