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“Don't bother”
Review of Griswold Inn

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Griswold Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Essex B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Expensive for what it is as it's the only game in this sleepy town.

Perfect place to stay if you want to be kept awake by banjo or oldies music from the bar, slamming doors from the coffee shop, or straining window air conditioners that sound like laboring airplanes.

Be aware that king beds are actually queen-sized. Do not expect your room to be thoroughly cleaned if you are staying multiple days.

Similarly, do not expect offers of assistance or smiles from most of the staff - the pleasant Irish (?) woman at the front desk is the exception. Want ice? Get it yourself at the bar. Suggestions of where to dine? Good luck with that. This attitude extends to most - but not all - of the Town's shopkeepers as well.

Note that the continental breakfast is extremely limited considering what the room costs. Included are stale bagels, cereal, reasonably tasty muffins, coffee, and the saddest fruit salad I've seen since summer camp.

Having stayed at at least 50 B&Bs and inns over the years, I understand classic and quaint. There's a difference between antique and tired - this place is certainly listing towards the latter.

Room Tip: Stay away from anything near/over the bar.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 11earl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 - 251 of 347 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2012

Having said that, if you want to kick back and wander around looking at OLD buildings (impressively kept up/restored) and walk along the boat-filled shoreline, then this is the place for you. As others have said, shops close early and there is not much in the way of entertainment. About the hotel itself, our room was on the 2nd floor, small, creaky floors, decent mattress, but was very clean which always impresses me. We arrived after 5:00 so the shops were closed, but had a nice glass of wine in the impressive wine bar then moved to the pub for a revolutionary ale (yum) and dinner. My husband's fish/chips were very good and my salad was really good too. There was a guitar playing singer in the pub area and he was very entertaining and friendly. No noise issues, so I had a good night sleep but was up early to catch the sunrise on the harbor and walk the quiet streets before we had to leave. Oh, breakfast was a decent continental--no complaints as it was included and free. What was offered filled me up, but dh stopped for a breakfast sandwich later.

My one complaint would be that there was not a coffee maker in the room--I really like my coffee when I first wake up.

I would go back but my husband was not as impressed as he's not as into historic places as I am. His rating would be lower.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank annecolorgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

I am always surprised when people visit an old inn and then complain that it doesn't look or act like a 21st century motel room - omigod - there's no elevator and we have to walk up stairs! The rooms are small! The Griswold is the real deal - an old old inn, with uneven creaky floors and stairs, lots of prints on the walls of the hallways, and the feeling that you are in a unique place, and not a cookie cutter room. The room was great - a modern bathroom but old charm. How many people have looked out the window at this same view since 1776? It was a slow Tuesday night, and yet there was live music at the old bar. Lobster roll always a good choice in a seaport town. After dinner, a walk down the street past beautiful old homes immaculately maintained. The breakfast the next morning was as advertised - not a full breakfast but a nice selection of baked goods, juices, cereal, fruit. Each public room on the first floor is unique - much art to see, a collection of old firearms. Take time to explore there in the morning when you can treat it like an art museum and enjoy the surroundings. If you want the bland mediocrity of a modern hotel room, this ain't the place for you. It has charm and personality and it lives and breathes history.

Room Tip: It was a quiet town when I was there. I understand that on the nights when there are a lot of peopl...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank doug_humes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Recently I purchased a one night stay on Living Social for a standard room. This deal also included a $25 spa certificate at a nearby facility. Upon arrival we checked in and were given Room 6 on the 3rd floor which includes a very challenging climb on the second staircase. The room itself is fine as well as the small bathroom, but the location is really poor for rest as the ancient floorboards creak terribly when anyone climbs the stairs or walks the hallway. We did not experience any of the loud bar noises others have complained of.

We were not given the $25 spa voucher upon arrival.

Drinks in the bar were fine and service was great. In all, service was friendly and fine.

