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“don't come here” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Savage River Inn

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Savage River Inn
P.O. Box 147, McHenry, MD 21541   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 McHenry B&B and Inns
Wheaton,MD
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“don't come here”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

The "pool" was five feet deep at best and full of bugs. I was really wanting to swim, or even just float, but couldn't imagine sharing the small space with all of those dead insects, much less having my baby daughter in the water with me! The deck of the "Fox Den" cabin would have been a nice place to relax, but the railings were completely covered with bird guano and grime. It was really disgusting. The "breakfast" part of this B&B was a box of four muffins on our first day of a two-day stay and some packaged fruit cups in the fridge. We weren't even shown the main inn, where there was supposed to be a big room with a fireplace for all guests to enjoy. On the second night, we were shocked when a massive diesel truck barrelled up the hill next to our cabin, stopping to unload a heavy loader, which made another tremendous amount of noise. The bed and pillows were ridiculously soft, giving no support - my back and neck still hurt three days later. No hot tub in evidence at all. What did I pay for??? Black mildew on the bottom of the shower curtain?

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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8 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Washington DC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2008

When I read the prior post on this site, I thought it was deja vu....we had an identical experience at the Savage River Inn “Bed and Breakfast”. I certainly regret not checking this website prior to booking.

I am a law student and wanted a quick, affordable and convenient getaway for my boyfriend and me. Let me preface this by saying that we are low-maintenance, easy-to-please people.

The Savage River Inn Bed and Breakfast advertises a hot tub, a swimming pool, landscaped gardens, mountain bikes, a fireplace and canoes, among others. These amenities were definite perks that set this B&B apart from the others in the area, and an attractive feature to two stressed out DC residents. I called the number on the website on a Wednesday to inquire about seasonal rates and left a voice mail message on the owner's cell phone. I then was away from my telephone, in class. When I checked my phone two hours later, I had three messages from the owner Ken(which should have been our first sign). I returned his call, and he was eager to gain our business. He was able to beat the other inn's rates, and, as he mentioned, no other guests were booked for the weekend (which should have been our second sign). So I gave him my credit card and address information for billing purposes, and we were booked in the cabin for the following Friday/Saturday nights.

The next day, Thursday, I received four calls from the owner (sign number three). The first call was to verify my credit card information. I don't know what the following three calls were in reference to, because frankly, it was later in the evening and it's a turn off when anyone calls repeatedly and I was studying for a mid-term. I gave the number to my boyfriend to deal with this man.


On Friday, we were on our way from DC to Western Maryland, and my boyfriend broke the news that when he called Ken back, Ken told him that he had suddenly remembered the day prior that he was to be gone from the inn for the weekend, due to a Halloween party at his girlfriend's house, and that was the reason for his calls. I was immediately baffled, and called the owner to verify, and see if we had perhaps misunderstood each other regarding the dates. I informed him that if he was going to be gone the whole weekend as he had told my boyfriend, then we were certainly not going to make the trip. Ken told me that he had indeed forgotten the Halloween party and didn't feel safe driving at night, so he thought it best to spend the night at the home of the party. Since he is a mature gentleman, I could understand that he wasn't comfortable driving down winding, narrow roads at night. He said that he was not going to be gone the whole weekend, but was to be home on Saturday morning. He mentioned that he had left breakfast cereal and milk for us to help ourselves to in the morning. I didn't think that him being away for an evening was that big of a deal, but certainly wished he had mentioned this when we booked. Perhaps he knew that if he had done that, we would have gone elsewhere.


When we arrived on Friday night, we arrived to an extremely dark, unlit property. The cabin is very nice and on a nice property. The “continental breakfast” offered was an opened box of Special K and some Del Monte fruit cocktail cups. We decided we could easily go get breakfast on our own, if perhaps something more pleasing was offered on Sunday morning when Ken was to be back on the property--it was, after all, called a bed AND breakfast, not a Motel 6. Saturday morning, we headed over to the main house to see if we could speak to the owner about the amenities available (hot tub) and see if we could possibly get some tourist information. He was no where to be found.

We drove around for about two hours attempting to find lunch, and while it would have been nice to have some sort of direction, it was a fun adventure. We found the local scenery to be wonderful and went on a nice hike around the area. When we got back from our day in the early evening, we stopped by the main house again to see if we could find the owner. He was not home yet again. We decided to see if we could find the hot tub ourselves, and when we did stumble across it, it had a dingy, faded cover on it, and was bone dry. The thing looked as if it hadn't been used this decade.

