Darst Victorian Manor
Now Called Heron Cay - Disappointing Visit
My husband and I are motorcycle riders who ride up to Mount Dora Regularly. We had our wedding reception at the Goblin Market (awesome food). Our friends bought us a $400.00 gift certificate for the Heron Cay Bed and Breakfast. We married in August 2008; during that first year we were notified that we’d have to move from the home we were renting due to foreclosure; search for, buy and move into a new home all while I was pregnant. Needless to say there was not much time to book at stay. I spoke with Margie at Heron Cay about the gift certificate. She was hesitant at first to honor it since she had put a one year expiration on it. In the mean time I searched Florida law; (Fla. Stat. §501.95
A gift certificate or credit memo sold or issued for consideration in this state may not have an expiration date, expiration period. The law past is June of 2008) so the expiration date was invalid. Considering it was FOUR hundred dollars of cash that Heron Cay received it would be pretty crappy to not honor it. I spoke/emailed Margie many times about our reservations instead of staying two nights in a smaller room we decided to make it one night in the largest suite available.
We arrived at Heron Cay to a somewhat tentative Margie who seemed like she was hoping we were in the wrong place as we showed up on our motorcycles. To set the record straight; our bike are not loud; we are not grungy and we were dressed well under our motorcycle jackets. We took a seat and waited as she helped some guests that were there before us. We heard her tell them about the B&B and gave them a little tour. When we were up she escorted us up the stairs and casually mentioned on the way up that she messed up our reservation and we were in a different (and much smaller) room. She said that she would give us credit in the difference of the rooms. I was very disappointed because there was a Jacuzzi and walk in shower I was looking forward to using. She showed us our room and where everything was and said to call if we have any questions. We were off for the night and didn’t see anyone from Heron Cay on the way out.
We enjoyed downtown Mount Dora; it is just such an awesome place. So when we woke up (somewhat late) we finally made it downstairs. We were having some coffee and Margie did come out for a second and say there were still some breakfast items left. We said we were meeting friends for breakfast. We were waiting to get a credit back since one night in our room was $255.00 and our certificate was for $400.00. We finally caught her and asked if we were going to get a credit and she looked very shocked and said that they don’t normally give money back. Really, then why did she say she was giving us a credit on the way up the stairs?? She then said that we both had given a little and she was willing to give us 100.00 gift certificate. Really?? Not sure why we would have to “give” anything since our friends GAVE $400.00 for 255.00 worth of services. We went on and told her about the gift card law, she knew nothing about and we told her we felt less than welcome. We ended up turning down the $100 gift certificate because it would mean spending more money at Heron Cay given that rooms start around $250. We feel, similar to others who had the same experience, that she moved us out of our room because she wanted to make more money with someone booking more than one night. The worst part of the whole experience is that you would expect more from a small business person who actually owns the property; we get friendlier and more welcome receptions from the large hotel chain’s front desk. It was the most ridiculous and disappointing stay at any resort I have ever been to; we did not feel welcomed for one moment at Heron Cay. This was my first experience with a B&B and not sure I would try it again. The owners of Heron Cay seem to be selective on who they treat well; maybe those that stay more than one night, don't actually redeem the gift certificates they sell and don't ride motorcycles will get better treatment
Unique Quality: Way over priced for us - We ended up paying $400.00 for one night in an average sized room (see story above).
A great choice
Darst Victorian Manor
Clearly the class act of Mount Dora, as well as the state, this three-story gem was built specifically to be a B&B, and that means all the modern conveniences worked into dreams realized by the builders and innkeepers, Jim and Nanci Darst, who used to own Country Connections in Davie, a Victorian treasure trove.
Unique Quality: A modern definition of eclectic Queen Anne-style with corner turret, gabled roofs and generous veranda beautifully situated on a couple acres overlooking the lake.
Among the added attractions are the flowers, the robes, the whirlpool tubs, antique furnishings and crystal chandeliers, gas fireplaces and lake views, full breakfasts and afternoon tea
- The Cinnamon Inn Bed & Breakfast
- Farnsworth House
- Adora Inn
- Mount Dora Historic Inn
- Magnolia Inn B&B
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