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Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center
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Reviewed August 5, 2011

We came to the Sturbridge Host Hotel for a Romantic 3 day Weekend. I had researched online for a nice place that had a romance package and a pool..those were my 2 biggest requirements. This place did offer a weekend romance package where they include choco. covered strawberries up in your room (not a big deal, but i figured it was something nice as an extra), breakfast each morning at their little restaurant inside the hotel and dinner 1 night at the Oxhead Tavern which is also on the property. We drove up and it looked kind of like an old (but beautiful) refurbished barn on a really pretty lake. It was right off the main road but set back a bit from the traffic and it was only a few minutes from Old Sturbridge Village (which we ended up not going to). We checked in and they had to draw us directions to our room because it was very far away (which was kind of annoying). We walked through this giant open space and we found the indoor pool immediately. It was in the middle of the giant open space and many of the inside rooms had little balconies that overlooked the pool. There were also 1 or 2 empty gazebos in the room and lots of little wooden bridges and pathways that lead from the little breakfast restauarnt and other areas toward the pool. I felt very much like I was at a theme park before it opens for the day. Lots of things going on, but nothing in motion, nothing prepared. It was kind of strange! But neat at the same time. So we past the pool, and down a hallway and up an elevator and down another hallway or two til we got to our room. The room was quite large (i believe it was a King Suite), beautiful new bathroom, king bed, TV across from bed then it opens up to another little living room area with desk, couch, another TV and an odd little outside balcony that over looked some kind of large contraption of metal poles on top of what might've been a concrete tennis court. I have NO idea what that was all about, but I could see the lake past that through the trees a bit. I closed the curtains because that weird contraption of metal poles (looked like the frame for a REALLY HUGE pop tent) on the tennis court was an eyesore. The bed was kind of uncomfortable. If you've ever slept in a king bed, you'll know there is quite a bit of room to roll around. Well, I laid down on my side and my husband on his and we rolled into the middle, right into one another. I could feel the springs through the mattress as well. Lets just say I didn't sleep very well for those few nights. The shower had great water pressure (a huge plus) and everything in the room was very clean, which is a big plus for me. Apparently my husband had confirmed the choc. strawberries when he checked in.. but they never showed up so he called the front desk at 10pm (the first night) and they apologized profusely and said they would be right up. 11:30pm!!! We were half asleep, someone knocks on the door and hands us this plate of mushy strawberries (and pineapple) that were covered in lumpy mostly unmelted chocolate. Looked kind of like the guy at the desk ran to the store and tried to whip something up on his own. We took a bite or two (hey, we PAID extra for this) and then left it there. They took it off the bill the next morning so that's fine. Breakfast was pretty good in the little cafe.. it was quiet, off season so there wasn't too many vacationers like us. Just a few business minded people who were probably staying there for a convention or something. There was a buffet on one morning but the next morning it was order from the menu. Also fine.. but the 3rd morning they weren't open, and I dont know why. OH and we both HIGHLY recommend going to the Salem Cross Inn, its about 20 min drive or so. We participated in this old-time colonial meal, we did a horse carriage ride with a bunch of other people, we ate home made roasted prime rib, potatoes, veggies and home made apple pie with whipped cream, we ate cruise-style with a bunch of others who participated in the feast. It was fun to meet new people. We had the BEST BEST BEST mulled cider (and I do NOT like cider)! Great place, like $50/pp but worth every penny! Overall, our stay was "fair" we never used the pool because it was full of children and my husband just didn't want to deal with that. The Tavern on the property was the absolute BEST PART of our stay. There were very few couples in there at the time, but there was a small private wedding reception going on. Maybe 15 people + bride & groom, with a few children running around in their dress clothes. In spite of all the wonderful romance going on with that wedding, I felt like I was the only woman in the room, my husband and I were so close our noses could touch, there was a tiny candle lit between us, the place is really quaint, lots of dark woods, you really get the feeling you're in a warm log cabin on some remote mountain, it's beautiful! There was a fire in the fireplace, the food was wonderful, the service was good, we left full and happy! I think if you're going to stay at this location, keep in mind the following: the beds are a little lumpy, be prepared to walk around a lot, the property is beautiful, bring a camera, if you forget something (toiletries, etc) find the local Stop & Shop, don't go to Cumberlands, too expensive, definitely try to go IN SEASON there will prob. be more going on on the grounds and definitely DO go to dinner at the Oxhead Tavern and DO go to Salem Cross Inn for the old time Colonial Style dinner (there will be pamphlets in the lobby at the Host Hotel).

