Posts Tagged ‘oceanfront lodging’

White Barn Inn now managing Acadia’s Asticou

May 28, 2010

Big news for Acadia fans: US Hotels Group, owner of the haute, haute, haute White Barn Inn, in Kennebunkport, and the Windham Hill Inn, in Vermont, is now managing Northeast Harbor’s chi chi Asticou Inn. When I last spoke with White Barn Inn Executive Chef Jonathan Cartwright, he told me US Hotels was in an acquisition mode, and this management deal is testament to that. This should also help breath new life into a somewhat tired property that catered to the newly wed and nearly dead.

According to a press release, US Hotels plans to update the inn’s infrastructure and add its signature hospitality ethos and style to the Asticou while preserving the property’s classic charm.

The oceanfront inn, designed by prominent 19th-century architect Fred L. Savage, has been an area landmark since 1883, when the island became a seasonal retreat for wealthy vacationers, sailing enthusiasts, and summer residents from major urban centers.The inn overlooks well protected yacht-filled Northeast Harbor, which remains a tony summer destination (lots of Lilly Pulitzer, Docksiders, Chinos, and sherbet colors here). It is adjacent to the magnificent azalea gardens of the same name (which, by the way, are in bloom now).

Cartwright is overseeing the rejuvenation of the inn’s dining room’s menu. “Our plans include implementing an extended season for casual lunch service as well as the creation of new menus in the scenic cocktail lounge, which affords the perfect setting for enjoying harbor sunsets.”

US Hotels is a member of the Libra Group, which is privately owned by the Logothetis family and has hospitality interests in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It manages eight New England properties, of which it owns seven, divided into Signature and Elite Properties. Signature Properties represent the ‘best of breed’ across a number of service categories from an informal Italian bistro to a range of hotels, spas and banqueting facilities. Elite Properties represent exclusive hotels providing world class accommodation, cuisine, and service (think White Barn Inn and Windham Hill Inn).

“US Hotels is proud to add the Asticou Inn to our collection,” says Paul Hanley, group CEO. “As with our other New England properties, it offers guests traditional values in a historic setting and offers the same culinary excellence that has won our group numerous plaudits. We plan to wrap ourselves in the heritage of this special property. We believe the property will benefit from the rich experience of its new General Manager, Nicholas Squire, who was trained at our own White Barn Inn and other world class hotels. Furthermore the partnership with this hotel  exemplifies the type of growth one can expect from US Hotels in the coming months with expansion planned both through management arrangements, like the Asticou, as well as acquisitions.”


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.

On the water, off the grid

September 28, 2009

Ed and Karen Curtis don’t just talk green talk, they walk the green walk and share it with their guests at the Three Pines Bed & Breakfast. Their 40-acre organic oceanfront farm, located on the east side of Hancock Point, fronts on Sullivan Harbor, just below the Reversing Falls. It’s completely off the power grid, and owners Ed and Karen Curtis have completed a conservation easement through the Frenchman Bay Conservancy to protect this special, private, spectacular land from development.

“My husband had taken an interest in solar in the late 1970s, and when we were ready to make a change from our engineer lives, he wanted to put that interest into practice,’’ Karen says. Ed did all the planning to make the house as energy efficient as possible. The design is passive solar; photovoltaics provide electricity; appliances are primarily propane-powered; satellite technology operates the TV and Internet systems; a masonry heater provides warmth in winter. Guests stay in one of two rooms in a separate building that’s attached to the main house, where a full, vegetarian breakfast is served (farm-fresh eggs!).

For the Curtises, it’s not just about being green, but also about sustainable living. They raise rare breed sheep for wool and chickens for eggs; grow organic vegetables, berries, and grapes; maintain a 40-tree orchard; and recently began keeping bees. They also make cheese, yogurt, soap, cider, jams and jellies, and maple syrup.

“We get people drawn to various aspects of our project here,’’ Karen says. “Some have no idea we’re off the grid, they’re coming strictly for location. Some are very interested in the farming aspects. Some come because we’re vegetarians. Some people never even know we’re off the grid, if the subject doesn’t come up. Unless they happen to ask, it’s completely transparent.’’

I can attest to that. We spent a blissful night here (amazing star gazing). I only wish I’d brought a kayak to launch from the front—or is that the back—yard. Or a bike, to pedal the old railway bed from the Tidal Falls Preserve to the point.

Sebasco celebrates 80 years with a steal of a package

May 7, 2009

Gotta like this one. Sebasco Harbor Resort, a family oriented (and pet-friendly) lodge and cottages smack dab on the ocean, is celebrating its birthday with a budget-friendly 80th Anniversary Weekend package, June 5-7.

Sebasco is located near the tip of the Phippsburg peninsula, south of Bath. Once quite retro, it’s slowly and consistently been upgraded and updated (renovated rooms, addition of an oceanfront spa), without losing its charm (candlepin bowling, saltwater pool). There’s a nine-hole golf course with one hole that puts meaning into the term water hazard. 

Here’s the scoop: For $199 per person, you receive two nights lodging in the main lodge, unlimited golf, daily breakfast, Saturday lunch BBQ/lobster bake, Saturday night grand buffet dinner with entertainment, and all kinds of activities.

Details, details:

Friday arrival

  • Welcome reception in the Main Lodge
  • Family Bon-fire sing along
  • Evening entertainment in the Ledges Pub


  • Champagne buffet breakfast in the Pilot House
  • Harborside BBQ Lunch and Lobster bake
  • Grand Buffet in the Cornelius Room with music and dancing
  • Evening entertainment in the Ledges Pub


  • Harborside Blueberry Pancake breakfast

Complimentary  Activities:

  • Hat Parties
  • Wooden Horse Races
  • Costume Golf
  • Relay races in the pool

Other Complimentary Activities:

  • Family golf tournament on Lake Course
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Treasure/scavenger hunts
  • Sebasco Jeopardy
  • All American BBQ
  • Lakeside Fireworks display
  • Wine Tasting

If you can’t make it this weekend, through June 18, Sebasco is offering $80 rooms in its main lodge.