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“Quintessential Vermont Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grafton Inn

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Grafton Inn
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   92 Main St, Grafton, VT 05146 (Formerly The Old Tavern at Grafton)   |  
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Special Rate
2 for $222!
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Grafton
Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Quintessential Vermont Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

The Old Tavern at Grafton was perfect in almost every way. The town is what one imagines when they think of a quaint Vermont town. It is wonderful for wandering around, and has a few interesting things to do, such as a museum and art galleries. The atmosphere in the inn is exactly what you would imagine when thinking of the New England B&B. It feels authentic, and not overdone or tacky.

The people who work in the inn have managed to find the right balance of being extremely friendly and helpful but not overwhelming their guests. Too often at an inn, you feel like your privacy is being invaded and you are being pestered. At the Old Tavern, people were always available if you needed them, but no one was pouncing on you.

The lobby is comfortable and inviting, and there is a nice library with some books. The library and the breakfast room all have several daily newspapers, both local and national. I was also surprised that there was elevator, which you don’t typically find in these types of facilities.

Our room was wonderful and spotless. We stayed in Room 15. There was a huge soaking tub where my husband relaxed for 45 minutes. The mattress seemed to have been new and was slightly softer than I would prefer, but my husband thought it was perfect, and we both slept very well. The bedding was of exceptionally high quality. The room was a little small, but it was cozy and comfortable and we didn’t feel cramped. There were two comfortable chairs. There was a lot of interesting reading material in the room, including a book of the history of Grafton, which was fun to read. There was complimentary cheese, crackers, and apple in the room.

There is a swimming pond across the street, which we waded in (it was too cold to swim). It appears to be a natural or spring-fed pond which they formed into a pool using rock and some concrete. I’m sure that it would be delightful on a hot summer day. It has a gravel bottom, so you might want to wear water sandals. It was very nice and quaint, but I recommend being careful if you use the stone steps to enter it. They were covered with algae and EXTREMELY slippery. There are a couple of chairs next to the pond, and it was very relaxing to just sit there.

The breakfast was delicious, and the service was excellent. I have never had such a good breakfast included in the price of my room – you would pay $15-20 for that breakfast at a nice restaurant. We started out with warm apple scones, which were amazing. I ordered eggs Florentine, which came with a bowl of fresh fruit, and got two large poached eggs on English muffins, with spinach and mushrooms. My husband had an omelet, with home fries, bacon and toast. They also had quiche, pancakes, French toast, granola, and oatmeal. The meal included coffee, tea, and juice.

The only sour spot was the pub, which is in the barn. The service was horrendous. We ordered soup and the cheese plate for our appetizers, thinking that those were dishes that would come quickly. It took half an hour for our appetizers to come, and a full hour for our entrees. I understand that our waitress can’t control how long it takes for the kitchen to prepare the food, but she had a terrible attitude. There were several tables, all tired of waiting for their food, and all of the tables had finished their drinks and were waiting for her to ask if they wanted another. If she didn’t wait so long after people had finished their drinks to get them another one, they might order more, which would translate to more profit. I would probably have had 4 beers, but I only had 2, because it took 15 minutes after I was finished with each one before she asked me if I wanted another. And she made a disrepectful comment about how quickly I finished one. At one point the bartender heard my husband and I talking about getting another drink, and she offered to bring us one, which was nice. It didn’t help that our waitress was sitting at a table posting on Facebook while everyone was sitting there waiting for her to come check on them. If she is going to do that, she should at least point the computer screen in a direction where we couldn’t see it.

At one point a couple came in and the waitress asked them if they were there for dinner. They said no, they wanted drinks. She told them to go to the bar to order their drinks. They then asked if they could be seated and order drinks from her, but she told them they had to go to the bar if they weren’t ordering food. Perhaps this is their policy, but it didn’t seem very accommodating. It was particularly frustrating to watch because the couple didn’t speak English very well, and you could tell they were very confused about what they were supposed to do. Having travelled in other countries, I know how hard it is when you go someplace and you don’t know what to do. Unhelpful staff makes you feel even more uncomfortable.

The kitchen is in a different building (the main inn), which might be part of the problem, and a bell would ding whenever there was food to be picked up. Each time the bell sounded, the waitress sighed an enormous, annoyed sigh before she left to go get the food. I asked the waitress what kinds of cheese were on the cheese plate, and she was nice about going to ask someone, but she came back and just told us that there was a sheep, a cow, etc. Normally when you order a cheese plate, you receive written or verbal information about the specific kind, texture, sheep/goat/cow, and where it was made. That way if you want to purchase some, you know what kind they are. That would have been helpful, since they do sell their own cheese in a nice little shop. We assumed that they were all Grafton cheeses, but weren’t certain.

