I chose Pheasant Hill based on internet customer reviews and the inn’s own mediocre web site. Overall, the Inn exceeded my expectations. I booked the Garden Suite months in advance, to be sure I got it for my travel period. One other suite was occupied while we were there. Our rooms (sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and private exterior deck) were surprisingly large and pretty. The bathroom is modern. There is a window air conditioner in the bedroom. Wi-Fi reaches the sitting room but not the bedroom. The TV is a standard-def, cable-connected, 19” flat-screen. Breakfast is better than described on the inn’s web site (not a full breakfast, one seating around 8:30 am). No evening coffee (it would be nice if the inn could add a K-cup coffee maker in a public area).
I found the hosts to be very pleasant and proud of Marblehead/Salem, on those occasions when we interacted. Nancy met us when we arrived at 5 pm, but a later arrival (different guest) received written instructions and didn’t meet the hosts until the next morning. Bill is always scurrying between projects and won’t linger long to talk. Expect to see them only around breakfast time. The location is on the outskirts of Marblehead (not walking distance to anything). There is a cat which we occasionally saw. On a couple occasions PRIOR to arrival, I had trouble contacting the innkeepers by phone or email, only to finally get a response claiming they had never received my emails or voice mails. (Once you’re at the inn, they provide an emergency phone number, which we did not use.) The innkeepers don’t check email or voice mail often, they expect check-in at an hour that fits their schedule, they serve breakfast at a specific time, and they expect ample notice for any guest adjustments to all this (if you can figure out how to contact them). We had no problems with all this.
The window A/C unit in the Garden Suite blows onto the bed and is a bit loud. A larger TV would probably not impact utility costs (hi-def would be nice, but that could be expensive). A wi-fi extender might provide a signal that reaches the bedroom.
Local weekday traffic in Marblehead and Salem is heavy and parking in tourist and shopping areas is difficult, although there is a multi-level garage in downtown Salem. I never saw a parking ticket, but signs limit the parking time in busy areas. Museums typically don’t have dedicated parking, and if you’re parked in a 2-hour space, how do you also squeeze in some shopping? They should offer tourist stickers saying, “I’m spending 10 or 15 bucks per person at every one of your little museums, so give me a break on parking.”
This B&B review sounds negative, but for tourists and family visits, PH is a stunningly beautiful and peaceful place, well appointed, and a good value. This is not a good place for business travelers or stay-in workers because there are simply no guest services after 10 am.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just at the top of a hill in a secluded corner of Marblehead you will find Pheasant Hill Inn B. & B. Exactly what you expect in a New England country style setting. Three private suites with private ensuite baths. Amenities of a hotel including free parking, wifi, TV, A/C in season, and small refrigerators. Two suites on the second floor and one on the main level with fireplace and separate deck. Personalized attention to help plan your stay. Good for business and pleasure. Visa, MC and Amex. ... more less