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“Not your everyday hotel”

Gelston House 1853 Inn
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Gelston House 1853 Inn
Ranked #3 of 3 East Haddam B&B and Inns
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We came here for a few nights and we came to learn that it is definitely not what we expected. It was more like a B&B then anything. The suite was huge with high ceilings and a fantastic view of the river. It was very much cozy and relaxing. We had problems opening the door because it was a key with a sensor, but no matter what time it was the staff came and helped us out. They do not serve breakfast but it's ok because we stayed for lunch on the patio. The tv was a bit small and the bathroom had weird lighting but overall it didn't necessarily matter because we were looking for a mini vacation and we got one. I will for sure be returning. Apparently they are going to start renovating the rooms.

Room Tip: The 2nd floor suites have water views
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Eric R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 18 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 15 October 2013

Much like "citiperson" said, the room we had (same one from the description) left a lot to be desired: the room number falling off the front of the door; the security bar catch being busted off and the bar itself with the screws falling out; terrible lighting in the bathroom (the over sink fluorescents did not work at all, and if you jiggled the switch the surge protector in the outlet popped); no caulk around the fiberglass tub insert where it met the wall; no strainer/plug in the tub; the pull-up thingy on the tub spigot did not work right so when you took a shower, you got half power from the shower head and half from the tub spigot. The bed, though it had a trough in the center was relatively comfortable and the water in the shower was hot. The view from this room (suite) was good...looked across to the Goodspeed Opera House and the grand bridge, as long as the flat roof of the dining room immediately below didn't distract you. The room has a thermostat that is useless...it was showing 70, which in a motel or B&B low ceilinged room would be okay, but in a 10 to 12 foot ceilinged cavern of a room with 3 floor to ceiling windows, on a 40 degree evening, it stayed chilly, and when we raised the thermostat, nothing happened. There was open, used soap in the soap dish and a wet wipe on the floor of the bathroom when we arrived...felt that though the towels were fresh and the bed was freshly made, somebody forgot to finish cleaning. The food is great, but we will never stay overnight here again...it is one of the worst overnights we ever spent!! Oh, and there was no breakfast either!!!

Room Tip: find someplace else
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank hahnundhuhn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013

Overall, our experience was positive. The structure is magnificent and the outside patio and deck overlooking the Connecticut River are great. The restaurant is very beautiful with window seating overlooking the Connecticut River. The menu was extensive and the food very good in both presentation and taste.

The guest room was huge, probably the equivalent of three Holiday Inn rooms. It was very clean. However, the room fell extremely short on the amenities. The room lighting was bad and the bathroom lighting especially above the mirror was very inadequate. There was no hair dryer. An iron was provided, but there was no ironing board. The two closets were a nice size but devoid of hangers. The water pressure in the shower was poor and when someone in another room flushed the toilet or used the shower, the pressure was almost non-existent. The bathtub lacked a stopper so as to be able to take a bath. Given the enormous size of the room, there was no desk to be able to write or use a laptop. The entry door had one of the room numbers hanging and the night latch on the inside was busted as if someone had broken into the room. This was a little disconcerting and certainly should be repaired for guest comfort level. And on Friday and Saturday nights, there was a band playing on the patio. This made sleeping almost remove almost impossible until the band ceased at about 11:30 PM. In this type of establishment, you cannot have a band where the music reverberates throughout the rooms. There should be a notice in the website regarding the band for anyone booking a room. In addition, the website should be more informative about the hotel/rooms.

The hotel parking is taken by the patrons of the Goodspeed Opera House in the evening. We had to park a very large distance from the hotel since all hotel parking places were taken by the opera house patrons. Inn guest parking should be marked and available closer to Inn main lobby entrance.

The manager was very sweet and charming but lacked a knowledge of the local area.

Overall, our experience was more positive than negative. However, if we go to the opera house in the future, we will probably stay only one night as opposed to a two-night stay.... and we will be sure to bring our hair dryer, hangers, ironing board and ear plugs.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Citiperson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2013

June and her staff made our wedding the stuff of which life-long fond memories are made. Nature provided an amazing Autumn day and magnificent views; the Gelston House did the rest. Great food, impeccable service, a welcoming environment and a surprisingly affordable cost combine to make the Gelston House the perfect wedding venue.

Room Tip: Unfortunately there were no rooms at the inn for the weekend of our wedding. If the rooms are equal...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wesley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2013

After a day of motorcycle touring, my husband and I spent the night at the Gelston House. We arrived too early for check-in but were allowed to leave our packs in the room and did a bit more riding before checking in at 3PM. The main restaurant is closed on Mondays, but there is a large patio restaurant that overlooks the river and has a terrific view of the Goodspeed Opera House lawn where they have live music every Monday night all summer. (I wish we had heard about the "Music on the River" shows earlier, as it turned out we caught the last show of the season, the Cuban group Quimbombó.) The service on the patio is very good; there is also a full sized bar and big screen TV. We ordered several items from the appetizer menu over the course of 3 or so hours which were very good and nicely presented. After the Music on the River show ended,the Gelston House offered it's own entertainment on the patio itself. As for the accommodations, this is obviously primarily a restaurant, so the few rooms available are pretty basic. The furnishings are a cool mix of antiques and the bathroom is adequate, but the bed itself was a bit too firm and the walls are paper thin. We would definitely stay there again in conjunction with the Music on the River show.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank ladynomadRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2012

If you come for just the food this place is fine, but don't even think about spending the night. The rooms are just thrown together, the beds are terrable, the pillows are heavy enough for anchors and the price is the biggest insult. They do not serve breakfast, you just leave your key sitting on the front desk. Also, parking is your problem.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rolf168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2011

Our daughter and new son-in-law decided to have their wedding reception at the Gelston House. Part of the package included several of the hotel rooms.
The Cocktail 2 hours and Hors d’ oeuvres was on the patio and was a pleasant experience. Unfortunately the dinner was served about 45 minutes late. Not a problem for the over 21 crowd but the children were not too happy.
Most guests were disappointed with the beef and chicken but those who had the pasta were happy. I personally thought the beef was disgusting.
As I said earlier, the wedding package included several rooms. My wife, son and I had one of those rooms. Because of our flight arrangements our alarm was set for 3 am. After the alarm went off my wife turned the light on and screamed. Both pillows were covered with bed bugs! Apparently they ate well because both pillows were covered with blood spots. We spent the next 15 minutes capturing the bugs with toilet paper and flushing them in the not too efficient toilet. We could not catch all of them. I wish I had taken pictures of them. Needless to say we showered and got out of there at 3:45 am.
We sent a text message to our daughter and told her of the bugs. When she saw someone from the hotel that morning and spoke to them about the bugs they replied they would check into it. She has called several times and left messages for the manager to contact her. Of course no one has contacted her.
My daughter did say her maid of honor also shared her bed with bugs and had numerous bites.
I would not recommend the Gelston House for a wedding reception due to the poor food or as a place to sleep unless you enjoy sharing your bed with bugs.

Room Tip: avoid sleeping here!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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13  Thank billbeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Gelston House 1853 Inn

Address: 8 Main St, East Haddam, CT 06423-1302
Region: United States > Connecticut > East Haddam
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in East Haddam
Number of rooms: 9

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