Posts Tagged ‘White Barn Inn’

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.”

Winter romance in K’port

January 21, 2010

If you’re hankering for a fully frilled escape, want to impress your Valentine, and have cash burning to be spent, Kennebunkport’s five-star/five-diamond White Barn Inn, and its siblings, have some decent winter packages.

Get Snowed Inn at the White Barn Inn:

Package includes one night’s lodging, continental breakfast, lunch, and a four-course dinner from the five-star restaurant served in your room. And that’s not all, also included are a bottle of wine, afternoon tea and treats, a butler-drawn bath, and in-room movies. Rates begin at $735 per night or a junior suite. Package is valid through March 31.

Romance Month at the WBI

Book any room (rates begin at $360 including continental breakfast and afternoon tea) at the White Barn Inn during February and receive a $200 voucher valid at the inn’s restaurant or spa. Valid through February.

Dine at the restaurant during February, Greek Romance Month, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a Romantic Greek Vacation, including three nights at the Mykonos Grace hotel and three nights at the Santorini Grace hotel with a suite for two and plunge pool at each property; one complimentary three-course set dinner; Champagne breakfast daily; and arrival and departure transfers. Valid throughout February 2010, drawing March 31, 2010. Valid for use in 2010 and blackout dates may apply.

• Breakwater Inn & Spa Romantic Getaway

This riverfront sibling is a pleasant stroll from Dock Square, and some rooms have views down river to the ocean. Getaway includes one night in a deluxe room with a half-bottle of Tattinger Champagne, served in room or at dinner; three-course dinner for two at the inn’s STripers Waterside Restaurant or a four-course dinner for two at the White Barn; $300 credit at The Breakwater Spa; and daily continental breakfast and afternoon tea. Rates begin at $434 double; valid Feb. 5-20, 2010.

• Beach House Inn Romance Package

Now this property has a primo location facing Kennebunk Beach, perfect for walking or perhaps snowshoeing or skiing, or watching the brave souls who surf in winter (fools, me thinks, but I digress). Two-night package includes a 50-minute couples massage, rose petal-strewn bed along with champagne and chocolates, cheese and crackers served with port or brandy, romantic inroom movies, and continental breakfast and afternoon tea daily. Rates begin at $262 double, and it’s valid through February.

Check each website for other packages, too.

Haute dining, good value

July 3, 2009

IMG_1003No matter what your budget, getting good value for your buck makes a difference. In a town where $40 entrees aren’t unusual, the White Barn Inn, Maine’s only five-star dining room and Relais & Chateau property, provides better R.O.I. then most other options.

The White Barn is most definitely not a budget option, but for those who can afford to drop $95 on a meal or can eek it out for a special occasion, this five-star, five-diamond, fine-dining restaurant delivers far more than it promises for its $95 (add $48 with wine pairings, $85 with reserve wine pairings) price tag, and that equals value.  No, really!IMG_1088

Ambiance: OK, I hate that word as much as you do, it’s so snooty, but let me tell you, the White Barn has it. Yes it’s a barn, and it retains the structure and roughness of a barn in its siding and beams, but it’s polished with white tableclothes, silver, glass and crystal, candlelight, soft piano music, fine art on the walls, and lovely silver ornamental critters on the tables. Walk in, and your eyes are drawn immediately to the humongous back wall window. Outside, tiers of flowers blossom, an explosion of color that’s front and center.

Dress: Gentlement must wear jackets. ‘Nuff said. That alone adds an element of class, of refinement, of subdued conversation (really!).

Service: Waiters/waitresses and assistants in black and white move quickly, efficiently, and professionally around the room. They can answer any question thrown at them, whether about the food, the inn, the area. Water glasses are kept filled; napkins  are folded when diners temporarily leave their chairs; plates are served to all diners simultaneously in a choreographed flourish. No one misses a beat. It’s spot on.

IMG_1062 Food: Classic fare with inspirations. Everything’s familiar, yet it’s not. It’s exciting, but not too so; intriguing, yet satisfying. Did I say delicious? Definitely that, too. Chef Jonathan Cartwright and his team change the menu weekly, but don’t get too carried away. Menu focuses on what’s fresh and seasonal, without being held hostage by local ingredients.

Value: An amuse-bouche, a pre dessert, a post dessert, a tree of petit fours and chocolates weren’t included in the four-course meal’s description, but were included in the price. They’re daily gifts from the kitchen to diners, little extras that turn a four-course menu into a seven-course one, and a pricey splurge into one with value.

• Hint: Sure, it’s a bit like Cinderella retreating from the ball, but if you sleep across the street at the strictly functional Franciscan Monastery Guest House, you can balance the savings against the splurge.