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“Perfect!”
Review of The Red Maple Inn

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The Red Maple Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Spencer B&B and Inns
Reviewed 15 May 2012

"This weekend was a dream for us. A perfect mid-winter getaway. The house was all that the website promised, so lovely and refined. We enjoyed every detail in every way! As for the service and attention, it was excellent service in every way, so professional, personal and accommodating. Thank you so much. P.S. the High Tea was the best!" March 11, 2012

Room Tip: Each room is so unique - but I we fell in love with decor of the street side room - it was very femi...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank kks1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 54 of 97 reviews

Reviewed 8 May 2012

We often celebrate our anniversary in Florida. This year though we decided to stay close to home we did want to do something special. "Dinner and a movie" at Red Maple Inn sounded interresting. John's history lesson he introduced the evening's movie with was as interresting as watching the old time flick, "The Maltese Falcon". However, the 'gourmmet' dinner was disappointing to say the least. Pasta might have come from Hannifords grocery store, cooked in my own kitchen. Sorry, but that $10.00 a glass wine tasted suspiciously like Riunite Lambrusco. The Peach room was decked out in pretty ruffles and a bed requiring a step ladder in access was not a bed for two adults to sleep comfortably. The ear plugs provided were testiment to constant noise we were subjected to all night. We certainly did not touch those ear plugs. (how many ears have they seen the inside of?)

Room Tip: Do not expect much and you will not be disappointred. Unless you enjoy paying exorbitant prices for...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Mark_Gwen_521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
redtree, Owner at The Red Maple Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2012

We always look for ways to improve the service and accommodations we offer our guests, and we welcome thoughtful reviews, especially when they offer constructive criticism. We wish that this guest had written his/her review when memories of their visit would have been fresher, rather than waiting an entire year to write. Perhaps the review would then not have contained so many inaccurate statements. For instance, the guest might have remembered the cost of our house wine was a reasonable $8.00 a glass, not $10.00, and that we opened and poured from a fresh bottle of California Cabernet Sauvignon, not Riunite Lambrusco, and served in Riedel Crystal glassware. The only sweet wines we have ever served are dessert wines such as Harvey's Bristol Cream, 20-year aged ports, and French Sauterne. The guest is perhaps more familiar Riunite than we are, as former editors of the Wine Gazette.

I do not doubt that the guest is capable of cooking Hanniford pasta at home. We serve only imported Italian pasta, our chef is an honors graduate of culinary school, apprenticed with James Beard, and earned 3-stars from the NY Times for her Hamptons restaurant. We're sorry the guest did not appreciate her food, which by the way is never advertised as "gourmmet" (sic).

The Peach Room is one of our most beautiful and romantic, and most guests especially love its centerpied, the antique canopied four-poster bed. Yes it is higher than most contemporary beds, but that is part of the atmosphere which most guests are seeking, even though some need to use the 6-inch footstool (not a step-ladder as the guest again mis-remembers).

We always tell guests that this room faces the street and if they are light sleepers they should consider booking another room. The guest declined, saying that they particularly wanted the ambiance the Peach Room offers. As is the case in many fine hotels and Inns, we provide earplugs for the comfort of our guests, which are replaced after every use, as well as an electronic noise-canceling device, both of which the guest declined to use. The phrase "You can lead a horse to water..." comes to mind.

As to the review's final shot about exorbitant prices, our room prices are comparable to any upscale accommodations and include a three-course breakfast menu with at least six entrees to choose from which would cost at least $30 plus tip in any restaurant. The "Dinner and a Movie" special included a three-course dinner, an introductory talk about the film by a member of the American Film Institute, and a classic film shown in our private screening room. Following the film there is time for audience comments, questions and discussion. The evening was priced at $30 per person. When Worcester Magazine featured the event they called it "recession-friendly," "an outstanding deal," and "an affordable twist on date night." No mention of "exorbitant prices."

The Bed and Breakfast experience is not for everyone. For some, the charms of an historic home, tastefully decorated with antiques and period furnishings and serving expertly prepared food, cannot compare to a beachfront motel and all-you-can-eat buffets. In matters of taste, there can be no argument.

John Bills, Proprietor

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Reviewed 4 May 2012

A great B&B and true to the name. We stayed in the Rose Room and the attention to detail was incredible. The decorating was quaint and lovely. The room was small but very comfortable, the bed was amazing, with countless pillows! The Inn keepers were patient with our lateness to breakfast, very personable and the food was all homemade and wonderful, made more complete with a lively conversation about the Inn Keepers travels and professional chef experience. The gentleman of the husband/wife team thoroughly researched a route for us to our next destination even though they were on their way out to run errands. The only complaint was the noise from the street. Even though the Rose room is towards the back of the house, I was glad we could keep the window closed from the road noise. Even still, the road traffic was non-stop 24 hrs, although we mostly noticed it at night. I hope that a sound-proof fence could be built. Perhaps the cottage has less noise as it is set back further from the road. In all other aspects a great stay.