The next morning, Sunday, we looked for the owner yet again. No where to be found. We left a note explaining our disappointment—not in the cabin, but in the lack of service—and I requested a partial refund for the lack of several amenities advertised on the website, and for the fact that a bed and breakfast requires an innkeeper to be on the grounds (the cabin has NO FIREPLACE, but an electric fire box with a fake fire that emits no heat whatsoever, the hot tub and pool were out of service, there were no gardens, much less landscaping, and maybe there were mountain bikes and canoes available, but that would have required someone on the property to show us where they were). We would have phoned him, had either of us had cell phone service (I have T-Mobile, and my boyfriend has Verizon—neither of us could get a signal anywhere near the cabin, which was alright by us anyway) and happily headed back to the city.

The owner didn't find the note until mid-day Monday which I guess is when he finally came home, when he called and left a message saying that he would send a check for the partial refund in the mail. It has been almost a month and I have not seen the refund. When we got home, we came across the previous post, which incidentally was only one weekend before we stayed in the cabin, and we had a good chuckle over the similarities in our stay and the couple prior to us—I guess that's all we could do, and chalk it up to a lesson learned.

  • Liked — nice cabin
  • Disliked — where should I start? It was a nice cabin, but I would by no means call it a bed and breakfast...aren't there laws about
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baltimore
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2008

My husband and I were looking for a nice getaway for our fourth wedding anniversary and I wanted to go up into the mountains to see the fall foilage. When I called Savage River Inn, the owner, Ken, was pleasant and gave me a slight discount to rent the cabin, Fox Den. He was really pushing for us to stay in the cabin saying it was a great deal. I was pleased as he told me we would be in this cabin (which appears secluded on the website) and would be able to see for miles and miles overlooking the beautiful mountains and the fall leaves. Just what we needed to relax! So, we booked the place and brought everything as we didn't plan to leave the cabin the whole weekend! Breakfast was provided so we were thrilled with that as well.

Upon arriving, I was disappointed as the cabin is not only not secluded (there are two houses practically on top of it) but the "mountain view" is true only if you walk down past the houses and look out. Very sad. But, we figured, just a small glitch and we'd make the best of it. When entereing the cabin, it was evening time and dark. It was very chilly as the heat hadn't been turned on for us which i thought was odd-- electric heat so it took quite some time to get going. Ken was away for the weekend so there were no keys which we found odd

Upon looking in the kitchen, I was slightly horrified to find that the cereal left for us was half eaten and stale, the orange juice in the fridge was expired, the milk in the fridge was expired and half drank (!) and there was an open fruit cup that i moved and it promptly fell over and spilled everywhere. YUCK! In addition, you couldn't make ice in the freezer b/c it had so much freezer burn in it the ice cube tray would tip over!

Here is what else we found as the night went on:
1. The cabin is one room-- we killed 14 flies while we were there one night and counting.
2. The "fireplace" has an on/off switch and is for show- no heat.
3. I went to take a bath- not even enough hot water to fill 1/3 of the tub!
4. The shower curtain was filthy and moldy at the bottom.
5. There were small black hairs on the sheets. I have long brown hair and my husband shaves his head! EWWW!!!
6. In the daylight you could tell the place just hadn't been cleaned in a long while-- really dusty and dirty.

I called Ken after a miserable night in the cabin with the flies buzzing, other people's hair on the bed, it freezing in the cabin, barely any hot water and expired goods in the fridge to let him know we would be leaving and checking into a hotel for Saturday. I told him due to all of the things named above, I'd like to speak with him about possibly getting money back for Saturday night since we were leaving due to the obvious negligence of the property. Ken stated he was out of town and would call me back Monday evening. He said he couldn't understand as he had other folks come in and look at it. I said if he did the attention to detail seemed to be lacking.

Ken never called. I called Ken and here is what he said to me (and i quote), "I don't know what your problem is. I went and looked at it myself and there was nothing wrong". Ken went on to say the sheets had come right out of the dryer. Any time i tried to get a word in, I was cut off. When I stated that it was odd, when I have sheets come out of my dryer, they don't have other folks hair on it and then asked about the rotten goods in our fridge, Ken said (and i quote), "I just got in from my trip (i'm sure this wasn't true, it was 9:30 at night) and this conversation is going to be exhausting, I can tell that so I am going to have to call you when I have the time. Goodbye". Yes, that's right, Ken hung up on me. Are you all surprised to learn I haven't heard from him again?

