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“Beauty & Peace”

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Gale River Motel and Cottages
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Franconia
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
vermont
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Beauty & Peace”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We wanted one last weekend in the mountains before snow fall so began looking weeks in advance for a room during the peak of foliage. Not an easy task but fortunately for us we were able to book a room at the Gale River Motel. The owner is exceptionally warm & friendly, offered advice as where to eat along with discount coupons. The room was comfortable, but dated, kind of felt like going back in time abit. The beds super comfy even for my hubbie who never seems to be happy with beds while traveling so this was a huge plus. The beauty of the area, mountain views from the window and the exceptional quiet allowed for a very restful sleep after a full day of enjoying the area's activities. Nice touch having a fridge with some soda's stocked at a low price along with a nice TV....

Green Features: Very environmentally sound practices. everything from using colored towels to recycling.
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank weare51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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268 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Worcester, ma
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Needed a place to stay in the Sugar Hill area that fit my budget. The Gale River Motel was right off the main road and Kevin, the owner greeted me by name with homemade chocolate chip cookies. this is a true "motel" where you park your car right up to your door...with Adirondack chairs out front with a mountain view. The room was clean with everything I needed (nothing modern... blue tile in the bathroom made me miss my grandmother's house) --- small refrigerator, flat screen TV, WiFi, a few sodas in the fridge (50 cents a can on the honor system) and a cute basket with some welcoming "freebies" including a sample sized "Tom's deodorant". There's an outdoor pool and an indoor hot tub, a little play area for kids, a small market and a couple quaint restaurants right up the road, and a charcoal grill if you want to picnic in the yard. (Check out Paula's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill --5 minutes away). If you're looking for five star accommodations, a huge room with shower caps, sewing kits, those tiny bottles of soaps and lotions, and valet service, keep driving but if you want a cozy, quiet, clean room with a friendly owner ... and cookies!.... give Kevin a call.

Room Tip: I was in room 20, close to the outdoor pool ... away from the road but all rooms should be quiet...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank MusicRx65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hull, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

It had been four years since our last stay at the Gale, and we were amazed when Kevin greeted us warmly, remarked at my daughter's growth (she was eleven during our last visit,) and then asked about the health of others who had stayed with us four years previous. I can't remember what I did last week and here's Kevin, the inkeeper, acting as if we had just checked out the day prior. Remarkable, and certainly not an experience I would expect from any chain motel.

The reason to stay at the Gale River Motel -- is -- the Gale River Motel. Franconia's nice, but pretty much closes by 8:00 PM. Littleton is fifteen minutes away and will probably get most of your shopping and dining dollars. So why stay here? We stay here because the view across the lawn at the distant mountains is beautiful. We stay because the two Adirondack chairs in front of each room afford the best seat in the house for some early morning reading or that first sip of in-room coffee. We stay because it's the best use of $95.00 I can possibly imagine. We stay for the inground pool (try getting a fifteen year old daughter out of it,) and the hot tub, and yes -- the welcoming cookies. But the real reason we stay is because of Kevin, and his daughter, and his dog (who -- we can assure you -- is not averse to the occasional organic dog biscuit.) They get inkeeping right, and turn what is a clean, but otherwise unremarkable motel by the side of a country road, into an experience, and yes, a destination as well.