Room Tip: Try the cottage as the noise level may be the lowest.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MMillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2012

I was in Worcester for three nights on business and chose to stay here rather than a hotel/motel. Hotel/motels in the area didn't have great reviews and seemed to be almost the same price.
The Peach room had a very comfortable bed, good-sized bedroom, and enough tables and chairs for me to lay out all my things... The innkeeper was very accommodating and pleasant about my late arrival on the first night and having a flexible breakfast time.
If you are a normal person who has normal expectations of a B&B, you won't go wrong staying here. Specific to the Peach room, if you are a large person, you might find the bathroom too small. And if you have a problem with your bedroom overlooking Main Street, get earplugs, Ambien, or another room. The road noise wasn't bad for this city girl, but others may find it distracting. Lastly, don't rely on the inn's free wireless network. I worked off my 3G device the whole weekend. Happy travels!

Room Tip: Specific to the Peach room, if you are a large person, you might find the bathroom too small. And if...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Bumblebeee44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Red Maple Inn for a long weekend and to attend a nearby wedding. We were greeted upon arriving and asked to pay the balance of our stay (a little odd, but.....ok). The room was beautiful and John & Shari brought wine out to the backyard and recommended restaurants. Shari is very personable, but I did get a little overwhelmed with the story after story of all the people they know and her wealthy upbringing, etc.
Breakfast was served late for us early risers, and neither of the innkeepers could recommend some area artisans or cute shops to visit in the area - some we found ourselves and, well, for good reason they had trouble making suggestions because there's very little to see or do in the area unless you're visiting for the large semi-annual antiques sale.

Room Tip: If available, take the suite with its own entrance - quiet sleep.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TravelGirl0716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2011

I have stayed in B&Bs for more than 20 years and this was the most unusual. (1) Upon my arrival, I had to pay the balance (after making a deposit to reserve my room). This is the first time I have ever had to pay up from for a stay at any hotel, B&B or resort. After that, I was lucky if I saw the innkeepers. (2) If you want your breakfast that you've already paid for, you are in luck if you want it at 8:30, 9:00 or 9:30. Got an early meeting? Too bad, you get breakfast in a bag which was nothing more than water, a Nature Valley granola bar and a small muffin. Thankfully there is a Dunkin Donuts down the street. (3) Do not count on a good night sleep. While the B&B is not on a highway, it is on the main road through Spencer and the traffic is very loud through all hours of the night. (4) Too bad that the inn keepers are not around more because, if you do get to see them, they are interesting and delightful. Such a disconnect from the rest of the experience. (5) Oh, and the morning I left at 8:00 am, no one was there (they were busy behind closed/locked doors getting breakfast ready) to thank me for staying so I just left the key and walked out the door. Overall, not a warm, welcoming B&B experience I am used to.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank LikesGoodService2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
redtree, Manager at The Red Maple Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2011

We thank this guest for her review and we welcome the opportunity to discuss our business practices in this forum.

This reviewer checked in on a sold-out weekend, with all the guests attending the same event. Her schedule required her to be away from the Inn for the entire day and into the evening, so it is hardly surprising that our interaction was limited. In regard to our payment practice, reservations at our Inn are confirmed with a one night deposit, or 50% of the reserved stay, whichever is greater, with the balance due at check-in. All guests are informed of this practice at the time of reservation; it is stated on every confirmation; and is prominently listed on our website as well as on our Webervations internet reservation system. The guest's comments lead one to believe that this came as a surprise to her at check in, which it did not. We travel extensively, staying at the finest Inns in America, and can attest that this practice is more and more the industry standard, except where the Inn requires the entire amount to be paid when reserved.

