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Reviewed August 21, 2012

We stayed at the Stage Neck Inn twice this summer, early in July for a short stay in a "Lower Beachfront" room, then early in August for an extended stay in an "Upper Oceanfront" room. The hotel is situated on a beautiful location and some of the facilities are excellent, but there are issues that mar what would otherwise be a perfect stay. Expectations for a hotel like this are high considering the 4 diamond rating and the nightly rate (with enforced service charges). People who have stayed in other highly rated properties will probably be underwhelmed at the experience at the Stage Neck Inn.

Rooms: Putting marketing over honesty, the beachfront view rooms are really parking lot view rooms. Hotels commit this sin all the time, but it's disappointing nevertheless. The 1st floor rooms throughout the entire hotel have a dampness issue, so it is best to avoid those if you want wet swimsuits to air dry. It's unfortunate, because the easy access to the parking lot/beach/outdoor pool is great on the first floor. The oceanfront view rooms have a nicer view - hard to say if that's worth the price premium. The rooms are small - they are okay for 2 people, but nearly intolerable for more than that (especially if you add a cot). The bed linens are decent, the mattresses and pillows are not good, and the towels are standard hotel issue. The rooms are equipped with flatscreen TVs and an in-wall stereo system, but there are not many accessible outlets for phone and computer charging. The hotel wireless internet no longer requires logon password cards, which is an improvement from years past. While cell phone service is understandably spotty, the hotel has a repeater installed which enables decent service in the lobby and the upper oceanfront rooms nearby. The cots are awful - management is aware of the problem as when one of our party complained, they were told that everyone complains about them and then an extra comforter was provided to pad the cot.

Housekeeping: Left to their own devices, the housekeeping is substandard for a 4 diamond property. After several days of not having proper turndown service and having extremely messy soap dishes that were not being cleaned and replaced with new soap, we complained. After complaining, the housekeeping was noticeably better (and perhaps patronizing with the soap). However, on many occasions, even after complaining, we did not always receive the right number of towels for our party size. This was annoying considering that the hotel charges for extra guests. If hotel is going to charge extra, then care should be taken to make sure the room is equipped for the number of guests paid for. And we still had one incomplete turndown service after complaining. And, like last year, we found a previous guest's medication on the floor (presumably missed by housekeeping - the cleaning at the edges of the furniture is clearly lacking)

Restaurant (breakfast): A breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. At first glance, it appears to be mostly well-stocked (no bagels?) and more than sufficient. However, the ingredient quality and presentation is lacking. After a few days, one easily tires of the breakfast offerings and begins to wish that the included breakfast was optional. We've had extended stays at other highly rated properties with included breakfast buffets where we were satisfied the entire time, so it comes down to the specifics of this one. The scrambled eggs are not real (there is a revealing oilyness to them), the toast is consistently soggy, the donuts are unappealing (why can't they bring in Congdon's?), the fresh fruit is bountiful yet presented in an ice bath that is unappealing and messy, the french toast is an odd recipe (some liked it, but others didn't), and the maple syrup is not real. They do have a reasonable eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, and a delicious (but occasional) hash. Annoying, though, is the mandatory 18% service charge for a mostly self-serve experience (coffee/tea or special orders get served individually). That is non-standard and not deserved.

Restaurant (lunch and dinner): While the food quality is generally good to great, the kitchen cannot handle large parties at all, either in the main dining room or the pub. Our first experience with a party of 9 was marred by a one hour wait for appetizers, followed by a rushing of the entrees (at our urging, since we were told they were already done and presumably cooling off in the kitchen). The worst part was when the bill came: at every other restaurant I've been to with a similar problem, the bill is comped for the items not presented in a reasonable timeframe. At the Stage Neck, our server informed us that while all items were billed, the mandatory service charge would be left off and we could tip how we pleased. This was an extremely unclassy move. Given that the kitchen really failed us, why should we pay full price for late/cold food items and then penalize our server? After another meal marred by long waits between courses, we avoided the restaurant any time there was a large number of us. At meals where there were 5 of us, service remained unacceptably slow (long waits between courses and no drink refills). Parties of 2, though, will likely have a nice meal and wonder why I'm complaining.

Restaurant (outdoor pool): The food is not as good here, especially for the price. The waits for food can be similarly bad, depending on how busy the pool is. The convenience is nice, but there are better meals to be had in town. We had stale bread for some of the sandwiches, for example.

Facilities: The indoor pool is extremely small, but heated and otherwise nice and the area is equipped with a jacuzzi (the web site picture is terrific marketing, since you can't determine how small it actually is). The towels are not always restocked in a timely manner (advice: hoard them when the hotel is full) - on a sunny summer day, the indoor pool is more likely to be used at the end of the day, but that's when you'll find they've run out of towels. The outdoor pool is very large and has plenty of seating. The only issue is the mandatory 4PM adult swim, where they kick out the children and everyone stands around staring at an empty pool (leading to a mass exodus of the pool area). Since they have an observed area roped off for lap swimming, the adult swim period is unnecessary and punitive. The beach is great, especially for children. It's never too crowded and very easy to access. The game room is nearly uncared for. Between our 2 stays a month apart, none of the deteriorated gaming items had been attended to. If a hotel is going to have a game room featured prominently off the lobby, it seems best to keep it up-to-date and in good shape (would it really cost a lot to change out a board game or two on a monthly basis?). Lastly, all of the climate-controlled indoor areas in the summer are kept much too cool. Sweaters were nearly mandatory for dinner if you didn't want to freeze. A check of the thermostat in the game room showed that the A/C temperature was set to 68 degrees, which is too cold by almost anyone's standards.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and will stay again, but management is in general reactive. There is no anticipation of guest needs nor monitoring of service quality. If you complain, you will likely see improvement. However, it is awkward for guests to be confrontational (for example, after we had complained once about housekeeping, we were not sure we wanted to complain yet again when we noticed the service lacking). And we were fearful that if we complained about the poor restaurant service, that the waitstaff would be penalized when the issue is obviously systemic to how the kitchen is managed.

