My teenage son and I were there from 9/3-9/5 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed it! When we pulled into the inn, a staff member came out to greet us, helped us get settled and answered all of our questions. Within minutes, we headed to the glorious Crane Beach with beach towels, tote, beach chairs and a complimentary beach pass ($15.00 value) supplied by the inn. That evening, the same staff member guided us toward a tasty and reasonably priced dinner in Essex at "The Farm Bar and Grille". (If you go there, get the mussels appetizer and the BBQ platter.)
9/4: Breakfast was scrumptious: peach pancakes with blueberry syrup and chicken sausage. We also had yogurt and homemade granola and pastries. It was a cool and rainy day, and another staff member, Camilla, gave us some interesting ideas for restaurants to eat lunch at and places to while away the afternoon. We ended up eating lunch at Periwinkles' in Essex. We were right on the waterfront, which was lovely, and had the best clam chowder we've ever sampled. Just be aware that the prices are on the expensive side ($6.00 for a cup of chowder). I wasn't paying attention to this, and experienced a bit of sticker shock when the bill arrived. We ended up in Newburyport that afternoon and had fun doing some fall shopping at these two stores: "The Best of British" and "French Lessons." That evening, we dined at Shea's Riverside Restaurant and Bar, also in Essex. Again, the location was right on the water and was beautiful. We loved the steamers as an appetizer and for the entree, shared the stuffed lobster. If I went back, I'd recommend having the boiled lobster instead. The stuffed lobster had way too many bread crumbs, and not enough seafood and lobster meat. We finished the evening with yummy treats from Down River Ice Cream, located on the way back to the inn.
9/5: On our final morning, we enjoyed a delicious boursin cheese and asparagus omelette, home fries and whole grain toast. Again, we were offered yogurt, homemade granola and homemade blueberry muffins as well. Check out of our room (Choate) was at 11:00 a.m., but we were allowed to hang around afterward since we didn't need to be at our next destination until late in the day. In fact, they offered us chairs, towels, tote and a beach pass once again so that we could enjoy a final few hours at Crane Beach, and only asked that we dropped everything off on our way out.
Overall, the inn was tastefully decorated, elegant, quiet and relaxing. The staff, including the innkeeper, Bob, were friendly, helpful and welcoming. I would totally recommend the Inn at Castle Hill to anyone who loves the ocean as much as I do and wants to be as close to it as possible when on vacation, while also being surrounded by beauty and comfort. It is suitable for couples, families, friends and solo. When you're there, take a tour of the Crane Estate and enjoy strolling on their exquisite grounds. I look forward to returning there soon.
In response to the negative reviews of Choate--the room was cool, but it was hot and humid outside, and we welcomed the air conditioning and weren't too cold at all. The shower functioned well, and the bathroom was beautiful and spacious to boot. I would stay in that same room again with no hesitation.
- Also Known As:
- The Inn At Castle Hill On The Crane Estate Hotel
- The Inn At Castle Hill On The Crane Estate Hotel Ipswich