Bee & Thistle Inn and Spa Reviews


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  • Guest room3.9
  • Service4.7
  • Value3.9
  • Cleanliness4.4
  • Onsite Dining4.2

Score Breakdown based on
32 Reviews

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Long time favorite!

4.4 on October 24, 2015

We were greeted on arrival by Tosh - as ever - who checked us in, escorted us to our room, took care of our baggage, made our dinner reservations, and did everything possible to make us comfortable. Our visit was entirely pleasant - in line with both our memories and our expectations!

My Bee

4.8 on October 16, 2015

Excellent service and great food.

For the lovers of antiques, and superb service

3.6 on September 28, 2015

This is definitely an Inn for those that like antique chic. Our room was nice, but filled with antiques that don't lend themselves to comfy lounging. The bed was great but the couch was a more formal sitting area vs actual utility for sitting and relaxing. However that is more than made up for by the beautiful home downstairs. If you are a more private vacationer, it may not appeal to you as much. The service was TOP NOTCH. Over the top attentiveness and pristine responsiveness.

Great getaway.

3.0 on August 30, 2015

We went for a mid week stay . The desk clerk let us check in a hour early the room was cozy. We ate dinner there also, the food was good the only thing holding back a glowing review was the side dishes with the main course were bland and the waiter was a tad inexperienced. He dissaperaed quite often. We also were crammed in a small table with two other tables when there were plenty other tables. But the food was very good. The breakfast the next day was awesome. ! It was self serve but very very good fresh squeezed juice hot coffee crisp bacon the chef made sure we new were to sit & apologized for not having a staff member to help us. Again the service issue holding back a star there again. The place was clean but we noticed minor matience issues, loose tiles in sitting room peeling wall paper in our room unpolished brass in the bathroom ect all small things that again took away the fifth star. The place has such a excellent reputation these issues surprised us . But we had a wonderful stay.

Excellent service

3.8 on August 19, 2015

Stayed recently for a brief overnight stay- arrived late and the staff could not have been more helpful.From the reception to lounge to dining room all staff were courteous, professional and had great customer service skills. All in all a great stay in a historic setting - looking forward to returning. Doug

Nice to return to a favorite B&B

3.6 on June 29, 2015

Dinner was excellent. Breakfast was rather disappointing. Needs to be kept hot longer and selection, of cold cereals would be welcome. More selection of bread or rolls would be nice (a better toaster is seriously needed). As usual, the staff was friendly, and most helpful. They very much help to make the stay enjoyable.

Wonderful Return

5 on June 09, 2015

We had a wonderful return to the Bee & Thistle over Memorial Day weekend. We had not been back since our wedding at the inn two years before. We were so warmly greeted by the staff and made to feel very special. Great to see Tosh, Jack, Chris and the team. There is something really special about this place--the beautiful grounds, the mix of historic character and modern art, the great food and fun lounge. It feels special but unpretentious. A perfect weekend!

We Love the Bee!

4.8 on June 09, 2015

We discovered the Bee a few years ago, loved it, and it became our wedding venue. We have been going ever since. This was our 3rd visit and it always feels like home. There is always a new element of surprise-whether its the decor, the featured local artists or something delicious on the menu, the Bee never disappoints. Our massages were great, the weekend was so relaxing. The entire experience is capped with the wonderful hosts and staff. Can't wait to go back.

A Must Stay

5 on May 11, 2015

My wife and I wanted a quick weekend getaway (we only live in East Haven). We checked in and were greeted by a delightful staff. We took a ride up the road and took in the scenery and killed some time before our reservations. When we came back we changed and went into the bar area for a drink before our reservation time. We were treated to cocktails made by a mixologist who truly is a master at his craft. We were seated in a room with a décor that was unique and fitting for the Inn itself. The food was absolutely phenomenal. Living so close to New Haven, we pride ourselves as pseudo-foodies and this Chef and the menu could stand up against any of the restaurants in New Haven. We are looking forward to going back, much sooner rather than later.


5 on May 02, 2015

Such an amazing Inn!! I went for a night to relax with my boyfriend, and it was exactly what I wanted... Staff was friendly and invited, the room was comfortable and relaxing. We made a beautiful memorie we will never forget. Looking forward to visiting again soon....

