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Reviewed 13 July 2018

There was no room makeup, bed not made, trash not emptied, towels had to be requested twice. The A/C in OUR room was non-existent except for one floor vent in the corner of the room which was not connected to the in room thermostat and it was controlled from a non-accessable part of the house even though it’s stated in their “room book” that each room has an individual control of A/C. That’s a lie. Two uncomfortably hot nights even though I was told by Myiuki that she would set the A/C from another location so our room would be cooled. It wasn’t.

We got down to their "upscale" breakfast (their descriptive) around 0940 AM, there was just enough left in the pan for both of us to have a small portion of luke warm scrambled eggs and we had to split the only yogurt cup that was available. So much for "upscale" breakfast. That was pathetic at this price range. I told my wife that my preference would be to go out for breakfast the next day had we stayed, I didn’t want to do THAT again. 

We left to attend the horse show we came to town to see and returned to our room in the mid afternoon. There were no clean towels so my wife took our used towels downstairs to Miyuki and she gave us clean towels. It’s curious that for a "retreat" that advertises itself as high end, the towels were all mismatched as if they had been picked up at a Goodwill store!!

It was likewise curious that the blanket on the king sized bed was a queen size and that the bottom hem of the comforter was coming apart and had been pinned together in several places but the inner comforter was still falling out through the open seam. Really? And the furniture in the rooms!!!

None of these observances show the kind of care and attention to details one expects from an establishment that is asking you to pay over $200 per night to stay. Especially when this establishment goes into great detail in small print to tell you that under NO circumstances will you get any of your money back after 48 hours of having paid for your reservation.

We went to bed on Saturday night and slept fitfully because the room was once again too hot and because I was experiencing increasing pain from the fall I sustained in their foyer within 10 minutes of arriving at Talus. By Sunday morning, we realized it was necessary for me to be seen by a doctor and we packed to return home (a one hour drive). We returned home and spent the afternoon in the emergency room where they diagnosed my sprained ankle, wrist, knee and elbow.

It’s really a strange operation at Talus, more like staying at someone’s home and you get the feeling you’re in their way sometimes. Some others reported similar feelings in Trip Advisor.

I read many of the reviews regarding Talus and it really seems like you Heather are in a complete state of denial if you’ll pardon my frankness. You deny everything, you have a verbose answer going back years for everything brought to your attention which in the end accomplishes nothing, and yet many of the same problems that people were complaining about 5 years ago on TripAdvisor are still very much present! One guy reports to you he found his tub filthy and you tell him it was because of the “soft water”. Another couldn’t sleep because your dog barked all night and you blame it on a moose and her calves rather than apologizing for not being wise enough to call your dog inside for the evening, like any intelligent person would do.

I got stung for $600…lesson learned. I would recommend that anyone considering your “retreat” pay special attention to the spectrum of responses in Trip Advisor. It seems many are not put off by the things that bothered us and are listed here, and for them I say I’m glad they enjoyed their stay. Just know that I submitted a much more detailed explanation of our weekend but it was rejected. Anyone wishing further from me is invited to contact me any time.

Date of stay: July 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Michael Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heather P, Owner at Talus Rock Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2018

Hello Mr. and Mrs. Q,

Thank you for sending us this honest and detailed description of your experience here at Talus Rock. We appreciate the feedback as we use these critiques as an opportunity for improvement. We failed in a few of the expectations you mentioned and are extremely distraught that you had such a poor experience with us.
We remain incredibly sorry for the fall you sustained upon check in. This undoubtedly was a poor start to your experience, yet we continued to strive for excellence during an entire stay with us. The house is full of unique architecture and, while the stairs are certainly equal in height and standardized, in proactive avoidance to potential accidents, it is part of our verbal check-in process to always make mention to “watch your step” (as we did with you). Furthermore, we are implementing a lighting system with our stairs to ensure an accident such as this does not happen. Our staff felt such compassion for you and sincerely tried to do all we could to take care of you after this unfortunate occurrence including helping with the remainder of your luggage, asking if we could get you ice, loading up your car when you departed genuinely compassionate to your mishap. Our house manager tried to contact you via both email and phone over the following few days to check up on you. We wholeheartedly do our best to go above and beyond for our guests.

We are well aware that each individual is unique and comes with different expectations. We are not a hotel chain and offer a more personal touch - and while most find this an endearing and attractive quality, we recognize it’s not for everyone. That being said, and noting that you took the time to actually visit our retreat before you booked your stay, we thought you were aware of the unique and eclectic style Talus Rock puts forth. At that time, we recall showing you the room you eventually decided to book, gave you a complete house tour, and explained all of the different amenities we have to offer. We genuinely apologize if there was any misunderstanding.

