Posts Tagged ‘Inns’

Splurge and save at the Inn by the Sea

May 8, 2010

Through May 26, write a $35 check to Habitat for Humanity, and save 50 percent, Sundays through Thursdays, on a two-bedroom beach, cottage, or loft cottage at the chic, ultra-green, four-diamond, oceanfront Inn by the Sea, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. With the donation, rates range $134.50-$169.50. While you won’t see the special advertised on the site, the rate pops up when you click on reservations and enter potential dates for an overnight or two.

Act quickly, and apply your savings toward the Chef Tasting Menu, served through May 15, in the inn’s ocean-view Sea Glass Restaurant. Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich prepared this six-course New England with a Twist dinner at the James Beard House in New York in February 2010. The price is  $75 per person, or $110 with wine flight, and includes:

amuse bouche
• lobster and seafood ceviche
• roasted beet carpaccio
• pan-seared jumbo scallops
• Atlantic cod and lobster “chowder”
• red wine braised beef cheeks
• local apple crostata

Alternatively, you might splurge at the inn’s spa. Or just reap the savings and enjoy beach strolls, walking through inn’s certified butterfly and bird plantings, or simply plunking down in a lawn chair and enjoying the serenity of listening to waves rolling into shore and birds singing. A boardwalk above a marsh and path through the dunes connects the inn to Crescent Beach; really, it’s quite idyllic.

And here’s a tip: If you stay overnight, order the crab cakes Benedict for breakfast, then keep in the seafood mode with lunch at the nearby Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

Maine bits and pieces: news and chatter

May 3, 2010

Here’s a quick round-up of interesting news bits that have come across my desk:

Chebeague Island Inn reopening under new ownership

A favorite destination for travelers and day-trippers since the 1880s, the inn, restored in 2003-04, will re-open May 14 under the new ownership of the Prentice family of Yarmouth, Maine. With the May re-launch, the Prentices will be adding a more stylish, up-to-date ambiance.

One notable change is the inn’s restaurant, now under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Rowe, a veteran of 555 and Fore Street. The contemporary American menu, rooted in Maine and New England, will focus on locally/regionally sourced foods and beverages.

Here’s wishing the new owners success. I’m hoping to visit soon to see what’s happening.

• Unveiling of the Calves

You’ve heard of the Running of the Bulls, well Aldemere Farm, a 136-acres saltwater farm in Rockport, offers a far gentler experience. This Saturday, May 8, is its ninth annual Calf Unveiling Day. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. , you can  tour the Farm and visit with the newly born Belted Galloway calves (nicknamed the Oreo cookie cows for their distinctive white belt). Aldermere staff and volunteers will be on site speaking with visitors and providing information about the Farm and the herd.

Several other local farms will also be on site offering information regarding the goods they produce. These include:

• Sunnyside Farm with goats

• lueberry Farm and Blue Sky Farm with alpacas

• Ells Farm and Terra Optima will be selling meat

• Savage Oakes and Coastal Mountains Land Trust will have information about their operations

• Tanglewood 4-H Camp will present about their many agricultural offerings.

Other activities include the Rusty Hinges band performing (around 11 a.m.) and the Aldermere Achievers 4-H Club working throughout the day with their animals.

• Best Chef in the Northeast

Tonight, the James Beard Foundation will name the winner of the coveted Best Chef in the Northeast award. Chef/owners Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, have been nominated seven times. Here’s hoping that these perennial bridesmaids finally win; they certainly deserve it.

No. 10 Water Street opens tonight

No. 10 Water Street, the new restaurant at Brunswick’s Capt. Daniel Stone Inn, opens tonight, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Brunswick is getting to be an increasingly interesting food town, with a nice choice of inexpensive to moderate restaurants.

• Zip-line adventure park opening in Wiscasset

Monkey C Monkey Do, a Zipline family adventure park, is under construction on Route 1 in Wiscasset.

Meet Chuck Berry

January 3, 2010

No, not the rock n roll icon, but W. Chuck Berry, “the highly trained disciple of the all great weather prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil.”

