This is my first-ever review. I felt I needed to speak up or forever hold my peace.
I want D Acres place to thrive. I want it to be an example for others. I read and loved D Acres' mission statement and this is what drove me to bring my 3 kids and husband far out of our way to visit for a night. I wanted to expose them to a community that is doing their best to embrace an environmental ethic of sustainability. And perhaps they are doing their best, but there is definitely room for improvement here. The positive about D Acres: they have clearly made a lot of effort to live lightly on the land over the past 15+ years. They are the real deal in terms of where their hearts are. However, if they want to be an educational center that has a reach beyond the confines of their land, there is definitely room for improvement - in ways that are not difficult to do.
First and foremost, they could be welcoming, friendly, and engaging when guests arrive who are interested in what they are doing. As well, the photos here are deceiving. At one point it may have been kept up like in the photos. On our visit, the gardens and grounds were minimally tended and totally overgrown to the point it was difficult to walk through any of the gardens. The building smells like mold (less of an issue for us - but quite noticeable).
Regarding lack of friendliness... when we arrived, there was no one to be found. This wasn't particularly a problem - we just showed ourselves around. But when we finally entered the kitchen and found a fellow sitting there, he was texting on his phone and didn't look up to greet us. When we said we were the family coming to stay, he simply said "okay", barely looking up. No more said. We had to ask - where do we stay? Where do we park our car? His response - with a flat affect - was as minimal as possible. Just 2 to 3 words. It went on like this the remainder of our stay. At one point, my husband said - "I am curious about the things they do here, I realize it is a working farm, but when I have asked questions, if I am lucky I get 1-2 words in response, but more likely just a grunt or 'I don't know'."
There were 3 guys on the grounds, they all appeared sullen and uninterested in us being there, more like we were a burden. Overall, they seemed an unhappy bunch. Perhaps a bit overwhelmed? Maybe we were quite unappealing to them - mom and pop with kids? Incidentally, just prior to leaving, I explained to one fellow that I had spent my 20s living in a van (I am now 50) exploring intentional and sustainable communities around the country, that I had founded a Green Neighbors non-profit in my own community this past decade to support small community-based sustainability projects locally, and that I had been a climate change scientist in my prior career. And then suddenly there was interest in talking to me. I saw the first spark since I arrived. Seriously? If you are an educational center that aims to demonstrate and then bring sustainable practices to the wider world - you should be welcoming to each and every person who shows up to learn from you, no matter how little or much they have been exposed in the past!
As for the food and sleeping arrangements, the 5 of us were comfortable in the family room. The composting toilet worked great and the bathroom/ shower was comfortable. We slept well. We ate one breakfast and dinner there. Meals were very healthy. My family rated them 6/10 for tastiness. They make a good effort to keep the ingredients local.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on 180 acres of primarily forest land, and equipped with modern facilities and educational infrastructure, we offer the ideal setting for a sustainable get-away any time of year! In winter we offer rental snowshoeing equipment and groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. When the snow is gone, outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking and guided garden and forest walks, while mountain bikers can enjoy free run of the forest trail system. D Acres is the perfect place to stay for rock climbers, located within 10 miles of the Rumney Crag! If you are looking to stay at our organic farm, D Acres offers a range of sleeping accommodations. Site options include private indoor bedrooms, rustic camping, car camping spots, outdoor tent platforms accessible by car and foot, and indoor sleeping bag spaces. Access to a full shared kitchen, great room, two full bathrooms, solarium and other indoor amenities. There is a resident cat that occupies the building. Prices range: $10-$95. ... more less