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“Very Nice”
Review of Alden House Inn

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Alden House Inn
Ranked #3 of 7 Belfast B&B and Inns
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We stayed at the Alden House for one night during our Maine trip last week, had a wonderful stay there. The house is beautiful and the first thing Rose did was give us a nice tour of the place, made us feel at home. They upgraded us to an air conditioned room due to the temps being in the mid to upper 80s (thank you Rose) and treated us with a delicious breakfast. The herbed watermelon and cantaloupe to start out with was wonderful! They also recommended a great restaurant for us the evening of our arrival. Highly recommend staying at the Alden House.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank saylke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 27 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2013

Alden House is located on a pleasant street, a short walk from the center of the cute little waterfront town of Belfast. The hosts are a lovely, soft-spoken couple who are very focused on meeting the guest's needs. Every interaction we had with them –– and we stayed for three nights –– was low-key and pleasant; they were responsive to our needs in every way.

The hosts prepare scrumptious breakfasts based on locally sourced foods. We weren't around for afternoon snacks, but one day we had a quick taste of some excellent cheese that was laid-out; on another (excruciatingly hot) day, there was watermelon. A pitcher of ice water is left in your room for you every afternoon.

Having misunderstood the room description on the website, I had booked the Penobscot Room. (I thought the hall to the shower was private.). Luckily, the Hiram Alden room, with completely private bathroom and shower, was available; the host was gracious about making the change. The spacious H.A. room has two large, comfortable chairs. There was plenty of space in the room for my gigantic suitcase (and my husband's small one). We stayed in the H.A. for two nights; it was great to be able to hang out and relax with a lot of stretching room in between our sojourns into town and out to other places. The furnishings are not in the style of the house. Rather they are an eclectic, funky mix. The bed is very comfortable; the bathroom is well lighted.

A few drawbacks to the room: There is no closet; however, there is an arm hanger valet on the door and there are several large hooks around the room. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are in a dispenser in the shower and two bars of soap at the sinks are the only amenities. There is barely space in the shower to put the little things you might need in there, such as your own shampoo, comb, etc.

We decided to stay a third night; the only room still available was the Centennial, which has twin beds. This room has its own significant limitations.

We accepted that we'd have to share a bathroom for one night. It would have been so much easier if we'd had a mirror in our own room. It’s a crapshoot whether you can get in to a shared bathroom and it’s not fair to take up too much time in there yourself. With a mirror in our own room, I wouldn't have had to take as much time in the shared bathroom fixing myself up (as I am wont to do every morning). There is no waste basket. I had to keep going to the bathroom and filling up that one with my personal stuff.

The Centennial room is too small for its set-up. I ran into the rocker of the rocking chair several times and got scraped. Space is so tight that when the door opens, it actually goes to the edge of the bed. We had several close calls getting bashed when one of us walked in. There is only one tiny shelf. Perhaps this room is a work in progress; there needs to be surface space put things on. And one fewer bed.

There was not supposed to be A.C. in the room, but the host took pity on us in the midst of an uncharacteristic Maine heat wave and installed one.

The wifi was weak in both of our rooms; they need extenders.

These hosts seem to be clear about what's important to them in the space they're sharing with their guests, and it's not a lot of froufrou amenities. Still, it needs a few touches here and there to make it really comfortable.

[In Belfast, eat at Darby's (lobster roll); Chase's (if it's too health-foody for you, just get the pizza or, at the very least, sit at the counter and have a cherry chocolate cookie and coffee). The Belfast public laundromat is dazzlingly clean; go next door to the Coop and take a gander while you are waiting for your wash. Do you like good food? Take a 45-minute drive to Rockland and eat at Primo. How fresh is this: If you get there early, you can walk out back and see clucking around the yard the actual free range chicken that you might be eating later. You can also look over their herb and vegetable garden. If you don't want to spend more time on the road than you do in the restaurant, go in to Rockland an hour early and walk the (one mile) pathway to the Breakwater Lighthouse.]

Room Tip: Be aware of shared bathrooms and the amount of space you need when selecting a room.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Travel_LadyNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

I know I’m a bit late posting this but here is our experience.