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank aimeedarling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSturbridge_MA, Manager at Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We were very pleased to hear just how much you enjoyed the OxHead Tavern restaurant. It was built in 1820 and there's a lot of history to this building which hopefully we can share with you on your next visit. We've spoken with our Executive Housekeeper regarding your mattress and corrective measures have been taken. Thanks again for sharing your experience with us and we look foreward to serving you again in the near future.

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Reviewed August 2, 2011

Stayed for a family reunion recently. Hotel is located on the lake, just off main street. Very convenient to restaurants, attractions, highway. Very friendly and helpful staff. All our requests were met quickly. It is a large property, with only one elevator that is far from front desk. Rooms are dated, property needs some maintenance. Pull out couch was broken, but they brought us a cot at no extra charge. Kids really enjoyed the indoor pool and paddle boats (rented near the beach). Ate lunch one day at the Oxhead Tavern- kids played on the beach while we ate a nice meal. Overall nice stay, though if there were a better option in town we probably would have stayed there.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank cng8r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSturbridge_MA, Manager at Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2011

Thank you for your appraisal of our hotel. The people really do make the difference and we are fortunate to have great staff here to serve you.

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Reviewed July 28, 2011

The thing that stood out most for me about this hotel was the friendly staff. They were extremely accomodating and offered helpful insight into area attractions and restaurants. The hotel itself was fairly nice. Our room was very large with a separate living area and a balcony that looked out to the lake. The furniture could use a little sprucing up and the bed was not a comfortable as I would have liked it to be, but overall it was nice enough. Our room, as well as the rest of the hotel, was very clean and tidy, and the grounds were nicely landscaped and maintained (except for an abondonned miniature golf course...it either needed to be done away with or fixed up and used). The hotel also has an indoor pool. On Saturday, I attended a banquet with about 100 people in attendance and the staff did a great job getting everyone served in a timely manner. The food was wonderful!!! Overall, I would recommend this hotel for a relaxing vacation or a business conference. The staff will take good care of you.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with lake views.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank VA_Cameo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSturbridge_MA, Manager at Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how much you enjoyed your recent stay with us. The people really do make the difference and we thank you for your kind words. We hope to have an opportunity to serve you again in the near future.

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Reviewed July 19, 2011

Our family reunion was held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and we had a wonderful time. The setting by the lake was peaceful. We took out the paddle boats and enjoyed the sun, waves and friendly ducks. We enjoyed dinner at Oxhead Tavern. Serendipity fell upon us as we realized we were partying later that evening to the WHAMMY BARS OF BOSTON!! Every song pic was popular, rockin and played with gusto and big energy. Those guys rocked the beach!! A better time could not have been had.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank TriciaChappie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSturbridge_MA, Manager at Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2011

Wow! We're so happy to hear that you and your family had such a good time. We have live bands every weekend in the summer at the OxHead Tavern. It's such fun to dance on the beach and watch the kids play on the lawn. And with so many other things to do (paddleboats, beach volleyball, horse shoes, swimming ) it's really a blast here in the summer. I'll watch for your reunion next year and we'll schedule the Whammy Bars to play again! Thanks for sharing and we look forward to next year.

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Reviewed July 18, 2011

I would like to say that my nephew Joe set up this wonderful, very affordable event with Jennifer Harwich, Sales & Catering. Gina Burgos, Front Office Supervisor also helped to make this a fantastic family weekend. My niece Jeanette and I spoke with Gina about the family being as close as possible; and even though the hotel was very busy with a "Country Folk Art" show, Gina made our requests possible, and with a big smile. In past years, we stayed in York, Maine; however, we never had the friendly people assisting us. Also, we never felt like this hotel and restaurants were all about fast money. The hotel also catered a fantastic family meal outside looking over the lake. Just when you thought we were really getting far more then our money's worth, we were futher surprised with an extremely entertaining musical group known as "The WhammyBars.Com". The lead singer Joe was a basket of musical fun and entertainment. And to add futher to our great memory were professional photographs sent to us by Liz Feitelberg (feitlbrg@verizon.net) from the WhammyBars. Once we get our schedules for next year, we are planning on returning.

Room Tip: Do not just book a room. Look at the web site and discuss the room with reservations.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank The_Uncle01833
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerSturbridge_MA, Manager at Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2011

Thank you so much for sharing the experience you had at the Sturbirdge Host Hotel. We're thrilled that you had such a good time and that part of the reason was due to our accommodating staff. People really do make the difference and we appreciate you noticing. We are looking forward to serving you again next year.

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