Lovely visit!

3.8 on April 13, 2015

Welcoming atmosphere, charm of the building and room furnishings and interesting locale made for a special weekend.

The Perfect Connecticut Inn

4.8 on March 23, 2015

The Bee and Thistle Inn occupies a wonderfully charming 18th-century home, whose front hall and public rooms are generously scaled, eclectically furnished, and allow for a warm embrace. The staff is simply superb, from the owners to the managers to the chef to the attentive wait staff. On three separate occasions, we found the young chef's cooking to be exceptionally well executed. The menu in the off season was limited though I understand it is to expand April 1, and we enjoyed it immensely in any case. The new lounge is a welcoming gathering place for locals and travelers. Overall, the Bee is absolutely the best stop in coastal Connecticut.

Romantic New Year's Eve

5 on January 16, 2015

From the moment you pull up in the driveway, you know you are at someplace special. The house was festively dressed and there was a warm atmosphere from moment your entered. We were greeted by name when we arrived and they knew which room we stayed previously. We love that they have 2 seatings for New Year's - we had drinks with a couple we met the year before and chatted with one of the orchestra member. Delicious dinner and wonderful wine list. Following by dancing and champagne toast. The owners were gracious and made everyone feel special. Even got to twirl on the dance floor w/ Jacques Pepin. FAB TIME.

I hope to be back soon.

4.6 on November 26, 2014

Wow, what a great place. On Wednesday night, we were running late, so the Bee called. They asked for a few details, and then told us breakfast would be ready in the morning. Around 7AM, my fiancé (now wife, more on that in a bit) and I woke up to the smell of bacon. We came downstairs, and amazing breakfast was set out for us. We were the ONLY two people staying at the Inn. We planned to get married the next day, but I am not much of a planner. The Bee & Thistle was happy to help and their advice was excellent. I will be recommending this to a number of people and hope to visit soon.

Cute bed and breakfast in a sleepy town

3.2 on October 31, 2014

The Bee and Thistle Inn is in the sleepy town of Old Lyme. I say sleepy because no restaurants were open past 7 pm and we had to drive to Old Saybrook to find a small diner-style restaurant that was still serving dinner. We loved the history behind the inn and the service was also great. Breakfast was okay; not the best we've ever had but definitely not the worst!

Home away from home.

4.6 on October 25, 2014

We come back to the Bee and Thistle season after season. Mostly, we are drawn to the incredible welcome and the delicious food. The innkeepers and their staff are world class and the hospitality unmatched. Our favorite is Tash (sic?) who works front of house and always has the best smile and a good steer on the ever changing seasonal menu. The whole place has a lovely warm energy and the cozy bar is clearly a local favorite. I would not change a thing.

Charming Country Inn and Restaurant

3.2 on October 07, 2014

The Bee & Thistle is an historic country inn with charm and ambiance. It is however, in need of deferred maintenance to maintain the expectations expressed by their web-site. The service and dining are excellent and exceeded our expectations.

Good stay

4.0 on September 11, 2014

The breakfast was nice, and we enjoyed our stay. Because of a flight delay we had to arrive late at night. We called in advance of that and were able to use a key that was left for us at the front door. Having stayed at the inn some years ago, we were surprised at the current mix of fluxus art with the traditional room furnishings. Unfortunately, we found most of the art to be out of place and disharmonious, especially in our room. The manager graciously accommodated us with another room. We were thankful for that. We enjoyed the Old Lyme area, and especially the Florence Griswold Museum nearby.

bed and breakfast

4.4 on September 02, 2014

we had room 9 the beach theme. It just wasn't what we were expecting. My daughter had room 5 very Victorian and beautiful.

