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“Very basic accomodation BUT a historic environment”
Review of Griswold Inn

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Griswold Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Essex B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Doha, Qatar
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Very basic accomodation BUT a historic environment”
Reviewed April 3, 2007

The hotel is a historic Inn. Having that said, guests really need to plan for a very basic accommodation. We had a room in the annex building which was maybe last renovated in the late 80s. If you want to enjoy a really great dinner, I suggest that you go to the "black seal" which is also on main street.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank GAP15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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312 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2007

We love the Griswold and have stayed many times over the years. Great value, very quaint, friendly service. Much better than the Copper Beech. Our only complaint this time was our visit to the new Wine Bar. The food was so overpriced and not good. I was shocked because the food at the Inn is always top- notch. They boast over 50 wines by the glass at the Wine Bar, but please-with selections like Bonny Doon's Rose-why bother.
Stay away from the $16 smoked fish macro-plate that they say is suitable for an entree. What an incredible rip-off!
They would do well to rethink either the prices of the sparse fare or the portions.

  • Liked — great authentic revolutionary feel
  • Disliked — dirty grout in the bathroom
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank buddyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanuet, New York
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2007

I stayed at the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT, twice in 2006. The first visit was in February, when I took the Connecticut Audubon Society Eagle watch cruise. Because I enjoyed my stay so much, I returned for another overnight visit on December 17.
The Griswold Inn is located on Main Street, right in the heart of town, which is very convenient whether you’re visiting the town’s shops or taking the eagle watch cruise. On my most recent visit, the lobby was warm and inviting with a Christmas tree nestled in the corner, comfortable sofas and a roaring fireplace.
On my first visit I stayed in a standard room, which cost about $148 with taxes. My room was located in a building next-door to, but not connected to, the main building. The room was clean and comfortable. There was a phone and a clock radio but no television (there is, however, another building down the street with a large sitting-room area that has a television and a fireplace that is open to all guests). The room also offers piped in background music that you can turn on and off. On my first visit, I thought this was funny. On my second visit it provided a continuous (until they turned it off at 11 p.m.) stream of Christmas music, which added to the holiday spirit.
Free parking is provided in a lot across the street from the main building. Breakfast, which is served at the inn’s restaurant in the main building, includes coffee, tea, cereal, fruit, muffins, etc.
The Griswold Inn has a 48-hour cancellation policy. I have found that many bed-and-breakfast accommodations have a two-week cancellation policy, so if you cancel less than two weeks prior to your scheduled stay, you’re liable for the cost of the room unless the b&b finds someone else to fill that slot. With the unpredictability of winter weather, booking a room in one of these places is a potentially costly gamble. While the Griswold Inn is not a b&b, it’s more akin to one than a chain hotel but with the flexibility of a chain hotel’s cancellation policy.
During my second visit to the inn, I stayed in a suite that was located in a building directly across the street from the main inn. The suite was located on the second floor over two shops (a jewelry store and a gift shop). There was another room across the landing that didn’t seem to be occupied. Once the shops closed in the early evening, we had the building to ourselves.
The suite, which cost about $228 with taxes, had two rooms. The sitting room had a couch, coffee table, arm chair, low built-in shelves with books and a gas fireplace. The bedroom, which had floral wallpaper, had a queen-size bed, bureau and closet, which contained extra pillows and blankets and an iron (the bathroom, which had a heat lamp, is off the bedroom). The sitting-room windows overlooking Main Street have a view of the main inn building. The side windows in both rooms overlook a square of shops, which, at the time of my visit, were decorated in white lights, adding a festive touch.
When I called the Griswold Inn and requested a room with a fireplace, I was told I had a choice of a suite in the main building or in the building across the street. I was also told that the restaurant featured live entertainment at night but that the music probably could not be heard in my room. I’m glad that I opted for the room across the street because I could hear the music from there. I should note that on my first visit, I could not hear any music from my room. Also, later in the evening we did go over to the restaurant to have a drink and listen to the three-piece group that was playing. On a Sunday night in Essex, it seemed to be the only place open.
I enjoyed dinner at the inn’s restaurant on both visits. On the first visit I sat in “the library,” a book-shelf lined room, at a cozy table right next to the fireplace. On my second visit, I sat in a larger room decorated with early American and nautical décor at a table within view of a large fireplace. During my December dinner, a quartet of costumed carolers went to each table and asked diners if they had any holiday song requests. Not only was I able to hear my favorite Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells,” but I was able to hear the other diners’ selections as well.
I have only visited this charming and picturesque town complete with lighthouse in the winter months and have found it to be a quiet and peaceful place to get away. It’s an especially nice place to visit during the year-end holidays. The shops and the homes are decorated in a festive but tasteful manner, more in keeping with the town’s colonial heritage.
There are a number of shops to browse in but just a few places to eat, including the inn’s restaurant. The Black Seal, which has a nautical décor, is a nice place to have lunch.
The eagle-watch cruise, which is available in February and March, leaves from the Connecticut River Museum, which is a two-minute walk from the inn. I can’t comment on the museum, as it was closed during both of my visits.
On this trip I stopped first at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, which is a convenient ten-minute ride from the Griswold Inn. Located on the Lieutenant River, it has a nice collection of American Impressionist paintings.