May it always be so.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms. This is basic motel living, but with welcome in-room refrigerators and coffe...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank CaptFlood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GaleRiverMotel, Owner at Gale River Motel and Cottages, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Thank you for your very kind words and gracious thoughts. I try very hard to remember the little things about the loyal patrons who return year after year - you have such a wonderful family and enjoy your stay at the Gale River Motel so much that you are easy to remember even after four years. It is my pleasure to help make your memories lasting, for in turn, the memories of your stay become part of my recollections of sharing our little corner of New Hampshire with you. Serving as an innkeepers is more than just a job for me and my family (Buddy included) it is our joy and our passion to welcome new and old guests to our home and make them feel like family. While there are many places that offer nicer amenities, larger rooms and more modern dressings, at the Gale River Motel we strive for the intangible experience of inviting you to a place where there is still the heartfelt desire to "welcome you home" whether this is your first visit or your twenty-first. The big name hotels are very good at "processing you" during your visit and serving you a "fast food" diet of services and amenities - at the Gale River Motel we strive for a more "down-home" experience flavored with opportunities to make memories with the special ones in your life.
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Groton, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Upon our arrival at the Gale River Motel, we were greeted by Kevin. He immediately made us feel welcome and was very friendly and accommodating, offering us freshly baked cookies and answering all of our questions. We then proceeded to our room to unpack our things.
The room was very clean and had a cozy feel to it. Little notes on things in the room added to the ambiance of the room and the room was decorated and furnished with things that one would expect of a country inn or motel off the beaten path. The dresser and nightstand were made of solid wood from the 1950's and were very solid. The bed....ohhhhh, the bed.......was probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on.....EVER. It was soft and comfy. Between that and the cool New Hampshire mountain air, we drifted off into a very restful sleep.
We awoke early in the morning and Kevin gave us a brief, yet thorough rundown on activities to do, places to eat and what the weather looked like and what to expect. The man goes to great lengths to satisfy his guests and even has some local area restaurant menus in the front office for guests to peruse and see where they might like to go. He has also worked out discounts for guests at several eateries and gives you a discount coupon for those places if you so choose. Any questions or requests that we had were met friendliness prompt attention. Kevin and his small staff are true professionals and we very much look forward to staying at the Gale River Motel again soon.

Green Features: Very environmentally friendly with water saving showerheads.
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Laura L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

I stay at The Gale River Motel (and Cottages) on my two visits each year to Franconia and wouldn't consider another choice. Kevin, the owner/manager, is friendly, knowledgeable and utterly accommodating and he keeps the place immaculate. The rooms are smallish by today's standards and the bathroom fixtures are dated, but they are well equipped and comfortable. Each room looks out over an expansive lawn to Cannon Mountain and Mount Lafayette and the motel is a flat walk (maybe a quarter mile) on a sidewalk to the village of Franconia. I have not stayed in one of the two cottages and certainly would do so if my family were with me.

Room Tip: Rooms are side-by-side, so all have the same beautiful view.
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Green Features: A series of solar panels supply hot water and the motel has earned an award from the NH green hospitality association (not correct name).
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TarheelTraveler2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 August 2013

This is the cleanest, most well run, friendly motel I have ever stayed in. The owner, Kevin came out to the Appalachian Trail and picked us up (4 very tired, wet hikers), took us back to the motel, did our laundry for next to nothing and gave us very needed advice on continuing our trip safely (he is VERY knowledgeable on the local area). He also advised us on local food establishments AND took us back to the trail the next day. His motel is CLEAN, everything works, there were amenities offered far beyond what I have ever seen in a reasonbly priced, independent motel (pool, hot tub, snacks, soft drinks, etc.) For all travelers in New Hampshire and especially hikers in the White Mountains this guy and his motel are truly examples of "Trail Angels" and an excellent, excellent value.

Room Tip: let Kevin, the owner, advise you.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank richard c c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntsville, AL
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

I'd love for my review of the Gale River Motel to be longer -- a full day longer, in fact -- but the weather didn't cooperate.

When we arrives, Kevin was at the front desk waiting for us, just like he'd wait for a family member... and that's exactly how he treated us. He took the time to get us checked in and answer our questions, but he didn't tie us up any longer than necessary after a long day's drive. He gave us touring tips and maps and even homemade cookies. He stressed for us to make sure and come back the next morning before we headed out around the Franconia Notch-Kanc Highway-Mount Washington circle for a weather report. (More on that later in the story.)