The Alden House is a very imposing small mansion-type house, slightly set back from the road and no more than a 10 min. walk into Belfast itself. The house is expensively furnished and immaculate. The proprietors, Rose and Lawrence, welcomed us and gave us a short tour before showing us to our room. They have an extensive library for residents use.

We stayed in the Emily Alden room which was tiny by anyone’s standards. No wardrobe but there was a cupboard which ran the width of the room, behind the bed, with a couple of hangers in it. The bathroom is also small with a shower. I honestly thought we were getting a bath (tub) but Rose informed us none of the rooms had baths; this really should be stated on the web-site.

I wholeheartedly agree with some of the points stated by the latest “reviewer”. There is no TV here at all and no telephone in the room. OK one can live without TV but this should be made clear on the establishment’s web-site which at least gives one a choice. However no telephone, in this day and age, is really not acceptable. Unfortunately we needed to use a phone and, like the previous reviewer, the signal on our mobile was awful so we had to ask to use a telephone and the proprietors let us use theirs. Again, like the previous reviewer, when we put our little netbook on we kept losing the signal. There is no door marked “Office” or “Reception” but some of the doors had “Private” on them, which is perfectly understandable when the owners live there. But somehow it goes against the grain to have to knock on a door marked “Private”!

Breakfast was provided, beautifully laid out in the small kitchen where the proprietors did the cooking. However, as good as it was, what surprised us was that there was no choice at all and you were told what you were going to get which, frankly, we didn’t like. I did pluck up the courage one morning to ask for something different and that was provided but I got the feeling they were a bit taken aback - I could be wrong! The second morning we had grilled grapefruit followed by waffles laden with blueberries and syrup. Just too much for our European stomachs – sometimes all you want is just some cereal and yogurt!

It is all about choices and making the right one but one can only do that if correct information is given in the first place.

Room Tip: Unfortunately we don't have any worthwhile tips - except that the Emily Alden room is very small...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Patch007London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 1 night in July in the Hiram Alden room while we were in Belfast. Wish it could have been longer.

We arrived a bit after 4pm. They have parking along the side of the house. Just as we got to the door the host, Larry, opened the door. The B&B has been beautifully maintained with gorgeous furniture and many original details. Gorgeous circular staircase, nice porch with rockers. Pictures on their website are accurate.

The Hiram Alden room is the largest in the house. The fireplace mantle and tiles are original dating back to the early 1800s (forgot the year). The room was spacious and beautifully appointed.

Large bed, nightstands with lamps, writing desk, two comfy chairs, luggage rack. See pics.

Bathroom: decent size - to the left of the fireplace. shower only, pedstal sink. They also had 2 robes - they looked quite plush and if we were staying longer than 1 night I would have made use of them. They have a shampoo / conditioner dispenser in the shower which pleases the inner environmentalist in me.

There is also a separate sink area to the right of the fireplace which is handy when two people are trying to get ready.

Internet - they provide a password and I had no problems with it.

TV - none. Phone - none. It is nice to get a break from tv and the news etc while on vacation. We enjoyed using the chairs to do a bit of reading at night. One really does not need a room phone anymore as everyone has cell phones.

Air Conditioning - none but Maine does not really get hot enough to need one. The average summer temperature ranges from 55F / 13C (low) to 76F / 24C (high). We opened the windows a bit at night and had a nice breeze.

Noise: none - quiet at night.

Dinner - Larry recommended a couple of places and then we took a walk downtown (only a few blocks away) and chose Delvino's (separate review) which was good.

Breakfast - Egg Frittata, toast, fruit, juice and tea for hubby. I am a vegan and when I booked the room I only asked for toast and tea. The bread was homemade and delicious. They use a lot of local / organic foods for their breakfast.

Gardens - they also have lovely gardens around the house.

We would be very happy to come back and stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank NYC-Canuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2013

Stayed at the Alden House a couple of days while traveling in Maine. While the room was decorated fine, the Alden House lacked the "comfort" and "modern-day" features travelers expect in the year 2013. There was no radio, no television, and no air conditioning in the B&B and the Internet connection was poor. At the time of our stay, temperatures reached above 80 degrees during the day and the evenings were humid. How a 2013 lodging facility could not have a fan nor an air conditioner in a room is beyond my comprehension. After checking in, we acutally were contemplating staying at a Comfort Inn which was about 5 minutes away.

