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Reviewed 24 April 2020

The town of Clewiston is located on the southwest bank of Lake Okeechobee, the largest freshwater lake in Florida. It was named for Tampa banker A.C. Clewis, who financed the extension of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad through the area in 1922. In 1932 Clewiston was incorporated and laid out according to the plans of the Southern Sugar Corp who wanted a showcase city to serve as its headquarters. The town has the nickname "America's Sweetest Town" because of the U.S. Sugar Corporation headquarters here.

The Clewiston Inn is the oldest hotel near Lake Okeechobee. The Inn was first built in 1926 by architects L. Phillips and Edgar S. Wortman in a two story Classical Revival style along the waterfront of Lake Okeechobee. The hotel was constructed by the Clewiston Company, the community and real estate development arm of Bror Dahlberg's Southern Sugar Company. Southern Sugar went into bankruptcy during the Great Depression and sold their assets to United States Sugar Corporation which was founded by three former General Motors executives. The hotel survived the 1926 Hurricane and the 1928 hurricane that killed over 4,000 people when Lake Okeechobee flooded causing many people to drown. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1937 but rebuilt in 1938 by U.S. Sugar Corp. with thick concrete walls braced with extra thick steel reinforcing rods the could withstand any future hurricanes. U.S. Sugar Corp used the inn to house company executives, customers. and visiting dignitaries. President Herbert Hoover stayed at the inn when he dedicated the Hoover Dike built around the lake, to provide flood control after the devastation of the Hurricane of 1928.

One of the most stunning features of the hotel is the the Everglades Lounge and Bar which has a 360-degree wildlife mural covering all four walls of bar. The mural was made in 1945 by artist J. Clinton Shepherd who recreated the animals and plants of the Everglades. He stayed at the Inn for many months and made daily trips into the Everglades to sketch the flora and fauna. The historic mural alone makes this a 5 star visit.

I love a good ghost story and the Clewiston Inn has it's share. There have been a number of paranormal investigations here and it's believed there are four spirits who never checked out. They include Anita Conklin who lived at the Clewiston Inn in room 225 and died in 1994. People have reported having their hair pulled outside the room. Other guests mention room 118 where there have been reports of a woman in the window.

In 2007 the U.S. Sugar Corporation sold the Inn to Big Lake Hotels. In 2011 the Big Lake Hotels Corporation sold the Inn to Clewiston Hospitality LLC. It is an Americas Best Value Inn. On February 21, 1991, the hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The five stars is for the historic value of the hotel as I have never stayed or eaten here. The manager caught me peeking in the window and even though the inn was closed he graciously allowed me inside to look around. I got a brief glimpse of the famed Everglades room and even though the light wasn't on I was suitably awed. Returning for a drink at the bar is now high on my list of post corona activities.

Date of stay: April 2020
Thank Arielfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2020

This hotel deserves a zero, but I can’t do that. This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed at. I think they never clean the carpet or the floors. Water from the shower got on the floor. I used some hand towels to dry it and oh boy, it came up black. It was nasty and disgusting. There was mold on the doors and in the closet, the curtains in the room are torn, there was stain on the towels, broken parts in the toilet, rust everywhere. It looks like an abandon room. Look at the pictures I took. They speak by themselves. They charge $100.00 and it is a hotel worth about $25.00. It’s much worst than a cheap motel. I was going to just leave, but it was late, and I was really tired. Also, breakfast is a joke. There was a bad smell (like an open sewer) in the bathroom that gets into the room. The hot water handle came apart and off, hot water problems, trash on breakfast room, not replenish the breakfast, lady came, took a look and left, did not bring anything else, parking on the street, parking of a park, noisy street. This place needs to be shut down.

Date of stay: February 2020
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Margie452014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABVIClewiston, Guest Relations Manager at America's Best Value Inn Historic Clewiston Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2020

Thank you for your feedback! We are sorry to hear your stay did not exceed expectations, If at anytime during your stay there is an issue with your room we urge guests to contact the front desk immediately so the problem can be investigated and resolved. Also we are sorry you did not enjoy our breakfast, we only offer a continental breakfast not a buffet breakfast like most large chain hotels do but we would have been more than happy to direct you to some lovely local southern eateries our location is across the street from a coffeehouse. Once again thank you for your feedback and we will take everything into consideration as we are making changes. We hope if you choose to stay with us again we can change your opinion for the better!
Thank you!
Anne with Guest Services at ABVI Historical Clewiston Inn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2020 via mobile

Friendly, helpful staff.
Beautiful building. No elevators and quite a few steps.
Rooms are smaller but completely adequate.
We kept waiting to see the twins at the end of the hallway... But never did.

Date of stay: February 2020
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank 490tamiw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ABVIClewiston, Front Office Manager at America's Best Value Inn Historic Clewiston Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 13 February 2020

Thank you for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your stay at our historic inn. Sadly due to us being on the national historic registry, we are not allowed to back major renovations like adding an elevator. We hope you can understand. Once again thank you so much for your feedback! We hope to have you stay with us again if you are still looking for a more spooky experience we would be more than happy to assign you one of our "haunted" rooms next time.
Sincerely,
Anne with Guest Services @ ABVI Historical Clewiston Inn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2019

Rather than stay at one of the dingy looking motels on the Sugarland highway we decided to stay at the historic Clewiston Inn. What a mistake that was. The dated tiny room came with a stained comforter, one straight-back wooden chair, old noisy AC, and the smallest bathroom I have ever seen. And let's not forget the free continental breakfast with stale biscuits, no jams, no cold milk, terrible coffee, overcooked hard-boiled eggs, a waffle maker with no batter, etc. I have no doubt that a dingy motel would have been a better choice.

Date of stay: February 2019
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank driftdiver1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2019

The hotel is 80 years old (give or take). It's going to be different from the cookie-cutter hotels you find all over.

That's what should either make you stay, or avoid the Clewiston Inn.

The good: It's quirky. Low rates. Friendly staff. Good location. Very quiet. Comfy 4-poster bed. Vintage lobby and decorations around hotel.

The bad: Hot water (or lack of it) in the morning. Bathroom door needed to be "bumped" quite hard to close.

It's simple: If you want a hotel with character and don't mind a few quirks...stay here.

If you want a usual bed, a usual room and don't like surprises...stay at one of the chain hotels.

Date of stay: December 2019
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank JerkChicken345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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