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“Our oasis”

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The Jolly Drayman at The Briar Lea Inn
Ranked #8 of 15 Bethel B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Our oasis”
Reviewed June 6, 2009

My husband and I stopped in Bethel on our way back from Prince Edward Island to Toronto. We had been driving for about 10 hours and were ready to stop for the night as it was getting dark and we were in an unfamiliar area.

We are so lucky to have found this place! It was late and the kitchen was about to close but Jenni made sure we were able to order something to eat so we had a lovely meal and a few drinks in the pub. My husband especially enjoyed a few pints of IPA .

The room was comfortable and the breakfast the next morning was great. Richard and Jenni are great hosts and made sure we had everything we could want to make us feel at-home. It was a truly unique experience for us to stay in an authentic English pub.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank lynn078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2008

My husband and I spent two relaxing days in Bethel, Maine at the Briar Lea Inn. The Inn is located just outside of Bethel, very close to the Androscoggin River. The hosts/owners of the Inn were very helpful in suggesting places to go and making us comfortable.

We especially enjoyed the Jolly Drayman Pub, which is located on the first floor of the home. The decor is straight from England and there is a good selection of beers and ales. It seemed to be a very popular with local folks, which made it a fun place to chat with people. The food was good, with several Indian dishes on the menu. We had one of the curries and it was quite tasty.

As with most B & B's, a hearty breakfast was included, with choices such as omelets, blueberry pancakes, French toast, and all the trimmings.

All in all, a good place to stay in western Maine.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Librarian57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2008

We received a gift certificate to the Briar Lea, to use on one of our snowboarding weekends at Sunday River. We were pleasantly surprised by the quaintness and cleanliness of the rooms, the unique British character of the Inn, and the high level of service we received. This Inn is a world apart from the other accommodations in the area, but the prices are reasonable. Even if you don't stay here, you must go here for an exquisite meal at the Jolly Drayman, located on the first floor of the Inn. This is really the only place to eat in the Sunday River area (see separate review of the restaurant). Top notch!

  • Liked — The high quality
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jill_in_Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2008

My partner and I travelled to Bethel over Christmas to be with family this past December. Breakfast was timely and tasty both mornings. I felt a little guilty making anyone get up so early on Christmas to cater to us but the staff was always courteous and gracious. The king size bed in our room was AMAZING. I've almost never slept better. Oh, and they're pet-friendly too which is a huge bonus as those of us who travel with pets know all too well. The pub has fantastic different beers on tap and the food in the restaurant is yummy (if not so great for the waist-line).

  • Liked — our king size bed
  • Disliked — leaving
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gbeaton78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviewed November 13, 2007

We just returned from a three night stay at the Briar Lea Inn in Bethel, ME. The B&B is very nice - the accomodations are cozy and comfortable and the rooms are spacious and kept up nicely. The rooms all have private baths and each room has a television with a DVD player. There is a nice selection of movies to pick from if you want to stay in and watch one at night. Richard and Jenni, the owners, are very nice and provide a great breakfast for guests as well as helpful information on places to go and day trips that are scenic and fun.

We stayed in the Tavistock room with our little girl and had more than enough room for all three of us. It was a great place to take a toddler and Richard and Jenni helped us out with high chairs and whatever we needed for the little one.

They have a great restaurant on premises that is open for dinner. They also have a great little pub/bar area that stays open nightly. It was never too loud up in the rooms, though, and we stayed in the room right at the top of the stairs.

We would definitely recommend the Briar Lea if you are looking for a great little place to stay that is close to the town of Bethel and close to the Sunday River Ski area. We know we'll certainly go back!

  • Liked — It was in a great location and the accommodations were comfortable and inviting
  • Disliked — It got a bit too warm at night for us.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JenJerM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
243 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We were thrilled with our accommodation at the Briar Lea. The rooms are above the pub and restaurant yet our room was absolutely quiet. It was on the top floor and was cozy and comfortable. The furnishings were tasteful (not the dreaded Victoriana). Our dinners (fish and chips and a curry) were excellent. Very tasty. The bartender was especially pleasant.

There was a nice selection of entrees and sides for a full breakfast.
We found this place on the Internet and were so delighted that it met our expectations. We recommend it highly and hope to return.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank cindyandted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2007

The Briar Lea is a charming New England Inn which is perfectly located for ski-ing at Sunday River, and other local slopes.

Our hosts, Jenni and Richard couldn't do enough for us. The service went beyond the call of duty at times, including drying the children's clothes after a snowball fight which lasted 3 hours. The rooms all had en-suite facilities and were very homely.

The food in the restaurant was superb. The Inn is small but open to the public in the evenings, so the restaurant and pub became very lively with locals popping in.

We would have no hesitation in recommending the Inn to others, and very much hope to return ourselves.

Thank you to all the staff.

Roy and Jackie Munford

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank Munfsrule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Jolly Drayman at The Briar Lea Inn

Property: The Jolly Drayman at The Briar Lea Inn
Address: 150 Mayville Rd, P.O. Box 250, Bethel, ME 04217-4442
Location: United States > Maine > Bethel
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Bethel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Jolly Drayman at The Briar Lea Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A cozy country inn with a British pub and restaurant in the heart of New England. We are five miles from Sunday River Ski Resort and one mile from pretty Bethel village. Our full menu features curries, Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, Shepherd's Pie and a whole lot more. Great beers and cask-conditioned ale on tap, wines and cocktails. All rooms have private baths, TV/DVD and wireless internet. Come for a pint or dinner - stay the night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Jolly Drayman At The Briar Lea Inn Bethel, Maine

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