I hope that Ken enjoys his money we paid for a night not stayed in a very dirty "cabin". I will be sending Ken a letter to let him know what I have detailed above since he didn't have the time or energy to have a phone conversation with me. I am $125 poorer but life is too short to argue this point with someone who just doesn't care. Hope this is helpful as i certainly don't want this place or the owner to spoil another anniversary!

  • Liked — Leaving and checking in to a clean hotel.
  • Disliked — Everything listed above in the review
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastern Shore, Maryland
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2007

An impromptu girl’s weekend away without the spouses turned out to be a very memorable one. After many calls to find a room for the weekend, I dialed the Savage River Inn and spoke with Ed Spak the Innkeeper; he informed me that he had two rooms avail. one was the suite and one a guest room, both were on separate floors. We wanted to be on one floor so Ed made it happen.

We arrived around dusk and as indicated by Ed, they were situated in the Forest. We were greeted by Ed himself, he showed us to our rooms and gave us a quick tour of the Inn, invited us to a glass of Wine, Beer or non-alcoholic beverage (which after a long drive was very welcoming) and to just relax on the deck - basically make yourself at home. He explained that the complimentary breakfast was to be served around 8:30, gave us some directions to move about the lake and turned on some music - an impressive collection I might add. From the Inn, the lake was relatively close, around 10 minutes drive, well worth the drive.

We woke every morning to a wonderfully delicious breakfast of homemade scones and muffins, fratta, kielbasa, eggs benedict, seven grain pancakes with a scrumptious black current syrup, potatoes, coffee and juice just to name some of the items - all prepared by Ed himself. We had two days in the Inn with no other guests so he took special requests for breakfast.

Ed sat with us after the last of the guests left the Inn and gave us a lot of detailed insight on interesting things to do around the lake. He recommend his favorite, or other guests favorite places to eat, places to visit and things to do - very knowledgeable of the area. He told us how he, Brandy (his spouse) and 2 year old son had come to be the Innkeepers and what his plans were for the Inn, I am sure that they will succeed – they both appear to be very driven individuals.

This 4 room Inn offers two deck areas, one that is on the front of the Inn on the first floor which wraps around to a bricked side sitting area. Situated on the side of this sitting area was a small pond. The second deck was exclusively for use of the Penthouse Room. This room offers a wall of windows, for a spectacular view of the mountains which I am sure is breath taking in the fall as the leaves change. The second floor Suite offers a private sitting area much like a sun room. The other two guest rooms of the Inn were located on the third floor. Each room in the Inn was elegantly decorated and has its own private facilities which, is very accommodating and comfortable. Amenities include a sitting area equipped with books to read, a sun porch off of the second floor sitting area (a safe haven away from mother nature), outside the sun porch was the hot tub, behind the Inn - up a small incline was an in-ground pool, the great room offers a large stone fireplace, music, television and games to relax with.

A terrific weekend away…..

Be sure to check out and add a line or two to the Guest Book – a gift
from Rebecca.

  • Liked — The entire place
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canfield, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2007

We were looking for a nice weekend getaway in the mountains of western Maryland and someone recommended tripadvisor.com. We wanted something fairly close to our home in Ohio and I found a number of Bed and Breakfasts within our 3-4 hour travel time. The name, Savage River Inn sounded interesting to me, so I did a little research on this unexpectedly delightful B&B. I say, unexpectedly because of a certain review I read online about this particular accommodation. The reviewer had me laughing so much with their reference to an Alfred Hitchcock movie, regarding the Penthouse suite; I simply had to check it out for myself.
I like a little bit of adventure when going on a weekend getaway.

As it turned out the writer of this review couldn’t have been more wrong. Much to our delight.

Perhaps it was the result of the attention to detail new Innkeepers, Brandy and Ed Spak. These are two of the most gracious hosts one could ask for when looking for a place to get away from it all. They attended to every detail with an attitude of a five star hotel, remaining quietly in the background, while anticipating our every need. I have traveled and lived around the world, so I have pretty much seen it all.

We stayed in the log cabin on the site and it was utterly charming. Peaceful and quiet surroundings were only matched by the scrumptious breakfast we anticipated each morning from Chef Ed. We found a clean,
sparkling pool, and although we were mildly disappointed the hot tub was being readied for opening, it was not quite ready for us. Nevertheless, our stay was pretty much flawless and an extremely enjoyable experience. So much so, we stayed a day longer than planned.

I did ask Brandy about the review of the Penthouse, and she laughed quite good naturedly. I told her I wanted to make the trip in the ‘plywood coffin’.