The food was very good. We had potato leek soup, the cheese plate, steamed mussels (excellent), and burger, which was made of beef, elk, and pork. We enjoyed the burger very much, although we had ordered medium well and it was more medium rare. The fries were wedges - 1/8 of the potato with the skin on - and were great.

One little quirk – they emailed me a survey asking me how my stay was 3 days before my reservation. It put me into a little panic that perhaps I had made reservations for the wrong night, but everything was fine.

All in all, we had a relaxing and romantic stay. I’m giving it 5 stars even though the service at the pub was terrible, because this inn is near the top of the list of the many places I’ve stayed across 4 continents. We definitely plan to return, although we will eat in the main inn (where the dining room is located) instead of the pub. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Request a room with a soaking tub.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
oldtavern1801, Public Relations Manager at Grafton Inn, responded to this review, July 1, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at the inn and are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us! Thanks to your assistance, we recognize the issue in the pub and are working on all the service piece, and fixed the survey glitch. We appreciate it. Hope to see you back in Grafton soon!
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215 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Salem, MA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

We've been coming to the Old Tavern for 30 years and it really hasn't changed appreciably in all that time - it was wonderful then and is wonderful now. It is a true "getaway" as there are no TV's or internet access in the rooms. There are however a couple of TV's and computers in some of the public spaces but you really have to seek them out and we choose not to (except when the Red Sox were in the post-season). The rooms are all different and impeccably clean and well-maintained and the included cooked-to-order breakfast is a highlight every morning. The town of Grafton itself is a quiet and charming quintissential New England village of which the Old Tavern is its heart. The staff is great from the front desk to the dining room. The Old Tavern is everything you picture when you think of a cozy New England inn, whether it's ski season, high summer or, especially, foliage season.

Room Tip: Call rather than book online.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
oldtavern1801, Public Relations Manager at Grafton Inn, responded to this review, May 31, 2011
Thanks so much for reviewing the inn, especially after being a guest of 30+ years. That means a lot to us. While we don't have TVs in our rooms (only in the common areas), we do have Wi-Fi in just about every room at the inn, including our guest homes. We do try to keep things subtle, but we know our guests really have enjoyed the Wi-Fi. Looking forward to having you back soon!
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Portland,OR
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Old Tavern on our trip through Vermont. The experience was magical and enchanting. The accommodations were exceptional and the dining experience was fantastic. I can't say enough about this extremely pleasurable experience. If you are in Vermont or near Vermont you need to make sure that you visit the Old Tavern at Grafton.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
oldtavern1801, Public Relations Manager at Grafton Inn, responded to this review, May 31, 2011
Hello, and thank you very much for taking the time to review The Old Tavern at Grafton inn and let the world know about your stay with us. So glad you enjoyed your time and hope the rest of your trip in Vermont was equally enjoyable!
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Williamsburg, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2011

We just returned from a wonderful trip with my Mom and Sister's, thanks to our Mom planning it out! This has been a trip our Mother has wanted to take for years and finally told us this is want we are going to do!! This will be a trip we has sisters and my mother will always look back on as many laughs and many great memories. Our 1st trip to Vermont was a wonderful & relaxing place to visit. We highly recommend the Old Tavern Inn /Guest Houses in Grafton VT. The service, accommodations and food were excellent!! We stayed in the Woodard House...the beds, pillows, sheets...OMG so cozy. We could have stayed in bed all day! We'd love to come back a visit again & again!
We came before peak season, so it was very well priced and our breakfast was included, this is no Holiday Inn cold breakfast!!! The homemade biscuits are delicious and the breakfast itself was probably the one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had. We all 4 tried something new every morning. We only had dinner at the Inn one night & it was very good and the food at the Phelps Barn was just as yummy. Friday night pizza at Phelps Barn was also tasty! The town is something out of a movie, the locals are very friendly! If your looking for a relaxing trip, ready to venture out and explore the surrounding areas, this is your place!

