Deep Creek weekend:
My family ( wife and two daughters) planned a long weekend to ski at Wisp Resort in the Deep Creek Lake area of MD. My wife and I both have vacationed in Deep Creek over the years (in both summer and winter seasons), but this was the first time in many years and for our girls, ages eight and 11. Since this was a ski trip, I explored a few lodging options at Wisp, including some of the rental town homes on the mountain, but decided to keep the lodging cost for a three day/two night stay under $500. I settled on the Inn at Deep Creek which is about five miles from the ski resort. Its in a good location near the lake, restaurants, the state park, etc.
The Inn is rustic at first glance. In a different geography, the Inn is an average motel with a lakeside view. I'm sure the charm of the place most likely radiates better in the summer months with its proximity to the lake, but it's a little underwhelming when the sun goes down before 5pm as it does in winter The front desk is staffed by very friendly family members or in-laws ( I assumed they were related in some way when one of the staff said she lived in one of the rooms). There is a pleasant lounge area that runs the length of the first floor and within it are board games, books, a fireplace, comfy sofas and chairs, a computer desk and a snack table that is stocked with coffee and danishes in the morning. Other amenities include free wifi (nice) and loaner ipads(no fee). And I believe there's a small pool and outdoor amenities including grills and a boat dock that you would use in the summer.
As for the room, I have to start with the fact that it wasn't ready when we arrived. We drove up from three hours away that morning, spent a few hours at Wisp and arrived around 2:30pm. This appeared to be the time they started to make our room ready and the desk clerk said it would be an hour. We went to a nearby Pizzario Uno's and returned around 3:40 and still waited another 15-20 minutes. It was Saturday, but The Inn was hardly packed with people and considering most of their guests are driving in from another destination, the delay was a mild annoyance. Our room was on the first floor which meant we could walk right out into the lounge area; in a sense, access to the lounge expands your room size, but, of course, the space is shared with any other guests around. The room itself was as described on the web site. A king bed with a sleeper sofa, kitchenette with microwave, full size stove and refrigerator and a nice size table for eating which is good when traveling with kids. The room was a good size overall ( we usually try to stay in suites when traveling with the kids), but the our bathroom was too small and in need of some serious upgrading. I was surprised to read in their brochure that there had been a remodel in 2010; not in the bathroom apparently. The floors are also a bit thin, so be mindful of walking/stomping above you if on the ground floor. The Inn is also pet friendly, so random barking was part of our experience when its owners left the dog behind for the evening. Our kids loved the sleeper sofa's foam mattress, so that was a plus. The the furniture was in good shape and the room had plenty of lamps, but there was a dimness to our space; the room was not bright in the evenings. Finally, the heat/ac unit was right next to the bed and blew warm air directly onto/across the head of the bed. There did not appear to be a way to turn the vents in a different direction to avoid air blowing into your face while sleeping.
Mainly, the service at the Inn was satisfactory, but the appearance of not being prepared for our arrival was a gap. Another is that there is a prominently displayed envelope for tipping the maid in the room, but we never had any kind of cleaning happen in the room since the initial check-in; no one came to empty the trashcans over the two evenings there nor restock any kitchen and bath supplies. My wife stayed in the second day and asked for service twice with no results, though she did get extra towels. But they never took the used ones???
As a recommendation, I would say that if you are a low maintenance, self-sufficient traveler, the Inn is pleasant enough. But our rate of $223/night was an overpayment considering the service level. The Inn is a cheaper alternative to the mountain properties for a winter weekend, but that seems to be all it is. It reminded me of visiting an older aunt who keeps her home tidy, comfortable, and welcoming for all who cross her doorstep, but otherwise, what you see is what you get.