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Bee and Thistle Inn and Lounge
Ranked #1 of 3 Old Lyme B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New London, Connecticut
Level Contributor
70 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Change Your Perception-Get a refreshed Persective”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

There is not a more picturesque setting along the Connecticut River Valley than the locale of The Bee and Thistle Inn.The Grande Dame of Old lyme CT.Not only does the Inn exude a stately elegance,its environs are embellished by verdant garden patios rimmed with rare majestic 150+ year old trees.We found the time spent here to be the utmost in "Serene Charm".A sylvan paradise.The innkeepers Linnea and David Ruffo are in the midst of changing the old perceptions of previous generations.All the while holding onto its romantic charm.They imagined a hip concept of artistry.They now provide us with their reality.Art has always been the flavor in this hamlet since the town was first settled.The Florence Griswold Museum is a mere 30 seconds walk out the front door.The Old Lyme Artist Association is next to the museum.Best of all the walls within the Bee and thistle are adorned with contemporary art.Works of several famous and humble local artists proudly display their signed works.Sculptures arranged on the grounds add an additional accent to the renaissance.While visiting the Inn,one particular artist whose works I have emulated over the decades happened to be here for an opening.So... I graciously offered my signature to him.Albeit on a cheque for a few of his earlier works.Truly, the ambiance is conducive to germinating color and creative seeds of enlightenment all under the umbrella at The Bee and Thistle Inn.Although rising early to stroll the grounds,demi-tasse in hand has its appeal.It is however,these summer evenings with the refreshing breezes that renders a relaxing calm.Of course now there is a glass of fine wine in hand from the bar aptly called " Au Place de Rendezvous" After a few sips from the crystal and a few tosses of Les Boules on the Petanque court during a friendly tournament when SUDDENLY I am in France.What a perspective the place provides. Yes,it is all a state of mind not induced by a swig of 100 year old Absinthe but that which is the fanciful awareness one is surrounded by at the Inn.Within thirty miles of The Bee and thistle we found many attractions .The concierge was quite helpful making necessary arrangements.The Bartenders and waitstaff are all professional and very attentive.Housekeeping also provides a high standard of cleanliness.The in house restaurant "The Chestnut Grill" {open to public,closed Sundays} provides edible art on all of the chef's signature plates coming out of the kitchen.One must always remember "Taste is Everything" they have it! Live your state of well being while on vacation at the B&T Inn James M.

Room Tip: A couple of rooms are now art nouveau.Call ahead if one is desired.All in total provide great comfor...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    86
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    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

The inn and grounds are charming. My room (#8) was quite large for a B&B, and had two armchairs where I sat and read each night. There was also an electric fireplace, but as it was about 90 outside, I was more interested in the A/C. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I only ate breakfast (included), but it was delicious. I would love to go back soon.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank noelchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

Our "perfect summer wedding" would not have been possible had we not chosen the Bee & Thistle Inn. The innkeeper "Linnea" has made this historic home into a place where memories are made, and her staff work tirelessly to make every detail special.

That last point is worth repeating—by the end of the weekend we knew almost every staff-member by name, from Jack the brilliant and spirited "bar keep" (and mixologist) as well as servers like Marco and Jonathan and Kevin. They all feel like family to us now. (While mentioning family, we have a special place in our hearts for Sharon and Tosh!)

Linnea puts great pride in keeping the "artists colony" spirit of historic Old Lyme alive. The rooms are unforgettable and unique, and the grounds feature current artists' works. (Go next door to the Florence Griswold museum to understand the significance of this history!) And the bartender (Jack) and the chefs are also culinary artists.

I would recommend the Inn (and its restaurant) as a place to stay and eat, but if you are looking for a wedding venue, you have really hit the jackpot. Their comprehensive wedding package is a surprisingly good deal. We initially considered doing a "do-it-yourself" alternative and when we added up all the costs, we were delighted to find that the Bee & Thistle would cost (slightly) less. After all is said and done, there's no doubt we made the right choice.

The first floor of the inn is a series of charming rooms with a mixture of period details and local contemporary art. It is constantly reconfigured to serve as restaurant, bar, meeting space, and sitting rooms for enjoying "elegant tea".

By booking all nine rooms of the inn for the weekend, our friends and family had the run of the space, and it became a home away from home.

The grounds are also delightful. The standard wedding ceremony location is right along the river's edge. Kids and adults alike found the bocci ball (Italian lawn bowling) court the perfect place to bond. The place was just idilic!

We can't wait to come back for our anniversary!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Murray W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

Having enjoyed many lunches, dinners, and holiday events at the Bee I can say without a doubt that it is a perfect combination of incredible food, amazing staff, and comfortable environment. As someone who had grown up in Connecticut and makes the most out of the beautiful summer days, I am thrilled by the casual "shorts and flip flops welcome" atmosphere, while still maintaining a high-class experience. There is nothing stuffy or uptight about The Bee and Thistle or the staff. It is a beautiful location with great staff, classy casual atmosphere, and amazing food.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jesse E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
194 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

This inn was not our first choice in the area (Connecticut River mouth), but we were lucky that our first choices were unavailable. We used this as a basis for visiting the Hartford and Mystic area, and were very happy with it. That praise includes the restaurant, which served us an excellent and unexpected dinner after a relatively late check in.
My only complaint would be that the bed was too soft. Not worth a star deduction though.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Helmut S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

My daughter and I stayed at The Bee and had the most wonderful time, I travel all over Europe and this was by far the loveliest place I have stayed, very friendly and helpful staff, wonderful breakfasts delightful cocktails in the elegant bar and not forgetting the lovely meals we had in the restaurant. I can no wait for until my return. Special thanks go to the wonderful Tosh, Sharon and the lovey owner Linnea oh and the gorgeous cookie fairy who left me the most delightful freshly baked cookies by my bed every evening when she turned down my bed, and last but not least Bert the resident rescued parrot. This place and its staff, cookie fairy and parrot is a gem!!!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Crawley5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
129 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

We enjoyed a wonderful stay here at this charming, well maintained Inn. The guest rooms are small but comfortable, with lovey views all around. Old Lyme is a pretty village, and there are lots of things to do within a short driving distance, The breakfasts offered were simple yet delicious, especially the warm scones. We also had enjoyable meals in the restaurant within the Inn. Spa treatments are also offered. The staff here are very helpful and charming, particularly Tosh on reception and Jake in the dining room/bar. Definately worth a visit to this Inn and this area.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank frequenttravellar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bee and Thistle Inn and Lounge

Property: Bee and Thistle Inn and Lounge
Address: 100 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371-1426
Location: United States > Connecticut > Old Lyme
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Old Lyme
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bee and Thistle Inn and Lounge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bee and Thistle sits nestled on five acres bordering the Lieutenant River, in the township of Old Lyme, Connecticut. The Inn is available as a large private guest house or by the individual room on a bed & breakfast basis, daily, weekly, or monthly. All of our nine guest rooms are adorned with elegant accents, each individual in design. Therein you will find fine linens, down pillows and a private bath. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bee And Thistle Hotel Old Lyme

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