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“Enjoy the Eastern Shore” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Harrison's Chesapeake House

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Harrison's Chesapeake House
21551 Chesapeake House Drive, Tilghman, MD 21671   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 6 Tilghman B&B and Inns
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Enjoy the Eastern Shore”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

If you are looking for a cookie cutter chain hotel this is not for you. If you are looking for an authentic Eastern Shore experience then run to Harrison's. Rooms are not fancy but they are clean. Reviewers tha mention the smell - it smells like an island in the middle of the bay. Don't look at the grounds because you will see some spider webs or bugs in the lights. So what. The rooms are clean and the management tries hard to accomodate your every wish. It is hard to describe Harrison's other than it is an old time family run motel that while not perfect hits all the marks that matter. Come here for the incredible sunrises over the river. Take a charter and catch some stripers. Have a drink with some locals. This place is a look back in time to a simpler time. Relax and just soak up the beauty of the area and the charm of a long time family run motel!

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bellingham, Washington
Top Contributor
233 reviews 233 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

We had to pass on two rooms before finally settling for a third. One was quite smelly in an old/dank/somebody-used-to-smoke-in-here kind of way, and another only had one window that opened--right next to a big air conditioner on the roof.

Harrison's is an older place with small rooms, and it caters to fishermen who come in for charters. The rooms are fairly basic and meet that need quite well, but there's no swank, no elegance, and the 'quaint' appearance you see from the road doesn't translate inside the rooms, and the building could use some sprucing up--but with lowered expectations, a traveler can do just fine here. Plus, there is an on-premesis restaurant, a bar, and some great places to sit by the water and just breathe.

Room Tip: 2nd floor, facing the marina--don't miss the sunrise.
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  • Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

My husband and I attended an annual event at the Harrison House. This year the event included the opportunity to stay overnight for a very nice pre negotiated rate. The property sold out very quickly so we were happy to have taken advantage of the opportunity.

Our room was clean and comfortable. Having grown up with Summers spent at a house on the river I wasn't put off by the marshy smell of the tap water or the dampness of the room. These things just go along with the area. Our view was of the roof but we didn't mind since we were there to attend a party then sleep. The rooms of some of the other attendees weren't as nice as ours (they had old window air conditioning units and the rooms seemed to be out dated). Our bed was comfortable and the sheets were nice.

Last year was our first time at Harrison's Chesapeake House and our opinion then had been that the drink prices were entirely too high. We weren't with other people last year so we had no one to compare notes with. This year we were with a group of about 20 friends and initially ordered drinks separately. My husband was charged $20 for a top shelf drink and a pitcher of beer. Another couple was charged $20 for a pitcher of beer (same brand of beer we ordered). Yet another couple ordered two cans of beer and was charged $10. My husband later ordered a soda and was charged $2.00, then another and was charged $2.50. We later found out that sodas were free. Bottom line: the bar tenders seemed to charge whatever they wanted.

We had the option for all you can eat crabs, the seafood buffet, or dinner from the menu. The price for all you can eat crabs seemed reasonable until we realized that the crabs were definitely #2s. They were ok but not heavy by any means. The seafood buffet was predominately fried foods that were very greasy. The crab cakes/crab balls were mostly filler which was very disappointing. I had really expected them to have very little if any filler. The manager told us about the breakfast buffet for the next morning for $9.95 - scrapple, eggs, pancakes, bacon, etc. We were very excited about this! Unfortunately what we actually walked down to at 9:00 am were a few pieces of toast, eggs, potatoes, a small amount of creamed chipped beef, and a few pancakes. There were two serving dishes that presumably had held breakfast meats but were empty. According to our friends who had been down there since 8:30 waiting for more food to be brought out, what we saw was all there was. It's also worth mentioning that our friends had been waiting for coffee since 8:30. Our waitress did bring our coffee out promptly in ceramic coffee mugs. Another waitress finally brought our friends their coffee in Styrofoam cups. What was described the night before sounded like a great deal. Unfortunately what we actually ended up with were extremely expensive scrambled eggs. It is worth noting that as we were finishing up, a boat full of fishermen came in and a small amount of fresh food was brought out to the buffet.

My final impression was that this must be a place that maybe has a few regulars but a sell out weekend was not something they were used to. Observations not noted above include a distinct possibility of the coke mix being a bit soda water heavy (translates to diluted)and the vinegar possibly being diluted (it just didn't taste very strong). It was obvious that they held off on bringing additional breakfast food out until the fishing boat came back seemingly so we didn't eat it all. And of course the crab cakes being padded with too much filler...which is ludicrous since they catch the crabs themselves.