Chuck makes a personal appearance at the Berry Manor Inn, in Rockland, every February, giving the local twist on Ground Hog Day. While the Berry Manor is a fabulous escape anytime, this Ground Hog Day package includes

• lodging at the four-diamond historic B&B (it’s home of the Pie Moms, a reason alone worth visiting)

• an exclusive showing of the movie Ground Hog Day complete with all the trimmings (cider, popcorn, warm cookies

• a ground hog Beanie Baby

• ground hog trivia at breakfast (ground hog pancakes, of course)

• locally made ground hog candy

The package, available only Feb. 2, is $140-$200 per room.

Now let me tell you a bit about the inn and those rooms. This place is a gem, a ruby-colored mansion tucked on a side street in downtown Rockland, and an easy walk to shops, museums, and restaurants. It’s elegant and inviting and not at all stuffy. There are beaucoup areas to relax and unwind — enough so that it’s easy to escape other guests, should you desire.

Guest rooms are comfy, not frilly (varying from pretty to handsome), and even the smallest is quite spacious. Expect all the usual amenities and and quite a few unexpected ones (a B&B with chocolates and turndown? Nice!). Many rooms whirlpool tubs and/or fireplaces. There enticing enough that you might want to just hunker down and not come out except for breakfast and the always available sweets in the guest pantry. (They included blueberry pie while I was there; mmmmmm).

Innkeepers Michael and Cheryl are a hoot. If you’re the ultra serious type who doesn’t think listening to a toy hamster belt out a tune at breakfast is fun, or who doesn’t appreciate a rubber ducky in the tub, than this isn’t the place for you.

If ground hog day doesn’t fit your schedule, check it out another time. Winter rates are a steal, beginning at $115 per night. And there are other quite attractive packages, too, like the Sleep Inn/Dine Out ($190-$250, through May), including a dine-around at three area restaurants. If you’re coming from Boston, add $114 to include round trip air via Cape Air to Rockland and the inn. Not bad, eh?

207 winter escapes

December 16, 2009

Looking to escape the holiday craziness? Want to chill and enjoy winter’s chill? Steal away to one of these inns I recommended on the WCSH-TV show 207. Quite a few have special packages, so be sure to check the web sites.

The Crocker Pond House, Bethel: Perfect for those who might want to do some early-season skiing at Sunday River. Lovely, owner/architect designed Shingle-style home in rural woods. Skate on the pond, cross-country ski on the trail by the river, snowshoe the trails from the backyard. Family friendly. $125 two nights, $150 one night, includes full breakfast.

Belfast Bay Inn & Suites, Belfast: Smack downtown, so it’s well situated for browsing Belfast’s boutiques and galleries and for strolling around to admire holiday decorations. Suites are elegantly furnished, and most have near-full kitchens that are well equipped. The owners have thought of everything; they even deliver a full, hot breakfast to your suite in the morning. $158-228

Inn on the Harbor, Stonington: Talk about away from it all! The inn is built over the island-dotted harbor, providing a front-row seat on any boating activity. Wonderful preserves for winter walking, artisans’s studios to visit. In winter, meals are available. $65-$110, $135 for a two-bedroom apartment with full kitchen; includes light breakfast.

West Quoddy Station, Lubec: It might not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here. A once-abandoned Coast Guard Lifesaving Station on West Quoddy Head that’s been renovated into efficiencies and a rental house. Walk the trails, stock up on Monica’s chocolates and Quoddy Mist sea salt. Studios and one-bedroom units: $80-95; four-bedroom house with full kitchen, $200.

Camden Harbour Inn, Camden: A hip, contemporary, luxurious oasis in Camden. Victorian on the outside, chic inside, without a hint of Victorian frou frou. Short stroll to downtown shops and restaurants. $175–$375, including a full champagne breakfast and all-day snacks.

News and Snooze: Open, shut and in flux

June 18, 2008

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 “flambé 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.