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“Quiet piece of heaven”

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The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate
Ranked #2 of 4 Ipswich B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2010

I had been told about the beauty of Crane Beach so I made a plan to visit. I looked for lodging nearby and found the Inn, which is part of the Crane estate. The room was comfortable and the view from my room to the sea was intoxicating. The Inn is away from the beach and town and that gives you a sense of what it was like to be a guest at the big house all those years ago. The reception staff were friendly and helpful and the breakfast was very good. I wondered over the trails of the estate and walked on the private beach. If you like the feel of country life near the city keep this Inn in mind

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank htg2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 - 108 of 123 reviews

Reviewed September 12, 2010

My elderly Mother and I were in need of some R&R, sun, sand, and quiet, so we set off for a beach getaway for a few days. We stayed at two Ipswich B&Bs, and this proved far and away the worse of our choices.
Upon arrival, one faces a notice with bold lettering of things guests must NOT do, and what is NOT allowed. Checking in, we wondered, are we guilty? We brought my Mother's favourite wine, we'll have to drink it on the sly! Hardly welcoming! While we understand bad behaviour does occur, and liquor licenses are expensive (it is explained we are welcome to purchase the liquor the Inn sells, but they are not otherwise licensed), why are good guests penalised from the get go?
Our introduction to our room (up more stairs than my Mother was led to expect), begins with wasps flying about. The receptionist does his best to trap the stinging pests between the windows, and leaves. It is in the high 90's outside, the room is sweltering hot (no exaggeration!), and perspiration continues to form beads on our foreheads. It is explained that there is "central air", and guests have no control over temperature. My repeated pleas to offer us a bit more comfort are ignored (I am told that some guests complain the rooms are too cold, and we are, after all, on the third floor of an old manse. Even though they offer thick woolen blankets, somehow I still feel like an idiot). My Mother then discovers dead bugs on the floor. We don't think they are bed bugs, thank God, but nonetheless, it's an unsavoury sight. Meanwhile, my own attempts to deal with the wasps involve spraying bug spray along the windows, and plugging up cracks with paper tissues to keep others out. My Mother is trying to rest, but she is too uncomfortable in the heat, so we escape to the beach, hallelujah, the beach!...
After a sleepless night drenched in perspiration, our discomfort continues as breakfast is served 45 minutes late. One choice, with pastries, yogurt, and granola. The toast is soggy, cold, untoasted, my Mother's coffee cup has no saucer, our knives are taken away, and not replaced until we ask. The wait staff, young and inexperienced, are entirely inattentive and mechanical.
We would have gone back to our first B&B, but there are no cancellations possible, we would be charged in full. At $90- $100 a night, we are seasoned world travellers, and might have kept our chins up through these issues. But with rates triple this, and not a modicum of comfort or hospitality, not a single apology, all we will keep in memory is the beautiful weather, swimming and walking we enjoyed on Crane Beach. Live and learn.

  • Stayed: September 2010
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14  Thank travellernottourist9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2010

The setting is absolutely magical if you could actually go outside the mosquitos are crazy.Firstly the Inn Keeper is efficient but full of self importance,rest of staff are young and totally inexperienced. There are none of those touches of luxuary associated with the cost over four hundred dollars a night .rooms are very mediocre no tv or bar .I could have cooked a better breakfast myself. Would be agreat b&b if was half the cost sttay at Blue on Plum Island that does it all properly . So disapointed

  • Stayed: April 2010
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6  Thank katiemcdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2009

My husband and I stayed here to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary and had a fantastic visit.

The staff are incredible - when we arrived we were greeted by a very gracious staff member who promptly checked us in, gave us a tour of the common areas and made sure we had dinner plans (he even called ahead to make sure they had a table waiting for us *and* he was waiting for us in the lobby to give us printed directions before we left). The inn keeper was also kind enough to heat up our leftovers the next day in the kitchen. Everyone on staff was amazing, cheerful, attentive and awesome. The Inn only has 10 rooms, but they made each guest feel like they were the only ones there.

They only serve breakfast and tea in the Inn, however they are very helpful in making suggestions and reservations for lunch and dinner, etc.

The breakfasts are insane - yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, fresh baked muffins AND a hot breakfast (we had a kitchen sink veggie omelet with home fried and toast the first day and cinnamon french toast with caramel sauce, sausages and fruit the second) and all the coffee and juice and tea you want. This was easily a $20 per person breakfast which is included in your stay.

Tea is also great, they serve it with delicious pastries, also included.

Coffee, tea, water, sodas, hot water, cold water are always available for guests in the pantry, and they have a small fridge available. Also, included.

The Inn at Castle Hill is just one part of the 2,000+ acres of protected land managed by The Trustees of Reservations that make up the Crane Estate. If you are a member of The Trustees you go at 10% discount on your stay (minimum two consecutive nights stay). It is a little pricey, yes, however keep in mind a portion of your stay goes to conversation.

The property is beautiful, you're very close to Crane Beach and some great hiking. We're both looking forward to our next visit!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank iamsamaraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2008

The inn just installed a new central air system. The only problem is that all rooms are controlled by a central thermostat, not accessible to guests. My room was so cool that I had to call the innkeepper late one night to turn down down the frigidity. The good news is that the staff recognizes the problem. I trust they will deal with this issue soon and give each room control over its temperature. Before booking a room, be sure to ask the staff about the air problem.

Stayed: August 2008
3  Thank Jack018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2008

We stayed for one night on our way to Boston. Our room was quite adequate and the staff that we encountered were very polite and knowledgeable. We have no real complaints other than the fact that it is a bit on the pricey side - for what you get. Nonetheless, the location and the inn itself are lovely and if money is not an object by all means go for it.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ChasssTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2008

If you're looking for a place that will treat you terribly then this is the place. Bob Chok is the Innkeeper and sets a horrible example to his staff of what hospitality should be. He is just a rude, inhospitable man who should probably be working in the kitchen by himself rather than guests. There are so many beautiful places to stay directly on the beach, which Castle Hill is not, that offers wonderful amenities and service. Stay away from Castle Hill.

Stayed: March 2008
7  Thank BnBguest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CastleHillIpswich, Innkeeper at The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2008

This review appears to be a personal attack on me rather than a review of the inn. I have been an innkeper for 18 years and would not be in this profession if I were rude and inhospitable as claimed by the reviewer. The reviewer states the date of their stay as March 2008 however, the inn was closed for the months of January, February and March 2008. We re-opened for guests in April 2008. I do not believe that the reviewer was a guest of the inn.

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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 The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate

Address: 280 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938-2647
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Ipswich
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Ipswich
Price Range: $175 - $385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
The Inn At Castle Hill On The Crane Estate Hotel Ipswich

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