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“sadly disappointed”
Review of Squire Tarbox

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Squire Tarbox
Ranked #2 of 4 Wiscasset B&B and Inns
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
205 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“sadly disappointed”
Reviewed 3 May 2012

I would like to quickly point out the potential this Inn has to offer.... but my recent visit fell short based on the cost for one night stay including dinner and breakfast. We stayed in a bedroom with a private bath located in the former barn just off the main house. We had dinner reservation and each enjoyed a drink before hand from their nonor-system liquor cabinet. We also shared a bottle of champagne with a couple that joined us, plus a glass of wine. $320 for out total stay, double occupancy, one night. The room accomodations were adequate and quaint, but nothing truly special. Dinner was decent but not truly special either. We had the chef's special of seared scallops and I know suspect from the tasted, they were frozen-at-sea scallops versus fresh dry packed scallops off the coast of New England. Seeing we stayed on the coast of Maine I expected fresh catch seafood, also surprisingly no lobster offered on the menu... were we actually in Maine? A bit of a disconnect for me Reading that the chef is recognized for his worldly training and levele of succes in NYC- I didn't experience anything but the average for food preparation, presentation and flavor. Breakfast was included in the cost of the room and it was decent. They have organic free range hens but the scrambled eggs prepared fell completely flat on flavor. The pastries were somewhat homemade and somewhat baked from frozen doughs, or thawed from frozen pastries - I'm guessing since the quality was just that. Having traveled in Europe, I paid similar price range for overnight stays and received outstanding customer service and quallity food. The Inn charged $75 per person for dinner - which included a soup or salad, main entree and dessert, Originally I was excited to stay at an Inn with such an acclaimed chef/owner - sorry it didn't work for me. I feel over charged for the value we received. The owners looked very worn out and they had just reopened for the season just a week earlier than our stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bruce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SquireT, Owner at Squire Tarbox, responded to this review, 9 May 2012
So sorry to dissapoint, but a few clarifications....$320 was for everything....$152 for the room and a large breakfast for two, $75 for dinner FOR TWO, a half a bottle of nice champagne, and a few other drinks...Our dinners are an average of $40 per person, not $75. We do serve lobster upon request, but as EVERYONE ELSE serves it round here, we don't have it on the menu...Our scallops are NEVER frozen! My father IS a fabulous chef...this reviewer is a chef himself, and we know how critical they can get with each other ;)


And pastured eggs in spring do not taste like pastured eggs in summer....chickens eat bugs and greens to create these flavors, and in early spring, these are just starting to emerge, so not too much fabulous flavor yet...already in two weeks they are more yellow/orange than they were, and tasting richer!
Our rooms are anywhere from $85 a night to $199 for the largest rooms in peak season....this guest paid $152 for one of my favorite rooms, but taste is taste...we can't please all the people all the time, but we are clean, curtious and very hospitable....
Finally, I do have to defend my parents in the last comment the reviewer made....they look worn out??? Hovering between 60 and 70, I think they look fabulous, and REALLY don't feel this was a necessary critique of an inn.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 December 2011

My wife and I ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Inn last year. This year we wanted to stay at the Inn as well as have dinner there. We are glad that we did! The Inn is a quiet country retreat with all the charm of an old home. Our room was spacious and the electric heated mattress pad was a nice touch. Our hosts were friendly and accommodating. As a Culinary Institute Of America graduate, we were really delighted with our Thanksgiving meal. We would highly recommend the Squire Tarbox Inn!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank hunterstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Owls Head, Maine
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2011

Although this has the potential to be well above average, our experience was well short of that. First, the food was good, although by no means gourmet or excellent. Waitstaff were pleasant and competent. The ambiance, for want of a better term was, well, wanting. This was due to the poor table placement. Although I should have inquired about this when the reservation was made, equally responsibility should have been shouldered by the management to offer up such information at time of reservation. The table detracted substantially from our enjoyment of dining.

Interestingly, at different times, a couple appeared and asked how we were doing (one was the chef, the other, by assumption, his wife). When the chef arrived, the gentleman at the table next to us complained about another patron speaking loudly into his cell phone, and for a lengthy call. When the chef came by our table and inquired as to how we were doing, I mentioned that I agreed with the gentleman at the next table re patrons using cellphones during dinner. The chef's response was, and I quote, "Sometimes those things happen"--then he walked away.

I cannot recommend Squire Tarbox Inn. Not a failure compared to some places I have come across in our travels, but well short of the expectations they create.

We did not stay at the inn so I can speak only to our experience in the restaurant.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Retired0507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

Historic building is very interesting but would not recommend the inn. The website gives the impression that food is gourmet and locally grown/organic but we didn't think it was that good - it just seemed heavy with only a few items from their local farm.

