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Sprucewold Lodge
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Reviewed 6 September 2011

“Getting away” is a much over-used expression these days. As the phrase pertains to vacation destinations, it seems we rarely opt for places without creature comforts, modern conveniences and modern telecommunications access. Let’s face it. Unless one elects to hack and trek through jungles, scale distant mountain peaks, sail solo around the world, and search out places far from the madding crowd, we usually end up closely tethered technologically to our homes and offices despite “being on vacation“..

However, we can make the effort in part by searching out lodging accommodations that offers a quieter counterbalance to the headlong rush of everyday life. A throwback, if you will, to earlier times. Those places are to be found. A determination and willingness to do without the tech fix will often provide some very satisfying travel experiences. One such find in coastal Maine is Sprucewold Lodge located in Boothbay Harbor. To be more exact, it’s located slightly above the harbor, up a steep hill and amid a forest setting. Think hand-hewn log buildings, big stone fireplaces, rocking chairs near the hearth and on open air porches, and birch, spruce and hardwood décor.

Built nearly a century ago, SPRUCEWOLD LODGE is according to the lodge’s literature one of the last remaining large log structures east of the Mississippi River. The bedrooms in the lodge are cozy and comfortable though a little dated. Each of the rooms has an adjoining private bathroom which do not blind one from the glare of marble and tile but are certainly adequate. The lodging accommodations are a comfortable nod to an earlier time and way of travel. Rooms are not air conditioned. However, cooling fresh breezes ruffling curtains in front of double hung sash and screened windows provide effective air circulation and a panacea for restful sleep. It’s quiet at night. Both the lodge and the dining hall are handicapped accessible with sturdy ramps for wheelchairs.

There’s an abundance of board games spanning decades of table entertainment available in the lodge and the dining hall. Game tables await players of all ages. Like to read? What better location than curled up near the fireplace or rocking quietly on the front porch. Forgot your book? There’s plenty of books to choose from in library niches anchored along the hallways.. Like to meet interesting people and have real non-face book conversation? You’ve come to the right place. Like to hike? There is lots of uncongested roadway and some forested paths to explore near the lodge.

A superb breakfast buffet served in the dining hall is included in the room rate. The staples of breakfast buffets (eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, hash browns, homemade muffins, fruit, and juices) are dressed up and tendered with a gourmet flair. Early morning risers can enjoy coffee and tea set out in the lodge an hour prior to breakfast.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights (depending on the number of reservations) are set aside for Soup and Salad, Italian, and “Comfort Food” buffets. These are first class culinary offerings with something for every palette served from gleaming steam trays set out on long table clothed tables. These early week dining events appear to attract a mix of both lodge guests and town folks. The food fare provided by the chef and his staff are well worth the visit. The costs of the buffets range from $12.95 to $16.95 depending on the buffet night. Diners are encouraged to make these dining nights a BYO (a “bring your own” wine) affair.

Sprucewold Lodge is located a short 5-10 minute drive from the town of Boothbay Harbor. There are many galleries, shops and restaurants for visitors to browse and dine at. Numerous commercial excursion boats and several windjammers provide plentiful opportunities to tour the nearby coastal waters and islands, exhilarate to the rush of rigged vessels under sail, and sight a variety of whales. Kayaks and bicycles are available to rent. For those that enjoy people watching, Boothbay Harbor is not going to disappoint. There’s a very pleasant and well run local full service library with internet access and also a used book annex adjacent to the library. There’s even an “Opera House” featuring community theatre in season.

If the reader traveler is opting for a glitzy and plush home away from home with all the modern conveniences, then Sprucewold Lodge could disappoint. However, if one is willing to sample a authentic, rustic traveler’s way station along the heavily advertised tourists trails, then Sprucewold Lodge is well worth the visit.

