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“Disappointment”
Review of The Birches Resort

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The Birches Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Rockwood
West Cumberland, Maine, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Disappointment”
Reviewed 26 January 2013

Wish I had read a serious review before I booked this weekend getaway. Moosehead views were amazing and that was about all that The Birches had going for them. I booked a 2 night stay in the lodge and got little to no sleep due to the fact that we were directly over the local bar where people we loud and obnoxious all night long, both nights. Second, in the lodge you have to share a bathroom with all other rooms in the lodge... it was very small and very unclean. Upon booking the rooms at $120+/- a night I had seen that there was a dining area right in the lodge, which I thought may include atleast breakfast, I was wrong. The meals were decent, but I would say above average in price. The staff was friendly, but did not make up for the uncomfortable atmosphere. I have to say I was very disappointed in our stay, especially since traveling is not something my fiance and I get to do very often.

Room Tip: I did not get to see the cabins but I would highly suggest not to stay in the lodge rooms, you will...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bri V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john w, Front Office Manager at The Birches Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2013
After reading the latest comment I felt I had to respond. I have been employed at the Birches Resort for 16 + years. I am the person who booked that guest. I always alert customers who rent lodge rooms that they do share a bathroom. I also tell them they are right above our lounge area and we do stay open late on busy nights. Had they addressed these issues with us at the time , we would have gone out of our way to make it more comfortable for them. I could have offered them a cabin or lodging in another location. Our main goal is to make sure all of our guest have the best quality visit, and an enjoyable time while here. I would very much like to hear back form this quest so we can book you a return visit and show we do care about all of our quests. Please feel free to call us anytime !
Marcia
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
1 review
Reviewed 3 January 2013

First & foremost my husband and I would like to thank everyone at The Birches for another GLORIOUS 2 weeks. Four years straight we have vacationed there. Our home away from home is always warm & clean, and our family away from family welcomes us with open arms. The cabins are rustic, however, that in part is why we love this place and the people so much. Once home all we think about is coming back. Over the years we have come to know the staff and owner by first names, As anyone knows building that relationship makes for a wonderous experience every visit. Each year we take advantage of the Expeditions that The Birches offer. The first year we took a flight with the owner John to view the incrediable landscape. John is an experienced pilot and put us at ease. Another year we took a Jeep tour early one morning in search of Moose. We were not disapointed. Driven to the lakes edge there stood a Cow and Calve up to their shins eating their breakfast. The Restaurant is beautiful and rustic. We have always enjoyed our meals. The ladies at the front desk are always great. Marcia in particular is our guardian angel, she always goes above and beyond to ensure our stay is nothing but the best.

Thank you all so very much ! We cannot wait to see you October 2013.

P.S. My husband and I read a few reviews before writing our own. We would like to make a few constructive observations of the review entitled "You want the good news first"

(1. The very fact that the owner took the time to read and respond to your review . . . SPEAKS
VOLUMES to his character as a person and a business owner.

(2. You should, if you do not, write. A fictional writer of course. My husband and I read your
review. We laughed until we cried at the description of your stay.

(3. Please for everyones sake, when traveling, only stay in the most luxurious of
accommodations. As clearly you are "The Princess & The Pea".

(4. Definition of Rustic: Charmingly Simple and Provincial,

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Doris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hancock, Maine
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2012

The good news. The view is amazing. Now for the rest. On an earlier trip to the area we discovered The Birches Resort and thought it would be a great place for our 20th anniversary -- so I reserved the Honeymoon Cottage. We knew it would be rustic, but this was far beyond rustic. I can only speak for this cottage but here rustic meant delayed maintenance. Worse, with my husband being a building and fire inspector, the premises are simply dangerous. Wiring, plumbing, design...nothing meets safety codes. Illogic prevailed. The woodstove was placed directly across from the refrigerator -- in protest the refrigerator rumbled like a constant fumerole and then issued periodic and long-lasting screams. No peace there....When we turned on the faucets in the kitchenette and bathroom... it ran dirt and rust. Turning to the bedroom -- a propane heating unit took the place of a nightstand. Ugly and when we finally got to sleep in the rock-hard, short-sheeted bed (the sheets were clean but rough and torn)...the heater turned on with an ear-splitting roar. When we turned it off...a warning light strobed all night long until I covered it up with my bathrobe. The bathroom had a sink for a very short person and an ancient mirror with a light that I had to hunch to use...but the irony was the switch was over the mirror so that a shorter person would never be able to reach the switch. Exposed wires and pipes were everywhere. The shower, the piece de resistance, was elevated and when I turned on the water I smelled a strong aroma of bleach which I thought came from the water but realized someone had dumped an enormous amount of bleach in the inside of this metal, sort of refugee camp style shower. Ironically the shower head was covered in red mold. The worst is yet to come. I gamely stepped up a foot into this thing and was immediately blasted with scalding water which would not adjust. I am glad I am limber because I was screaming for my husband to come and help me adjust the water and almost fell out of the shower (a foot or so above the sloping floor). He did come and I had about 30 seconds of tolerable temperature where I was lulled into shampooing my hair when the water went from warm to tepid to a temperature just above sleet. I knew I was sunk and gritted my teeth (actually I screamed at the torment) and finished rinsing in the ice-cold water after being partially par-boiled. My husband anticipated my misery and had made a fire for me to thaw by. The happy ending (so to speak) is that we were moved to a private home that obviously rented for more than our Honeymoon cottage from hell... and I was able to sleep in a quiet room on smooth sheets. Although the water was pure sulfur we had brought our own water to brew coffee so all was good -- even the stinky shower was at least not dangerous. We were told no one had ever complained about the Honeymoon cabin... well, buyer beware. Rustic does not mean conditions that are contemptuous of guests and that is what we experienced at the Birches Resort. By the way the food in the restaurant was mediocre at best.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Karruka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john w, Owner at The Birches Resort, responded to this review, 20 October 2012
This person is way off the mark with this negative review. I have 15 comment cards, which I read on a daily basis from our guests, about Cabin 20 (Honeymoon). They are all good to excellent and all had a great stay.

