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Reviewed 3 June 2018 via mobile

I used to just look at the large number of positive reviews a place had gotten, and confidently go for it...but after our trip to Greyfield I'll start reading the negatives. Before, I barely noticed them, and when I did I just wondered why those people were so picky. Turns out though, they made some good points.

What Greyfield does have going for it is a historic home in a dramatic, beautiful environment. The trees. The beach. The garden. The old house with its antiques and paintings.

What it doesn't have is the kind of concern for the guest's comfort that you might expect for the price.

It's the attention to guest details that makes an expensive place worth it.

Like, when I stay at a hotel, the 'do not disturb' sign hangs on the door the entire stay. No housekeeping visits, so it's more like home. I requested this from the Greyfield rep at reservations, and she refused. She refused. Claimed it was 'safety issues.' That's kind of a bad answer from a place that doesn't even give their guests locking doors with keys.

So I showed up and decided, for 'safety', to use the little safe that sat on the closet floor. Just for a laugh I guess, the inn had bought boxes with heavy lids that wait 3 seconds then shut on your hand while you load it. I tested it several times, and yep, it did it every time. Not a great start. And of course they hadn't thought to give it a fresh battery lately, so after a day and a half it stopped taking my passcode. Guess I'll delay that beach walk and wait for someone to come carry the stupid safe and take it to the safe person. Took a while, too.

The bad reviews I read afterward kept mentioning the food quality. But I would have thought, no, that can't be. Since they were high-priced and they INTENSELY promote their chef in their advertising, it would have to be all great. Nope! How can a kitchen operating on an island overcook fish? And it happened more than once! Luckily the desserts were good, and so was the coffee. But really...dry fish dinner course? We're out in the ocean here, not at a midwest Red Lobster!

Then there's the lunch picnic basket. A sandwich. Some chips. A cookie. Just like you'd grab at home. For cheap.

Some reviews also mentioned how unbelievably tough this place would be on a person with any kind of physical disability.
I don't have a handicapped parking tag or anything, but it was really noticable. I guess in the effort to keep everything antique, they've stayed back in the time before people bothered to think about that. I stayed in the Dungeness room, and that bed was so high...I'm guessing about 39 inches off the floor....that the inn had placed this slippery wooden stairstep thing on one side. So I guess my 'disability' was being 'not tall.' The super deep clawfoot bathtub was challenging too. Attention, old people and short people, this will not be a comfortable experience.

About that 'tour with a naturalist/historian'.... I was really excited about that. But it was done by a guy who basically had a script about that little church at the north end of the island, and that's pretty much it. I had to wait till later to figure out why the Cumberland south end forest is giant oak trees and the north end is scrubby pine trees. That was too hard for him, I guess. But hey, since one time rich celebrities got married in that church, he had that part down.
Yeah, the celebrity connection, with the rich Carnegies and the rich Kennedys. That's a BIG part of the promotional perfume that Greyfield is blowing at future customers.

And people problems. Because you have to eat breakfast and dinner with other guests. Maybe I'm stereotyping, but how is it I kept sitting next to older retired professional men who think they have the correct opinions on everything? Is it because that's who's likely to afford this place?

Also HA, I picked a top floor room thinking it would be quieter. All I can say is, beware the latenight firepit song fest. The pit was right down below my window. A guy. His friends. A guitar. Pop hits of the nineties, for two hours. They were not good at any of it. They even did Nickleback.

And finally, for the closer on our vacation, this. Greyfield ejects guests from their rooms at 11am on the last day. But their boat doesn't leave till 4 hours later! What were they thinking with that?! So there you are, ex Greyfield guest, with another damn sandwich basket (which costs extra!) looking for somewhere to sit cause a huge incoming tour-bus-sized group is now dominating all areas.

I have to say, the beauty of the place made my camera happy. That part was wonderful.
But REALLY, it's the attention to guest details that makes an expensive place worth it.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
15  Thank eud0ra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary F, Owner at Greyfield Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2018

Hi Eudora,

Thank you for taking the time to write this review and share your concerns with us. We are very sorry to hear that your trip to Greyfield Inn did not meet your expectations. We take great pride in providing the most exceptional hospitality experience to each of our guests.

We have noted your feedback about the safes and the step stools and will work on amending these issues. Additionally, we’ve spoken to our staff regarding your culinary and naturalists experiences. Our team is always looking for ways to improve and grow.

