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“Lovely welcoming staff, quiet location, pet friendly.”

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Black Bear Inn and Conference Center
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Orono
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 5 July 2014

We spent three days here during the Canada Day (July 1) weekend: two adults, two kids and a dog. The staff was lovely in every case. I was very impressed with the welcome our pup got, and the nicest set of pet-owner rules I've seen--standard rules for her but phrased in a friendly, fun way. Also the pet-friendly room was fresh and clean, not the smelly, worn sort that's often relegated to pet owners.

The room was quiet serviceable, though I've had better mattresses and more luxurious linens. The staff made an effort to be hospitable, with warm cookies for the kids and a glass of wine for the grown ups in the evening. I loved that there was plenty of greenspace around the hotel; it all felt clean and safe.

The breakfast room was a bottle-neck as the area where the food was, was cramped; for instance, if someone was waiting for their toast to pop, other guests couldn't get at the bread or cereal. Simple choices, things to toast, a waffle station, a little fruit, but enough to get us out for the day. We had a great full breakfast down the road at Governor's.

It's very handy the I-95 exit and easy to find.

Room Tip: We asked to be away from the back side and highway noise. Pet friendly rooms are only on 2nd floor...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank noelx4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thpalmer3, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Thank you for your great review. We enjoy having pets stay here with us. Glad you enjoyed your stay here with us. Hope to see you again in the future.

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149 - 155 of 314 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2014

This is such a sweet place. For the same price as a cookie-cutter chain hotel, you get a homey inn, with a relaxing, Maine/NE motif. The front desk staff were helpful, polite & courteous. We did not eat in the Black Bear Cafe, as we ate out for dinner (great restaurants so close!) We stayed here while visiting UMaine, and it is so close. Very clean. We were not here when busy, so I cannot comment on busy season/noises neighbors. Very well done! Thank you! Love the black bears.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
Thank Laili M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for the great review. We appreciate your kind words. We pride our selves in our customer service and standing out for the chain hotels. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Hope you can stay with again soon.

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Reviewed 28 June 2014

We travel from Iowa to Prince Edward Island every June to reach our cottage by the sea. Once you leave Bangor, Maine, it's a long way to a good place to stay and since it's usually late in the day, we're always ready to stop. Imagine our surprise one year when we found the Black Bear Inn and Conference Center just off I-95 not far from the Canadian border. Conference center in the name made us think, "might not be what we want, i.e. quiet." But, the inn was and remains virtually empty during the early summer months: no big conferences, a welcoming staff, a teddy bear left on the bed for you to hug (when a synthetic hug is better than no hug), a safe, nice parking lot with plenty of spots near the front door and a tiny restaurant with amazingly good food designed by one of Maine's gourmet cooks, prepared by an up and coming chef and presented by a lovely local miss with travel dreams of her own.

Now, Maine has become a serious destination for us. We usually stop at L.L. Bean in Freeport and refresh our summer wardrobes a little. For the last couple years, we've bought some treats at L.L. Bean, and, then, headed for the Black Bear Inn,. We can get there for a pleasant walk about along the banks of Orono's lazy, woodsy river, return for a late and delicious dinner, chat for a while with our hostesses and wander past a replica of moose and pictures of bears to our cabin-like, casually elegant room for a grand night's sleep. Breakfast is a little skimpy and nothing was there for the gluten/lactose free crowd except hard boiled eggs (yuck). Coffee was good, though. And it was good to stop a couple hours later for brunch. We view the Black Bear Inn as a gift from the God of Travel whoever that might be.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the inner side away from I-95. If you get on the highway side be sure and pull th...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank betsymayfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for the amazing review. We really appreciate your kind words. So glad to hear you look forward to staying with us. We love our repeat guests, we enjoy seeing familiar faces. Thank you for bringing the gluten/lactose free breakfast issues to my attention. We will work on this. We look forward to your next visit. See you soon.

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

Very accommodating. Facilities were clean and well organized. Enjoyed our visit. Staff was pleasant and most helpful. Ate dinner for the first time of all our stays and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the meal and its presentation.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Ray S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for the great review. We really appreciate all your kind words. We take pride in our great staff. Our café has been very popular, glad to hear your meal was delicious. We hope you can return soon.

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Reviewed 24 June 2014

Stayed 2 nights for June 2014 orientation at U Maine. On the first night we were later than expected and when we called ahead to let them know and asked about kitchen hours, they offered to take our order and had dinner waiting when we arrived. After driving 10 hrs from upstate NY this was so welcoming. The food was wonderful, and I was able to take my half full glass of wine to my room. We did not have breakfast at the hotel but found the front desk staff to be very friendly and never failed to greet us as we came and went. Also an added bonus is the proximity to some wonderful running trails. I will definately stay again when visiting my son at college.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank Algreb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for your great review. So glad to hear our staff was so helpful with getting your dinner for you. We pride ourselves in our customer service. We look forward to having you stay with us over your son's college years. See you soon.