Our cabins were built in the 1930's and have been retrofitted with water and electricity. They are all up to date and relatively modern. They are rustic log and pine cabins directly on Moosehead Lake.

There are no code violations on our property.

I keep hard copies of all of our comment cards on file.

I think this person should have booked one the more expensive and modern lakeside homes that we manage, in the first place. Even after we let this person have a complimentary upgrade, they still tried to make The Birches look bad.


I have been running The Birches for 43 years and have never been exposed to these type of negative comments. I can't even count the numbers of very happy guests that we have had here at The Birches,

I live here and do enjoy the hundreds of happy guests that stay here.

This over dramatic and very exaggerated review is unfair to my business and to our employees.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackson, Mississippi
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 4 October 2012

If you're looking for a quaint cabin next to a lovely lodge with a roaring fire overlooking a beautiful lake in Maine, The Birches is the place to go. Folks are friendly and helpful pointing you in the direction of moose, fishing or lovely walks in the woods. By the time our group begrudgingly left at the end of the week, we felt like we had become part of the community. The whole place is just what we were looking for when we thought of Maine as a destination.

Room Tip: Cabin # 1 was convenient to the lake and lodge.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jxnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgewood, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed 27 September 2012

We stayed at Rockwood Cottages for a week. We were warned theat the food was not too good at the Birches but did not want to drive to Greenville again. We decided to chance it.Too bad the food in the retaraunt was not very good. Should have gotten pizza from the deli in Rockwood.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank therealThetentman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john w, Owner at The Birches Resort, responded to this review, 29 September 2012
The Birches food usually gets excellent reviews. I take each and every comment and try to find out what has happened.

Perhaps these people could contact me directly for another meal next time they are in the area.

John Willard
Birches.com
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Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2012 via mobile

Another fabulous weekend at the rustic ,friendly, beautiful, and good atmosphere of the Birches. We stayed in cabin 15 with two other couples with a hot tub on the front deck . Lake 15' from front deck
Awesome.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dianelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2012

The location of the birches resort is absolutely spectacular; however the physical plant is at least 20 years beyond its prime. At $225 a night the two bedroom rustic cabin was more than just rustic - the furniture was sparse, old, musty and totally uncomfortable, while the beds were so soft that you had to hold onto the edge to keep from rolling to the middle. The cabin (Indian summer) also had the occasional scent of sewage, which was less than pleasant. That said, waitstaff we're engaging and pleasant and the food was acceptable, though the ribeye steak was so tough that it was almost inedible. Finally, in the middle of our two day stay we were informed that the well had to be "shocked" so that we had to go to the lodge in order to obtain drinking water - this without any prior notice. Again, the location was spectacular, but the accommodations were absolutely outrageous for the price. My party would not go to the Birches again, nor would we recommend the Birches to anyone else, unless there was a major upgrade of the facilities.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank 82northridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
john w, Owner at The Birches Resort, responded to this review, 29 September 2012
I have owned and operated The Birches for over 40 years. We do updates on cabins on an ongoing basis. As we see from other excellent comments on our facility, most guests are happy with the rustic cabins. We do have more modern accommodations for guests that want more.

I will take these comments and try to make changes to this cabin 3 that are necessary to improve the experience in the future.
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Additional Information about The Birches Resort

Property: The Birches Resort
Address: Off Rte. 6/15, On Moosehead Lake, 281 Birches Rd., Rockwood, ME 04478
Region: United States > Maine > Rockwood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Rockwood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the northwestern shores of Moosehead Lake, The Birches Resort features the best in north-woods style accommodations, dining, and family fun. Our lodging options right on the lake and with a close up view of Mt. Kineo range from our famous Rustic Cabins, Kozy Cabins, Private Homes, Lodge Rooms, Camp/RV sites, Suites, and more. With so many summer and winter activities to offer you can see why our satisfied guests have come back year after year for generations! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Birches Hotel Rockwood
Birches Hotel Rockwood
The Birches Resort Maine/Rockwood

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