We would like to address each of your points as they pertain to circumstances under our control:

As a bed and breakfast lodging-like villa, we don’t provide turndown or maid service for short stays and make it a point to never to enter your room unannounced. Such service is offered upon request, as a courtesy of course. With respect to your privacy, we will not enter without notice, permission or by request.”

Wear and tear on towels and bedding can be a challenge as you might imagine, and as a small B&B (although seemingly grandiose in presence), we seek to be a steward to our beautiful surroundings and use resources that we know are salient and a mismatched towel set is the result of our conviction. That does not, in any way, dismiss your desire and expectation for our plush (colored) towels, delivered daily to your room. We understand, and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding you had coming in to our B&B. While we are consistently folding in new inventory, we are sorry that expectations were not upheld.

We offer a wholesome breakfast between the hours of 8am-10:00am. We make a few dishes to start the morning, as many of the guests are up early to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. After the main offering we wait until the remaining guests come down and cook something based on their request. We are unable to predict when each guest will be down for breakfast but we make it a point to serve our guests. Perhaps the morning you are referring to is the morning of your departure? We sadly hadn’t seen you all morning until you were walking down the stairs promptly asking us to help with luggage (which we were more than happy to do). There was no mention of breakfast, but I assure you we would have been delighted to make you something delicious had you chosen to stick around a few minutes longer!

No one is perfect, including us. We relish an opportunity to improve on our imperfections and rely on reviews like yours to fine tune our services and somehow rectify misconstrued expectations. We hope to use this management review to encourage future guests to speak to us immediately if there is ever a need, concern, preference, or thwarted expectation so that we can promptly make it right. We really do aim to please. Again, thank you for your sharing honest opinions and welcome you to give us another to opportunity to exceed your expectations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2018 via mobile

We stayed here two nights; the first with couples only, then our kids drove up and joined us. The setting fits for lovely, relaxing, and romantic. But also for families. The kids enjoyed playing frisbee on the lawn, paddleboarding/paddle boating on the pond, campfires, and swinging in the swing over the pond. The is enough room and privacy that kids don't disrupt romantic evenings.

The staff went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable and all. They have the gift of hospitality and warmth.

Date of stay: July 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank StenaJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2018

I presume our experience to be rare, & revealing:

Management team for TRR made a significant error by handing our 2BR-suite reservation to a couple who had no reservation for that evening; such was discovered in the final minutes prior to our arrival & resulted in a call with profuse apologies, indications accommodation was available, & things would be made right.
Upon arrival, the receptionist was very friendly & aware of the unique & disappointing situation; she provided her contact number had we needed anything.
In well-intentioned efforts to accommodate our family of 6, we were invited to place one youth in the "Tower Room" which was fun & comfortable, per report from the 12 yr-old, however lacked doors or bathroom access, thus requiring our room door to be opened & closed early & often.
In the Selkirk room, 3 kids were expected to climb into a "cozy" loft with a twin mattress & get along. A large cot was kindly offered, my wife & I agreed the logistics & physics of such were cumbersome & embarrassing at 10:30 pm.
Both daughters and my wife noticed the towels were musty, akin to those left in a front-load washer for too long. The girls enjoyed a scavenge for toilet paper & soap as the bathroom was unstocked; likely due to an unexpected arrival to that room.
Management made contact & offered to reduce 25% from the total fare & expressed regret for the mishap. I expressed a sincere regret as such was the best they could do; after 8 seconds, better was done. It was disappointing to know that management did not lead with their best and took you for a schmuck.
Breakfast was average, enjoyable & the company pleasant.
The kids enjoyed the grounds tremendously! The 6yo loved Panda, the larger of the lodge-dogs, as he missed his Labradors.
The lodge & her environs are great!
The price-point is asset-protective, client exclusive & elevated, on a "value-based pricing" (hbr-org) compared to our travels domestic and abroad.
Management requires assistance to achieve 4 stars, 5 hoots, &/or 2 forks...

