Guest Comments

“A Great Experience” We have been to several B & B's over the past couple of years, including B & B's in New York Massachusetts and Vermont. This was one of our best experiences. The accommodations were were very comfortable and very clean. Danuata, our hostess was charming, always making sure our comfort needs were met. The breakfast was good,consisting of a fresh fruit salad (including kiwis and strawberries). An assortment of rolls, muffins, breads and croissants were also served. (I was particularly impartial to the almond croissants, which were purchased at a local farmer's market , and ate two.) These were all served with a delicious homemade fig jam. Yogurt and eggs were also offered. My husband opted for scrambled eggs and toast. The quietness of the surroundings was also welcomed and appreciated after a full day in the city. The only sound heard during the night was an occasional fog horn from a nearby tug boat.... Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple

TripAdvisor: Andrea L Gansevoort, New York

The house is amazing and full of history. It was unlike any place I had every stayed before. Daunta , the host, is a wonderful and caring person. The food of course was wonderful too. There was a shared bathroom, which I thought would be an issue but never turned out to be. The rooms are very big and we even got the room with a private kitchen. Reviewed 30 October 2013

TripAdvisor: neocarbunkle Tokyo, Japan

“Great option for NY accommodation” My wife and I stayed three nights here while we explored Manhattan and thoroughly enjoyed it. Danuta, the hostess, is very welcoming, cooks a great breakfast and maintains a comfortable and charming house. The location is perfect - we drove to the Staten Island ferry each morning, parked all day for $7 and then took the free ferry into the middle of the city. It may take a little longer than if you were staying on Manhattan but the price more than compensates. 27 October 2013

