Topic: Maine

Maine Lodging 2009

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Best Place for Pampering:
Say hello to your new best friends in York, Bill and Bonnie Alstrom, innkeepers at the Morning Glory Inn. They’ll open their home to you, cook your breakfast, advise on sightseeing and activities, and keep the garden blooming, all for your comfort and pleasure. This small inn began as a historic Cape house–and has the low ceilings to prove it–but has expanded, thanks to a towering great room and three delightful guestrooms. You’re off the beaten, bustling beach path. Instead, you eat your breakfast buffet on your own private patio near the pines, or on the common terrace by the garden. What’s that sound? Peace. Rates: from $155 or $185, depending on season, including full buffet breakfast. 120 Seabury Road. 207-363-2062; morninggloryinnmaine.com

Best Family Ties:
Few folks in New England reside on land that’s been in the family since the 1640s; fewer yet are 12th-generation innkeepers on the same plot (since 1667). Patricia Mason and her husband, Ken, now operate a 22-room motor inn and 10 cottages on the beachfront property where her ancestors lodged travelers before ferrying them across the mouth of the Kennebunk River. Rates: from $120, including continental breakfast. 80 Beach Ave. 800-967-4461, 207-967-4461; kennebunkbeach.com

Best Place to Find Some Peace:
The decor is vintage 1970s, but you can’t beat the location and perks for the price. Guests stay in a converted high school and outbuildings located on the grounds of a 200-acre Franciscan monastery bordering the Kennebunk River. Rates include a buffet breakfast and use of the saltwater pool; dinner is often available for a reasonable rate. Even better: It’s a pleasant walk to either Dock Square or the beach, eliminating parking hassles. Rates: from $69. 26 Beach Ave. 207-967-4865; franciscanguesthouse.com

Best Place to Check Into History:
Although now well off the beaten path, until 1820 the Brits, French, and Dutch fought over Castine’s strategic location at the mouth of the Penobscot River, and historic markers recount those struggles. Borrow a bike from the Queen Anne-style Pentagoeet, an anomaly among the town’s Federal and Greek Revival architectural gems, and explore the area. Afterwards, soak up world history via the portraits displayed in Passports Pub (onsite). Rates: from $115, including full breakfast. 26 Main St. 800-845-1701; pentagoet.com

Best Artsy B&B:
Only the sculpture garden outside the Ullikana hints as to the color and riches inside. Owners Helene Harton and Roy Kasindorf have enlivened their Tudor-style inn with a playful mix of vibrant contemporary artwork and eclectic antiques. And then there’s the location. It’s downtown, but tucked out of sight, between Main Street and the Shore Path. Rates: from $125, including full breakfast. 16 The Field. 207-288-9552; ullikana.com

Best “Green” Lodging:
Ed and Karen Curtis’s combination off-the-grid bed-and-breakfast and organic farm fronts on Sullivan Harbor, just below Reversing Falls. The 40-acre site is permanently protected through an easement with the Frenchman Bay Conservancy. Ditch the carbon-packing car behind and launch a kayak from the front lawn, or walk or pedal the rail trail to Tidal Falls lobster shack on another conservancy-owned property. Rates: from $85-$125, depending on season, including full breakfast. 274 East Side Road. 207-460-7595; threepinesbandb.com

Best North Woods Oasis:
BLAIR HILL INN, Greenville
The views over Moosehead Lake are spectacular from Blair Hill Inn, Dan and Ruth McLaughlin’s oasis of elegance in the rugged wilds of northern Maine. Gourmet breakfasts, five-course dinners on summer weekends, and sunset cocktails on the wraparound porch provide respite from hiking, fishing, and moose-spotting adventures. Many rooms have fireplaces to warm chilly evenings, and there’s a hot tub for soaking tired bones. Rates: from $300, including full breakfast. Lily Bay Road. 207-695-0224; blairhill.com

Best Sunset Views:
Yes, it’s all a bit retro, but the views are stupendous. The hilltop inn, with golf course and a restaurant serving classic Continental fare, overlooks Rangeley Lake to the distant Presidential Range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, capped by Mount Washington. Divine anytime, but especially so in autumn. Rates: from $130, including full breakfast. 56 Country Club Road. 207-864-3831; rangeleyme.com/ccinn

Best Coast Guard Rescue:
Credit Bill Clark for rescuing the abandoned and deteriorating Quoddy Head Life-Saving Station, located within walking distance of the historic candy-striped West Quoddy Light. The bluff-top, ocean-view property now accommodates guests in an overnight cabin, four-apartment lodge, and four-bedroom Station House. Rates: cabins from $95, lodge from $80, house from $200. West Quoddy Head Road. 877-535-4714; quoddyvacation.com


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