  • Liked — Location, atmosphere
  • Stayed December 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank LFAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2006

As we were traveling through Connecticut, we came across the Griswold Inn in Essex. It's an historic inn built in 1776 with a lot of history and chacter. Griswold Inn was the only accommodations in Essex, that we could see, but it was a great find in this quaint seaport village. Our room was small but very clean and comfortable. No television in rooms but had one available in a central location in the inn. The restaurant is on site with excellent food and ambiance. They had a live band in the bar. Expanded continental breakafast included in price of the room.

  • Liked — location and the ambiance of the inn
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Tips/Secrets — a quiet retreat in the town of Essex
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank travelerCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2006

We recently stayed at the Griswold Inn in the beautiful small maritime town of Essex. Recommended by a friend, this was the New England experience I always dreamed of having. Our room was furnished with antiques and with a modern, updated bathroom. A large collection of maritime artwork covers every inch of wall space.

The Inn has two restuarants and we ate in both. The classic restaurant had wonderful traditional fare...just what you would expect to eat in New England. The Wine Bar was a surprise....beatifully decorated, the menu was modern, upscale small plates....as good as anything we have eaten in NY or LA.

The centerpeice of community life though seems to be the lively taproom. There was different entertainment each night we were there and it was fun and crowded...people singing along and dancing from age 21 to 81, it seemed to us. What a great experience you just dont get anywhere else!

If you want to find the great seaport town country inn, this is it!

  • Liked — perfect historic inn
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank johnnytoledo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2006

I reserved a room at the inn back in march for a wedding in july. i called a few days before hand to see if we could check in a bit earlier than the 2pm official check-in time. the person with whom i spoke clearly looked me up in their resrvation system to see which room i would be in and indicated that no one was booked for the night before, so we could most likely get in early. but, she couldn't guarantee anything - we'd have to check the day of. so, we showed up at 1pm on the day of and they told us they'd cancelled our reservation! the guy actually seemed sort of upset that we even were there! apparently some guests who stayed the night before wanted to stay a night longer. the guy says he tried to call (unfortunately, the # i had given back in march had since been disconnected) to reconfirm our reservation, but couldn't get in touch with us and gave the room away! why wouldn't they have told me upon making the reservation that i had to reconfirm?! why didn't the person with whom i spoke only a few days before our intended stay ask for reconfirmation or make a note in the system that i'd called and obviously intended to keep the reservation?!

i must give him a bit of credit for calling a few other local inns for us to check on availability (nothing but $350+ rooms since it was a summer weekend). however, still poor customer service. we ended up driving back home after the wedding b/c we had nowhere to stay. they should let people know they need to reconfirm or they'll give your room away!

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
11 Thank travelmonkeyBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2006

The evening before visiting NYC we met up with relatives at the Griswold Inn. It was in early December and the little town of Essex was bustling!
Carolers in period garb traveled from table to table as we ate our dinner &honored our yule musical requests. A magician reveled us with card and rope tricks! Dinner was exquisite and fulfilling! After dinner the town was aglitter with lights as we walked briskly down the chilly streets peering in shop windows. We headed back to lively music and singing in the tap room.
Forgetting we were deliciously filled up from dinner...we headed for the awesome new Wine Bar for small plates of appetizers and beverages. We enjoyed the variety of shops within the Gris enclave and accommodations were period decorated, warm, comfortable& charming. Our room was above a bakeshop/cafe and boy oh boy was that aroma of coffee and pastries a delicious fragrance to awaken to! We strolled the town the next morning enjoying its history before heading into NYC.
The town was revving up for "The Polar Express" train to carry a pajamaed crowd of kiddoes to wind through towns to find Santa Claus later on in the week. Wish we could have stayed for that!
Would we go back to Essex and stay at the Gris? Most definitely!

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Floridaexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 
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Also Known As:
Griswold Hotel Essex

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