ME Travel Guide

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Here's Your First Look at the Press Hotel in Portland (Maine), Opening in April

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 119 Exchange Street [map], Portland, ME, United States, 04101
February 13, 2015 at 5:54 PM | by | ()

Extra, extra! Read all abou — oookay. We have a feeling the folks behind the Press Hotel are probably going to get tired of reading variations on that opening.

Almost exactly one year ago, we reported that this Portland, Maine hotel was on the way, preparing to inhabit the former headquarters of the “Portland Press Herald” newspaper. (It will also be an Autograph Collection Hotel and thus a part of Marriott.) Well, deadline is upon us.

Press Hotel is now slated to open in April, and here’s your first look at the guest rooms.

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Forget Jail Hotels, We're All About Industrial Mill Hotels Now

January 2, 2015 at 11:28 AM | by | ()

We always love hearing about abandoned industrial buildings that are rescued by savvy developers and hoteliers and transformed into one-of-a-kind, or at least cool-to-admire hotels. Which is why we're extremely excited for this former textile mill to open, if all goes well, as a hotel in 2017.

The Lincoln Mill, a former textile mill in Biddeford, Maine, is in the preliminary approval stages for conversion to the Lincoln Hotel and Lofts.The hotel will have 81 guest rooms, along with loft-style residential apartments and multiple restaurants. There is no word yet if the new hotel will hang a flag we all recognize, or if it will go its own way.

As we can see from the photo above, the mill is ginormous, defined by the tower-like gatehouse in the middle. This should make for a prominent, flagged hotel entrance. With all those tall windows and brickwork, the mill can add a great industrial vibe to an urban contemporary hotel. Top it off with lively, social-media friendly--as in free WiFi--lobbies and guest rooms, and it should be a hit.

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Bike Kennebunk with White Barn Inn's 'Crustacean Crawl'

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 37 Beech St. [map], Kennebunk, ME, United States, 04046
June 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM | by | ()

Bar crawls: Boozy. Lobster crawls: Bougie.

We’re not complaining. After all, this is something you'd expect in Kennebunk, the coastal Maine playground for the really rich and not-necessarily-famous. (Power is not measured in Twitter followers, dahling.) New Englanders heading up for a summer retreat at The White Barn Inn will now be able to book the “bespoke experience” of a customized “Crustacean Crawl” with the Relais & Chateau property’s esteemed chef Jonathan Cartwright. (He’s also the toque behind the fine dining Muse restaurants at two other tony Grace Hotels properties, Newport’s Vanderbilt Grace and Connecticut's Mayflower Grace.)

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The Press Hotel Coming to Portland, Maine in 2015

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 119 Exchange St. [map], Portland, ME, United States, 04101
February 25, 2014 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

Stop the presses! Start the construction. It was announced this week that Maine’s former Portland Press Herald building will be transformed into boutique accommodations — The Press Hotel, slated to open in 2015. (We had heard this was going to happen a few years ago but now it's legit.)

The 90-year old building on Exchange Street in the historic Old Port District has been abandoned since the city’s major newspaper relocated in 2010. But local Jim Brady — a longtime hotel developer who has renovated properties for Doubletree Hotels, Holiday Inn and others established brands — intends to preserve the history of the space. He described his vision in a statement about the project:

We want to connect with the history of the building, the talent of the region, and the skills of Maine’s craftsmen and artists. … This hotel will be connected to where the local scene is going while being rooted in its past.”

The interior, designed by Stonehill & Taylor (the team behind NYC spots like The Refinery and Ace), “will be a modern interpretation of Portland’s history of news and information, the long history of Maine’s appeal to artists and the building’s printing history.” Read: Free coffee and Screaming Rooms. (No? Well, this is supposed to appeal to journalists, right?)

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An Old Newspaper Building Will Open As A Boutique Hotel In Portland, ME

Where: 390 Congress St [map], Portland, ME, United States, 04101
August 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM | by | ()

Old, run-down industrial buildings getting repurposed as boutique hotels? It's what we like to call 'a trend.' And Portland, ME is the latest city to get in on the action, with the conversion of the old Portland Press Herald building into a 100-room boutique hotel.

Funnily enough, the Portland Press Herald itself reported on the story, saying its former headquarters, which is located on the edge of Portland's historic Old Port district, has been sitting empty since 2010.

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Hotel Restaurants You'd Actually Eat In: Maine's White Barn Inn

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 37 Beach Ave. [map], Kennebunk Beach, ME, United States, 04043
March 25, 2011 at 4:11 PM | by | ()

The reputation of hotel restaurants as sad, overpriced affairs is quickly falling away as some talented chefs make the eateries destinations of their own. This week, Katherine Spiers is taking us to some of the best hotel restaurants in the world.

Kennebunkport, a seaside village in Maine, is known mostly for its position under the Bush presidencies as the "summer White House." The Walker-Bush clan has owned an estate there for over a century, hosting guests like Yitzhak Rabin and Billy Graham for the last 20 years.

The White Barn Inn, just down the way a bit, has served dinner to a few of these dignitaries as well—though the restaurant's more likely to be the setting for a marriage proposal. The huge barn, retrofitted and painted and decorated in country chic, certainly looks the part.

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Hotel, Motel, President Obama Stays at the Holiday Inn

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 123 Eden Street [map], Bar Harbor, ME, United States, 04609
July 16, 2010 at 2:59 PM | by | ()

Wow, well it looked like the modern rebranding of Holiday Inn is working out for them, because President Barack Obama and his family are staying at the Holiday Inn Regency Bar Harbor this weekend.

