We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Seeped in History”
Review of Griswold Inn

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Griswold Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Essex B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
South Meriden, Connecticut, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Seeped in History”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Heard about the Griswold Inn years ago from a friend and finally had to go there for a late lunch after visiting a nearby attraction. We ate in the Taproom- limited menu selection during the hours we went, but the food and drinks were excellent - especially the sirloin burger with Cabot cheddar. Definitely not for calorie counters, the bun is toasted and buttered, the beef seasoned just right- word to wise - order medium for full flavor and juciness. I order medium-well, and it was just a tad on the dry side. The hubby's was perfect. If you love history, the ambiance of the restaurant area is like walking into history - the wood floors and nails look very original as does the ceiling. Lots of memorabilia to keep you gawking like a tourist while you are eating (sorry locals!). Our waitress seemed a little overtaxed - it was unusually busy when we went, but was pleasant and efficient. We were impressed enough with the inn and the quaint town of Essex enough to want to come back and do the full inn experience - if just for the history alone.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

310 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    152
    89
    36
    20
    13
See reviews for
42
159
6
15
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

My husband and I stayed at The Gris on our honeymoon in 1984. This was our first trip back since then and we will definitely return. It is as charming as it was before but has been updated in all the right ways- air conditioning and an amazing claw foot tub in our bathroom. Dinner was wonderful and our waitress had no problem when we told her we wanted to savor our martinis before ordering dinner. After dinner the sing along in the Tavern was so much fun! The Gris is our new favorite destination- highly recommend it for a romantic getaway!!!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Buffygirl57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Canaan, Connecticut
Level Contributor
52 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The Gris is the really my kind of inn. I have stayed here a few times over the years. The location is wonderful. You are right in the heart of downtown Essex Ct on one of the cutest little Main Streets I have seen. The inn itself is old but clean and crisp and comfortable with attractive furnishings and rooms. The rooms can be small depending on what you get and the prices aren't cheap....There is much going on at the Gris. The tap room and the restaurant in the inn are very busy each time I have been there and live entertainment and friendly staff. And there are other choices for dining very close by. We usually stay here around the holidays for one night and then we go outlet shopping the next day, which is about 10 minutes away or so. And Essex is beautiful around the holidays. Last time I stayed here was during spring break from my kids school to visit a friend who lives nearby. I am planning on staying here the first Saturday in December and really looking forward to it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights with our family and absolutely enjoyed it. The cottage that we stayed in was, though a bit outdated, very charming. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The bar/restaurant is absolutely great. Good food, good atmosphere, good music and very pleasant people.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank 007Olivier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grisresponder, Owner at Griswold Inn, responded to this review, August 12, 2013
We appreciate you sharing your comments regarding your recent stay with us. We are so glad you enjoyed your experience! The Garden Suite, also referred to as "The Family Cottage" in Griswold Square, is quite a bit different than any of our other accommodations. It is perfect for a family with its loft-like space, game table, wet bar with small refrigerator and its "convenient" location right next to the ice cream shop as you probably discovered!!! Should you come back to Essex and The Griswold Inn, you may wish to check out a different type of accommodation. We have several rooms with pull-out sofas and suites that can join one another – a very spacious arrangement for a family as well.

Thank you for choosing The Griswold Inn for your stay. We hope to welcome you back!

Respectfully,
The Paul Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
48 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

On a rainy weekend in mid-May 2013, Essex was very pretty and very quiet. I booked a junior suite for $230 and was given a large, clean, airy room in a separate building, across the street from the main part of the inn, above a shop (an upgrade, apparently, to Room #31). It looked like a classic colonial sort of place (meaning clean lines, no TV and a rather formal looking sitting area). Nice big bathroom, very comfortable bed. Dinner at the inn was quite good; looked forward to the old atmosphere at the inn's bar but instead found a guy with a guitar kind of drowned out conversation. All the staff were very nice and helpful with directions. Breakfast was good. Essex is really small, and (at least the only time I've visited) very sleepy; it seemed to be two main streets with a few shops and restaurants. Lovely but tiny. I'd recommend the Griswold for a bit of a splurge or a special weekend if you don't need a ton of selection in bars or restaurants to be entertained. If you're interested in visiting nearby Gilette Castle be forewarned it's not open before Memorial Day.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Justanothermember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grisresponder, Owner at Griswold Inn, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review with the traveling public. The Griswold Inn – and Essex – offer varying experiences at different times of year. Your visit, one in spring before Memorial Day, would tend to be a quieter time in town. Of course this appeals to many who are looking for a place to unwind. As the summer approaches, activity livens up quite a bit! The summer and fall see lots of visitors from all over the world. In summer, many reach Essex by boat. The fall, as you might imagine, is stunning, and absolutely gorgeous out on the water! There are different types of vessels open to the public that offer this opportunity.