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Stayed here one night while attending U Maine Orientation. Good prices, clean, comfortable place to stay, and very convenient to the university. Unfortunately, the little customer service failures add up and "average" is the best I can rate it.

Failure 1: I arrived in town very early (11:00) and decided to check on the off chance a room was available. It wasn't, but I didn't appreciate being treated as if I was putting them out. Two people behind the front desk looked at me and didn't even acknowledge that I was standing there. Finally someone from housekeeping came by and said she had never checked anyone in before. I left - figured I would be better off later. Some advice: speak to your guests, even if you are only saying "I'll be with you in just a minute" or "Let me find someone who can help".

Failure 2: I wanted to know more about the sauna on the property, but the evening check-in clerk didn't know anything about it. Instead of "Let me find out and I'll let you know", she said "Sorry, I'm new". I found out more from a fellow guest than from the staff.

Failure 3: The only way I found out about breakfast, cookies, and all other amenities was by reading signs. That's also the way I found my room. Same advice: speak to your guests. "Rooms are around the corner", "Breakfast starts at 6am", "Is there anything you need?" are all simple ways for staff to engage and inform guests.

Failure 4: Dogs. It's great when a hotel welcomes furry guests, but not when they yap all night long. How about a separate section for pets? How about when I check out and tell you it was loud you don't just tell me to "tell the owners." A comment card that would have let me do that would have been appreciated.

Overall, this was a little bit of a disappointing stay. With the convenience to the University of Maine we'll likely stay there again and hope for much improved friendliness and service.

Room Tip: Higher floors are much quieter. Ask if there are dogs near your room.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for your response. Sorry our customer service was not up to the standards that we pride our selves for. I hope you will stay with us again and we can put our best foot forward and make you feel right at home.

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Reviewed 20 June 2014

My friend and I stayed here when we visited the University of Maine in mid-June 2014. We are both alumni and wanted to go back to see how the campus had changed or stayed the same. The Black Bear Inn was conveniently located for our purposes. The room was a delightful surprise, with cover quilts that were anything but the usual (what I affectionately call) "cootie blankets." They were beautiful quilts with black bears and forest scenes. The tv was updated and there was also a microwave and refrigerator in the room. The bathroom was nice and the shower head was very clean with excellent water pressure. The Wi-Fi was excellent and easily accessible.. The Inn as a whole was a very quaint, Central-Northern Maine Inn that is what you should expect when heading to Bangor or Orono.

However, please note that the "wine and cheese reception" that runs from 5-6pm and is free for guests is basically a bunch of cheese on one normal sized dinner plate that all guests must share from. This is not a small buffet or more professional setup that you might expect at other hotels. The wine was delicious though. On the same thread, the continental breakfast was not very impressive. You would be better off taking the short drive to Governor's Restaurant up the road to get a wholesome breakfast for a reasonable price rather than trying to make a breakfast out of the free offerings at the Inn.

Despite the culinary offerings, I would highly recommend this Inn to anyone staying in the University of Maine area. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, the rooms cozy and comfortable, and you should be out eating at the local restaurants like Pat's Pizza and Governor's anyway, so don't worry about the food. :-)

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank mrsnissen2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tom P, Front Office Manager at Black Bear Inn and Conference Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Thank you for your review. So glad to have alumni return for a visit. We are glad you found our recent room upgrades to your liking, Our bear quilts have been very popular. We hope to see you again in the future.

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Additional Information about Black Bear Inn and Conference Center

Address: 4 Godfrey Dr, Orono, ME 04473-3610
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Maine > Orono
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Orono
Price Range: £74 - £108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Black Bear Inn and Conference Center 2.5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Black Bear Inn Conference Center & Suites is an award-winning hotel conveniently located at exit 193 of I-95 and minutes from UMaine campus. The hotel is 100% non-smoking and the popular choice for UMaine visitors, conference attendees and tourists from all over the world. Each room offers a refrigerator, microwave, and Keurig coffee maker. Guests can access our free high speed-Wi-Fi. While you're here, enjoy a delicious meal from our on-site cafe, open for dinner from 5-8pm, Monday-Saturday. With 7,560 square feet of conference space, we are the area's premiere destination for weddings, banquets, and corporate events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Black Bear Hotel Orono
Best Western Orono
Orono Best Western

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