Michelle and the girls headed up to Maine with Barack earlier today, all packed and ready for a relaxing weekend of hiking Acadia National Park and hanging out in cooler temperatures. Bo the dog is joining them too! He flew up a few days early though, with secret service and security detail who've been working to nail down the specifics of the President's long weekend stay.

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Digital Nomad Lobbies: Portland Harbor Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 468 Fore Street [map], Portland, ME, United States, 04101
August 7, 2009 at 11:42 AM | by | ()

There has been a lot of talk recently about the lifestyle of digital nomads -- folks who work from wherever they might roam. HotelChatter has been covering hotel wifi since the beginning, but as we cited in our 2009 annual hotel wifi report times they are a changin'.

The biggest change on the tech side is the growing popularity of the usb broadband card. As more and more people buy into these cards (and more and more GMs pray to the hotel gods they do) there are a growing number of digital nomads that no longer tap into a hotel WiFi network. Instead, these nomads are in search of killer hotel lobbies to comfortably work in. That's right, digital nomads have no problem coming in, kicking back on hotel lobby couches and doing an hours worth of work. So once again hotels have a choice -- welcome these folks, pay no mind to them, or actively try to kick them out.

With this in mind, we figured it was time for us to start rating hotel lobbies on their digital nomad quotient. First up, the Portland Harbor Hotel.

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The Little Inn That Could

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 60 Newagen Colony Rd [map], Newagen, ME, United States, 04576
November 7, 2008 at 2:50 PM | by | ()

We don’t mean to be picky about hotel blogs but, well, we are. And considering how picky we are, the Newagen Seaside Inn should be pleased that we find their blog actually pretty OK.

But--because there’s always a but--we definitely picked the wrong day to drop by their blog. Right now the first post you see is about a dream wedding which they describe as being perfect, but the newly-weds are beaming at us from under an umbrella on a dreary-looking day. Not exactly our idea of a dream wedding. Then again, some consider rain on your wedding day good luck.

That said, the Newagen Seaside Inn’s blog is still pretty readable. There’s a mix of self-promotion (especially for their weddings) and general info on Maine, and nice pics to go with it. There’s even an interview with a family who’ve apparently been vacationing at this same hotel for 40 years but unfortunately they didn’t ask them why they’d never thought of choosing a new destination.

To sum up: the Newagen Seaside Inn has put together a much more professional hotel blog than some of the big guns, so we’re saying thumbs up. But we’d be very careful about choosing the season if we got married there.

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The Cottages at Hidden Pond in Maine Opening Next Month

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 354 Goose Rocks Road, [map], Kennebunkport, ME, United States, 04046
June 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

The newest edition to the Orchid Hotels and Resorts family is Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. Normally, we don't go further north than Manhattan when we travel the Eastern Seaboard but we are actually contemplating a stay here at Hidden Pond when it opens in July.

The hotel is actually made up of 14 cottages complete with full kitchens, king beds, flat-screen TVs, large screen porch, gas fireplaces and even an outdoor shower. (There's an indoor bath too.)

Some more on the cottages:

Natural fabrics, an inviting screened-in porch, a gas fireplace set in river stone, clever little kitchens and floor to ceiling windows that allow nature inside ... enjoy all of this by day and then retreat to the sanctuary of your bedroom where you'll find Frette bed linens, plush down-filled duvets and the most comfortable bed you've ever had the pleasure to encounter.

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It's a Maine Thing :: The Bar Harbor Inn and Spa

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Newport Drive [map], Bar Harbor, ME, United States, 04609
May 2, 2008 at 4:55 PM | by | ()

While some of you Nor'easterners have your heart set on visiting the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore this summer, at least a third of you is going to head up to New England. And if you love fresh Maine lobster, we suggest you head for the Bar Harbor Inn and Spa, one of only three hotels in Maine to be listed among the top 500 hotels on the planet by Travel + Leisure.

Built in 1887, the inn has a long and fascinating history, tied in to the lives and fortunes of the Vanderbilt's, the Pulitzer's, and other prominent American families who spent leisurely summers in Bar Harbor.

The hotel is directly on Frenchman's Bay and has 154 rooms in three distinctive buildings on eight acres of landscaped grounds: the Main Inn,  Oceanfront Lodge, and  Newport. For larger rooms with balconies and incredible oceanfront views, opt for the first two.

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Find a Tax Deduction at a Maine Inn

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 108 Summer Street [map], Kennebunk, ME, United States, 04043
February 12, 2008 at 12:05 PM | by | ()

"Nature hates calculators," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, likely around tax time. If slaving away at 2007's taxes have shown you that you need to create more opportunities for deductions this year, might we suggest planning a weekend getaway to the Waldo Emerson Inn, a bed and breakfast believed to be one of the oldest houses in Kennebunk, Maine?

Book a stay in May, when the inn--and other members of the Maine Innkeepers Association--cut room rates in half to support "Hospitality for Habitat," a program that raises funds for Habitat for Humanity projects in Maine. In exchange for the discount, guests who stay between May 1-23 will be asked to write a $35 check to Habitat for Humanity, which you can write off come tax time next year. Everybody wins!

But there's more charm to staying here than a vacation that yields a tax deduction. The B&B maintains much of its original construction from 1753; plus Waldo Emerson, Ralph's great uncle, used to build clipper ships on the river behind the house. The colonial-style inn offers just four guest rooms, each anointed with handmade quilts, antiques, working fireplaces and private baths. May rates start at $95 per night.