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My wife and I had a terrible experience at the Fleetwood House Bed and Breakfast in Portland, ME the other night. Before I share it, it is important to know that neither of us have ever complained to hotel management during our extensive travels over the last 25 years; we’re accustomed to a range in quality, and we typically go with the flow. We booked The Bay Room in the bed and breakfast for Friday and Saturday nights. I paid a standard nonrefundable deposit on the room, and then we arrived and checked in as planned. After dropping off our luggage we headed out for the evening, and then returned to sleep around 11:30. Our room was warm and smelled quite badly – the words “sickening”, “oppressive” and “putrid” come to mind -- we believed a combination of cigarette smoke and cat dander (we’d seen 5 cats, but suspected there were several more), so we opened the windows for the fresh cool evening air since there are no air conditioner’s at the Fleetwood. We quickly discovered the horrendous truck noises from the interstate highway nearby, which were so loud that several times my wife and I had to repeat ourselves to be clearly heard. As we tried to sleep, the screaming trucks were soon accompanied by crying cats inside, as well as the occasional bang of the communal bathroom door, since only one of the rooms actually has its own bathroom. All of this was bad enough, but what really did us in was the accumulative effect of the horrendous brew of cigarette smoke and cat dander (i.e., particles of dried dead cat skin, oil, and saliva) that saturated the Fleetwood. By 4:00, after several sleepless hours of this noise and stench, though neither of us had ever had a reaction to cats before, we had each developed severe allergic reactions that required us to leave the house altogether. Specifically, my wife's eyes were almost completely closed from the swelling, and both of us were having trouble breathing. After making the decision to bail, we hastily packing our bags and then slept in our car from 4:00 AM until 7:00 AM. I then found Linda inside and checked out before breakfast since we simply could not stay in the house.
When I explained our allergic reaction to Linda, the proprietor, she adamantly refused to work with us on the bill, and we learned that she had already charged my credit card for our entire stay. She simply explained that “I’m sorry it turned out this way”, and then ended the conversation. In short, then, we found ourselves out on the street and unable to stay in Fleetwood House Bed and Breakfast because it is a toxic, unhealthy and inhospitable environment. We had been charged over $300.00 for this experience, and now had no place to stay. Because it was high season in Portland, we could not find another room and were forced to return home from our vacation. Yes, Linda, “We’re sorry it turned out this way.”
Unique Suggestions: Be prepared for cat dander, cigarette smoke, highway noise, lack of hospitality, and paying in full upfront with no chance of a refund, period.
Fun Alternatives: Any downtown B & B
Written Jul 12, 2010
You would think that a restaurant on a boat would have fresh seafood, but no!
This is a quaint idea and a business that has been in Portland for generations, but unfortunately the only reason to visit this restaurant is for the novelty of eating on a boat. The food is awful. :(
Unique Suggestions: Don't bother unless you don't care about food or service quality. If you have plenty of time and no taste buds, however, you'll have a nice time sitting on the water.
Fun Alternatives: J's Oyster Bar is right next door. It's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with kind of a grungy atmosphere, but the view of the water is great and the food is REALLY good. Very fresh seafood and strrrooooooong drinks.
The people-watching here is kind of amusing, too. As you look around you'll see a mix of bums and millionaires who just stepped off of their yacht.
Written Feb 5, 2008
If you want to climb the the top of the Portland Observatory you will have to go thru a 1/2 hour tour with a guide that takes you to the top. The tour should be replaced with placards posted throughout the Observatory that tell its history.
Unique Suggestions: See the views from the top of the tower.
Updated Aug 27, 2005
Not exactly as tacky as some but a few of the wares are quite overpriced and silly
Unique Suggestions: There are nice postcards and many of the items are lovely so descrimination is a positive value in some instances
Fun Alternatives: Look here at the Maine Pantry in the Portland Public MArket for some things to take home
Updated Mar 28, 2003
Demillo's Floating Restaurant, Don't get me wrong...I went here for cocktails and it was quite nice. It is a renovated boat changed into a restaurant...but, if you are going to eat -expect the food to be mediocre. This is a popular point because it is unique, and in a great location.
Updated Aug 25, 2002
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