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“Beautiful place being poorly managed”
Review of Stage Neck Inn

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Stage Neck Inn
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in York Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 28, 2011

The Stage Neck Inn is a somewhat unique property for New England, being a higher end hotel situated adjacent to a nice-sized public beach. The rooms are similar to a typical Marriott property, which is to say you won't mistake it for a Four Seasons hotel. The linens are decent, the bathroom is nicely appointed, and the room size is adequate. We stayed here on 2 different weeks in August 2011 (and previous stayed here a year before).

We had an "upper beach side room" the first week. Don't expect to necessarily see the beach. These would be better-named "parking lot" rooms. Our particular room had a balcony with an extremely poor view, as the facility itself obstructed most of the view of the beach. We stayed in a "lower harbor side room" the second week (and had family staying in a nearby lower harbor side room). This one had a patio out to small lawn adjacent to a river below (you can't see the ocean from these rooms), which is unfenced and could pose a danger to small children.

The lower level rooms are damp. To wit, each day we would hang our swimming attire in the tub to dry. During our first week in the upper level room, our swimming attire was always dry the next morning. During our second week in the lower level room, our swimming attire remained wet. To mitigate the dampness, you can crank up the A/C, which solves the problem somewhat at the expense of freezing the occupants.

In both of the lower level rooms I spent time, the plumbing was suspect. The sinks in both rooms did not drain well (bowl filled after just a few seconds of running the water). Worse yet, in our room, we could not figure out a way to run the primary shower head without flooding the bathroom floor (a problem we did not experience in the upper level room). What made us suspicious was that the housekeeping staff presumably is also using the plumbing, and they obviously aren't informing management that these issues might impact their guests.

As for the housekeeping, it was noticeably bad. We were not the only guests who observed this either. Another guest whom we had met had complained about the lack of cleanliness to the front desk, which resulted in their room being cleaned by the head of the housekeeping staff for the remainder of their stay. On the 4th day of our stay, our young child found an unknown pill on the floor that definitely was not ours. So the room was not being vacuumed. The soap dish in our bathroom was never touched during our stay, building up an immense amount of soap scum. Little to no dusting was occurring - we were there long enough to notice a build-up. Turn down service was extremely inconsistent. Half the days we were there, it appeared that someone had just thrown a few chocolate mints by our bedside without actually turning down the bed.

The included breakfast buffet is bountiful, but the restaurant isn't always paying attention to the details. The first day featured a large chafing dish filled with burnt pancakes (almost as if it was better to serve them burnt than to hold them back and prepare a new batch). The scrambled eggs have a strange, oily appearance and taste (they probably aren't made with actual eggs, but rather a mix), and we learned to avoid them. The French Toast is unusual, but tastes okay. The poor-tasting donuts are not worth the calories (the restaurant would be much better off bringing them in from Congdon's). The toast always seemed soggy. On the other hand, the eggs benedict are worth having, the breakfast meats are decent, the muffins are good, and, to their credit, there is plenty of fresh fruit (which, for me, made the breakfast much better than mediocre).

We had a few nice dinners at the restaurant (I guess when you are explicitly paying for the meal, they try a little harder). The seafood is actually the weakest part of the menu, which is surprising given the oceanfront location. I tried the haddock and the sole on different days, and was disappointed with the flavor each time. Other family members enjoyed their non-seafood meals. The lobster is pretty good, but there much better places to enjoy lobster in the area (Chauncey Creek Lobster Pound and Fox's Lobster House come to mind). The food at the pool area is less good, as is the system that they use to take orders (involving a small number of flags for signaling a server that can be in such high demand that you have to go running for one when one comes available or you go hungry).

A lot of the problems we experienced can likely be traced back to management. The dinner restaurant manager made a rather poor impression on us with her behavior, which was the opposite of the wait staff, who were superior in almost every way. Inn management clearly knows that the housekeeping is substandard (since multiple complaints are being lodged and nothing is being done) and isn't asking the housekeeping for inputs as to the physical state of the various rooms.

Furthermore, when I mentioned some of these issues at checkout to the front desk, I was promised that the general manager would respond to me. I received a very curt, formulaic snail mail response from Phoebe, the very person who responds to these reviews here at TripAdvisor. This suggested to me that she really didn't care about the issues I presented. Given that we had already reserved 3 rooms for a 2 week block in 2012 (which, at current prices, is $15000 worth of inventory), I was a little surprised at how cavalier she was.