Date of stay: July 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Ryan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heather P, Owner at Talus Rock Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2018

Dear Mr. and Mrs. McDonald (and kids),

We completely missed the mark in what is an innkeeper's worst nightmare: double booking compounded by a late night check in on a sold out weekend, exponentially augmented when it is a family of 6 (including 4 young children). We have spent a significant amount of time this week pouring over your review, educating the staff, and amending our procedures according to your candid and helpful feedback. We work extremely hard at making things right when we make human errors and no doubt, we inadvertently screwed up. I am writing to address each of your points and give you an idea about how this sheer anomaly occurred:

Firstly, we did indeed confirm your reservation that very day expecting you at a certain time, and it just so happened that after we spoke, another family, similar to the makeup of yours, mistakenly arrived a day early (actually booked the following night the very same room but also did not realize they were early). We assumed (Yes, we DO know what happens when we assume!) and failed to actually confirm the name as the timing, the conversation, the date, the kids referenced and room name all matched up in the "check in conversation". Had we simply confirmed the "name", the infraction would have been caught. No matter the odds, this is how the mistake happened, and I can assure you, it will never happen again. We didn't even know there was a mistake until we received an alert text that you were arriving hours later than planned and it was at that time, we knew there was something very wrong. All rooms had been checked in for the night and yet we were anticipating a Silverwood-weary family with 4 children to check in with no availability remaining. We knew we had to "figure it out" and it was close to 11pm! We sincerely care about our guests and always, without exception, do our best to solve the problem as if it were one of us on the other end of the situation. Perhaps what you didn't know was the lengths that we went to to recover from the receipt of your call about your late arrival.

How we could have double booked was only a fraction of the energy spent during those panicked moments, rather, our team immediately went into solution mode to collectively and quickly brainstorm some kind of sleeping arrangement. It was "all hands on deck' to pull together sleeping accommodations for your lovely family of 6 knowing that downtown lodging in Sandpoint was practically sold-out due to the International Draft Horse Show and many other Sandpoint summer events.

The solution began with enlisting the help of onsite cabin staff members (some of whom were in bed) to pull together and help figure out some place for you all to sleep. As God would have it, one room hosted a couple who just happened to be an acquaintance of the family, and therefor provided an option to even consider approaching for a late-night room bump request. We felt your situation warranted it. While it was tremendously embarrassing for us to even ask this favor of them, being sympathetic to the situation and friends of the Retreat owner, they completely understood, offered to help with the entire situation and moved offsite to a neighbor's place (Of course, the displaced guests (and neighbor) have been generously compensated). We quietly and swiftly cleaned the room in record time in addition to creating extra bed space in the tower to provide as many sleeping spaces as possible for your comfort.

Let me please address your other expressed points:

It has been acknowledged and agreed upon that we did indeed rush to turn your room and missed a few ordinary room standards in our haste. While we do use fabric softener, and consistently add new towels to our inventory, we have again combed through our inventory, and, at the time of this writing, this directive has been accomplished. We always keep extra toilet paper and soap stocked under the sink of each bathroom, and while I'm fairly certain there was some available, I do apologize for not pointing this out. This step has now been added to the cleaning checklist and our check in procedure.

Regarding your refund received--Goodness! In no way did we "take you for a schmuck". I sincerely apologize for any such feeling this may have caused. ​Management of Talus Rock, ​is only authorized to reward up to a certain amount for inconveniences such as this, and, as expressed on the phone, ​she​ felt so badly about this that (without requesting​ permission​ from ​a supervisor) used ​her best judgement ​putting her position on the line honoring a 60% refund. I'm not sure where the 25% came from as described in your review, but please recalculate and note this true percentage granted as our sincere effort to ease the situation.

Each positive and negative remark is taken very much to heart as we put so much of ourselves into the work and DO want to be the best we can be. Again, we apologize profusely for the severe inconvenience you experienced and hope you will try us again sometime as our door is always open to you!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2018 via mobile

Talus Rock is an incredibly beautiful, peaceful, and serene place. If you can’t relax and de-stress there, you can’t anywhere! Beautiful well-kept grounds, immaculate rooms and commons, very friendly and professional staff ensuring you have the best experience possible. A few well mannered dogs, some ducks swimming on the pond with the encouragement of a couple of frogs; we even had a cow moose wander up to the pond for a drink while we sat a few yards away on the patio. Only a few minutes from downtown Sandpoint if you want to do some shopping or have a nice dinner, yet completely removed from any sign of civilization on the expansive grounds. We will most certainly return again in the future.

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank 406Tom_61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2018 via mobile

Everything was perfect. Did a surprise getaway for our 9th wedding anniversary. Made all reservations and plans online which was super easy. Got the package that had the roses, chocolates, led candles and rose pedals on the bed and a bottle of champagne chilled on the desk upon arrival. It was perfect. All the staff were super friendly and bent over backwards to make sure you had a great time. The view was amazing along with the nature walk. I hope to be back soon and enjoy it again.

Date of stay: June 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Engine40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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