There were large dogs in and out of the kitchen and dining room. We didn't realize that pets were encouraged - but they do state that on their website - we just missed that. We also missed the notice of a 13% gratutity on all food and lodging. And there was an additional charge for coffee and tea.

The genre of music was irritating rather than relaxing.

Although the location is remote (the road isn't the best), there were quite a few cars speeding past waking us during the night.

The honor bar was locked up in the evenings which we thought a little funny. There were notes in various places telling guests how to behave - so maybe they have a lot of people who are new to the B&B experience. The guests we saw were not very friendly, which is not our usual experience.

They have chickens and a few skittish goats but they are nothing like the herd of dairy goats and baby goats that were there with the previous owners over ten years ago whose pictures are featured on their materials. I

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank rhon s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SquireT, Owner at Squire Tarbox, responded to this review, 27 October 2011
Trip advisor is tough....any one with a computer can type a review even if they are next to impossible to please! In this case the reviewer wrote two other reviews about nearby places, and one review was titled Red's Eats: No one goes there anymore, its too crowded. Huh??? If no one goes there anymore, then how is it so crowded?? The other review was for an inn that had hundreds of excellent reviews, and many good, and only 7 total that were average or less??? Not sure what the reviewer expects from an inn experience. The reviewer complained about the other guests at our inn, how can we be expected to control this? The reviewer complained about the noise from traffic waking them, yet never asked to be moved to the backside of the inn, which we gladly would have done if we had known there was a problem. The reviewer also complained that we advertised our food as being organic and it wasn't enough...well on our website all it says is that we use organic vegetables whenever possible, and being the height of the season, almost all the vegetables were organic. The reviewer also felt that the chef's creations were not "gourmet" enough, but the Chef has worked at Tavern on the Green, Four Seasons, and Rockerfeller Center to name a few...do those qualify as gourmet??? The reviewer also complained about music selection, and we just can't please everyone...our music ranges from opera, jazz, classical to light pop...what more can you do?? Finally, the reviewer complained about the food, yet ate here two nights in a row...there are many other restaurants around, why return if you don't like it??? All in all I am confused about the standards that this reviewer has for evaluating hotels and restaurants...
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münchen
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2011

Very nice hosts (family run businiess, Swiss quality), excellent food (dinner & breakfast) and wonderful old B&B - and liberal attitude! Go there and enjoy your life in New England! Small rooms are even nicer than the big rooms as those go the front while the smaller rooms have a small view to the garden. We would go there again.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travelrate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morristown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2011

For several years my wife and I had stopped in Wiscasset on our way to our annual trip to Monhegan to enjoy a wonder full dinner at the Squire Tarbox Inn. Mario,a Swiss chef with stints in New York and New Jersey, has brought a Swiss ambiance - including good Swiss wines - to his dining room. Reservations required. This year we decided we would spend the night there. A full breakfast that is also prepared by Mario is included. The great cooking is matched by the well appointed rooms that Mario and his wife Roni maintain in the Inn.The first floor room we had was large and airy with a very comfortable bed.The building is a historic site set on 13 acres of farm and woodland running down to a saltwater marsh where there is a row boat for guest use (with oars, personal flotation devices, and a screened hut overlooking the marsh. Most of the vegetables come from the farm or a further 40 acres tilled by their son. The eggs are from the free-range fowl roaming the area. A small herd of La Mancha ("earless") dairy goats complete the rural atmosphere. Although a bit off the beaten path - 8 plus miles down Maine 144 from Route 1 between Woolwich and Wiscasset (don't miss the 90 degree turn about 2 miles in) - there are no craft shops, fast-food restaurants, and the other kitsch that litters Maine's tourist routes. Before leaving to go back up to US 1, take a few minutes to go another 1/4 mile down 144 to see the two18th century buildings now housing the Westport town hall and community church. They are good examples of the graceful simplicty and architeural clarity of old New England.

Room Tip: Book in advance. Rooms are shown on their website
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank dew621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas/Fort Worth
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

While I have never stayed at this Inn, I regularly have dinner for special occassions here. It is undoubtedly the best food in the entire Midcoast region, but it is expensive. Limited menu but everything is outstanding. Vegetables and goat cheese are locally grown and made. Meat is of the highest quality. My favorites are the rack of lamb and the creme brule.

Room Tip: Out of the way, but worth the effort.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank retired_travelers6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Squire Tarbox

Property: Squire Tarbox
Address: 1181 Main Rd, Westport Island, Wiscasset, ME 04578-3501
Region: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Wiscasset
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Wiscasset
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Squire Tarbox 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Squire Tarbox Wiscasset, Maine

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