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Maine Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bar Harbor Inn
Newport Drive
Bar Harbor , Maine
04609
Tel: 800 248 3351
Tel: 207 288 3351
reservations@barharborinn.com
www.barharborinn.com

The best place to slumber on Mount Desert Island is in a sleeping bag under the stars at an oceanfront campsite in Acadia National Park. If pitching a tent ain't your thing, though, or you're traveling in the black-fly season of late May and early June, book a room at the Bar Harbor Inn. Yes, the ho-hum decor and five-o'clock-shadow sheets should be tossed into the ocean. But the views are stunning, the service excellent, and the location—downtown, and a short drive from Acadia—ideal. The Bar Harbor Inn splits 153 rooms among three buildings: the Main Inn (best for convenience), the Oceanfront Lodge (best for balconies), and the Newport Building (best for a budget). A new, lighthouse-shaped spa and fitness center and a heated pool sit in the middle, while the inn's own pier hosts cruises on the Margaret Todd, a four-masted schooner. Don't miss sitting under a yellow umbrella at the outdoor Terrace Grille, cracking open a lobster.

Closed seasonally (December through March).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Beach House Inn
211 Beach Avenue
Kennebunkport , Maine
04043
Tel: 207 967 3850
www.beachhseinn.com

For anyone who's ever dreamed of living in a house by the sea, the Beach House Inn makes it almost a reality. The 34-room inn overlooks Kennebunkport Beach, and at the end of a salt-sprayed, sun-kissed day, there's no better place to be than in a rocking chair on its wraparound porch, gin and tonic in hand. While not as world-class as Kennebunkport's White Barn Inn, the Beach House outranks most of the other touristy options—and has unbeatable views. Rooms have just the right balance of ocean-inspired breeziness (white linens, black-and-white photos, light-filled corners) and New England gravitas (antique furnishings). Between the morning meal (think scones and tea) and the cocktail-hour hors d'oeuvres, port, and brandy, the Beach House Inn allows guests to use its canoes and touring bikes—for the rare moments you want to actually leave your dream seaside manse.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bethel Inn Resort
21 Broad Street
Bethel , Maine
04217
Tel: 800 654 0125
Tel: 207 824 2175
info@bethelinn.com
www.bethelinn.com

When the Bethel Inn opened in 1913, it was cool to arrive in a Model T; today the top forms of transportation are a pair of Rossignol skis or Merrell boots. The inn sprawls across 200 acres in hilly western Maine, near Sunday River ski resort and the White Mountain National Forest. In the winter, 20-something miles of cross-country trails wriggle through the grounds; come summer and fall, those who aren't hiking or biking in the mountains are golfing at the 18-hole championship course or canoeing on the lake. The Bethel Inn has 150 serviceable rooms, found in the main colonial complex (which also has a pool, health club, and spa) and in rows of town houses with one- to three-bedroom suites. Veal Schnitzel, prime rib, and char-grilled sirloin are mainstays at the more formal Main Dining Room, while the Millbrook Tavern & Grille serves pub grub and has an outside terrace. Depending on how much time you stay within resort boundaries, the Bethel Inn may mean a Dirty Dancing–style vacation, or simply a great place to hang up your dirty boots at the end of a day in the mountains.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Black Point Inn
510 Black Point Road
Scarborough , Maine
04074
Tel: 207 883 2500
info@blackpointinn.com
www.blackpointinn.com/inn/

In 2006, the Black Point Inn traded size for intimacy, trimming a century's worth of expansions and returning to its 1905 footprint. What remains are 27 guest rooms and an air of old-money privilege. Smiling young staffers retrieve room keys from cubbyholes behind the front desk; bellhops man the antique elevator; and leather club chairs, a brick fireplace, and oil landscape paintings up the historic ambience in the wood-paneled lobby lounge. Aside from a few nods to the 21st century (flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi), the guest rooms are straight out of the Kennedy era, done up in a nautical palette of blue, white, and beige with four-poster king beds, mahogany armoires, and tiled bathrooms. Adding to the hotel's cachet is its location—on Prouts Neck, a private peninsula ringed with a 1.75-mile cliff walk whose rugged ocean vistas have inspired many a painter (Winslow Homer's studio is just up the road). After a lazy day at Scarborough or Ferry beach (both just down the hill from the inn), guests retire to rocking chairs on the wide terrace before dining on local butter-poached lobster or saffron-scented risotto with garden peas in the formal Point restaurant. Portland's airport, restaurants, and art scene are an easy 20-minute drive north—making this quiet retreat an ideal destination for a weekend escape.

