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“OK, but not quite a romantic getaway location”

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Gale River Motel and Cottages
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Franconia
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“OK, but not quite a romantic getaway location”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

This place is basically clean and comfortable, but a little rough around the edges. The owner is very chatty and appears to be operating it as a one man operation. The location is sort of remote at the edge of town, left behind on the old highway once the interstate bypassed.Franconia. Your first impression when you drive up - have I made a mistake? - the exterior is not inspiring - needs a facelift. Rooms are better, somewhat busy with retro sort of furnishings and lots of little instructional notes. Does have flat screen tv's and the bed was very comfortable. I would probably return in a pinch although I know my wife would not. OK for a night, but I wouldn't want to spend any extended time here. Although the website seems to want to portray the Gale River as a destination resort, I think it's going to be a bit of a stretch for most folks.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank bavarianbiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This is a frill-free but clean place to stay in a very attractive location near Franconia State Park in New Hampshire. The location was a major selling point for me, as was the fact that the motel is pet-friendly (we brought our dog). Even with other pets and families present, it was also a very quiet place, which we enjoyed.

We stayed for two nights in the early summer. Our kids (ages three and five) enjoyed the outdoor swimming pool. We loved the view of the mountains in the distance, and the fact that it's a very affordable place to spend a weekend.

Rooms were clean but unspectacular. Our bathroom door didn't close completely (it would get stuck) and there decor in general is a little dated. There's no buffet breakfast or any other real perks. Nevertheless, for what it is, it's a good place to stay for the money. We will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Stay in one of the cabins if you want a little more privacy and quiet.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank americanadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Stopped here on way back from 5 nights camping in Maine before heading back into Canada. It was quaint. Loved that there was a jacuzzi in the outdoor pool area; it was nice to sit and unwind the muscles after 6 hours of driving. It was a place to stay overnight on the way home; we did choose it with the idea to go to The Flume Gorge at nearby Franconia Notch State Park before heading home. It's located 2-3 stops up the highway. Liked that we had a fridge in the room to keep our food/drinks cold. Kevin was a great host, very helpful with information about local activities. Was able to borrow hair dryer that night. Enjoyed the complimentary chocolate chip cookies, tea and hot chocolate in the front office. I would return, it's a good spot to cut up a long trip across the East coast. Didn't go into town so I can't say anything about what's there.
It was clean, beautiful scenery to look at from the chairs in front of our room as we had coffee/tea and bagels in the morning before we left.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank stretchottawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
289 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

This is an average motel in a small town with close access to the Franconia Notch. Nothing really bad, but nothing really great either. The room was clean and large. The fixtures were a bit old. You have to go to the desk to obtain ice and are only given a small amount due to past guests filling their coolers with it and costing the motel money. Although understandable, that was a bit of an inconvenience. There was a dark washcloth to be used for removing makeup which was a good idea. Also on the back of the bathroom door was a rag with a cute poem saying it was there to be used to clean things with instead of using the motel towels. We used it the first day to soak up some water we had spilled on the bathroom floor and then the cleaning person took it and we never saw it again. As a welcome gift on the desk were 2 small nutrition bars and a mini deodorant. An extra bag is provided for recycling – points for trying to be green! Breakfast is not included in the price but there are some bagels and small muffins at the desk. We tried the muffins and they were ok. There is a nice pool that we did not have a chance to use as it was just too cool in the evenings and the gate was locked anyway. The motel is within driving distance to restaurants. Ask the desk person for 10% coupons. There is a grocery store in town for any supplies. Nothing though within walking distance so at night the only thing to do is watch TV. The front desk person does it all here so maybe spread too thin – answers questions, cleans rooms, reservations. He was fine – not overly friendly or overly helpful. We stayed here due to checking the tripadvisor reviews prior to our trip. We would not stay here again not due to anything bad but would just want to try a different place on our next trip. We actually felt the price was a bit high for the value. TIP: Drive to Polly’s Pancakes for breakfast at least one day as it is a fun experience and the pancakes are the best in NH. Safe travels!

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank joyceTL4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucks County, Penna.
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here one night, based on good reviews from tripadvisor. We were not disappointed. Rooms were clean, not large, but roomy enough. Beds were comfortable, flat screen tv provided. Breakfast provided at reasonable price. Kevin was very accommodating. Many interesting places to go and see in the area. Beautiful views and wonderful area to stay. Easy access from major roads.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KarenY_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012 via mobile

Virtually everything has been thought of at the Gale River Motel. Menus, maps, and some discounts to local establishments are available. The staff is very helpful in providing recommendations and directions. Pop is already stocked in the in room fridge and its purchase is cheap and on the honor system. The on site pool and hot tub are very nice and shuffle board and horse shoes are are right next to the pool for guests to play. A small complimentary gift basket is provided in the room and valet laundry is available at a very reasonable price.

The motel is nicely located just north of Franconia Notch State Park and just south of Littleton (a quaint town with some nice churches, restaurants, and shops). You can see the beautiful white mountains clearly from the door to each motel room.

We stayed at multiple very nice locales during our trip in New England but none had quite the same sweet personal friendly touch that the Gale River Motel had. Kudos to Kevin and the staff!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank GrowinGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GaleRiverMotel, Owner at Gale River Motel and Cottages, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
Thank you for taking the time and effort to write a review about your recent stay at the Gale River Motel...I am especially appreciative of the recognition that you paid to my staff who have worked diligently throughout the summer to provide our guests with clean, comfortable and worry-free lodging. From Katy at the front desk who greeted everyone with a smile and a friendly greeting, to the housekeepers who cared for the rooms and responded to guests requests without fail. I have been fortunate to hire, train, and recognize the efforts of wonderful young people who "make it happen" at the Gale River Motel each and every summer. Similiar accolades from the guests are even more cherished and appreciated.
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Nestleton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Last year we stayed at Best Western. This year we stayed at the Gale. From now on when visiting the White Mountains we will always stay at the Gale. It was very well maintained. Pool was beautiful and clean. Has a fabulous view of Cannon Mountain. Also learned how to conserve water when having a shower. There is a switch to turn the water off when lathering up and then switch back when ready to rinse. We will be adding one to our own shower at home. Thanks for a great stay Kevin. Will see you again soon.
Deb and Steve

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GaleRiverMotel, Owner at Gale River Motel and Cottages, responded to this review, August 16, 2012
Thank you for the very kind words...especially pleased that the eco-friendly practices at the Gale River will have a positive impact on your water conservation practices at home....that was one of my goals in offering guests all the in-room information on our efforts at the Gale River to be "green" in the hopes that some of what we do here will be taken home by guests and used to help them save resources and money. Will be looking forward to welcoming you folks back again, hopefully I'll have discovered additional tips for you to try....
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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 Gale River Motel and Cottages

Property: Gale River Motel and Cottages
Address: 1 Main St, Exit 38 of I-93 to Rte 18 North 1/2 mile, Franconia, NH 03580-4801
Location: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Franconia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Franconia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Breathtaking mountain views from every room. #1 Eco-Friendly Motel in New Hampshire. Recognized as an Environmental Champion by NH Sustainable Lodging Program. Spacious rooms with two full-sized beds, refrigerator, coffee-maker, A/C, and Complimentary Wi-Fi access in all rooms. Heated outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, playground, picnic area with grill. Cottages sleep up to six guests with full kitchen facilities. Pet-Friendly. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gale River Motel And Cottages Hotel Franconia
Gale River Hotel
Gale River Motel And Cottages Franconia, NH - White Mountains

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