This past Friday ( 6/20/08 ) we left on a 5 hour roadtrip to Dexter, Maine for a family wedding. I counted myself lucky that I had found The Brewster Inn online, and booked a Kitchen Suite with them for my family. A Kitchen Suite consists of a living room, kitchen, bath, and two bedrooms. Perfect for a family of 5! The photographs on line showed a charming, rustic little place, and the description sounded lovely….so, after a long journey with the kids (thank God for portable DVD players) and my husband, we arrived.
When we pulled up to the Inn, I noticed a broken shutter, peeling paint,and that the lawn needed mowing, but shrugging it off, proceeded to go ring the bell. The Innkeeper answered the door and stood staring at me. No “Can I help you?” etc. Just a silent stare. I told him that I had a reservation for a kitchen suite and he invited me in, and had me wait in the parlor, as he was on the phone and did not know where his wife was. After a few minutes the Innkeepers wife came in, unsmiling. I explained again who I was and she told me to get the car and follow her. So we did.
Now the website says “Located in a victorian cottage just a short walk from the inn.” So, I am expecting some quaint carriage house on the grounds…oh no no no no no. I was way off. We were brought down a narrow gravel drive toward the back, and straight out the other end to a residential street, off property. There was an old dilapidated house, with thigh-high weeds and a For Sale sign! This is the place??? Oh, yes indeedy.
So we go in. The front exterior door does not lock-indeed, it does not latch, really. You simply push on the door and it opens. This leads to a common hallway that smelled of a thousand musty basements. There was a window with a hole and spiderwebbed cracks to my left. Oye- is that a bullet hole?? We troop down to the end of the hall to Suite #2. A hollow core interior door is all that seperates us from the common hallway with the unlockable front door! Now I am getting anxious. In we go to Suite #2. The Innkeepers wife informs us that the owners of the house are selling (Gee, really?) and that it is vacant. We are all alone. Oh thats comforting, considering the lack of security between the 2 doors. And why are we way in the back, then? So nobody can hear our screams? Yikes. So she leaves, and we look around.
It’s a tad shabby, some broken blinds, very old stove (1960s Harvest Gold) but large enough at least, to keep us all comfortable for the weekend. We decide to call our relatives-and find that the phone is dead!!!! No dial tone- nothing!!! So now, we are isolated completely! I expected Leatherface to spring from a closet, wielding a chainsaw at any moment! This just had all the makings of a bad horror movie! I honestly considered driving over to Newport for a regular hotel room, but the Inn website said that the fee was non-refundable. And I am cheap. So we stuck it out.
We went out for a bit and when we returned, found the lawn weedwhacked in a half-assed kind of way, but it was something. Upon further inspection of the front covered porch we found a badly peeling rocking chair, spiders the size of my thumb in he corners, and broken flower pots filled with faded fake flowers. Charming. So back inside, I am looking at the futon in the living room and trying to decide if the couch is lopsided, or the room is. My 15 year old put a can of soda on the floor and down it rolled. I understand sagging floors in an old house, but this was Reallllly pronounced- visible to the naked eye. The least of the problems with this place in any case.
Upon further inspection, found a small door in the kids bedroom labeled “Fire escape” So of course I have to look. I open the door, and to the right is a staircase heading up to the attic. To the left, a tiny door leading outside to a fire escape. I made sure that door was locked, still feeling like we were at the Bates Motel. We did sleep with a kitchen chair propped under the door to our unit, plus the exterior screen door locked however. I lay awake a good long time, starting at every sound though.
All told, with a few minor fixes, this place could be wonderful. First up, replace the front door with one that locks. Replace the interior doors to the units with solid core doors. Air out the hallway, and replace the broken window. Pay the phone bill. Replace broken blinds. Mow the lawn. Replace broken flower pots & put some real flowers in there. Sweep off the porch and get rid of Spiderzilla. Nothing too major.
Our biggest gripe was the lack of security, and the isolation. We like privacy, but this was ridiculous. We really felt duped because the pictures and description online were not what we got, at all. Total false advertising!
Tripadvisor.com has rave reviews for the Inn proper, but I am guessing that nobody ever stayed in the Kitchen Suites, and had a good review! We sure didn’t!
Next time, we will try Newport Maine for a better place to stay, and suck it up that the drive to see the relatives is slightly longer. I would not recommend the Brewster Inn’s Kitchen Suites to anyone, unless they make some changes!