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Griswold Inn
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Reviews (355)
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181 - 186 of 355 reviews
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I agree with the last reviewer that although the "Gris" has its faults, it offers so much by way of character and authenticity that all imperfections are forgotten. My husband and I have returned again and again for over thirty years and love that almost everything has remained the same: a few updates, yes, but definitely not drastic modernizations. Staying in Essex and at the hotel is relaxing and great fun - from wandering about the town or the waterfront, visiting the Conn River Museum (top-notch!), sitting around the pub, stale popcorn in hand, listening to live music to enjoying the extensive collection of maritime pictures which crowd the walls. The staff has always been accomodating (although the reviewer who found the upstairs rooms next to the action noisy has a point). In short, there are few places left which still offer an old time, simple Yankee hospitality with a touch of old Connecticut River valley life. Plus the fact (not unimportant) in the late spring, shad and shad roe are often on the menu - if not, they can be ordered in advance. I'll take a star away for the "nuts and bolts" problems, but the Griswold Inn gets full points for making "the world go away".

Room Tip: If you have special concerns, be sure to make arrangements in advance. There are nice rooms across the street from the main building. We were there during a quiet time, and were upgraded to a small suite with a tub and a walk- in shower at no extra cost..
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank cap25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

It's interesting reading the other reviews of The Griswold Inn as I find myself agreeing with both the negative and positive comments expressed. And it is this very dichotomy of expectation that is both the charm and the problem with the Inn.

On the one hand, its rusticity is what makes it unique and appealing. Viewed from a different perspective, you would be justified in criticising this as a shortfall - which is why it is so important to 'get' what the Gris is all about before you book a room.

Being from the UK, we're surrounded by history and my home town of York is perhaps one of the country's most historic cities so we're well used to staying places with 'historic' charm. If your idea of the perfect stay is bland efficiency of a Hilton or a Holiday Inn, then The Griswold is definitely not for you.

The reason I like the Gris is for exactly the reasons a lot of reviewers dislike it. The quirky plumbing, creaking floorboards, noisy bar, simple food...and its (and the surrounding area's) history which, by American standards is positively ancient.

The town of Essex does not have a lot for the tourist so don't expect theme parks or tacky tour buses. Instead, take a leisurely stroll down to the jetty and sit by the Connecticut river. Watch the locals fishing for crab and take in the quiet peace of the place. Take walk around the marina area and admire the boats. These are simple pleasures and are a million miles from the daily grind you've left behind.

The Griswold is not without its faults. For example, the breakfast is very disappointing and there have been times when I have had to ask the staff to come and remove the spider webs (and on occasions, spiders) from the room. But this is an Inn with masses of character and originality and the experience is well worth the trip.

On balance, providing you know what to expect in advance, you will not be disappointed with The Griswold Inn.

Room Tip: The annex rooms across the street are quieter.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

After having difficulties with the manager, I feel we were put in the worst room at the inn. Never accept Room number two especially on a Saturday night when they have the sing along in the bar,unless you don't want to get to sleep until after 1 a.m. Extremely loud rude people with no respect for the paying over night guests. Between the two couples that stayed at the inn over night and the two meals at the inn approximately $800.00 was spent on a sleepless night.

Room Tip: Do not stay in the main inn!
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Carol D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

The Gris is a well known historical inn in a great location in beautiful Essex and is in serious need of some updated facilities and maintenance. Mattresses are old and uncomfortable, shower (tub) doors falling apart, furniture in dining room in need of replacement before it collapses. It appears owners are living off their reputation and location and not investing in the property and it is sad to see the decline from our previous stay a few years ago.
On the positive side the staff is friendly and helpful and the weather was beautiful.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank caribbtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

I used to live in Essex. Returning for two nights at The Gris was like old home week in many ways....and more. We took a lovely room on the third floor of the main building; quiet, comfortable, and very nicely appointed. We took almost all of our meals in the Dining Room. The staff were warm and friendly, really making us feel like we were part of the family. There is lively music every night if that is your scene. It's not ours, but we were always able to find a quiet table where we enjoyed a quiet meal of excellent food.
I could go on. The location was perfect for us. We love village walks, and strolling around the boats and docks. The main street of Essex is short, and quaint. I know it can get crowded there in the summer. With quick and easy access to the water, and beautiful residential streets right there, the crowds really don't matter.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Baysidetrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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