December happens to be our busiest and most festive month in the restaurant, with our "halls" fully decked, a Holiday Bill of Fare featuring game selections as well as more “traditional” offerings, costumed servers and strolling madrigal singers who perform seasonal classics table-side. Other seasonal festivities are just outside our door or within easy reach.

While you may have been here on a Wednesday or Sunday afternoon when our Tap Room features a single guitar player, we do have live music nightly – from sea chanteys to swing to Jazz….Monday evening – Sea Chanteys – might be fun for you. It’s certainly classic – old sailing songs are performed with gusto! – but be forewarned, it is one of our most “energetic” nights of the week! Probably not the place to come for quiet conversation…

We hope you will return to Essex – and The Griswold Inn – during another season to see how different it can be. Should you choose to do so, we always recommend reviewing “Things to Do" on our website when planning your visit. While there, check out our Tap Room Events Calendar which lists the various musical genres we feature every night of the week.
Thanks again for sharing your comments. We hope to see you back at The Gris soon!

Respectfully,
The Paul Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sayville, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Boated to Exxex for many years. Alway went to Griswold Inn for Dinner.
Favorite menu item, Prime Rib with salad and baked potato. There cobble is out of this world. They also serve a corn relish dish before dinner which I never see anywhere else.
This time there was no prime rib, no salad included with dinner, no relish, no cobbler! Overpriced 1/2 slab of ribs for two $70 with tip. Very noisey table of intoxicated people sat next to us. Last trip to Griswolds for us.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BruceSamoville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grisresponder, Owner at Griswold Inn, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Certainly it is difficult to have specific memories of a place visited some time ago and find that changes have been made. That stated, what most people share with us when they make a nostalgic trip to The Gris is they are delighted it’s as they remembered. Of course they are referring to the ambience – authentic and as nautically-rich as ever. It is unfortunate you felt your experience with us was not all you had anticipated.

Should you decide to try us again…We offer our classic Prime Rib on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and a fruit cobbler as a dessert special. Though a cobbler is frequently offered as a special, it was unfortunate that it was not the case when you visited. We don’t know when you last experienced the Inn prior to this visit but a number of years ago, based on customer comments/demand, we significantly increased the variety of our salad selections. All are priced à la carte. We do, however, offer a starch and/or vegetable with each entrée which is included in the price.

Times have changed and we are operating in a challenging economic environment: our prices have gone up commensurate with rising food costs. Though we have not had a “free” relish tray in years, we did offer it on our menu at a nominal cost – a mere $4.50 for two! Though it was the least expensive item, it was also by far the least popular item of our starter selections.

We make our menu decisions based on customer comments as well as ordering statistics and pricing considerations. Oh that we could please all of the people all of the time…We try our very best. We are sorry that you felt your experience fell short.

Respectfully,
The Paul Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseland, New Jersey
Level Contributor
740 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013

This place oozes atmosphere back to the grand era of Connecticut/Sound steamers from the 1820s-1930s. The centerpiece of a quaint classic New England town on the Connecticut River with a number of nice shops to visit. We had lunch in the Tap Room. Great potato pancakes! Excellent chowda and fried clams, Cobb salad. Excellent friendly service (Thx Luann!). Liked the home label Revolutionary Amber Ale. Original old floor boards, loaded with old ship pic/poster memorabilia. A really nice diversion on the way to or from Mohegan/Foxwoods which is a short 15 miles away. We had dinner there some yesrs ago, liked it, and happy to return.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Conseiller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Essex
5.0 mi away
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
#1 of 7 in Old Saybrook
4.5 of 5 bubbles 698 reviews
12.8 mi away
Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
2.7 mi away
Quality Inn Old Saybrook - Westbrook
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.9 mi away
Liberty Inn
Liberty Inn
#7 of 7 in Old Saybrook
3.5 of 5 bubbles 61 reviews
21.8 mi away
The Whaler's Inn
The Whaler's Inn
#1 of 13 in Mystic
4.5 of 5 bubbles 659 reviews
4.6 mi away
Pier Blue Guesthouse
Pier Blue Guesthouse
#3 of 7 in Old Saybrook
3.5 of 5 bubbles 125 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Griswold Inn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Griswold Inn

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Griswold Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Griswold Hotel Essex

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing