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“Invasion of the iPads”

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Hartstone Inn & Hideaway
Ranked #3 of 19 Camden B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Invasion of the iPads”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

We stayed one night in a suite housed in a building that's separate from the main building. The suite was quiet, clean, spacious and comfortable. We ate dinner at the inn during the first seating. (The second seating was a more elaborate tasting menu.) The meal was very reasonably priced. It was good but not great. The beakfast was fine although we were startled to see an iPad propped up on each table, each playing a slideshow of photos. Do we really need a computer on our table at breakfast? Do we really need a flock of iPads blinking at us from every other table? I say "no". (I also say this as a dedicated owner of Apple products, including an iPad.) The staff were very friendly and helpful. The inn is within easy wlaking distance of the harbour and downtown Camden.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BushPiggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,060 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (234)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
orlando
Level Contributor
542 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We loved Camden on our mid coast Maine vacation, actually it became our favorite harbor town. It is up-scale, but not stuffy. So, it is with the Hartstone Inn. They think of almost everything!
Pros: want to swim? Ask to use their "Y" pass. Interested in a side-trip? Ask for one of their printed suggested itineraries. Didn't bring your computer? They have 20+ I pads plus a desk top to use. Need a special pillow for your neck? They have a nice variety of pillows to try out. The towels are thick and the sheets are almost like velvet, they are so soft. There are a variety of delicious cookies in the afternoon and wine during a Happy Hour, where wine is complimentary and martinis are a nominal charge. The cookies and then the wine brings guests into the "parlor" and it was a wonderful time to meet travelers from all over the world. The owner is a wonderful chef and the breakfasts are awesome.
Cons: Careful of the street noise, so ask where your room is when you book. Try for a room in the back of the house, as it is a busy route with cars and trucks. We were in the Paris room and it was right on the busy roadway. ALso, there was some mildew in the shower, which needed some extra attention. Last, a caution about the bed height in the Paris room. If you are really tall, it'll be fine. But, if you are 5'3" or so, you will need a stool to get in and out of the bed. I cannot believe they have not lowered the box spring, as I see it as a liability. Otherwise, this Inn is really special.

Room Tip: Make sure your room is away from the busy road.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EmEs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houghton Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Recently my husband and I were fortunate to stay two nights at the Hartstone Inn in Camden, Maine. Innkeeper, Mary Jo, was extremely helpful in providing written itineraries for many areas in and around the Camden, Maine area which included attractions, restaurants, museums, antique shops and hiking trails. She and her husband have traveled extensively in Maine and are a wealth of information. The Inn, itself, is romantic, beautiful and exquisite!!! The staff is articulate, informative, courteous and friendly. The breakfast(s) were unique and scrumptious. If you arrive in time for dinner I would totally recommend that you make reservations for a one of a kind dining experience. You will not be disappointed. I would return to this B&B in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Any of the rooms would be great. We did have a room towards the rear of the building and it was adj...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lynette R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

Hartstone Inn is a heavenly retreat in Camden. After a day of hiking, sailing on a Windjammer or taking a day trip we looked forward to returning to the inn. Our guest room was inviting and the grounds surrounding the inn were perfect to sit and enjoy a glass of wine and visit with other guests. I appreciated the easy WiFi access and other guest amenities to numerous to mention. Breakfast was a delicious way to start the day and dinner was the perfect ending. Thanks to Michael, Mary Jo and staff for making our stay wonderful and memorable. We'll be back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jojoChandler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

We had dinner at the second seating in Sept 12. The food was creative and well-prepared. The service very good. The five courses were very tasty. We sent back five empty dishes. I have dietary restrictions that were provided to them at the time we made our reservations. They remembered without being told a second time and I was served a dietary friendly meal for my restrictions in a very accommodating manner.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bwolfe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bel Air, Maryland
Level Contributor
49 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2012

Interesting to see some negative reviews, as my husband and I found this inn to be delightful. First, I selected a room in the Hideaway which is about a block and a half from the main inn. If you want the full experience of staying in the main inn (they have a cocktail hour and the restaurant is there), then I would stay in one of the buildings right at the main inn (there is a property map on their website). But our room in the Hideaway was fine for our purposes, and a great full breakfast was served right there so we did not need to go to the main inn. The service was superb, and the staff was gracious in giving information out about what to do in and around Camden. They also provided a newsletter that had recommendations about restaurants (BTW, we did eat one night at the Hartstone and it was excellent) and attractions in the area. We did not find the paintings with prices a problem, and we loved looking at the IPad slide show as we ate breakfast. I would say the owners know how to market what they care about! Camden is adorable, and if you visit the area, then I would definitely recommend this inn.