It is a beautiful spot with both a great beach and a great set of pools, marred by poor housekeeping and poor management.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank birdboywins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 31, 2011

Thank you for staying at the inn, not only last year, but twice this summer. We so appreciate your patronage and would like very much for you to return. It goes without saying that your comments upon check-out were taken seriously. Upon hearing of the issues with both the shower and housekeeping, I immediately went to both the maintenance and housekeeping managers. We all went to the room that you had been in and tried out the shower. The shower system that we have can be nice, but sometimes the valve that needs to be turned to change the stand-up shower to the hand-held shower head can stick. It was somewhat difficult to turn, but we did get it to work properly. We are so sorry for that inconvenience, and would have been more than happy to have alleviated this problem if we had known about it during your stay with us. If, however, you did let someone know, and it was not taken care of, then that is truly a problem.

As for the soap issue, we have now made it a housekeeping policy to change the soap on a daily basis on all occupied rooms. It has been a "green" issue to not replace the soap of an occupant, but we have taken note of this and have made changes. As for the room not being cleaned adequately on a daily basis during your stay, I am not happy about that. The housekeeping staff has received such wonderful accolades this year. I have had very few issues with this. I do apologize for your experience with this.

As for the complimentary breakfast buffet and the seafood dishes, I am sorry for your disappointment with them. The scrambled eggs on the buffet are a "low cholesterol" type egg product, which so many guests love. The French Toast is one of the Inn's signature breakfast items...coated and deep-fried. Not meant for the dieter, of course, but as you mention, the fruit offered in the fruit bar is always wonderful. Our seafood items are bought locally and served fresh each day. I am sorry that you were not pleased with the preparation(s).

Our goal at the Stage Neck Inn is to provide the highest quality of service throughout all the many offerings of our property. Guest satisfaction is truly the backbone of our resort and the real key to our success. Your feedback regarding our inn is much appreciated and does not go on deaf ears.


Thank you,

Phoebe Apgar-Pressey
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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329 - 335 of 419 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2011

We stayed at Stage Neck Inn for 2 nights in July for our 30th anniversary. A little pricey but worth it since it was for a special occasion. Very easy drive to get to since it's in the southern part of Maine, not far off the highway. Lovely location and accommodations. Our view was the river but you could also see the ocean. On the other side of the hotel was also a marina. Pool overlooked the beach plus there was a private beach. Breakfast buffet was included and there was a very nice selection of hot foods as well as fresh fruit and yogurt. Restaurant had a nice view too. Not far from area attractions and restaurants. Would go back if there was a "special" but would definitely go back to the area.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelphan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 1, 2011

Thank you for your nice review. So glad that you had an enjoyable and relaxing time at the inn. I love the river side of the inn (also referred to as the Harbor entrance). We do offer some wonderful off-season Get-away specials (including dinner and breakfast) during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.

Hope to have you as guests again in the future, and Happy 30th Anniversary!!


Best Regards,

Phoebe Apgar-Pressey
General Managar

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Reviewed August 20, 2011

There is not space available here to describe the wonderful features of the Stage Neck Inn. My wife and I believe it to be the best place that we have ever visited. The web site will addresss all the wonderful amenities that the Inn offers but one thing it does not is the Inn's staff. Their happiness at working here is so obvious in the service that they provide to the customers. Friendly, helpful, efficient and just plain old nice. We plan to return on an annual basis.

Room Tip: A third floor Harborview room is highly recommended
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2011

Thank you so much for your lovely review, and we are happy that you enjoyed your recent stay. I will be sure to pass your kind words onto my staff!! We truly do have some wonderful staff members, and it is a joy to work along side them every day.

Look forward to seeing you again in the near future! Be sure to look me up when you return.


Phoebe Apgar-Pressey
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

Just returned from a three night stay at the
Stage Neck Inn. Was looking for a spot with everything for a summer vacation such as restaurant, pool and beach and the Stage Neck has it all with of course a price but well worth it. We had an ocean view room that opened to a grassy area with chairs to sit and relax. There are harbor views and "parking lot" views also but even the parking lot views offer views of the beach and the beautiful cliff area. Breakfast was relaxing with fresh juice and a well maintained buffet. Enjoyed my last lunch before heading out with one of the many friendly employees, Monica who I hope to see on our return trip next summer or maybe sooner.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Lori019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2011

Oh, thank you so much for your great review of the inn!! Glad that you enjoyed your recent stay and that you will be back again in the future. It is true, when at the Stage Neck Inn, you can enjoy the lovely outdoor pool, the indoor pool and jacuzzi, along with the York Harbor beach that is a skip and a jump from the inn.

I will be sure to tell Monica that you enjoyed her service and her friendly way. Thanks again, and we look forward to your return.

