Best thing I can say about the River Inn is that "you pay your money and you take your chances." The staff and food at Caroline's is wonderful but the motel is aging & average (at best) and the front desk staff, save a wonderful young lady on nights named Angel, are less than hospitable. For the top shelf price they charge, the amenities are decidedly lacking (no operable Wi-Fi, no laundry room or room refrigerator/microwave) and their supposed "recent room renovations" are beginning to show decided wear & tear. To start, my wife and I had made reservations back MONTHS ago. This was our 2nd trip to Apalachicola and the original reservations were to begin Thursday 9/29 through Saturday 10/8 but when we checked in on Friday morning 9/30 (front desk was closed when we got there Thursday night), the front desk clerk, Beverly (more about her later), attempted to get me to say that we were checking out on Friday 10/7! At that point, my wife and I both corrected her, saying, "No, we are staying until Saturday the 8th." to which she verbally agreed. Little did I know what problems were going to result from that seemingly innocent conversation!
In any case, we had a great week in Apalach until the next Friday, 10/7. Great food, nice scenic drives up & down Hwy 98 and just being able to relax. Friday morning arrives so we decide to eat breakfast & go grab a good workout at a nearby health club. When we returned to the room sometime after noon, to our shock, ALL of our belongings had been dumped (and I do mean DUMPED, as in crammed) in garbage bags outside our room and down at the front office. Obviously a misunderstanding as to our check out date, I immediately called the front desk to find out what was going on and Beverly starts SCREAMING at me "You only had reservations through today and you were supposed to be out by 11 o'clock!!!" I absolutely could not get a word in edgewise for this person yelling at me! Unbelievably professional, don't you think? Even though we had already spent $1300+ at this property, there was no "Maybe there's been a misunderstanding, let's see what we can work out", no apology, no nothing except "Get your stuff and get out!” Believe me, there's absolutely nothing like ending your long-awaited vacation by being made to feel like yesterday's garbage.
We eventually figured out (actually were told by some of the other hotel staff that felt sorry for us) that since they were having the Oyster Festival over at St. George Island that weekend, Beverly had double-booked the room and needed us out so they could book the room for the entire weekend as opposed to just Saturday night.. Needless to say, this debacle put an absolute damper on our entire vacation and although we may go back at some point, we definitely won't be staying at the River Inn. Make no mistake, Apalachicola is still a great place to get away and relax, just be aware there are other nice options such as the Best Western Apalach Inn, the Buccaneer Inn over on St. George, The Consulate, The Gibson or The Witherspoon Inn. Future travelers don't deserve the treatment we received and do deserve to know that the River Inn is FAR from being the end-all/be-all for lodging in Apalach.
P.S. I do want to add that the head chef at Caroline's, John, is incredible and the morning wait staff including Charlotte, Dawn & Dallas are great. Don't let the fact that the motel is lacking keep you from experiencing Caroline's great food & hospitality. Also, it seemed to us that the Boss Oyster appears to be coasting on its reputation these days. At least during our stay, the oysters were fresher & better at Hole in the Wall and Up the Creek.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.