TripAdvisor: David D

A home away from home Bed-and-breakfast in West New Brighton is a charming labor of love for engineer turned innkeeper from Poland Wednesday, December 01, 2004 By JOELLE MORRISON This review is from the STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE The first time I ventured onto Taylor Street in West Brighton, I felt like I'd been transported to a different time and place. The closer I got to Richmond Terrace from the rush of Castleton Avenue, the greater my amazement. Here, wonderful old homes sit well back from the street, there are tall, handsome trees, a welcome aura of peace and tranquility speaks to a simpler day and age. The block felt very different from anywhere else on the North Shore. Since I first saw this graceful enclave, it has suffered from encroaching development that is, as one might expect, decidedly out of character with the traditional setting. Still, once you reach De Groot and Trinity places and beyond, you are surrounded by evidence of a more elegant time. Nowhere is this more true than at 90-92 Taylor St., the double house owned by Danuta Gorlach -- and the home of Victorian Bed and Breakfast of Staten Island. Guests who stay at Ms. Gorlach's B&B at 92 Taylor can't help but feel special and pampered --- she takes great pains to make them comfortable. `Everything I do here, I feel like it's an expression of me,` she said earnestly. `I don't like to cut corners.` With an old-world sensibility, she takes great pleasure in the smallest details. The table was set with hand-ironed linens and napkins, and the delicious smell of fresh-baked apple pie filled the air. The B&B is lovingly furnished with antiques and traditional pieces, but there is absolutely no stuffiness or pretension. This is a place meant to be enjoyed. The high ceilings, formal marble fireplaces and ceiling medallions in the living and dining rooms are accented by Victorian-era chandeliers, mirrors, paintings and accessories. All of the fireplaces were made by the home's first owner, W. Snedeker, whose initials Ms. Gorlach has found inscribed in the marble of each, though largely hidden from view. The upstairs guest rooms are cozy, well-appointed and comfortable -- one even has a kitchen, complete with a vintage stove, fridge and Hoosier cabinet. It wasn't always like this. When Ms. Gorlach first became entranced with the 1846 Italianate villa, its elegance was chipped and tarnished. Typical of the toll the years had taken was the home's hidden cupola. It had been plastered with thick layers of tar paper and was reduced little more than an ugly black bump on the roof. `No one even knew the cupola was there,` said Ms. Gorlach. `It was completely covered, and the windows were in pieces on the floor.` (Now a ladder leads up to what is a unique lookout tower for grownups, with windows on all four sides.) The house, with Snedeker's marble fireplaces in every room, was charming -- but the renovation was a nightmare. Ms. Gorlach, a seasoned old-home owner, possessed the skills and energy to tackle this huge project, though. Born in Krakow, Poland, she received her master's degree in engineering and architecture from Krakow Polytechnic University. When her husband decided to make the move to America in 1970, she was reluctant: It was a huge step for the young woman to leave her family and support system. But `making it in New York gives you a sense of assurance,` she said. `If you can make it here, you know you're going to be all right.` She moved to Saint Paul's Avenue in Stapleton in 1978, and commuted to Manhattan to work. But during a hiatus in her architectural and design career, she decided to cut out the commute, instead giving local real estate a try. `Working in real estate was so wonderful. I saw great houses I never would have been able to see otherwise,` she said. `I learned a great deal about function and design.` (And she found the house on Taylor Street.) `But real estate was hard for me in many ways, because I'm somewhat shy, so I went back to my original job in Manhattan,` she admitted. Meanwhile, she kept working on the house. It was a labor of love that continues to this day. `One side (number 90) had to be completely gutted.` There was plumbing, electrical and carpentry work -- not to mention stripping woodwork, painting, plastering, wallpapering -- before the house even could be furnished. That was yet another project and Ms. Gorlach searched for furniture and accessories, putting her creativity and decorating eye to work. When Ms. Gorlach's Manhattan job came to an end in 1995, she opened an antiques store, first in New Dorp, and then in West Brighton. `But the location wasn't so good for antiques, it was a lot of work and not so much money, so I decided to stop,` said Ms. Gorlach. Instead, she sold a piece of property she owned, making it possible to start the new B&B endeavor. `Guests who come to B&Bs are special people,` she said. `They're more sophisticated and very gracious. And they're very appreciative of the things you do to make their stay pleasant.` Her typical breakfast is something like oven-baked French toast with sausages, fruit salad, juice, coffee and tea. She also bakes frequently and leaves snacks for guests on the run. There's afternoon tea, too, and lunch by request. Not to mention that delicious apple pie, topped with whipped cream -- yum. Recent visitors from Washington state, Canada and the Caribbean entered their reviews in her guest book: `Staying here was a wonderful experience!` `Wonderful hospitality.` `All your efforts really show.` One young woman wrote, `The bed was great!` `She couldn't stop raving about the comforter,` Ms. Gorlach said. The innkeeper isn't about to rest on her laurels, however. Up the steps to the third floor, she showed us the home's last renovation frontier: An unfinished rear bedroom and adjoining enclosed porch. `This will make a lovely bedroom and little kitchen,` she said. `I need to get to work.`

This review is from the STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

It’s very hard to think of something to say when 30 other people have already said exactly the same thing. So I’ll just add that it’s all true: the gorgeous historic house, the antique décor, the welcoming atmosphere, the elegant and spacious bedrooms, the satin bed linens and cloud-like mattresses, the generous and delicious breakfasts suited to your individual tastes and requests… But most importantly, the owner who is more like a wonderful hostess than a landlady. Also, much has been said on Danuta’s hospitality, kindness and attention to her guests. But here, at least, I feel privileged to be able to share a very personal experience. During my stay I had a serious dental emergency. When Danuta saw I was very upset and nearly hysterical, she sat me down and, like a good psychotherapist, started talking to me – told me a story from her own experience, then started asking me questions, and before I knew it, I had relaxed and nearly forgotten all about my problem. Then she told me to get in her car (I don’t drive) and spent a whole day locating a dentist who could see me at such short notice and on a Saturday, making the appointment for me, and driving me there and back. And on many other occasions she always took interest in my moods and problems, and was always willing to listen and to offer her input. I had heard B&B owners in New York offered tiny closets at exorbitant prices. But here I had basically a self-contained unit – a large bedroom and a spacious veranda converted into a cheerful kitchen – at the price of 1 room, and very reasonable at that. What else? Staten Island is a welcome change of pace after Manhattan, the buses run often and on schedule, the 30-min. FREE ferry crossing is a rare treat for those who like to be on the water, there’s bus service straight into Brooklyn. I was in tears all of my last day there. It had all added up to an unbelievable, unforgettable vacation, the best in years.

Alla Itkis Toronto, Canada - TripAdvisor

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