Room Tip: Call to make your reservation! Better rates!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
oldtavern1801, Public Relations Manager at Grafton Inn, responded to this review, May 25, 2011
Hello, so glad the ladies trip was a success. We are delighted that you chose The Old Tavern inn as your first trip to our beautiful state. Mother daughter trips are so special! Looking forward to seeing you again.
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Albany, NY
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

My first trip to Grafton was in October of 1978. I was 23 and a co worker had suggested I vacation at The Old Tavern. We didn't have a reservation but there was a room available over the gift shop (Cricketer). Back then you had to wear a jacket at dinner and everyone dressed up. There wasn't a breakfast area added on yet and the game room was across the street in the basement of the Windham Cottage. It was a very quiet and relaxing place.

Today, The Old Tavern remains a quiet and relaxing place with lots of charm. Recent changes have just added to its' appeal. The entertainment in the Phelp's Barn and pub fare wasn't available 33 years ago. Nice addition! The dining menu has a well thought selection which includes many locally produced items. Breakfast remains a strong suit with freshly baked scones, omelettes, quiche, eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, potatoes, fruit, toast and more. Follow up breakfast with a nice walk through the village and the day is off to a great start!

The new Innkeeper, John is doing a great job! Wi-fi throughout the complex, good changes in the Phelp's Barn and great employees. The pub fare was to die for. Best mac & cheese we ever had and the calamari was top notch too! Wine special at $5 per glass, add in entertainment and we had a fun Saturday night. Our server, Megan rounded things out with wonderful service.

My 15th visit to The Old Tavern was the best yet. They're on Facebook and run an occasional special on the internet. They should think about doing more special deals on Facebook and elsewhere since we often take advantage of the $99 deals The Equinox have as well as The High peaks in lake Placid ($58 per night). We look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
oldtavern1801, Public Relations Manager at Grafton Inn, responded to this review, April 25, 2011
Thanks so much for taking the time to review The Old Tavern at Grafton. We are delighted you had a good time with us and hope you come back soon. Agree with your mac & cheese statement. Appreciate the input on Facebook advertising. It's something we'll be ramping up this summer!
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Brattleboro, Vermont
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

My husband surprised me with a getaway overnight for our anniversary. The package included dinner and breakfast. The room was charming, the food top notch and wine in the barn was a treat. We will be back. Staff was very helpful in typical Vermont low-key way. Loved it. Best sheets ever.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
New York area
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

On January 14th, a friend and I stayed at The Old Tavern in Grafton, Vermont with the purpose of going cross country skiing nearby. The front desk was extremely friendly answering all of my questions (which were in rapid fire being from NYC area) and when I found out that my cell service is not available there (they only have AT&T) they let me use the phone behind their front desk to call out. The rooms were spotless and very Vermont-esque with lots of old prints and their beds were a dream to sleep on. Very soft and comfortable with huge thick spotless white comforters, and i suspect a feather topper on the mattress. We stayed in the building across from the main inn. It had WiFi and a tv set that was availble in the public room downstairs only. They do, however, have a radio with an IPOD dock in the room. They also had a large block of their famous chedder cheese and crackers in the room when we arrived. They also provided, free of charge, more cheese the next day when we asked for it. Their pub had good entertainment on that friday night and they make a wicked good brick flatbread pizza that was delicious. They also have a restaurant in addition to the pub that we ate in the following night and the food was outstanding, as was the service. They had good wine list and a nice selection of foods on the menu to please all tastes. Their desserts were varied and their apple cider sorbet was different and a perfect end to the meal. A breakfast was included in the price of the room and they were very good about keeping the coffee coming all during breakfast. There waitstaff was abundant and everyone was more than helpful, and pleasant and I would highly recommend this place to people that are looking for a true vermont experience. The cross country skiing that we went up there to do is just down the road and the trails were perfectly groomed and the people there just as nice as at the hotel. They also make flatbread pizza at the skiing that is made by the same people that make it at the Inn. Manchester Vermont is only 1 hour or so away for people looking for a day of outlet shopping nearby.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Grafton Inn

Address: 92 Main St, Grafton, VT 05146 (Formerly The Old Tavern at Grafton)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Vermont > Grafton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Grafton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grafton Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1801, this historic inn has been providing visitors with the finest comforts and amenities in a quintessential Vermont setting. The inn features 45 individually appointed rooms, including seven suites and four guest homes. The award-winning Old Tavern Restaurant features locally inspired American cuisine; open nightly for dinner. Pub menu at Phelps Barn Pub. Member of Historic Hotels of America, Distinctive Inns of New Englands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grafton Hotel Grafton
Old Tavern Grafton
Old Tavern Hotel Grafton

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