We know of no other inn of our size (6 rooms) that offers the extensive breakfast menu available at The Red Maple Inn. Our executive chef is an honors graduate of the New York Restaurant School, has owned and operated restaurants for nearly 30 years, and won 3 stars from the New York Times for her tony Hamptons eatery. We are justly proud of the food we serve at the Inn. Our guests are not offered the "Entree of the Day;" instead they order breakfast from a restaurant-style menu. On the dates that this reviewer was a guest the menu consisted of:

Freshly-Baked Muffins ~ Choice of Juices ~ Coffee, Decaf, Tea (Black & Herbal assortment)
Fresh Fruit
and a Choice of
Virginia Ham & Vermont Cheddar Scramble
Omelet a la Greque: Sauteed Organic Baby Spinach & Imported Feta Cheese
"Pumpkin Pie" Stuffed French Toast
Croque Monsieur (Classic French Breakfast Sandwich with Canadian Bacon & Imported Gruyere, Egg-dipped and Sauteed, served with Sauce Bechamel)
Creamy Oatmeal with Cranberries
Red Maple Inn Fall Granola

Each day offered a different Omelet and French Toast du Jour.

As might be expected, to offer a menu this extensive to a full-house of guests, and deliver the food hot and to the proper table with only a chef and one waiter, takes preparation, attention to detail and concentration. As in all the finest Inns in our experience, breakfast is offered at set times, and our other guests, who were attending the same events as this reviewer, chose to stay in the morning to enjoy our breakfast. But, unlike donut shops we are not open for food service 24 hours per day. When this guest told us she would need to leave at least an hour before our dining room opens we offered to give her a "Brown Bag Breakfast," which includes a 1/2 liter of Poland Spring Water, 2 Granola Bars, a piece of fruit, and a fresh muffin. Just outside her room is located a guest station with complimentary coffee, decaf and tea, stocked with take-away cups. My mother, who is wise in these matters, used to say, "No good deed goes unpunished," which perhaps applies here.

Which brings us back to the question of why we ask guests to pay their balance on arrival, a policy which has been in place for 8 years without one previous objection. Firstly, it is for the guest's convenience so that at whatever time they wish to depart they are not delayed by a lengthy check-out procedure (I,for one, hate waiting in a queue to check out of an Inn), but already have their receipt and charge slip in hand when they are ready to leave.

Secondly, because we are a small inn and operate without "front desk" staff, the Innkeepers wear many hats: reception, bell man, host, chef, waiter, and concierge. If a guest wishes to depart during our breakfast preparation time, which typically begins 60 to 90 minutes before the dining room opens, it would require us to stop cooking to go to the front of the house to charge credit cards and print receipts. Our system makes it possible both for our guests to enjoy a carefully prepared breakfast and also accommodates those who need to depart early.

Finally, as to ours not being the "warm, welcoming B&B experience" she is used to. I will simply add that when she made her reservation for this weekend we were already nearly booked up, which required her to move to a second room during her stay. Our housekeeping staff moved all of her belongings to the new room so as to cause her the least inconvenience possible. In addition, she requested that we set up a trundle bed in her room to accommodate a guest on her last night, which we offered to do at no additional cost. We greeted her guest warmly on arrival and invited her to stay, which she ultimately declined.

To conclude, we have certain policies in place which are established for the benefit of the vast majority of our guests, and our hospitality is attested to by the great number of "excellent" reviews on this site. We do our very best to accommodate all of our guests' needs, but when those needs conflict with the needs of others, we must abide by our policies.

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Reviewed 11 October 2011

Our wedding was held at the Red Maple Inn, and the entire experience was beyond our expectations! From the moment we met Shari, we knew this was THE place for our perfect wedding. Shari and John were very accommodating, right down to some last minute changes. The food was out of this world, our guests couldn't stop talking about it. Even my picky 8 year old daughter devoured her special meal made just for her by Shari. If you are looking to plan an elegant, intimate, and romantic wedding with your closest family and friends, with AMAZING food, and genuine service, than look no further. My husband and I look forward to attending Shari and John's "dinner and a movie" so we can visit with these two wonderful people and eat more of Shari's delicious food!!! Thank you Shari and John, from the bottom of our hearts.

Room Tip: The Cottage is a beautiful spot for a bride to get ready!!
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank eeedstrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
redtree, Owner at The Red Maple Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2011

Thank you for your wonderful review! We are so pleased to have been a part of your special day, and wish you all the best in your new life together.

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Additional Information about The Red Maple Inn

Address: 217 Main St, Spencer, MA 01562-1739
Region: United States > Massachusetts > Spencer
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Spencer
Price Range: £89 - £208 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
2007 Yankee Magazine "Editors' Choice", 2006 Boston Globe "Each time you enter a room you're dazzled anew by the charmingly over-the-top decor." The Red Maple Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1780, features six deluxe guest accommodations, decorator touches, luxurious bedding, private bathrooms, air-conditioning, color cable television with DVD players, 1000+ title DVD Library and complimentary Wi-Fi. Gourmet breakfast, Wine Cellar and Fine Dining. Cooking classes and Classic Film classes. ... more   less 

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