The breakfast was continental with no options for upgrading to a hot breakfast. I would think that an Inn that has a reputation for food would not lay out prepackaged muffins for breakfast. This is not a difficult item to bake and it would make all the difference. Only white bread and white bagels were available for toasting. There was a variety of dry cereal and a very unappetizing bowl of melon chunks for the fruit. The coffee was good, but I have had far better continental breakfasts in a Hilton Garden Inn.

Lots of the shops were closed here and the attractions only run on the weekends. Be aware of that for your visit and check first if there is something you want to do like the Steam Train of the River Boat. I believe things really don't get into full swing until the end of June so be aware of that fact when planning y our trip.

Cheers

Room Tip: Don't let them put you in Room 6.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ctkathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

We booked our stay at the Inn to experience its 18th Century atmosphere and were not disappointed. The best part of our stay was the sea chantey performance by The Jovial Crew on Monday night. (They perform at the Inn every Monday at 8 pm.) The tap room was delightful and cozy and packed with local patrons who knew the words to all the songs. With everyone joining in, including yours truly, the evening was an absolute delight.

The Inn has rooms in the original 1776 building and in a range of other houses in the vicinity. Essex itself is echt Connecticut - immaculate early 19th Century houses separated by white picket fences and surrounded by impossibly green grass and cottage gardens. The Connecticut River is full of bends and coves and subsequently many houses are directly on the river, or have river views. The Inn is a very short walk to the river from a few directions. Our room was on the 3rd floor of the original building and we found it a bit challenging to climb the extremely steep and narrow staircases to get there with our bags when checking in. I needed to use the step stool provided to climb into the high four-poster bed. The room was tiny, but had two large windows looking out into the main street, and the bathroom was up-dated and immaculate. No television, but there was a radio in the room and the Inn is chock full of intriguing old books. The dining room was cozy and warm, with a good menu, and provided just the atmosphere we were looking for. The breakfast included with the room is fine, as far as continental breakfasts go, but we foraged in the neighborhood and found a place where we could get bacon and eggs to start the day only a short walk from the Inn.

Room Tip: When booking, mention any difficulties you might have in negotiating steep staircases as they have a...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank happytraveller914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed here on our engagement night, that was over 17 yeare ago. Since then we've stayed many more times by ourselves and with family. The Griswold is always fun.

We like the annex rooms across the street. The ones above the clothing store are newly remolded and bigger. The one above the coffe shop may be our favorite, the smell of fresh brewed coffee waking you up is always good. The rooms are charming each with their own character. The beds are comfy.

The Wine bar has a great selection and the best service. Ask for Enis, she takes great passion in knowing all about the wines. She is super.

You can't go wrong with the entertainment in the Tap Room. The sing-a-long live bands are awesome. Everyone is singing and dancing and truely having a great time.

The staff is very friendly and helpful. You can make rerservations on line or by phone, either option is very easy. We will return.

Room Tip: Rooms above the dining room and tap room lounge are very noisy. We prefer the the annex rooms across...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank 190roses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Recently visited Essex CT for festival and visited the Griswold Inn. Unlike other B&B's I have stayed at in the past, I learned from a friend staying at the Inn that this B&B only offered continental breakfast which was very minimal and disappointing. The room was costly and was extremely small, electricity such that sign in bathroom warns you to shut off the AC if you use the hair dryer. Positive - great location and fun pub on property and ample parking.

Room Tip: Try main house rather than the Annex.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank BrooklynNYMoses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Griswold Inn

Address: 36 Main St, Essex, CT 06426-1132
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Connecticut > Essex
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Essex
Price Range: $182 - $227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Griswold Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the picturesque and historic village of Essex, Connecticut, The Griswold Inn is a destination experience. With 33 guest rooms, unique shopping, historic dining, a stunning wine bar featuring a tapas-style culinary experience, and an award-winning taproom voted "Best Bar" over and over by Esquire Magazine and countless others, the 'Gris' offers visitors an authentic and spirited adventure. Come make your own history here. The oldest continually operated inn in America. Fine Food, Spirits and Lodging....Since 1776! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Griswold Hotel Essex

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