My husband and I just returned from a short weekend trip to Mystic for our anniversary, and really enjoyed our time with Josephine at the Mermaid Inn. Overall, the building is well-kept and has a pleasant atmosphere, but it's the breakfasts that really make this place special.
LOCATION: Perfectly situated within walking distance between downtown Mystic in one direction, and the Mystic Seaport in the other, we were pleasantly pleased to be able to leave our car at the Inn parking lot and walk nearly everywhere for the weekend.
ROOM: We stayed in the Ivory Room, which was cleanly and crisply decorated with ivory striped paint on the walls. Thankfully, the room wasn't overdone in a tacky mermaid theme, nor did I feel like I was staying at my grandmother's house. Both the room and the bathroom were impeccably clean (I even walked barefoot -- something I don't usually do in hotels). The Ivory Room has it's own bathroom, but it's located just outside of the room in the common hallway. This gets kind of annoying, having to dress and put on a robe (which was provided, by the way) each time you need to enter the bathroom, but for a weekend, it was doable. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows could have used an upgrade. The bathroom was spacious and updated, and basic toiletries (soap, shampoo, eye makeup remover, hair dryer) were provided. The in-room refrigerator was stocked with complementary water and sodas, and provided a convenient place for restaurant leftovers.
BREAKFAST: Breakfast is where this place really shines! Josephine is a wonderful cook and host, and everything that we ate was just really great. Breakfast orders are taken the evening before by signing up on a sheet in the breakfast room, and three courses are the norm. The first course consisted of yogurt and homemade granola (so tasty), followed by a baked apple tart, and finished with an omlette and sausages. The next morning, we had fresh berries, and my husband had delicious french toast stuffed with apples, and I had waffles. Upon making a reservation at the inn, Josephine asked if either of us had any food allergies or restrictions, and she so graciously accommodated my guten- and dairy-free diet with gluten-free waffles, omlettes, and even offered me soy yogurt.
TEA SERVICE: We were welcomed to the inn each time by the smell of freshly baked goods. Josephine leaves an assortment of fresh-baked goods (cookies, crostada), organic fruit and popcorn on the table in the breakfast room for guests to enjoy, and they were absolutely perfect for that afternoon snack, or sweet bite before bed. My husband loved the cookies so much that HE requested the recipe (I wonder if that means he'll bake them himself, too?!?), which Josephine is happy to share via e-mail. Tea and coffee service is also always available downstairs via a Kuerig machine and electric tea kettle.
VALUE: My only disappointment, if you could call it that, was that the price of the Ivory room, with the hall bathroom, was the same price as the other rooms with en suite bathrooms. We've stayed in other inns where this was the case, but I was surprised that this time, the price of the room was not discounted because of this inconvenience, as it is in other places. At $205 per night plus tax, I would have liked to have a bathroom in my room. We did know this, however, at the time of booking, and decided to go with it anyway since this was the last room available for that weekend. The next time, I would change my plans to have a room with the en suite bathroom.
SPECIAL TOUCHES: Josephine has truly made every effort to accommodate guests in every way you could think of. From leaving umbrellas at the front door for your use on rainy days, to having a DVD library downstairs that you are welcome to use, this is truly what staying at a bed and breakfast should be like. And, if you have some time, it's interesting to see the photos that Josephine has left in white binders near the front door of the building under it's extensive renovation. Lastly, as a send off, every guest leaves with a goodie bag consisting of water bottles, cookies and apples -- just like mom would do!
All in all, this is a great place for a relaxing retreat. I wouldn't hesitate to return during my next trip to Mystic.