Room Tip: Hideaway is smaller and more secluded; Main Inn (I think there were two or three buildings) are more...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Hartstone Inn for two nights during the last week of August. The food is delicious. If your sole purpose for staying at an inn is to have a delicious breakfast (and dinner, if you should chose), and you don't care about any of the other functions of an inn, then stay at the Hartstone.

However, several things about the Hartstone left us feeling both uneasy and uncomfortable. First, the inn is covered with paintings. Below these paintings are tags that include the name of the painting and the painting's price. These paintings are all over the inn, which includes in your room. We found this to be extremely obnoxious. Second, our bathroom included some very nice bathing products (shampoo, conditioner and face wash), each in a large container. On the wall of the bathroom was a large sign saying that these products were available for purchase in the inn's gift shop. Personally, we would have preferred not to be pitched these products (and reminded of the inn's gift shop) as we were brushing our teeth. Speaking of the gift shop, upon check-in, which is located IN the gift shop, you will find a number of products that includes: the sheets that you will sleep on, the cocktail glasses that you will use (if you purchase a cocktail), the knife holders that the inn uses at its meals, the shampoos that you'll use in your bathroom, the chef's (who is the owner) cookbooks...the list goes on. There's also a good chance that you'll be eating your breakfast at one of the breakfast tables located IN the gift shop. My wife and were both disgusted that the inn would ask its patrons to dine in its gift shop.

Bottles of Poland Spring water are available for purchase near the gift shop. Yes, bottled water, which in every other inn has always been provided in our room free of charge, seems to be another one of the inn's profit generators.

To top it off, at breakfast, you will find a lovely iPad playing a slide show with pictures that advertises a trip that the chef (who is the inn's owner) leads in France and Italy. Yes, another sales pitch. To say that this is obnoxious is an understatement.

If you need to speak to an employee of the inn at any time besides check-in or breakfast, good luck. One day, at noon, I waited for 20 minutes to speak to someone at the front desk. The chef (I presume) and his staff were busy working in the kitchen. After saying "excuse me" several times and receiving no response, I rang the doorbell and even called the inn. No response.

The words that seem to sum of this place, with its plentiful advertisments and continuous references to its gift shop, are "tacky" and "obnoxious." To sum it up, we will not stay here again.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank cbrombe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catguy1000, Owner at Hartstone Inn & Hideaway, responded to this review, September 15, 2012
Dear Mr. & Mrs. New York,
Of course no one likes to read a visit to their property was a Very Poor Experience. We are a small property and during the summer we have an additional person greeting guests and assisting with arrivals in the afternoon in addition to answering the telephone. It's rare, but very possible that several couples arrived to check in at the same time, this would take both of us away from the entrance area - and away from answering the telephone while we are showing arriving guests their rooms and assisting with their questions. We are very sorry you were inconvenienced. In our fifteen years we have found guests often want a beer, some wine, a soda or bottled water that is why we added an "honor bar" so those items would be available 24 hours. We also thought ipads available for our guest would assist us in explaining all of the great things to see in our area, provide the current news, weather etc. if they wanted to "check in with the world". Yes, we do have a gift shop on one wall near our bar area and yes, we do have original art in all of our guest rooms and in the corridors. We have fun displaying the work of a variety of artists in our property. I'm sorry our choices have offended you, that is not our intention and thank you for your kind words about our cuisine.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hartstone Inn & Hideaway

Property: Hartstone Inn & Hideaway
Address: 41 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843-1910
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Camden
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Camden
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hartstone Inn & Hideaway 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A fine dining B&B Fodor's considers "An elegant and sophisticated retreat and culinary destination offering a unique experience in pampered luxury." Recipient of AAA's 4 Diamond Award of excellence for lodging and dining. Luxurious amenities include: memorable multi-course breakfast, fine linens & robes, down comforters and pillows, gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, MP3 players, TV/DVD, complementary WiFi and guest computers. Enhance your stay w/a gourmet picnic, massage or become Chef for the Day! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hartstone Inn & Hideaway Hotel Camden
Hartstone Inn And Hideaway
Hartstone Inn & Hideaway Camden, Maine

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