Room Tip: Avoid 1st floor rooms because of dampness. If you care about the view, avoid beachfront rooms.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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8  Thank birdboywins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 15, 2012

To state that first: we're rather satisfied, but compared to all other hotels on our 3 week trip, all 4 diamonds, the Stage Neck left a bitter after taste for a check of over 700$ and one night. After a drive down from Acadia, our kids, longing for the pool found it closing at 6pm, leaving 20 min and a staff extremely reluctant to hand out a towl. 5 to 6 they insisted on us leaving. The room was very nice, great oceanview. We took reservation at the restaurant, again reluctance to serve after 8pm and apparent astonisment about my polite insistance on being seated in the main room. With a second sceptical look at our three kids, the plea was finally granted. Do I have to insist that during our entire trip, our kids (10, 10 and 5) were very well behaved? The dinner was delicious, the waiter extremely polite and caring. Next morning we discovered similar seating problems for breakfast, by one very superficial and unpolite host. Breakfast was good, especialy the very freh fruit. At checkout, we discovered several charges I am not used to, even in an US environment: 10$ for a cot, knowing that we paid 10$ per kid already. 18% compulsory gratuity at breakfast knowing that the breakfast is included and I do and share the necessity of tipping but feel better when I do it on my own, 2$ housekeeping tip per person, there again I consider this part of the room charge. We were allowed to use the pool after checkout, that was nice. However, late checkout is 25$ per hour, the complimentary coffee is non-complimentary between 11 am and 4 pm and so on. You're left with the impression, that they make a buck on every move of yours and that at a room rate of 450$ plus. I would have preferred paying 500 all included. This way, we felt slightly abused. Again, this is complaining at a very high level, but I consider that a so called 4diamond has to go the extra mile and at least for us, the neck didn't.

Stayed: August 2012
3  Thank Marc L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Thank you for staying at the inn recently. I was happy to read that you enjoyed your ocean-view room and the food that was offered, both at breakfast and dinner. However, I was dismayed to read about some of the experiences that left such a bad taste. We do strive to present the best in services that we have come to be known for, so I apologize for what you encountered.

In reference to our outdoor pool, unfortunately,we do have a shut-down time of 6 p.m. each evening. I, however, am dismayed to hear that the staff was reluctant at handing out towels, and they should have never insisted you leave before the pool closing time. I also apologize for the seating issues you had in the dining room, both at dinner and breakfast. I will be sure to meet with my staff members to let them know of these situations that occured during your stay with us.

Your comment regarding the extra charges that are added, such as the gratuity for breakfast and the automatic maid service certainly should have been mentioned when making your reservation. Many inns and hotels in the area do charge a resort fee instead, which we have purposely decided against doing. I do appreciate your input, and I do want you to know that we take all comments very seriously. We will be sure to discuss the issues you had in an upcoming owner/management meeting.

Again, thank you for staying with us. I do hope that you will give us another try in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 15, 2012

We stayed here on the first floor harbor side, watching the early morning lobster boats, it was wonderful, the pillows were so soft - to die for...the people so nice, they even went out of their way to get me the name of the pillows so I could buy them for my house. (synthetic down version) The Room was great the stay was great. We walked over to a different hotel for dinner...so I don't know about the food and we left early before the restaurant opened but there was coffee in the lobby even that early for us to take to go. Quiet night and just perfect.

Room Tip: We liked the harbor side, and first floor was lovely with the chair and table outside.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank June R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Thank you for your review of the inn. So happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. The first floor harbor view rooms are wonderful rooms. It is nice to sit so close to the ocean. So sorry that you did not get to enjoy our great breakfast buffet. It is so popular! Perhaps the next time you visit.

Again, many thanks for the nice review!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We didn't stay at the inn: we just had dinner at the restaurant. Vey snooty. There were only 9 tables in use, but they made us wait a half hour "for quality control". So we had a martini in the bar. Not good. Warm, sweet, did not follow instructions. The food was ok, but the service was unbelievably slow.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
3  Thank AnthropologistAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SNIgm, General Manager at Stage Neck Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

We are so dismayed to hear that you did not have a very favorable experience in our dining room and bar area. This is certainly not the norm at the inn. We pride ourselves with good food and service, so it is very disappointing to know that you had such an experience.

I do hope that you will re-visit us again in the future, and perhaps stay a night or two. I would like for your to experience the "true" hospitality that we do offer.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 1, 2012

I've just returned from a 5 night stay at the Stage Neck with my husband,teenage daughter,and 2 of her friends. Our stay there was just incredible. You can't help but to relax when you get here.The views are spectacular,any amenity you need is here,and the staff is very helpful. I can't begin to tell you how much I love it here. There are half price drinks between 3 and 7 in their lounge with a proper ticket presented as well as complimentary cheese and crackers. Iced tea,coffee,cocoa,hot tea,fruit,and cookies in the lobby mid-afternoon. There is a gameroom with ping pong to play. Excellent food served in all the restaurants in the hotel and at the outdoor pool. There's a wonderful breakfast buffet served daily with only an 18% gratuity to pay which is fair considering the array of food that is presented. The ocean is just a few steps away,water views anywhere you look. I can go on and on,I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a great,relaxing getaway. Go today and start relaxing.

Room Tip: Try the harborview double room for a great view at a fair price.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank ape38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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