Phoebe Presey
General Manager

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Reviewed August 14, 2011

We returned to the Stage Neck Inn. This time it was for four nights. The Inn is still beautiful and very well maintained. We loved the close proximity of pool and the beach. Our room was lovely overlooking the inlet. And the breakfast is still the best "included" breakfast anywhere- eggs, sausage, bacon, oatmeal, pancakes, doughnuts, pastries, fruit, yogurt, etc. Everyone in our party of 4 could find something to eat here. So, why not 5 stars then? A couple of glitches this time around. 1. The pool service for lunch. The pool is opened until 6, why not close the kitchen at 5 instead of 3? Sometimes, families just want to hang and relax by the pool and have something to eat and drink. Maybe just do "munchies" after 3, but it seems weird you can't get anything to eat after 3. 2. The actual pool service was very good a couple of times and then very so-so another day. The older woman was perky and very efficient. The young lady was bored and ho-hum. 3. There was a wedding on Saturday evening. We left the premises in our car, for dinner. When we returned there was NO parking except on the grass by the tennis courts. Not acceptable. WE are the paying guests to the hotel. The people who drove into the wedding should have been told to park on the grass, so that the paying guests would be able to park in the designated lots. There was a young man on parking duty, but clearly he was not instructed to do that. These are just minor glitches and will certainly not stop us from returning to the Stage Neck Inn, but they do prevent me from giving 5 stars like last year. One last thing, Friday evening, we ate in the bar area of the hotel. Our server was awesome-again, an older woman who had kayaked that day (can't remember her name). I would suggest that she train some of the younger servers in the art of service. She was pleasant, engaged, and helpful without hovering. Excellence in service is becoming more difficult to find-but she is definitely worthy of that designation.

Room Tip: The inlet side is the quieter water view.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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Thank janea8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2011

Thank you for your recent review and thank you for staying at the inn again. I am glad that you enjoyed some of the wonderful amenities that are offered at the inn. I thank you so very much for mentioning them. As for the pool food service not being offered after 3 p.m., we have found over the years that there has never been a real call for food past that time. Last year we did offer "munchies" after 3 p.m., but it didn't seem at all popular. We will, however, discuss this suggestion, for sure.

So sorry about the parking issue. We really try hard to be diligent in making sure that our hotel guests have parking spots near the inn each and every day, especially when there is a function being held at the inn. It is so important to me that we have spots for our hotel guests at all times. My apologies.

I thank you for your kind comments about certain staff members who shined. Thank you.

Phoebe Apgar-Pressey
General Manager

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Reviewed August 12, 2011

Stayed here for three nights with an ocean view room and was terrific. Very clean and modern. The restaurant was mixed. Our first nights dinner in the restaurant was nothing to rave about. Incredibly slow and disorganized. However, the last night we were there, decided to give it another chance and was very pleased with our dinner and service. The breakfast buffet was very nice. Good variety of food.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Laserkev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2011

Thank you for staying with us recently and thank you for your review. So sorry that you did not have a good experience in the dining room on your first night with us, but I am very happy that you gave us another chance and that you enjoyed the offerings the second time around.

Unfortunately, sometimes things can go awry on a busy night in the restaurant business, but we do try to make each and everyone's experience a good one. Our staff in both the kitchen and the dining room really care about offering the best in both service and food, so it is disappointing when we fall short.

We think that the breakfast buffet is a good offering of breakfast foods and we receive alot of great comments about it. Thank you...I am glad that you all enjoyed it. Here's hoping to have you as guests again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Phoebe Apgar-Pressey
General Manager

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Reviewed August 11, 2011

We were there for 2 nights. The rooms were very nice, clean and quiet. We had a nice balcony that overlooked the York River. Lovely place to have coffee in the morning. Had a temporary problem with WiFi being overloaded in the hotel, after dinner we tried again and it was fine. It is expensive but probably worth it. Would I go back? Yes, we would.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank linscott9070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 12, 2011

Thank you so much for your nice review. We are so glad that you enjoyed your recent stay, and even happier that you will return!!

Thanks again!

Phoebe Pressey
General manager

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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 Stage Neck Inn

Address: 8 Stage Neck Road, Route 1A, York Harbor, York, ME 03911
Location: United States > Maine > York > York Harbor
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in York Harbor
Price Range: $167 - $427 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Stage Neck Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stage Neck Inn is situated on a peninsula, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, The York River, and York Harbor. One of only 13 properties in the country to have consistently earned AAA’s Four Diamond Award since 1976, there are extensive amenities for the size of the resort … indoor and outdoor pools, a beach, clay tennis courts, 18-hole golf, a day spa, two restaurants, lounge, and deluxe guest rooms with private baths and great views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stage Neck Hotel York Harbor
Inn Maine Neck Stage York
Stage Neck Inn York Harbor, Maine
Stage Neck York Harbor

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