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HI - Cape Vincent - Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Hostel

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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Great Location, But Not Managed Well Our family of 4 stayed here in August 2012. The hostel now has different managers than the ones who were raved about. We were very disappointed. First, I'll talk about the good features. The setting was stunningly beautiful, next to the lighthouse and the water. The price was inexpensive, $20 for each adult and free for our 2 kids. The bathroom was clean and had hot water. Now, for the parts that REALLY need improving. Getting a reservation was very time consuming and required lots of patience, as I emailed several times and called and called and called over a number of months to get anyone to respond to a reservation request. The current caretaker was an odd person who really put a negative spin on our stay. We arrived shortly after 5 p.m., the time when the hostel was supposed to be open for the evening, and the door was locked. Then a man came up, all sweaty from a run; I greeted him and said that we had a reservation; he muttered something like, "Oh, you're the family," then he unlocked the door and disappeared inside, shutting the door behind him! We were stunned and a bit confused about where he had gone and whether we were supposed to wait outside. About 5 minutes later, he came back out with some clean clothes on and said that he was the caretaker (I think his name was Hugh), and that he would check us in. He provided short and often non-responsive answers to our questions (it was very strange). For example, I asked if there was WiFi, and he answered slowly, "Yeah, but I'll have to give you the password." But he make no effort to give us the password! I had to finally say, "Ok, give us the password." He also indicated that the common area in the 2nd building was for guest use, so my husband asked if we could come and sit while we checked our email; then Hugh started backtracking and indicated that we shouldn't really come there (it looked like he had piles of his own belongings around the room). He was so bizarre that I thought perhaps he had some type of difficulty with social skills, and I was feeling compassion for him and his situation ... until my family returned from dinner to find him in the kitchen area talking up a storm and laughing and being very social to the HI staff person who had showed up unexpectedly to check on the hostel. We were astounded because the person he was presenting to the HI investigator was a completely different person than he had been toward us. His behavior is still a mystery. The caretaker did not have a key for our room, so we couldn't leave any belongings in there while we were out. There was no explanation regarding breakfast items or use of the kitchen in the morning. No coffee or tea. Nothing. Finally, the beds were VERY uncomfortable. We had a family room with a very hard double bed (so hard that my husband couldn't sleep there), a twin bed that my daughter sunk into like a marshmallow (which also didn't have linens), and a bunk bed with decent mattresses. We joked that the room must belong to the 3 bears, with one bed too hard, one too soft, and one that was in between. All in all, the atmosphere just felt very inhospitable and unwelcoming, as if the caretaker had his own private place and didn't really want guests to stay there. This was the 3rd hostel that we stayed at during our trip (the other 2 were in Montreal and Ottawa), and it was by far the worst. What a shame, as with such a grand location, it has tremendous potential.  , U.S.A. ()
5   Great! Retreat Wonderful Views The staff, Robert and Patricia, Were outstanding they fixed me a cup of Hot Tea when I arrived and then gave me some history of the Lighthouse Quarters. After showing me around helped me with my items to come in. Another guest brought me a drink and watched the sunset with me. What a wonderful time.  , USA ()
5   Freedom My wife took me there for our first picnic (by end of yard). I took her by lighthouse and asked her to be my wife, then we got married there oct. 18, 08. We also slept there once time and no sound (cars, train, people, or out of sound) -- she just hear the windy with water wave it calm night. We would buy this lighthouse if the state will offer for a sale. If we or I need to run away for a while it will be this place! Go there and enjoy your time! It's worth it!  , new york, syracuse ()
4   Awesome! This is the first time I've ever stayed at a hostel, but the weather was cold, and we were the only souls brave enough to be out and about, thus we had the whole house to ourselves. I'm a longtime lighthouse lover, and staying here was one of the neatest things I've ever done in my life. Wayne and Drina were wonderful hosts, very friendly and welcoming, and full of information about things to do in the surrounding area. Seeing the light flashing in our bedroom windows all night long was very peaceful and comforting. The sunsets were fantastic. This is an experience I will never forget.  , U.S.A. ()
5  Dorothy and Dan are a delight! The location is one of a kind and their hospitality is legendary -- they are like our family! They handled our large group with ease and made our stay feel so welcoming! Don't hestitate to stay at Tibbetts Point, it's an experience you will never forget!  ()
5  First of all, hi to Dorothy and Dan. We are already looking forward to this summer. This will be our fourth summer to visit and stay at the lighthouse. We enjoy coming to your hostel every summer from Canada. It is like our second cottage. We recommend this beautiful place to anyone who is looking for an adventure.  ()
5  This is a wonderful place and the hostel keepers are truly special and very kind human beings. I spent two nights here at Tibbet's Point two summers ago while traveling and camping alone. There were no other travelers while I was there. Their companionship was warming, the grounds were absolutely lovely, and the houses themselves were spotless. I hope to visit there again. Anyone who finds him or herself here will be enchanted.  ()
5  I was a college student at Carleton Univ. in Ottawa, ON, and went down to Kingston to visit a friend at Queen's Univ. On a lark, we decided to take the ferry and bike across Wolfe Island, then took the short ferry to Cape Vincent, NY. That made the trip "international", and we had a blast riding the quaint streets of what for the U.S. was a far-off border town, forgotten by most of the state's residents down the road in Manhattan or over in Buffalo/Niagara Falls. This was a corner of New York kept secret for local fishing and boating. After a ramble through the streets, we learned of a lighthouse at the end of the road, and headed off to Tibbetts Point to see it. The weather turned from partly sunny to overcast, then to rain, then to fog with rain. We approached the lighthouse in the dark, waves crashing into the shore of the river/lake as we pedalled forward hopefully. Minutes before we could see the tower of the lighthouse itself, her beam cut through the fog, offering the promise of shelter and refuge with every sweep of its white beam. What was supposed to be a day trip would clearly not end back in Kingston. We arrived at the door wet and cold, and without any more than a couple of dollars. We hadn't budgeted for an overnight stay, and were hoping to simply get warm and ride out the storm. The keeper had other ideas. Seeing us in our state of exhaustion and damp clothes, and mindful of the wicked weather, she offered us a place to sleep for the night if we'd agree to help with some end-of-the-season chores next morning. We quickly agreed. And with a towel to dry off, we settled down in the small living room to cozy up next to a fireplace with a hot cup of tea. The resident cat kept us company while we flipped through copies of old National Geographics, disbeliving our own luck, full of thanks, and with the quiet realization that this was the making of a lifelong memory of what it meant to be happy. It wasn't long before we headed to bed. Being the last weekend of the hostel season, we were the only ones staying overnight. And as we laid upon our bunks, my heart was full of contentment at the company of a good friend, the comfort of a warm bed, and the reassuring flash of that Fresnel lens as it winked at us every few seconds; a low-intensity flash-bulb that briefly brightened the room every few seconds. After what we'd been through that day, it didn't delay sleep for a moment.  ()

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