Posts Tagged ‘pet-friendly’

Snowshoe splurge

January 7, 2010

Craving snowshoes? The Winter Escape package at The Inn by the Sea, an oceanfront boutique hotel in Cape Elizabeth, includes two pairs. Test them on snow-covered Crescent Beach.

Here’s the deal,  the package includes:

•  Two nights in a single bedroom accommodation

•  Two welcome spiked hot chocolates

•  Full gourmet breakfast for two each morning

•  Two pairs of L.L. Bean Winter Walker snowshoes (value around $100 each)

•  Two passes to an L.L. Bean snowshoeing outdoor activity in Freeport (weather dependent)

Rates range $336.45–$370.15 per night, depending upon type of room chose (traditional to spa).

Here’s the fine print: A two-night minimum is required, and packages must be booked at least three days in advance of arrival. Snowshoeing outdoor adventure takes place in Freeport, from 9:30 a.m. until noon and requires onsite registration after 8:30 AM on the activity day. Snowshoeing outdoor adventure is weather dependent and has no cash value if not consumed.

No familiar with the Inn by the Sea? Read my review in maine. magazine.

Is your pooch stressed?

May 9, 2009

IMG_8804Take him for a spa escape at the Cliff House, in Ogunquit.

Doggie massage is the newest service at the oceanfront resort topping Bald Head Cliff. Just like with humans, it helps minimize pain from arthritis and hip problems, increases circulation, improves cardiovascular health, relieves pain, provides relaxation, and reduces anxiety, stress, fear and other emotional issues.

“Many middle-aged and older pets suffer from arthritis and joint disease. Massage improves not only their health, but their quality of life,” says Maine veterinarian Dr. Gary Stuer, who integrates Western veterinary medicine with complimentary and holistic therapies.

Instead of dogs visiting the full-service spa (oh, and do treat  yourself while there), a therapist will come to your room to give your dog a private, 25-minute massage. Two choices are available, a customized massage that targets muscles needing attention and an aromotherapy massage, which uses essential oils to leave your dog not only feeling better, but also smelling sweeter, too.

The Cliff House has eight pet-friendly rooms in the Ledges building. Each comes with a water dish, canine bed, PYOP bag, ground floor access to an enclosed exercise area, and all-natural dog treats.  Dogs are welcome (on a leash) to walk the resort’s 65 acres of lawns, woods and rocky seashore.

Lose the crowds

September 12, 2008

We visited Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park yesterday, meeting friends at the Jordan Pond House for lunch (the salad with apples and cranberries is fabulous, and my foodie friend E gives high marks to the lobster stew) on the lawn (with tea and popovers, of course). It was a spectacular September day, and Bar Harbor was jamming. Two huge cruise ships and the usual bus tours dumped what seemed like gazillions of folks onto the island.

Now I often hear folks complain about how crowded Bar Harbor and Acadia are—and if you only hang out downtown or in the park’s icon sites, that’s true. But after lunch we walked out onto the carriage trails. Within five minutes of easy strolling from Jordan Pond House, we were alone in the park. We passed a few hikers early on, but we walked in solitude for 20 minutes or so, accompanied only by birdsong and the music of a rushing stream. Heaven.

And I know from previous visits, that a short walk from downtown Bar Harbor, and one can be in equally quiet sections of the park. Compass Harbor, site of George Dorr’s home (just a foundation, now) is an easy mile jaunt via sidewalk edging Main St./Route 3 from downtown. Or follow the Jesup Path and the Great Meadow Loop. Really, it’s quite easy to escape the crowds, if you’re willing to take a few steps off the pavement.

One last note about Jordan Pond House: If you’re traveling with dogs, you’re welcome to sit on the lawn. The staff even brings a bowl of water for your pooch. While we lunched, there were at least a dozen dogs at the tables surrounding ours (in addition to our two). And as long as your pet is leashed, it’s welcome on the trails (just bring a plastic bag for clean up, if necessary).

Meals on paws

August 23, 2008

Our new pup is putting a bit of a crimp in our travel style, since he’s too young to leave either at home or in a kennel. Instead, we’re using our travel as opportunities to socialize him, and bringing him to restaurants with outdoor seating areas that allow dogs.

We started with meals on the road en route home from Halifax, N.S., where he was born. We transported both Dooley, our pup, and one of his sisters, who continued on to her home in New Hampshire. That 12-hour trip included mostly highway rest stops, although we did stop at Just Barb’s in Stockton Springs, and the staff there couldn’t have been any more helpful or friendly. We ate outside on one of the picnic tables, and the waitress kept checking on us. Just Barb’s is great for an inexpensive meal. It’s famed for its fried fish, which is what we ordered. No complaints. The two of us split one order, and couldn’t finish it.

Last week, we took Dooley down to Round Pond for lobster, meeting friends who brought Jeff, Dooley’s dad. My usual digs are Round Pond Lobster, but this time we went to Muscongus Bay Lobster, right across the parking lot. It’s much bigger, and has a wider menu (crab and lobster rolls, oysters). We stuck with the usual, a one-pounder with steamers and corn. Really, you can’t beat the Round Pond setting, and the pup was completely exhausted (a good thing) by the time we headed home. Only down side was our timing. We arrived at peak hour. It took about a half hour to wind our way through the line to order, then another half hour to get the bugs.

Today, we took Dooley and his big bro, Bernie, to lunch in Rockland at the Brass Compass Cafe. It’s smack downtown, and has a nice shaded patio area, where we ate. This place is a gem. Great food, great service, all-day breakfast, delicious lunch specials and reasonable prices. I had eggs with a haddock cake—cake was nicely browned and crisp, while the potatoes and haddock inside remained moist and flavorful. Tom had a Tuscan chicken grilled tortilla—like a quesadilla—with pesto, tomatoes, and carmelized onions, served with a side salad. Another stellar choice.

Next up: Introducing Dooley to the pleasures of Round Top ice cream. Mmmmmm.

Maine: By the sea, by the sea…

May 14, 2008

I spent many a sunny day in my youth on the sands of Cape Elizabeth’s Crescent Beach, and special occasions often meant a dinner at the Crescent Beach Inn. Decades ago, that was torn down and replaced in 1986 by the Inn by the Sea. The beach-front inn has always been ahead of the curve: It was one of the first true luxury properties in Maine; one of the first to welcome pets (at no extra charge!); and one of the first to earn green certification.

Not one to be left behind, the inn has just finished a multi-million dollar renovation, redecorating in handsome understated colors, and will reopen on June 6. Everything’s been spiffed up, redecorated and upgraded, and noteworthy is the addition of a full-service spa.

My dog, Bernie, insists I tell you that this is one cool place to go. Dogs are honored guests in specific pet-friendly rooms and receive bowls, beach towels, blankets, even treats at turn down. Specialty services are available, including gourmet room-service, walking service and day care. And there’s also a doggie bag filled with all sorts of goodies, from treats to toys. Now that’s something to woof about.