The Savage River Lodge, has to be my worst lodging experience in my life. Wow. I usually like out of the way woodsy, mountain retreats, as I am an avid skier in the Rockies, The Pacific Northwest, and New England. I traditionally love lodges, country inns, out of the way type places that are unique, independently ran, and operated. But what we encountered at The Savage River Lodge, was horrible.
For starters, during the reservation process, we inquired about pets. This place is so pet friendly, on and on and on. Now, my wife, is allergic to pet dander. It is not a severe allergy, she can be around dogs, not so much cats, but she can be around dogs, even pet them, or let them come in her lap, provided she washes her hands afterwards, she, is usually fine. Now, we told them this when making the reservation, they advised me they have a Lodge dog, and I assured them this would not be a problem, however, the room had to be one that had never had pets in it. We were told, the lodge had cabins that either have never had a dog in them, or get DEEP cleaned between visits. I said either would be fine. Wrong. 2 hours into our night, my wife was wheezing, sneezing, and coughing. We took the lint roller out of our atache case, and rolled it over the blankets, and carpet in our loft bedroom, and it took ALL FIFTY SHEETS of the lint roller to get the dog hair off the comforter, and carpet. Now, I was not being a neat freak, just trying to get the carpet around the bed, the sheets, and comforter, dog hair free. The sheets were fine. The carpet, took about 20 sheets, the comforter took all of the last 30. And they were all COVERED IN HAIR. Not one or two hairs a sheet, COVERED. Terrible. Strike one.
The next morning at breakfast, a Saturday, I had hoped to have some traditional country inn fare for breakfast, maybe some type of apple cinnamon oatmeal, or a waffle, or even some type of thick french toast. Nope. None of that. Only the traditional eggs, bacon, omelettes, stuff like that. We said we would try the quiche, and something simple, 2 eggs over easy. No. Not simple. The quiche, was still runny in the middle, and the over easy eggs, were brown, almost over hard, the potatoes, were saltier then the Pacific Ocean, and the bacon was so sweet, our server, Jenny, told us it was because they cure the bacon with maple syrup. This should be a neat treat, however, it tasted like it was cooked in pancake syrup. Yuk.
We decided to spend our afternoon resting off the Lisa from Green Acres style breakfast, only to find that if you want to go to the lodge library they say they have, you have to hunt it down. Upstairs, no problem, but why not tell someone where it is? Then, the gift shop, wow. The only thing they know how to do at this lodge is slap the face of their dog, and his name on stuff, and sell it as lodge merchandise. Plenty of other shirts and hats with the lodge logo, but the dog stuff got me. We decided to try a Bodhi paw, a rather primitive dessert, caramel, chocolate, cashews, it looked nice, but was as hard as cement. I swear, I thought I would lose a filling. But, I did not. I asked at the front desk could I have it removed from my bill. The person at the desk, Tina, said with laughter "well, normally everyone likes them", which, mind you, I kept it to myself at breakfast, I said, well, I did not, so, is a refund, of a few bucks, a problem? Evidently, it was, because she snickered again, talking to another employee all the while, before getting back to us. The answer was yes, I could be refunded on it.
I had then asked her could we see the dinner menu, since we were coming in for dinner. Now, this is where I was ready to boil. I had asked, over the phone, when we made our reservations, in June, what do you have for vegetarians. I was told, that the Savage River Lodge had a vegetarian menu that their chef had written, and had SEVERAL items for vegetarians on it nightly. But now, the menu only has ONE item for vegetarians, no soup choices, no appetizer choices, only one entree. I asked at the front desk about this, same person, Tina, told me that we no longer did that, "that chef was let go this past summer", and again, her trademark laugh. I asked does the new chef not cater to vegetarians? She instucted me to tell our server about our "dillema" as she put it, I thought that word was rude, but, at any rate, the chef might be able to help me, but it was the holiday season, so, perhaps not, it really depends on the business. So, I again said, that in June, when we called, we were told you had a vegetarian menu, with soups, appetizers, salads, entrees, the young lady on the phone who took our reservation, told us that it even had sushi. My wife was WAY dissapointed on this one.
When we did get in for dinner, it was 8. Right on time. Quaint little dining room too. When seated, we got our server from breakfast again. She is a real treat, the one good thing abou this place. We told her that one of us was vegetarians, and to talk to the chef about it, after she did, she said the chef is sorry, but all he can do is the item on the menu, but she said to tell me it was a holdover from the summer vegetarian menu, and was excellent. She was psuedo right, it was ok, nothing to get too excited over though. My duck breast was burnt, and overcooked, and the creme brulee for dessert, was terrible.
The muffins and juice on your doorstep are nice, I really did like that. The mud tracked all over our front porch, by whomever delivered them, was questionable.
We chose to go and eat in neighboring Frostburg for our Sunday evening dinner, if I can make a suggestion, make the drive. Only 15 minutes, however, the dinner we got, a French place in Frostburg, is amazing, and worth the money. In fact, cheaper then the lodge, and better quality.
We maintained not complaining about anything except the candy, until the Monday checkout. We were told by the front desk person, much nicer, Melissa, that if we wished to speak to the owners, they were in the back, and they would be willing to help. We then met a Jan, who, was as nice as, well, my mother always said, if you have nothing nice to say, do not say it. We told her about our issues with dinner, she said that she was sorry, however, we could no longer do the vegetarian menu, I had mentioned the phone call in June, she again told me that it was MY fault, we should have asked for a notation to be made. Umm, ok. We also spoke about the dog hair, and she said that again, this was OUR fault, because the lodge allows pets, so, we should have expected this.
If you go to Frostburg, there are bed and breakfasts, Quality Inn, Super 8, better food, and better service. Do not waste your time on this place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Comfort - Privacy - Relaxation. We often hear these words when people talk about the Savage River Lodge. Nestled within more than 700 acres of Western Maryland's Savage River State Forest, the lodge is a peaceful retreat from a busy world. Once you're here, you'll find all the elements of relaxation and comfort--fantastic food, sink-into accommodations, your own private cabin, and exceptional hospitality. Whether you prefer to watch nature from your rocking chair or spend your day in pursuit of your favorite outdoor activity, you'll take home the spirit of the forest...and the Savage River Lodge. Our eighteen luxury cabins and the nearby lodge building, surrounded by the forest, convey a rustic, lived-in comfort. Our amenities and appointments, however are decidedly upscale and infused with a genuinely friendly and relaxed hospitality. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Savage River Hotel Frostburg