The rooms at the Gale River Motel are just what you'd expect after meeting the owners: they were clean, the beds were comfortable, and -- after suffering through a Bostonian heat wave -- the AC felt great. The bathroom was really clean with lots of extras (e.g., a towel specifically for wiping off really dirty stuff like hiking boots, etc.). In our room, there was a mini-fridge already stocked with cold drinks (50₵, on the honor system) and a very nice "welcome basket". This was a place that you could comfortably stay for a night OR a week.

Kevin was so sincere about the weather that, as I was getting ready the next morning, my wife ran down to check on the day. Bad, bad, bad. The top of Mount Washington was already socked in and it looked like rain along the Kanc. "No problem, " we thought, "we're tough." Unfortunately, there are times when tough isn't enough. The weather was horrible and we were about to waste a day of our vacation battling unbeatable odds -- we couldn't do anything outside in what ended up being 80% downpour and 20% gully-washer. We were caught, because we'd already paid for that evening at Gale River.

Without much hope (after dealing with too many big chain hotels), my wife called and explained the situation. Was there any way he'd consider refunding Night #2 so that we could leave a day early? We were both surprised when, without any qualm, Kevin agreed to refund everything but a very small cancellation fee. When we arrived at the hotel to hurriedly pack up and check out 30 minutes later, Kevin was not only understanding but sympathetic as well. (To cheer us up, he even offered another homemade cookie "for the road".)

Truly, Kevin and his family at the Gale River Motel were a very bright spot on a very rainy day!

HELPFUL HINTS:
1. If you have questions, don't hesitate to call Kevin ahead of time or to ask when you're checking in. He's a treasure trove of useful information.

2. Don't -- SERIOUSLY, DON'T -- be afraid of staying at this hotel if you're a "chain" patron. There aren't a lot of big chain hotels in this incredibly beautiful (but less populated) area. Even if there were, I don't think they could complete with a place like Gale River where customer service isn't just an idea on a motivational poster.

3. When you stay at the Gale River Motel and Kevin offers to give you a weather report, pay attention. He's learned how the weather rolls through the valleys surrounding Mount Washington. (Better a forecast from Kevin in Franconia than a TV weatherman in Burlington.)

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank BamaRedRaider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GaleRiverMotel, Owner at Gale River Motel and Cottages, responded to this review, 4 August 2013
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for one of the most enjoyable reviews I have read on TripAdvisor. Besides bringing a chuckle to my lips regarding the aptitude I have for weather forecasting, I am even more grateful and humbled by your very kind words about how you felt welcomed as a member of the family. I strive to make anyone and everyone who visits at the Gale River Motel feel like a cherished and welcomed family member whether they have stayed multiple times or have arrived for their first visit. After 11 years as an innkeeper, I still feel energized every morning that I wake up and look forward to making sure that every guest at the Gale River Motel gets the very most out of their visit to the White Mountains. If its a weather report that steers them right, or a suggestion for a hike that matches their ability, or a recommendation for dining or an attraction that makes their precious time even more precious my desire is to make sure that all my guests are treated as well as I wish that I would be given a similar circumstance. The golden rule (somewhat paraphrased) of "Do for others as you would wish to have done for you" is the guiding principle behind what I offer to my guests. Thank you for your kind words and here's hoping that all your travels bring you safely back to the one's you love.
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Additional Information about Gale River Motel and Cottages

Property: Gale River Motel and Cottages
Address: 1 Main St, Exit 38 of I-93 to Rte 18 North 1/2 mile, Franconia, NH 03580-4801
Region: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Franconia
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Franconia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Breathtaking mountain views from every room. #1 Eco-Friendly Motel in New Hampshire. Recognized as an Environmental Champion by NH Sustainable Lodging Program. Spacious rooms with two full-sized beds, refrigerator, coffee-maker, A/C, and Complimentary Wi-Fi access in all rooms. Heated outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, playground, picnic area with grill. Cottages sleep up to six guests with full kitchen facilities. Pet-Friendly. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gale River Motel And Cottages Hotel Franconia
Gale River Hotel
Gale River Motel And Cottages Franconia, NH - White Mountains

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