Everyone who attended was pleased with the amount of work accomplished. It's amazing what a person can get done when no phone rings, no laundry buzzer sounds, no spouse pounds in the basement, and no kids interrupt to ask what's for dinner.
Another advantage was the ambiance. I think we each felt encouraged by the sight of the others working away: some editing with paper and pen, some typing away on laptops, and some sketching an outline. (I even sketched the murder scene for my next book, although the way I draw, it looks a lot like a Rorschach ink blot.) If the group was tempted to linger too long over lunch or breakfast, one determined soul would rise and say, "I'm going to get some work done," and soon all of us would be back on task.
Of course there was that precious face time with other authors. The discussions included books we like, books we don't like, publishing, books, agents, readers, books, fans (crazy and otherwise), working conditions and books. There were other topics at some points, but put a bunch of writers together, and it's mostly going to be about books.
Some think it's unnecessary to pay money to find a place to write. "You can write at home," they say. Yes, I can. In fact, I do. But once in a while it's great to play Thoreau and remove myself from the world. I guess I would say, "I went to the inn because I wanted to write deliberately."