This place was the least expensive inn we stayed in on our trip to New England. It was also the most basic. The room we had was clean and comfortable, but in a state of mild disrepair, with some peeling wallpaper, and enough slats missing in the window blind (there was no curtain) that we felt the need to dress and undress in the corners of the room for fear of scandalising the passing Bethel residents. The soundproofing isn't great; we were woken at 6am by the sounds of the next-door guest on his toilet. The website calls the inn 'delightfully quaint', which I would suggest could more realistically read 'old and a bit rickety'.
The website also claims that the inn offers a 'world famous full gourmet breakfast', which in this country would earn the inn a stern visit from Trading Standards. The breakfast was what I would expect from a fry cook in a roadside diner, no better.
The biggest drawback of this establishment, in my personal opinion, is the innkeeper. While Sandra is friendly and attentive, Fred is constantly putting on a show, in which he is the star and all his guests are supposed to play the adoring audience. Sandra told us 'Just ignore everything Fred says', and I'm sure his heart is in the right place - but at the end of the day, if his relentless boasting and wisecracking actually makes some of his guests feel uncomfortable (and it does), is he really in the right job? Running an inn means thinking about how best to look after your guests, not trying to convince them how wonderful you are. Perhaps Fred should stay safely out of sight in the kitchen, and let Sandra front up the establishment...
However, given that the inn represents a relatively cheap place to stay, it gets three stars, despite all the drawbacks listed above. It's clean and basic accommodation, conveniently located for Bethel's shops and restaurants. Just don't believe all the hoopla on the website. And don't listen to Fred.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A delightfully charming inn with unbeatable location, in the heart of the Historic District overlooking the town commons. The inn offers great rooms, a world famous full breakfast, and warm genuine hospitality, all at sane rates. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Chapman Inn Bethel, Maine