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.
- 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