I was so glad that I did! It was a comical experience I wouldn’t have
missed for the world. As we creaked and groaned our way up to the top floor of the 3 story main house, using this hand made lift, I could see the look of anticipation cross Brandy’s face. I just chuckled and assured her, this experience didn’t phase me in the least.

Upon arriving, safely, by the way, I was treated to a room with a view which was stunning. Complete with a full deck facing the beautiful and calming Maryland mountains and forest right outside the full wall of sliding glass doors.

We have made a fall foliage date for the Penthouse and cannot wait until September! The anticipation of the fall colors can only be matched by that scrumptious breakfast.

I have a feeling we will visit this B&B again and again as our charming hosts, Brandy and Ed continue to make everything better and better with each new trip.

  • Liked — The hosts and attention to detail.
  • Disliked — I couldn't stay longer!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Coast, USA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2006

There are a lot of great little inns in the Deep Creek Lake area, and for whatever reason, many of them are a challenge to find online. This one, however, is one that seems to come up rather readily. It's surprising because this B&B doesn't seem like one that would be well advertised. We booked this B&B at the last minute when all of our other choices virtually laughed at me when I called inquiring. I decided on a last-minute surprise birthday getaway for my husband, and when I finally found a vacancy at the Savage River Lodge, I jumped on it! It's a bit off the beaten path -- no lake views here (not that there's supposed to be). When we pulled up the driveway, we were pleased to see that the lovely little house looked exactly like its picture online. A quirky little old gentleman emerged from the barn across the driveway to greet us. There was apparently a missus but we never saw her. At this B&B, the husband ran the show. He was very friendly. He gave us a quick tour and showed us to our room. As the previous reviewer mentioned, the pool and hot tub were out of commission. At that time, there was no health regulation explanation. Everything looked clean and fine, just not open. We were a little disappointed because the website does advertise the pool and hot tub, but it wasn't the end of the world. The house is clean and nicely decorated. We never experienced or even saw the interesting elevator contraption the other reviewer mentioned. We used the good ol' fashioned stairs to get to our second story room. We had no problems with the room or anything else within the house. The innkeeper was an extremely talkative and quirky old gentleman as I mentioned. He was at least interesting though. He's a bit of an inventor, an entrepreneur, handyman, etc. He seemed to know a lot of people too, including the guy who invented the Big Mac. He had some interesting stories that he told us in the few days we were there. The breakfasts weren't gourmet but they were good and filling. As with most B&Bs, you don't really get a choice. I don't like eggs or sausage, so one morning I was still pretty hungry after breakfast. Unlike most inns, there didn't seem to be an array of dry cereal, muffins, etc. if you didn't like what was on the menu. That was my only real complaint with breakfast. The other people who were staying in the inn while we were there seemed to really enjoy their stay. We have stayed in everything from budget hotels to Relais & Chateaux inns to all-inclusive resorts, and we'd rate this one as pretty average or mediocre -- nothing to get super excited about but certainly not a dump by any means. If you want privacy and romance, this place might not be for you due to the very talkative innkeeper. If you're just looking for a reasonably priced place to stay with a bit of character while you explore the area, you may want to check this place out.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2004

Current web and print ads for the Savage River Inn offer hot tub and pool privileges. Upon our arrival, the owner stated these services had not been available for several years, due to health department restrictions. No explanation was provided as to why this had not been reflected in advertisements going back at least two years.

Despite these rather significant exclusions, we were still willing to swallow the stiff $160 per day rate, until we were shown the home-made plywood-and-sheet-metal elevator arranged for getting guests to the top floor of the "penthouse." This was an experience heretofore available only to us vicariously, as viewers of Hitchcock's "Psycho." Without the benefit of a protective door, we were jarringly and quite noisily transported upwards. As we buzzed and hummed quite loudly vertical, our host quite defensively explained to us that, as long as we maintained adequate finger pressure on certain buttons, all would be well if we would only utilize this transport in a proper fashion, during our relaxing and leisurely weekend getaway. Our confidence was nonetheless at a rather low point by this time. As the floor above at last came into view, the floor of which opposed itself in a rather slicing opposition to our rising plywood coffin, the experience could not but help to remind one of the guillotine. Yet, our host maintained a most reassuring babbling monologue, dissuading us most effectively against our rising animal instinct towards taking flight.

In short: Stay Away. Very Far Away.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Savage River Inn

Address: P.O. Box 147, McHenry, MD 21541
Location: United States > Maryland > Garrett County > McHenry
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in McHenry

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