Open May through early December.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Camden Harbour Inn
83 Bayview Street
Camden , Maine
04843
Tel: 800 236 4266 (toll-free)
Tel: 207 236 4200
info@camdenharbourinn.com
www.camdenharbourinn.com

To the outside world, the Camden Harbour Inn displays all the 19th-century elegance you'd expect to find in one of Maine's most picturesque coastal towns. But for the inn's interiors, Dutch owners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest have imported the design sensibilities of an urban boutique hotel, with neither an embroidered cushion nor a seafaring knickknack to be found—unless you count the antique telescope in the lounge, trained on the gently bobbing boats in Camden's harbor. Each of the 18 individually styled rooms and suites (ranging from 280 to 620 square feet) are named after the ports where the Dutch East India Company traded in the 17th and 18th centuries. The feminine Bonaire has floral wallpaper in soft grays and blues, upholstered chairs, and an antique claw-foot tub; the New Netherland is reminiscent of a gentleman's club, with black wallpaper in a shiny and matte stripe, a leather headboard, and black-velvet banquette seats. Some rooms have private decks and patios, while others have fireplaces, so book a room that suits the season. There's a sultry bar, and Natalie's restaurant (mostly seafood, prepared with a delicate French touch) is a haven for local foodies as well as guests. City sophisticates who want to get closer to nature safe in the knowledge that their hotel serves up a perfectly seared scallop and has a stylish suite to bed down in will find themselves right at home.—Nicola McCormack

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Captain Lord Mansion
6 Pleasant Street
Kennebunkport , Maine
04046
Tel: 800 522 3141
innkeeper@captainlord.com
www.captainlord.com

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum—the Captain Lord Mansion sits like a giant ship in downtown Kennebunkport, with a salty crew that tends to its 20,000 square feet. During the War of 1812, shipbuilder Nathaniel Lord commissioned this three-story Federal home; in 1978, innkeepers Bev and Rick Litchfield transformed the mansion into a B&B, naming its 20 elaborate rooms, all with down comforters and gas fireplaces, after ships built by the Lord family. But this is hardly a place of grog and gruel. Cook Sue Bouley makes mushroom, red pepper, and onion soufflés to start the day, along with sticky buns and fresh fruit over organic yogurt; bunks are filled with fine linens and ornate antiques. The best is the Merchant Captain's Suite, whose heated-floor bathroom has a ten-jet hydro-massage shower and hot tub you might never leave were it not for the lure of Gooch's Beach and a glimpse at the Bush compound nearby. (The inn will lend you a bike, gratis; water, juice, and soda are also complimentary.) The froufrou furnishings may be a bit over-the-top for some, but you can't beat the views from the cupola and widow's walk that top the mansion.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Five Gables Inn
107 Murray Hill Road
East Boothbay , Maine
04544
Tel: 800 451 5048
Tel: 207 633 4551
info@fivegablesinn.com
www.fivegablesinn.com

Sometimes, all the whale-watching, antique-shopping, ice-cream-slurping hoopla of the Maine coast can create a Calgon moment. That's when you take yourself away to East Boothbay, a tiny historic boatbuilding town on Linekin Bay with only the necessities: a seafood restaurant, general store, marina, and the Five Gables Inn. Three miles from Boothbay Harbor, the 16-room B&B was built in 1896. Innkeepers Mike (a Culinary Institute graduate) and De (a Southern belle from Atlanta) Kennedy restored the hillside retreat in the 1980s and earned a cultlike following among vacationers who'd prefer Five Gables remain a secret. (Sorry!) Ask for Room 10, with the best views, or go for a third-floor gable room like 14, which has a four-poster king bed and wood-burning fireplace. Not that you can go wrong, as all but one of the rooms overlook the bay, whose bracing cobalt waters are ideal for a morning dip. Then find a sun-splashed spot on the wraparound porch and dive into mint pancakes with Chambord syrup or artichoke-and-portobello frittata. And when you're ready to reenter civilization, undertake the half-mile walk to the East Boothbay general store to buy the Times.

