Tag: Maine HotelsView All Tags
Home, sweet, holy crap we're in the middle of the ocean this is freaking awesome.
Does your idea of the perfect getaway involve the lapping ocean, the fresh sea air, and as few meddlesome other human beings as possible? We’ve found your dream vacation spot.
Behold the just-opened Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse, a two-room respite located on a craggy island off the coast of Maine. Yes, you heard right: the inn, part of a century-old lighthouse in the middle of Boothbay Harbor, only holds two accommodations — an East Suite and a West Suite.
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.)
The historic property on the rocky Maine coast has a new owner - with new tricks up their sleeve. The 70-acre Cliff House Resort & Spa has been a popular property in the summer resort town of Ogunquit, Maine for nearly 150 years. Now it’s about to get a new owner: Rockbridge, a hotel firm that is behind over 325 properties in 45 different states, just announced that it has purchased The Cliff House from the local Weare family. The property was founded by Elsie Jan Weare in 1872, and has been run by her descendants ever since.
That family tree ends this month, as The Cliff House opens for the season under its new owner. The 166-room resort will now be managed by New Castle Hotels, the team behind 29 properties like The Westport Inn in Connecticut and The Westin Portland Harborview, Maine’s first Westin-branded hotel, which just re-opened in December after a full restoration.
The Cliff House will also receive a “comprehensive renovation after the 2015 season, revitalizing the distinguished property,” according to a statement released by Rockbridge, though the firm wouldn’t elaborate on what those renovations will entail. (Okay, they did mention it would “preserve the resort’s significant tradition while updating technology and back-of-house equipment to increase the property’s efficiency and improve the guest experience.” So, things will happen, basically.)
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?)
If you aren't familiar with them already, Grace Hotels is a privately owned group of hotels in the upscale boutique class. The brand has properties Mykonos, Santorini, and Beijing, but, besides the Vanderbilt Hotel in Newport RI, which opened two years ago, we haven't heard a lot about them in the U.S.
That looks set to change, however, as Grace has made a quick expansion into the New England area by acquiring the 30-room Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, CT, and the 26-room White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, ME. The Mayflower will take the new name, The Mayflower Grace later this year, while the White Barn Inn will become The White Barn Grace early next year -- although a look at their website reveals they are already displaying the Grace logo.
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.
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 wellthough 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.
Presidential Hotels / Political Hotels / Maine Hotels / Holiday Inns / Bar Harbor Hotels / Barack Obama / → All Tags
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.
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.
Yesterday was the first official day of fall...still plenty of time to book a leaf-peeper getaway. The US Hotels Group just announced two getaways at their upscale New England resorts, The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine (where the Bush parents call home), and The Windham Hill Inn in West Townshend, Vermont.
Between September 22nd and October 18, and starting at rates of $1100 per person, you get two nights accommodations, dinner for two each night, breakfast and afternoon tea, and er, driving maps of the area.
Rooms at the The Windham Hill come with fireplaces, jacuzzis, and decks -- while The White Barn Inn, built in the 1860s, has an on-site spa and its White White Barn Inn Restaurant has won a Mobil 5-Star, AAA Five-Diamond rating.
Fortunately, the hotels don't charge you extra if you stay mid-week or weekend. And your fee includes, well, driving maps, which you could probably get for free from the state tourism board or local visitor centers, anyway. Or the internet. But you get the point.
[Photo: The Notorious Meg]
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.
"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.