Ye Old Off Ramp Inn? Portland, Maine edition
August 4, 2014 8:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a cheap place to crash off Rt. 95 near (or slightly North of) Portland, ME this Friday night. I will be arriving late-ish and leaving early the next morning, so hotel amenities are a non-issue. Most of the places I'm finding, your Days Inns and Travel lodges, are $150 or so minimum. I'd prefer to do better.

I need to be in Bethel, ME on Saturday morning but I don't want to drive all the way there Friday night. I'd prefer to stay near Portland but 30ish minutes North of there, on the way to Bethel, would be fine.

All I really need, in order of priority, is for the place to be cheap, clean, and quiet. Mostly just cheap, though. I don't want to stray too far off the highway and want the place to be easy to find. If planes on their way to Portland International Jetport are flying over my head, that's ok as long as the place is cheap.

It would be super-awesome if it was within walking distance of a pub even if that pub is, you know, an Applebees or something. Just somewhere to get a beer once I get up there. This is not totally necessary.

Continental breakfast would be nice.
posted by bondcliff to Travel & Transportation around Portland, ME (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't help with the pub part, but I'd recommend that you actually look for places off Exit 75 or 80 (Auburn/Lewiston) which would take you about 30 minutes north of Portland, and then take Route 11 to 26 then west to Bethel. Ideally you could just stop in Gray and then take Route 26 direct, but there really isn't anything in Gray for hotels at all.
posted by anastasiav at 9:15 AM on August 4, 2014

Is the Brunswick/Bath area too far out of your way? A quick Google Maps search shows hotels in the area of $90/night. I think it might be tough to do too much better than that; it's tourist season up there these days.

Something in Lewiston might work well too.
posted by xbonesgt at 9:16 AM on August 4, 2014

Are you willing to take NH-16 instead of 95? It will be a bit slower, but then you have (presumably) cheaper options like Rochester and Conway/North Conway in New Hampshire. I'm going to make the bold assumption that people aren't interested in visiting Conway/North Conway outside of ski season or leaf peeping season.
posted by tckma at 9:25 AM on August 4, 2014

The Inn at St. John is in Portland near the bus/train terminal - it's an old Victorian style inn (no elevator, but some accessible rooms on the ground floor), but very inexpensive depending on your choices.

(They have European style rooms with a bath down the hall more cheaply, and then more conventional US style rooms with bath in the room for more money - it looks like there's rooms with a shared bath for $115 for Friday. If you need to do a trip outside of tourist season, they get *very* inexpensive - I think I paid $55 for the night I was there in March.)

They're not far off the highway, though look at the map before you try and find their parking, because there are one-way streets (and they have an overflow lot if their lot is full when you get there.) Other than that, though I found them to be a great option - pleasant, decent breakfast options in the morning, etc.

Also, the rooms have menus/info for local pubs, and there's a couple of options within a few blocks.
posted by modernhypatia at 9:49 AM on August 4, 2014

Nth-ing Lewiston-Auburn. The Ramada in Lewiston and the Fireside Inn in Auburn are both under $150/night and right off the Pike.
posted by briank at 9:58 AM on August 4, 2014

If you take modernhypatia's suggestion, directly across the street is Pizza Villa, cash only but ludicrously cheap and strong beverages. Also Salvage BBQ about 1/2 block away has a fantastic beer selection and a charmingly long bar. Plus trays of meat.
posted by donnagirl at 10:38 AM on August 4, 2014

Not stayed at the Inn at St. John, but I have been inside, checking it out for potential out-of-town guests when we lived in Portland. It's across from the Greyhound station, and kitty-corner is a strip mall with a really cool music store.

It's a few doors down from the Dogfish Café, which has good beers and sometimes music, and great food as well.

Down the street on St. John, past the bus station and some places like a smoke shop and tatoo parlor, is Kim's Sandwich Shop, where you can get the most awesome banh mi sandwiches ever for $3 (open 9-6).

There is also a nearby Mexican restaurant, Margaritas, in the old railroad administration building, at the far end of the strip mall. They recently redid their menus, so it's not uber cheap, but the food is fantastic and they have a happy hour from 3-6.

That's probably the cheapest place with walkable things around it, but do lock up your car. Going up Congress Street the neighborhood can be a little sketchy. It's off 295, by the way, so you'll have to hook back up with 95 the next day to continue your trip. Still, I'd take that over Lewiston-Auburn area any day.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:51 AM on August 4, 2014

Super 8 Portland/Westbrook Area
208 Larrabee Rd, Westbrook, ME, US , 04092
right off an exit (was Exit 8, now it's Exit Mile# I Forget - 54?) I couldn't get the price or availability. Also at that exit, a Holiday Inn, an Applbees is nearby, and there's a bar in the Holiday Inn. Panera nearby for breakfast, though it's traditional to stop at the Dunkin Donuts in Gray en route to Bethel to ski. The Lewiston-Auburn exit overshoots the mark a bit.
posted by theora55 at 1:31 PM on August 4, 2014

Haha, I just checked the Super 8 myself because it's so close to the turnpike. But it's $160 a night! Yeesh.

That area is incredibly convenient to the Turnpike, though... a lot more convenient than Portland which is more of a I-295 town.

There's this place which isn't far from the pike in Westbrook. It's a cool looking house but is right next to a large paper mill which is unsightly.
posted by selfnoise at 1:37 PM on August 4, 2014

Oh also... there are some cheaper motels right near the Super 8 but they are not places I would stay. They seem to be popular crime scenes.
posted by selfnoise at 1:44 PM on August 4, 2014

Check out Maine Idyll in Freeport.
posted by lobstah at 3:40 PM on August 4, 2014

The Inn at St. John doesn't seem to have any of the cheap rooms available this Friday, although I also agree it's a nice place. Last time I needed a last-minute cheap sleep near Portland, I stayed in Brunswick. Specifically, this Rodeway Inn, although I remembered it being cheaper than the $130 I'm seeing now. It's not right off the highway, but it's not terribly inconvenient to get to either.
posted by gueneverey at 4:57 PM on August 4, 2014

Since no one else mentioned it, if it is not too far north, I would recommend Freeport. (Because you can stop in the 24 hr LL Beans on your way in or out of town.) There is a Super 8 and an Econo Lodge as I recall.
posted by hworth at 5:52 PM on August 4, 2014

I went through Gray recently - no obvious motels near the turnpike. If the Super 8 is 160, the other places near it are probably overpriced, as well. The crime has been personal - people knew their attacker, so probably not a concern unless you're traveling with an abusive spouse.
posted by theora55 at 5:02 PM on August 8, 2014

I'm kind of a Portland chauvinist, but this Hampton Inn in Freeport is less than half a mile from Gritty McDuff's, a decent brewpub and a stone's throw from the highway. And Freeport is only 15 minutes past Portland.
posted by that's candlepin at 11:43 AM on October 13, 2014

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