While we were greeted with iced tea and some cookies upon arrival, that was the extent of the "extras" provided outside of your typical breakfast. I have stayed at so many B&B's where snacks and beverages (water, soda, etc.,) are provided around-the-clock for their patrons, but the Alden House provided nothing of the sort.

I am sorry that I have to rate the stay as poor, but what makes B&B's and Inns special are the hospitality and comfort features. The Alden House fell way short of our expectations, especially with so many other B&B options that are available.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank coach3415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
aldenhouse, Owner at Alden House Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2013

We are disappointed to hear this guest had an unsatisfactory experience at our inn. It appears that this is a classic case of a guest having expectations that vary from the experience an inn is attempting to provide. To that end, we would like to make a couple of points about our inn to help potential future guests have a clearer idea of what we offer.

We do not have televisions. This is a conscious decision on our part. By far, this is what our guests prefer. We’ve found that our guests are coming to Maine - and the Alden House in particular - to enjoy a respite from their day to day lives and a break from television is a welcome respite. That said, if you travel with one of those handy 21st Century laptops or tablets you only need to connect to the Internet to gain access to the majority of news and entertainment available today. (We test our Internet connection frequently and it works fine.) The distinction, as we see it, is that no one who stays with us is likely to hear the sound of simulated gunfire when they’re walking down the halls. On rare occasions, we have also made a television available in one of our parlors for our guests when there is an event taking place that is of common interest: the Olympics and the recent presidential election debates would be good examples. If you require a television in your room, the Alden House might not be the right inn for you.

Not all our rooms have air conditioners. Three of them have window units that are in place from July through mid-September. Our Web site makes it clear which rooms have a/c units available. We have fans available for all our rooms at all times. During the time of this guest’s stay every room had a fan. (First time travelers to Midcoast Maine should be aware that air conditioning is not necessarily the norm at B&Bs in the area.) We also do have water available, including an ample supply of filtered water in each room. We don’t have soda available, but we are always happy to store guests’ beverages and snacks in our refrigerator.

There is one area where we strongly disagree with this reviewer. We run a very clean establishment: from the guest rooms to the common rooms to the kitchen. We invite readers to look at reviews published below to see if any of them disagree with this assertion.

Two final points:
First, if you are not having an experience that meets your expectations, please come see us. We will absolutely do our best to rectify the problem. If we can’t we can at least point you in a direction where your needs will be met - even if that means helping you to book a room at the Comfort Inn. Second, we encourage travelers to research the options available in whichever area they’re planning to travel. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the Web, don’t hesitate to call the innkeeper directly. Every B&B has its quirks and none are the right fit for everyone. This reviewer is correct in stating that there are other B&B options available. Researching those options is the best way to ensure you get the experience you’re looking for. Again, we are very sorry this guest’s expectations were not met.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2013

We were only able to spend one night here, but we loved our stay! We were in the Emily Alden room, which was perfect for our needs - very quiet and peaceful. It was a little on the small side but more than enough space for us, and having the bathroom in our room was great. Larry and Rose were very gracious and prepared an amazing breakfast for us. We felt right at home, and the atmosphere of the house was lovely. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carol L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2013 via mobile

My wife and I were in the Belfast area for Memorial Day and decided to try Alden House. The location is in a quiet part of town within easy walking distance to the water and Main Street. The romms were very comfortable. The owners were so friendly and accommodating. We had an early departure on Monday and the offered to serve breakfast early for us. Speaking of breakfast, that was probably the best part. They take great pride in preparing a truly memorable start to the day. The only suggestion I could offer is to make coffee available in the evening and early morning for us very early risers. Overall though one of our best B&B experiences.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alden House Inn

Address: 63 Church St, Belfast, ME 04915-6208 (Formerly Alden House B&B)
Region: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Belfast
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Belfast
Price Range: £75 - £102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Modern comfort meets historic elegance at the Alden House. We feature attentive service, spacious grounds and delicious food with locally sourced ingredients. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Alden House Inn Belfast, Maine

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