We will attend the event next year ONLY because we support the cause. Most likely we will not stay, eat, or drink if things will be the same way. Maybe they'll listen to the feedback of MANY of the attendees and make the necessary improvements. We may all be bikers, but we're also business owners, professionals, and Trip Advisor reviewers. We applaud them for supporting a great cause, but the service and pricing has to be consistent.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
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St. Michaels, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

For my husband's 70th birthday I wanted to do something special. So i drove down to the Harrison's Chesapeake House, chose a suite for the night followed by a fishing charter the next morning. At the reception they reserved the suite for us and logged it into the book. I made the down payment and was looking forward to surprise my husband with something different. Unfortunately, a few days before May 26th I received a call that the room was no longer available. What a disappointment. We obviously got bumped! I was so angry that I cancelled the fishing charter and the money was refunded. What a way to treat locals! We live in St Michaels and quite often drove down to have dinner, but NO MORE!

Room Tip: The rooms are very basic and on week-ends, in the summer, there may be a band playing outside and i...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

The reason I give this place a four is as follows.....I have be to Harrisons on two occasions now, the first time a friend and his wife introduced me to the place.....we headed out on our motorcycles as we made their yearly trek and my first but not my last.......we were suppose to stay overnight, however I stayed an extra day since the first day was so relaxing.....if you like peace and quite and the tranquility of the bay this is the place to go. The second time I was there with the wife and puppy-face.....puppy-face had so much fun by the end of the day she collapsed in our room.....there are options for accommodations including a three bedroom house on property.....by far it was one of the most relaxing vacations I have taken in a while

Room Tip: try to get a room on the ground floor facing the bay
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

While having dinner at the outdoor crab shack at Harrison's I read the history of the establishment on the back of the menu. It certainly has a great history, but it's also like visiting a place from the past. When checking in you'll find everything is done on paper, with your charges totaled up on a calculator!
The rooms are all accessed from the outside (no internal hallways). We had requested a water view, and the room was quite small and not that clean. Besides the flies that were attracted to the outside lights, and made their way in to the room as soon as the door opened, the other drawback of a water view was the early morning departures of the fishing parties...not great if you like to sleep late.
Food at Harrison's was fine, nothing special, and the staff were very friendly. Overall, there aren't that many places to stay on Tilghman Island, and Harrison's is probably the biggest, so unless you want to rent a house, this is probably the best value. Just be prepared.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

I was travelling with a large group so we reserved a block of rooms with "water view". First impression driving up was, "huh, kind of reminds me of places in the Catskills" or for those not familiar, Dirty Dancing movie. There is no indication of where to check in so I wandered around and found my friends who told me it was the unmarked door near the sign. Check in was courteous and polite as was checkout.

The room had a distinctly musty odor and was sparsely furnished. Bathroom was clean and looked like someone just recently remodeled. The rest of the room could have used the same attention. There was no closet only a shelf and rod with one lonely hangar. Beds were firm and mattresses clean and looked relatively new. Linens also very clean. Be forewarned that waterfront means more a view of the pool with the marina in the distance. Also, if you have allergies - pets are allowed and the dampness is pervasive. Even with the air conditioning running throughout the night, the humidity in the room was quite high. I found decongestants, antihistamines AND my inhaler to be quite useful.

The Deck bar should be a really great place to drink and be entertained. The view is lovely, lots of boats and nice scenery to take in. The staff, unfortunately, need a serious attitude adjustment. I understand large groups are a pain asking for separate checks and having lots of special needs. However, I've never been to a place that I would think needs tourist dollars where the tourists felt like they were intruding and not wanted! To her credit, the bartender, Denise, was quite pleasant and served tasty drinks that weren't watered down. The serving staff didn't want to split up checks so we did several combinations of 2 people on a check so some could use credit cards and others cash. When I tried to split my check and charge $12 I was told there was a minimum of $15 to use a credit card. Apparently no one ever informed waitstaff that you can't do this anymore per Visa/MC rules. So I gave her a $20 and told her to break it down for me. My roommate also put cash in with the same request. We got back $5 on coins which meant she applied ALL of our cash to the bill not realizing we were trying to tip her out of the balance separately. by this point, we were pretty annoyed with the service so she ended up shorting herself out of a decent tip.

Food - someone ordered the steamed crab legs - they were overcooked. Someone else got the clams and they looked overcooked to me although nothing was said. 2 people hit the seafood buffet and really liked it. Be forewarned it's a lot of fried things. I had the Choptank Ham sandwich and this was a winner. Salads were a good size and seemed to be crowd pleasers as well.

Entertainment - I missed the karaoke that occurred earlier. I arrived at 7 p.m on a Friday. After that was a singer/music that was good for background. It looks like the only people who frequent the place are locals or those staying at the hotel and not going somewhere else. Either way, we always felt like we were an unpleasant distraction from the staff.

To summarize - if you're sharing a room the price was relatively reasonable. Bring your meds if you have allergies. The restaurant is the place that locals take their families to for holidays. Unfortunately, they need to patronize it more. Harrison House looks like it might have experienced better times in the not so distant past but is struggling to keep up. The folks that run the place are earnest and quite pleasant so I hope they hang in there and can make some much needed improvements.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Harrison's Chesapeake House

Address: 21551 Chesapeake House Drive, Tilghman, MD 21671
Location: United States > Maryland > Tilghman
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Tilghman
Number of rooms: 50
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