News and Snooze: Open, shut and in flux

In short: The Danforth and the Chebeague Island Inn are back; Atlantic Seal B&B is closed; West End Inn, Bear Mountain Inn and Newcastle Inn change hands.

The Danforth, located in a lovely John Calvin Stevens-designed mansion on Danforth Street, near the Victoria Mansion, has reopened. A guest there reported it’s again an elegant and gracious inn. Rooms are spacious and have luxury touches, such as robes and fireplaces. Breakfast is a Continental buffet. The gardens are lovely. Only quibble I have is that in the opening online promo, it advertises itself as being in the Old Port. Wrong. It’s on the city’s West End, an easy walk to the Old Port, but definitely not in the Old Port.

Another welcome back to the Chebeague Island Inn, accessible from Portland (1.5 hours) or Cousins Island, Yarmouth (15 minutes), via ferry. Renovated basement to attic in 2004, this old-time summer hotel closed last summer, but is now being leased with an option to buy. Also reopening is the dining room, as well as a lounge serving tapas and a “flambĂ© ice cream” parlor.

And a sad farewell to Tom Ring’s Atlantic Seal B&B, which he operated in his family home on the water in South Freeport. I spoke with Tom earlier today, and he said the sheer volume of hotel rooms available in Freeport now did him in. Of course, it didn’t help that he’s a technophobe who didn’t own a computer, have a web site or use an answer phone. Tom’s still operating his excursion boat, with trips to Eagle Island and Seguin Island, and he promises to have someone manning his phone in another week or two. Before then, call in the early evening.

Back in Portland, the West End Inn Bed & Breakfast has changed hands, as have the Bear Mountain Inn, in Waterford, and The Newcastle Inn, in Newcastle. More on these after I’ve done some snooping.


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