In regards to the “do not disturb” sign, we are happy to, with a few exceptions, honor any guest request to forego room service and respect the privacy of all guests. However, because Greyfield is an old home in a fairly isolated environment, it has unique liability and safety concerns. Our policy is that someone on staff needs to peek into the room at least once a day. We apologize if this was not fully explained prior to your arrival.

Our check-in and check-out times are standard among hotels, and all laid out ahead of time during the reservation process and in our confirmation letter. For those who take the afternoon ferry, we try to do our best to be gracious and make sure all guests have what they need during those few hours (access to luggage, extra shower facilities, food and drink, etc.). We apologize if you felt frustrated by that experience, and appreciate your thoughts.

As for your other concerns, we would be happy to address each one individually if you would like to call the Greyfield office at 904-261-6408.

Again, thank you for the feedback.

Sincerely,

Team Greyfield

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2018 via mobile

What a wonderful visit to Greyfield and Cumberland last week. It was truly an experience I will never forget. The rooms were very comfortable, the atmosphere casual and relaxing (we felt like family), the service wonderful, and the food was exquisite. I ate every bite of every meal. The picnic lunches were just perfect - with everything bundled nicely in a picnic basket that you could take and eat anywhere. We thoroughly enjoyed the family style evening dinner - lots of interesting conversation and we felt we had been around the world after hearing about a few other guests’ travels. Jason was an excellent head waiter and Chas was very friendly and gave us much helpful information. Olivia at GoGo’s shop was delightful - I had talked myself out of buying anything but she was so charming sharing lots of interesting tidbits, that I just couldn’t resist. I will definitely be back with other friends. Thank you for a lovely time.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Gigi3567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2018

A stay at the Greyfield is a savory delight and blissful respite from a hectic life. Thankfully, we left the internet behind and enjoyed nature, hospitality and high quality right-sized meals. Tours of historical sites were educational and thoughtfully considerate of nature. We saw numerous wild animals, snakes, alligators, birds, horseshoe crabs and wild horses. The beach is unbelievably expansive, clean and with warm water. I biked miles without seeing a person. Leave yours worries (and tablets) behind and enjoy the company of others. Kudos to the Greyfield staff.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2018

 A couple of weeks before our trip, we decided to visit Cumberland. We didn't know the Greyfield Inn fills up months in advance. As luck would have it, they had one room for one night. A rare last-minute score. The cost to stay there is exorbitant. After catching our breaths and rationalizing, (the cost includes parking in Fernandina, transportation on the Inn's private ferry, full breakfasts, lunches, dinners, kayaks, bicycles and guided tours), we bit the bullet. You only live once. Right? No regrets for me! When we arrived at the Inn's private ferry dock, we were greeted by staff and taken on a tour and orientation. I kept thinking, "welcome to fantasy island."
The Inn is owned and operated by the Carnegie family. In 1962 it was converted from one of their family homes. Staff were wonderful, the service perfect, the Inn is spotless and I love the self-serve bar and kitchen refreshment stations.

Stayed: May 2018
1  Thank 52,024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2018

Having read all of the reviews, I still did not quite know what to expect but had this on my bucket list of trips. I found it to be the perfect place to really get away from it all, there is something magical in the property that just allows you to relax. I was surprised that although it was fully booked, I never felt that many people were around. The naturalist tours were announced at dinner each night so you could plan your next day. Each tour was unique and allowed further exploration and gaining history of the island. When I made reservations, I received a phone call and at that time was asked if I had any particular food issues or restrictions so I was surprised when some reviews indicated that they could not follow dietary restrictions. The inn is beautiful and a little worn in places but immaculately clean and the fresh cut flowers adorn multiple surfaces. The staff is friendly, helpful and operate smoothly often transitioning to multiple roles.Kudos to all of them! By the time I had my coffee and breakfast and returned to my room, it would be clean for the day! The food was delicious, plentiful and I never encountered anything that I felt was less than perfect! It was fabulous seeing vegetables harvested in the morning to be served that day. It was overall a wonderful relaxed atmosphere that allowed you to explore in the back of a pick up truck or lay on a porch swing and read feeling right at home. Treat yourself to this experience! The horses, turkey, deer and other wildlife are everywhere and the beach is beautiful!

Room Tip: I stayed on the 4th floor of the main inn - never heard a sound
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TallahasseeJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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