Closed seasonally (mid-October through May).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hidden Pond
354 Goose Rocks Road
Kennebunkport , Maine
04046
Tel: 888 967 9050 (toll-free)
Tel: 207 967 9050
hiddenpondmaine.com

On 60 acres five miles outside preppy Kennebunkport, Hidden Pond has a fantasy summer camp feel, with hand-painted wood signs pointing to a garden where you can pick vegetables or to a bike shed where you can borrow a retro cruiser for the mile ride to Goose Rocks Beach. The 14 one- and two-bedroom cottages, each by a different local interior designer, range from the playful Periwinkle (in sunshiney primary colors) to the classic Thank You (embroidered lobster pillows and an airy seafoam and powder blue New England aesthetic). All have generous kitchens, cozy porches, and gas fireplaces for chilly nights. A central lodge functions as the official clubhouse, with a simple rectangular pool and a fire pit where there's a nightly bonfire (singing optional). There's no restaurant, but cheerful staff can arrange a private chef, and there are weekly "Table on the Farm" dinners prepared by Kennebunkport chefs. Every morning, piping hot coffee and a canvas bag of fresh-baked pastries is left outside your door. The resort is blissfully relaxed, and cottages come with leisure essentials such as board games, martini shakers, books, and guitars.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Inn at Bath
969 Washington Street
Bath , Maine
04530
Tel: 800 423 0964
Tel: 207 443 4294
innkeeper@innatbath.com
www.innatbath.com

Maybe it's because innkeeper Elizabeth Knowlton used to run a fly-fishing lodge in Montana, but the Inn at Bath, along Maine's Midcoast area, is one of the least stuffy B&Bs in New England. The 1810 Greek Revival home—a 20-minute drive from six-mile-long Popham Beach and just north of Freeport—has eight rooms, each with a private bathroom and crisp white bedspread. For burrowing under the covers during a nor'easter, the Fo'c'sle and Captain's Cabin, with wood-burning fireplaces, are especially cozy, while the upstairs Lavender and Green rooms are more typical inn accommodations. Plenty of couples are romanced by the fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs, but the Inn at Bath also sees a number of kids and business travelers. Everyone takes to the morning smells of pumpkin bread French toast with caramelized pears and pecans (with organic ingredients rather than an orgy of whipped cream). Pets may stay for $15 extra, provided they'll tolerate the companionship of Atticus, Knowlton's Spanish water dog.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Northern Outdoors Resort
1771 U.S. Route 201
The Forks , Maine
04985
Tel: 800 765 7238 (toll-free)
Tel: 207 663 4466
info@northernoutdoors.com
www.northernoutdoors.com

Maine has some places so quiet you'd swear you could hear the blueberries growing and the maple syrup flowing. This is not one of them. Northern Outdoors is a rollicking resort for white-water rafters, snowmobilers, fly fishers, and microbrew lovers. The resort is actually split among three locations. The vast majority of guests stay at the Forks, a 180-acre mixed-use property near the Kennebec and Dead rivers, which has cushier digs than the other locations—a complex of full-service cabins, "logdominiums," luxury tents, and campsites. There's also Kennebec River Brewery inside the main lodge. (Try the Magic Hole IPA or Big Mama Blueberry Ale, both named after raft-tossing rapids on the Kennebec.) Four guesthouses and six cabins, meanwhile, are available year-round at the Lakeside Center on Wyman Lake, a ten-minute snowmobile ride from the Forks. (In the winter, the Forks location is surrounded by 130 miles of snowmobile trails.) Hard-core rafters choose the Penobscot Outdoor Center, located about a three-hour drive farther northeast, near the more turbulent Penobscot River and Baxter State Park. And while no part of Northern Outdoors is the Ritz, the soft beds sure feel like first class after a day in a raft or on a sled.

Closed April.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Pomegranate Inn
49 Neal Street
Portland , Maine
04102
Tel: 800 356 0408
Tel: 207 772 1006
Fax: 207 773 4426
www.pomegranateinn.com

If Persephone—whose statue graces the black-and-white-checked foyer of this Italianate mansion—was queen of the underworld, the Pomegranate Inn retains a queenly grandeur. Vibrant pieces of eclectic contemporary art acquired by owner and designer Isabel Smiles contrast with stately antiques that make staying here feel like a night at the museum. Five out of the eight rooms have colorful, mosaic-tiled gas fireplaces; the most spacious lodging is in room No. 8, with an adjoining sitting room and rice-paper accents. Located in Portland's well-heeled Western Promenade district, the Pomegranate is at once an escape from the city and an immersion in its artsy scene. (The I.M. Pei–designed Portland Museum of Art is just a short walk away.) It will also grow in the hearts of even the Grinchiest B&B haters, as there's no granny creaking along squeaky floors to serve overly sweet treats. Instead, boyish assistant innkeeper Peter pours afternoon wine in the lush garden courtyard. (The inn has a no-child policy—guests must be at least 16 years old.) Breakfast, cooked by former sailboat captain Kim, is a leisurely affair of delicately cooked eggs and, naturally, pomegranate juice.

