We arrived for our two-night stay at the York Harbor Inn at about two in the afternoon. The young woman at the desk checked us in in a rather perfunctory manner and told us that our room was not yet ready (we were a little ahead of check-in time) but that we were free to look around the place while we waited. Since we were in the middle of a driving rain storm, we decided to just sit in the lobby for a while. When the two-thirty "guaranteed" check-in time arrived, we returned to the desk and the clerk told us that we could take our keys and go to our room, even though the maids had not reported it as ready yet.
Our room was in the Yorkshire Building which is next to the main inn and was built in 1743. It's in the form of a townhouse with, I think, four rooms on one side and three on the other. When we arrived at our room the maids were just finishing up cleaning and preparing it for our stay. The room was on the small side, mostly because it was under the eves of the building and the ceiling sloped down about a third of the way into the space. Besides the bed, dresser and nightstand, there was only one chair, an ottoman, and no table. The bathroom was, however, spacious, with a good-sized whirlpool tub. The window between the eves afforded a view of the park and the ocean beyond, although you had to stand up to look out.
The room was fine until later in the evening when we were preparing for bed. It was a warm, extremely humid day, not conducive to sleeping, so we turned on the air conditioning unit. It seemed to work okay at first, but whenever I tried to turn the thermostat down to a comfortable temperature, the unit would shut off. I called the front desk (the inn is one which has the front desk manned 24 hours a day; that's a plus) and the night clerk immediately came to check out the unit, which he agreed was malfunctioning. The final result was that we were upgraded to a room in the newer Harbor Hill House next door.
The room in Harbor Hill was fine. It was quite large, although there was so much massive furniture in it that it seemed smaller. But it was extremely comfortable, and the climate control system was excellent. As another bonus, the Harbor Hill House has it's own continental breakfast set up in the main lobby, comparable to the one in the main inn. If we had continued staying at the Yorkshire building we would have had to travel to the main inn each morning for breakfast. I also couldn't help noticing that while we were staying in Harbor Hill House, the staff went out of its way to treat us like royalty, which I really couldn't have said when we were staying at the Yorkshire Building.
As for the location. Well, there's not much to do in York after Labor Day, but the Inn is only about a 15 minute drive from either Kittery or Portsmouth, NH, and we spent most of our time in those locations. Some of the reviewers have complained about the noise from the road beside the Inn, but we didn't find that to be a problem, especially in the off-season. The best feature of the Inn's location is the park across the street. It's well kept up, and has a beach on one end of it and a beautiful cliff walk which begins on the other end. We got quite a bit of enjoyment from the park, and from our second room, and from the lobby of the Harbor Hill House, we could sit at a table and enjoy a snack or a beverage and look out a window across at it.
All things considered, our experience at the York Harbor Inn was a positive one. I thought the rooms were a bit overpriced for what they were, but the location was a convenient one. I do recommend, however, that if you do stay at the Inn you should choose the Harbor Hill House, or one of the other newer additions, as the building in which you book your room.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxurious Historic Oceanfront Inn has been featured on the Travel Channels "Great Country Inns". Award winning gourmet ocean view dining plus casual fireplaced Ship's Cellar Pub. Outdoor hot tub open year round. Many rooms with fireplaces, Jacuzzi spa tubs, decks and ocean vistas. Free Wireless Internet Access. Exquisitely decorated, fine dining, the perfect place to stay in Southern Maine. Complete conference facilities. One hour north of Boston. Near beaches, golf & shopping. Open year round. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- York Harbor Hotel York Harbor
- York Harbor Inn Maine