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Portland Harbor Hotel, Portland 

468 Fore Street
Portland , Maine
Tel: 207 775 9090
view web site ›'s insider take:

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.

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