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“No Frills Lodging” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tidewater Motel

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Tidewater Motel
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15 Main Street, P.O. Box 546, Vinalhaven, ME 04863   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vinalhaven
San Jose, California
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“No Frills Lodging”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2010

This isn't a place to come and get yourself pampered. The motel has a few smallish rooms that face out to the harbor and the view is amazing. However, the bathrooms are really tight and the fixtures are out of the 1960's. The rest of the room has been updated in the 21st century and there is now free WiFi for the place. Since this is the only hotel or motel on the island, the prices can be astronomically high in the summer and there is no real push to update the bathrooms or the rooms anymore.

As others have said, there is the Harbor Gawker, which has a log of variety across the street and a couple of other restaurants on the island. Be warned, if you go in late fall or winter, these places are either closed or have limited hours.

If you are looking for a good WiFi connection, get a room close to the office.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    30
    15
    3
    2
    0
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11
25
5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

The location of the Tidewater is very nice- a very short bike ride or walk to, and from, the Ferry and just at the edge of "town" (i.e., approximately 3-4 restaurants, and one supermarket). The hotel sat upon rushing tides, which were truly extraordinary- nothing that I've ever seen before. Upon arrival, we entered an office, with nobody to greet us, provide us with information (e.g., maps, places to see, where to park our bikes), or show us/direct us to our room. Our room key, merely, sat upon a slip of paper (with our name on the top). There was, however, a note indicating that if any questions/concerns arose, to call the owner on his cell phone. The room, itself, was VERY basic but had a spectacular view of the water. In it was a comfortable bed, analog clock, small refridgerator, and an attached bathroom (with less than five sheets of toilet paper). In a small drawer, we found a hairdryer that didnt work. We only spent one night in Vinalhaven and did have an amazing time there- swimming in the quarries, hiking, and biking. The Tidewater, however, leaves ALOT to be desired.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

We went to Vinalhaven for the first time and stayed at this Motel. In a word--disappointing. The website makes the place look relatively up-to-date and pleasant. Here's the good-- the views ARE nice and the place is clean. Here's the bad-- if you like clean, but cramped 1960's bathrooms and an uncomfortable bed, you'll love this place. The exterior is shabby, there are no hotel "common areas" to speak of. To get to our room, we walked under an exterior stairway and then through a cramped, dark exterior hallway (not the most pleasant approach). Also, we found the staff rather unfriendly. All this for $200 a night? No thank you. Clean only goes so far.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2009

There is a ferry ride that takes 1 & 1/4 hours to get to Vinalhaven but the trip is so worth it. The rooms all have balconies over the water where the tides come in and go out. Because of this the rooms are very cool, even in July and watching the tides from our balcony was wonderful. I highly recommend this clean, neat motel. It is no frills but the rooms are clean and they have TV's and the balconies make the whole thing a wonderful experience. We will be back.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

Our trip to Vinalhaven and our stay at the Tidwater Inn were so enjoyable.

The room we stayed in was on the first floor, with a balcony directly overlooking the rushing tide below. It was a sight to see, something I'll never forget. Our room was very clean and spacious, with a mini-refrigerator and a nice-sized balcony. Continental breakfast was included. Overall, this room was the best value of our entire week in Maine.

Phil and the staff were very friendly. I did buy the book that he wrote, and the parts that I have read are pretty interesting/funny.

I can't say enough about the island, the people, the food (good restaurants), and the overally experience. I would be lucky to go be able to go back there!

  • Liked — The view, the island, the staff
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maine
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2008

We are Maine natives who live in Kennebunkport, Maine. What a pleasure to find a spot in Maine that reminds us of how Maine used to be when we were growing up. Vinalhaven is an honest touch of the Maine people come to see: a large lobster industry, lovely island, the sound of the fog horn on foggy days and locals who say hello to you on the street. This is Vinalhaven.
The Tidewater is the place to stay while on the island. It is perfectly situated, has an amazing view and clean, pretty rooms. They offer bikes for tourning the island and kayak rentals. Pretty much everything is taken care of. We liked it alot.

  • Liked — the views of the harbor
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2007

We have fallen in love with Maine but had never visited any of the islands and wanted to experience the state in all its real wonderfulness...We chose Vinalhaven because it was a bit more rugged and remote than some of the others. So glad we did - it's beautiful, and even the ferry ride (on a particularly bad day, with 10' waves) was brilliant, felt like we were venturing into the beyond! I'm actually quite glad it wasn't sunny and we were out of season as it meant we seemed to have a tourist-less island and when we walked on Lane's Island it was like something out of Wuthering Heights. Very good for the soul.

We'd been in touch with Phil who runs the motel explaining that it was our wedding anniversary and we wanted a private, romantic room. He gave us the Crows Nest which is the other side of the motel and on the top floor. It had a great view of the harbour and the wind roaring around us made it very atmospheric. All the staff had signed a card and left a half bottle of wine in an ice bucket for us which was very kind. The room is basic but spacious, there's a coffee maker, and an ensuite shower/WC. All very adequate. Downstairs is a communal sitting room with loads of magazines and books.

The tiny lobby, which is usually unmanned, has an 'honesty' area for guests to pick up coffee, cereal etc. There's also a shop next door (I think they own it too?) which does wine, sandwiches, can make up picnics etc.

We got Phil to sign a copy of his book 'Away Happens' which we strongly recommend to anyone wanting to understand the Maine psyche - it's hilarious!

Vinalhaven has now become one of my top five favourite places; genuinely loved it, and the motel's location and the owners make it the perfect place to stay. I have the distinct feeling we'll be back.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Tidewater Motel

Address: 15 Main Street, P.O. Box 546, Vinalhaven, ME 04863
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Vinalhaven
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vinalhaven
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tidewater Motel is built on a bridge separating Carver's Harbor to the south from Carver's Pond, its tidal estuary, to the north. The same rush of ocean water coming and going right under your harborside room once powered a blacksmith shop and grist mill on the site. Few views can equal those at the Tidewater and few places are as relaxing; the ebb and flow is nature's own sedative. Still, the world's most productive lobster fleet, anchored right outside your window, gets an early start, so you may not want to sleep in. Open year-round, the Tidewater is the island's only motel. If you want to be closer to the water, you'll have to get wet. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tidewater Hotel Vinalhaven
Tidewater Motel Vinalhaven

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