The Griswold Inn

36 Main Street , Essex, CT 06426 USA (Show map)


If one mentions Essex in the presence of another who has visited this charming seaport village, there is sure to be mention of The Griswold Inn accompanied by a pleasant smile and perhaps the sharing of a fond remembrance. The "Gris", located in the heart of this historic hamlet, is what Essex is all about. Warm... Spirited... Comfortable. One can enjoy the camaraderie in its award-winning Tap Room; relish a well-prepared meal surrounded by museum-quality maritime art in one of its historic dining rooms; experience the stunning Wine Bar with its award-winning wine list, innovative "small plate" menu and offering of over 50 wines by the glass; or curl up with a good book and simply relax in this lovely retreat. There is also much to do right outside the front door. Mere steps from the Inn are the majestic Connecticut River and the Connecticut River Museum, along with marinas, unique shops, galleries and historic homes. Use the Inn as "Home Base" and explore the Connecticut Shoreline with its many attractions: discover great shopping, cultural activities and the natural beauty for which this area is known. If it’s gaming you're after, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos are within easy reach.



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  • Guest room5
  • Service5
  • Value4.5
  • Cleanliness5
  • Onsite Dining5

Return of the Brits to Essex

4.8 on February 24, 2016

My Partner and I stayed at the "Gris" in November 2015. We thoroughly enjoyed both the stunning town and the historic Inn. I was intrigued by the fact that the history of the town was recorded in an almost self deprecating manner. Praising the British raid for its well organised and planned raid. A very refreshing attitude. The Inn provided an extremely welcoming atmosphere and I must congratulate all the staff who went out of their way to ensure we had a very pleasant stay. Thank you Essex.

travel back in time

5 on October 12, 2009

We were upgraded to the suite because we came on a weekday and they had availability. The inn was quaint and enjoyable. We enjoyed appetizers at the bar next door then wandered into the parlor for live blues music. Highly recommend the oldest running inn in America.

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Rooms & Rates

Standard Room

Standard Room

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Annex Room

Annex Room

  • Maximum Capacity: 2



  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Deluxe Suite

Deluxe Suite

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Superior Suite

Superior Suite

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

Family Cottage

Family Cottage

  • Maximum Capacity: 2

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Location Type

Historic Seaport Village, Downtown, Small town


Hartford, CT (BDL-Bradley Intl.) 50 miles

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Aquarium, Art Galleries, Beach, Casino, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, Outlet Stores, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Vineyard, Winery

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Inn Details

Establishment type

Historic Inn

On-site amenities

Board games, Coffee/Tea facilities, DVD Player, Fridge, Kitchenette, Library, Microwave, Parking, Piano, TV, Wedding Facilities

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Fireplace, Hairdryer, Ironing Board, Radio, Telephone, Wheelchair access, Wi-Fi

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  • Check In:: 2:00 p.m.
  • Check Out:: 11:00 a.m.
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Yes
  • Suitable For Children: Yes
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Accepted payments AMEX, VISA, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: An advance deposit of one night's rate per room is required on all Friday and Saturday arrivals.
  • Cancellations: Deposits will be refunded if the reservation is cancelled at least 48 hours before scheduled arrival.
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Matteo, Kate, IKs. Doug and Joan Paul

Languages spoken


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  • Time Served: 7:00 - 10:00 a.m.
  • Serving Location: Breakfast/dining area, On-site restaurant

Special meal options

"Small Plates", "Tavern Fare"

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Special Package

Stay & Play - Goodspeed Opera House

Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays Now through October 30, 2017! Come to Essex for a Play Date – an overnight stay at the ‘Gris’ and a performance at the acclaimed Goodspeed Opera House, a 15-minute drive from the Inn. The Stay & Play Package price of $325 includes: – two premium theatre tickets – preferred seating/best available at time of reservation – an overnight stay in one of our charming Standard Rooms* – continental breakfast for two *Room upgrades available for an additional charge. Tax not included. Thoroughly Modern Millie: April 21 – July 2 Sunday 2:00 pm Wednesday 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm Thursday 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm Oklahoma!: July 14 – September 23 Sunday 2:00 pm & 6:30 pm* Wednesday 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm Thursday 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm* *Sunday evenings through 8/13; Thursday matinees begin 8/17. Curtain time for Sunday, 8/27 is 1:00 pm. Ring for reservations, 860.767.1776.

Girlfriends' Getaways

Wednesday & Thursday Stay-over Now through October 26, 2017! Enjoy an escape from day-to-day responsibilities with your gal pals: connect over wine, a pampering spa experience, fun in the Tap Room, shopping and yoga! This is a perfect way to “re-une” with sisters, cousins, college friends…And if you need a gentle push – read this! Package price of $1140 for four guests ($285 each) includes: - two “sister” suites to accommodate four guests for a 2-night stay – Wednesday and Thursday stay-over - Continental breakfast each morning - $20 Gift Certificate to The Spa of Essex to be redeemed towards a service or retail item* - Friday 9 am Gentle Yoga Class at Fitness on the Water - Late check-out extended to 11:30 a.m. *Advance appointments for spa treatments are recommended and may be made directly by calling 860.767.7796. Suggested Itinerary: Wednesday – check-in, Wine, Women & Wednesday in our Wine Bar – women enjoy 1/2 price wines by the glass over 50 selections! The Wine Bar, open at 6:00 p.m., also offers a variety of dining options. Thursday – enjoy a spa day* and exploring and shopping around Essex village and the surrounding area. Check out dinner on the patio or on our historic side and live music in our award-winning Tap Room. Friday – Gentle Yoga Class at 9:00 a.m. The studio is located just around the corner from the Inn and this class is for all levels. Check out by 11:30 a.m. For package reservations please call 860.767.1776.

Fall Foliage

September 28th through October 19th Sundays through Thursdays Come to enchanting Essex – soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the scenery and…RELAX! Experience the comfortable and convivial atmosphere of the 1776 ‘Gris’ and enjoy an authentic journey back to the days of steam and Mississippi-style riverboats. The 2 1/2 hour excursion begins at the Essex station where you will board the Great Republic, an elegant 1920’s Parlor Car complete with beverage service and individual, plush swivel seats from which to take in the stunning scenery. The train transports passengers to the Becky Thatcher, a riverboat which travels up the Connecticut River to enjoy some of the most spectacular vistas in our area! The package price of $240 includes: An overnight stay in one of our charming standard accommodations Two round-trip tickets for a “first class” excursion aboard the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Continental breakfast for two As seating is limited in the Parlor Car, when making your room reservations please specify the time at which you wish to begin your rail and riverboat adventure. Trains depart daily (EXCEPT WEDNESDAY) at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Please ring 860.767.1776 for reservations. Tax not included in package price. Room upgrades are available for an additional charge. Sunday, October 8th excluded.

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