Jewel of an Inn
To paraphrase Henry James, "It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of The Carriage House B&B. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent."
What we got is a lovely post Victorian gem that could not be better situated if you tried, with waterfront, city walks, shopping and, yes, Starbucks, all an easy stroll away. My wife and I spent two nights here. Dan and Naoko have managed that elusive magic that makes you feel that your old friends have just "left a key under the mat" for you. We learned that Naoko is a physician. With considerable prying, we also learned that Dan's careers include screenwriter, polo player, farrier, business owner and of course, innkeeper.
The rooms are a nostalgic reminder of that bedroom you left behind when you went off to college, but your mom keeps ready to dust off for your visits home. We were given a spacious double up the creaky staircase, with comfortable coffee-table sitting area and down-the-hall bath. If you are looking for glossy corporate slick or pretentious Louis XVI antiques, go elsewhere. This place reminded me of my Grandpa's sturdy two story house in Kensington, Md.
My wife and I are willing to pay a bit extra to avoid the "Marriott" experience, and the best innkeepers are terrifice racounteers, but as importantly, know when to leave you alone. I loved the fact that we could come and go at any hour, and leave our stuff lying around without concern. An added bonus, the Carriage House's secret weapon, is their little boy Tom, who at age 5 can list the specifications of most WWII aircraft and has himself taken the controls of a Cesena. If you think I am kidding, test him! And if the place is not always pristinely spotless, blame him, blame him. We will be back.