Innkeeper Response
Thank you so much for staying with us, we are sorry to hear that room 9 was not what you were expecting. We do have other traditional guest rooms here an property and would love for you to come back and enjoy another stay. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best, Linnea Rufo 860.434.1667

lovely stafff beautiful home amazing grounds

3.6 on July 27, 2014

This inn has amazing grounds and staff. There are trees that are maintained by Yale University due to their rarity. The tranquility of this inn is also a rarity . We stayed for our 25th anniversary. The grounds are expansive and take you back to a different time. We sat outside for hours on lounge chairs near a quiet stream of the connecticut river. the town is know as an artist enclave. There are original works of art on the grounds and in the Inn. Next door is the renown Florence Griswold Museum of art. This area of CT. reminds me of a smaller accessible Cape Cod. One can find beautiful beaches and wildlife . The staff here will make recommendations. Cannot say enough about the staff. Both on the phone and in person. They bend over backwards and then do it again. Spa treatments were excellent. Came on a Monday the restaurant was closed. Check with the inn on Monday restaurant recommendations. Many are closed on Mondays. The room was very interesting in decor.The bed was disappointing. the inn is very clean and well maintained. Would definitely come here again. Looking foward to coming during the holidays as they decorate the inn and have great holiday events we learned. Breakfast was included. The chef seemed to be in a hurry to go this morning. The scones and biscuits were very good. The breakfast room was overlooking a garden and really relaxing. Felt pushed out of the room. At 200 per night including breakfast we expected more. the manager was amazing. She knows what hospitality is about. Clearly loves her job and this inn. There was new desk staff that we dealt with, Christina. She clearly loves her job and is on top of everything. She could not do enough for us. Thank you for a great stay.

will return!!!!!!!

4.4 on July 16, 2014

fantastic venue....would like to stay longer next time

Quick Getaway

3.8 on July 14, 2014

We were looking for a B&B for a quick getaway - and were delighted with our stay. Friendly and helpful staff. Great location - easy access from I-95 and a shot walk to Old Lyme shops. Florence Griswold museum next door.

Scenic getaway

4.6 on June 23, 2014

Historic House was situated on beautiful 5 acre treed lot on a small river with large art structures. Very nice areas to sit privately around the property. The room was well furnished, the bath well appointed. The inn had several large areas that seated diners at the on site Chestnut Grill. The included continental breakfast also utilized these rooms. The food was outstanding as was the unobtrusive professional service. I would recommend getting a stronger wifi network and possibly include televisions in the rooms. The staff was great. We would stay at this B and B again.

Excellent stay

4.8 on June 09, 2014

Extremely friendly and helpful ownership. Beautiful property with extremely comfortable room. The lounge is truly lovely. If we are ever back in the area, we will definitely stay here again.

Peter & Eileen Laurence

4.4 on April 05, 2014

Breakfast was great! We had already planned to have dinner elsewhere but will certainly try the restaurant next time.

Small bathroom

3.0 on September 09, 2013

The bathroom was so so and small. I expected something more modern and larger.

Very charming and relaxing Inn

3.8 on September 07, 2013

Outstanding service, terrific food and very well-kept garden areas with a clear artistic character to them.

Relaxing stay

3.6 on June 02, 2013

Great little bed and breakfast! However, nothing much to do within walking distance.

A quick get away

5 on December 25, 2012

We stayed just before Christmas and it was wonderful. The living room had a beautiful tree and was very comfortable to sit and enjoy the wine and chees provide by the staf. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Breakfast was great and we had a couples massage which was very relaxing. We will go back!

Quick Getaway

5 on November 01, 2012

We came here for a quick getaway and loved every minute of it. We relaxed in the afternoon, went to dinner downstairs at night, and enjoyed breakfast in the morning. I definitely recommend coming here and will be back.

2 nite stay Monday & Tuesday

4.4 on August 20, 2012

The Bee and Thistle Inn is a very nice place to spend a few days. The location is beautiful, the rooms were excellent and the food was even better !!!

A wonderful stay at the Bee & Thistle

3.8 on May 11, 2012

This is a delightful inn. The inn keepers and staff are welcoming and went out of their way to make our stay relaxing and comfortable. The accomodations were comfortable, and the property backs onto the scenic river (yes, there are comfy chairs to sit and relax, and nice wines at the inn to bring with you !) The inn location is great because it is next door to a terrific, small museum, and very close to the art council (which includes a large art gallery) and the art college (more galleries, and a great outdoor sculpture garden). Nearby is the small artsy town of Chester, where there are some great restaurants (try the L&E / French 75 Bar)

Bee & Thistle Inn and Spa


  • Nightly Rate $150 - $275
  • Reviews (32) 4.2
  • Rooms 10

Contact Innkeeper

  • Phone 1-8604341667
  • Phone 1-860-434-1667

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