Room rates are affordable and might fluctuate slightly during the seasons depending on the dates of travel. Remember that the room rate also includes a sumptuous breakfast buffet. Excursions and outings to local areas can be arranged and tailored to your interest by Richard the innkeeper. He and his wife Donna are genuinely pleasant and accommodating hosts.

Boothbay Harbor is about an hour and fifteen minutes drive from Portland International Jetport and easily accessible by interstate and coastal highway. If you’re not sightseeing and shopping around town, numerous places of local nterest such as a botanical garden and other coastal scenic drives are just a short distance away. One doesn’t have to travel too far afield from Boothbay Harbor in order to sample quintessential Down East Maine.

If you’re looking for a unique and restful vacation that varies slightly from your normal vacation itinerary, do consider staying at the Sprucewold Lodge. On one of the lodge walls, there’s a long horizontal framed photograph showing a large group of 1930 guests. The men are attired in white ties, shirts and jackets and the women in summer dresses and hats. Some aspects of travel have definitely changed since then. Fortunately, some things have not. If you are inclined to want to get away on your next trip and open to the experience of rustic Maine for your next vacation stayover, you won’t be disappointed with SPRUCEWOLD LODGE..

Robert from Indiana
Hoosiergadabout
Dates of Stay: August 23-25, 2011

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Hoosiergadabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2011

Note: We did not spend the night here but we did stop in for the afternoon for nostalgia reasons. My mother had worked here 50 years ago and always raved about it so we stopped in for a visit. Richard and his wife were very welcoming and charming, gave us a tour and the run of the place. it is very rustic, exactly what you would expect with log homes, old time games everywhere. Very peaceful. I felt like I had stepped back into the era depicted by "Dirty Dancing". The rooms we saw were a decent size, with connecting bathrooms to another room, good for families. It seems like a very pleasant place to stay. it is old but clean and seems well maintained.

Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
1  Thank mommusega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2010

we stayed in the main house one night only. they had a wedding reception across the way. wedding party came back totally drunk 2 different times in the night. paper thin walls let us hear everything in both rooms on either side of us. adult guests including a **grandmother** totally inebriated! banged on wall and asked them to be quiet - nothing happened. mattresses were paper thin and probably not changed or even flipped since 1920. checked out at the crack of dawn to get the heck out of dodge, owner told us "well, you wanted a room." it's not like he reduced his price b/c of the complaint. we paid full price to have a wretched night's sleep. RUN, RUN from sprucewold!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorseArcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2010

We had a great stay in Sprucewold. Richard is very helpful and friendly. The breakfasts were wonderful. Everything was freshly made and very tasty. A great variety of breakfast foods. The setting is beautiful. Its a great spot for seeing this part of Maine. However the hotel is old; it is of the 1920's era. Its very dark inside due to the wooden beams and the walls are paper thin! Don't expect a 5 star hotel but do expect a warm welcome, great atmosphere and great food. It was clean and comfortable and good value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank bluemist29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2010

We spent a week at the Sprucewold this past July. Wow! I am almost at a loss for words. Richard and his wife were wonderful hosts. He was very attentive to everyone's needs. He seemed to be available 24/7. I don't know how he does it. Breakfast was outstanding. His staff is small but very good at what they do and they do everything. They are very friendly and helpful. The chef out did himself. One breakfast was better than the next. Blueberry pancakes, omelets, lobster quiche, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, baked goods; I wish I could have eaten more. All of his suggestions for meals and sightseeing were spot on. I couldn't take in enough quite. Their slogan of "Sleep like a log" is the absolute truth. Peaceful, beautiful mornings, waking to fresh coffee in the lodge. Rocking on the porch listening to the birds while the smell of breakfast wafts across the road. Anticipation! I could move in. Very reasonable rates. I agree with past post of VERY thin walls, if you have a neighbor you can hear everything. Richard spaces occupants well and the only time we heard our neighbors was when he had a full house. Amenities you may be used to at other hotels are not to be found in your room but I did not hear one traveler complain about the step back in time. I would jump at the chance to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank shepmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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