Island inns awarded TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’
“This is the story of the guests,” said Ann Law about the Certificates of Excellence her Blue Dory Inn, on Dodge Street, and Avonlea, on Corn Neck Road, received from TripAdvisor, a travel website that features customer reviews.
The guests tell their tales about Law’s inns, recounting honeymoon nights and days exploring the beaches, relaxing to the sound of crashing waves and waking up each morning to freshly prepared breakfasts at these Victorian cottages that overlook Crescent Beach.
But it’s also Law’s story of more than 20 years of hard work, resulting in the favorable online customer reviews, that led to the 4.5-star rating and TripAdvisor awards. “This award … is given only to the most exceptional performers in TripAdvisor’s global business community,” the award letter reads.
Law purchased the Blue Dory in 1989, and later acquired the beachside home she named Avonlea. She said she works to “weave a ‘comfort of home’ atmosphere” at her inns. She strives to provide all the details guests would have in their own homes, and she retains top staff to maintain a harmonious feeling.
“A guest will know whether there’s harmony or there isn’t,” she explained.
Flipping through the guest books will provide a glimpse of this homey aura. There are many written testimonies to each inn’s charms: “always warm, friendly and comfortable … thanks for hospitality … love the skylight,” said one written at the Blue Dory. “Heaven…especially when you ‘see’ through the porch… simply amazing medicine for the soul,” reads another at Avonlea.
Reviews on TripAdvisor’s website have a similar ring, calling the inns “hidden treasures.”
However, not all the reviews are 5-star ravings; TripAdvisor also displays comments from unhappy customers who claimed the inns were overrated.
These criticisms do not deter Law, she says, but rather motivate her to improve her business. “We take [these reviews] very seriously,” said Law. “The unfavorable reviews are as important as the favorable. The guests tell us exactly what to do, and we do it.”
Law, who worked as a nurse in New York before becoming an innkeeper, said she enjoys providing positive “mental health” for her customers. The blue Dory, Avonlea, and respective cottages are included under the “Victorian Inns by the Sea” umbrella.
Victorian Inns by the Sea has won several awards in the past, such as Yankee Magazine editor’s picks, inclusion in the book 1,000 places to see before you die by Patricia Schultz, and “Most Romantic Bed & Breakfast” by Boston Best Guide – the latter of which Law just received again this year.
Law acknowledged her primary staff members Michelle Tryhubchek, Becca Zendt and Leda Nascimento for helping to make the award possible. She also mentioned Christy Zendt, a past innkeeper of the Blue Dory until November 2011.