Two-night minimum on weekends.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Portland Harbor Hotel
468 Fore Street
Portland , Maine
04101
Tel: 207 775 9090
ResMgr@harthotels.com
www.portlandharborhotel.com

The Portland Harbor Hotel is a trompe l'oeil. Though only built in 2002, it blends seamlessly into the ancient brick buildings and cobblestone streets of the captivating Old Port District. Despite the ample number of rooms—97—it still has a feeling of creative intimacy: chocolate lobsters on the pillows at turndown, and a concierge who takes to special requests with gusto. Meanwhile, the bartender chats up regulars and fills dishes of nuts at Eve's at the Garden restaurant. (Think Mediterranean cuisine from Portland star Jeff Landry, lauded as one of Maine's top chefs.) This is the place to stay for easy access to Portland's best restaurants and shops; for longer day-trips to, say, the Yarmouth Clam Festival or Freeport, it's also just a few blocks from Interstate 295. The rooms are painted a cheerful yellow; beds are topped with feather pillows and blue-and-white bedspreads. Ask for a garden view, which overlooks a lovely central courtyard where one may dine al fresco—the "city view" may result in another trompe l'oeil, as you find yourself face-to-face with nothing but a next-door building.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Rock Gardens Inn
Sebasco Estates
45 Shell Road
Phippsburg , Maine
04565
Tel: 207 389 1339
info@rockgardensinn.com
www.rockgardensinn.com

Okay, so you're not the next Winslow Homer. But you still may be inspired to pick up a paintbrush at the Rock Gardens Inn, which hosts art workshops in the summer months. Provided you can find it, that is—Rock Gardens is hidden on its own peninsula south of Bath and is reached via a drive through Sebasco Harbor Resort. (Popham Beach is ten minutes away by car.) Once you're here, though, you'll have no wish to find your way out: Ten cottages are perched along the peninsula, surrounded by the pine-meets-ocean splendor that defines Maine. The cottages have two to four bedrooms, while the main house has three additional rooms. Don't expect Jacuzzis or marble bathrooms: The dazzler here is the view, and the cottages are comfortable, with fireplaces and decks. Rock Gardens has been operating since 1911, and keeps families coming back with weekly lobster cookouts, swimming in the ocean or heated pool, croquet, and kayaking; guests can also golf, play tennis, or bowl at Sebasco. But chances are you'll be too busy communing with your muse: the craggy coastline of Casco Bay.

Closed seasonally (October through May).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
White Barn Inn
37 Beach Avenue
Kennebunkport , Maine
04043
Tel: 207 967 2321
inkeeper@whitebarninn.com
www.whitebarninn.com

Like the varsity athlete who has a good personality and gets straight As, the White Barn Inn is blessed with plenty. The setting near downtown Kennebunkport. The Relais & Châteaux restaurant. Moulton Brown toiletries, a brimming infinity swimming pool, and a spa with outsize treatment chambers. There's even a 44-foot Hinckley for Champagne picnics along the Maine coast (Gooch's Beach is a ten-minute walk). The White Barn has been around since the Civil War but began life as an inn in 1973. In 2006, it added the spa and a new marina with a dock for boaters on the Kennebunk River. Of the 28 rooms, we recommend one of the seven junior suites with king beds, fireplaces, and Jacuzzi-equipped marble-and-granite bathrooms. If you'd prefer to be near the river, opt for an Arts and Crafts–style wharf cottage near the new marina—they have kitchenettes and private patios. Though everything is clustered together, it's peaceful (a Franciscan monastery is across the street). There are also goodies galore: fruit and water in the rooms; afternoon tea, port, and brandy in the sitting room; touring bicycles and canoes for excursions. The highpoint is dinner at the restaurant set in a restored barn, where whimsical wooden animals straight out of Charlotte's Web overlook candlelit four-course prix-fixe, unforgettable meals.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.