IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

Bar Harbor Inn Maine

Bar Harbor

An ocean front resort

In the heart of Bar Harbor’s spectacular Frenchman Bay and ensconced within the natural beauty of Acadia National Park lies an eight-acre shoreline Inn considered to be one of Maine’s finest oceanfront properties. What is now the majestic Bar Harbor Inn was once the playground for some of America’s best-known aristocratic families, a list that boasted such luminaries as the Vanderbilts, Pulitzers and Morgans.

Today this elegant harborfront hotel has been completely redeveloped and upgraded, yet retains the architectural cedar-shingled charm of its original designer, architect William Randolph Emerson. Situated on a gentle rise along the shoreline of one of this country’s most treasured coastal vistas, Bar Harbor Inn is located on Mt. Desert Island, near the foot of famed Cadillac Mountain (where sunrise over the US makes its first appearance), and perennial destination of choice for discriminating travelers.

Three distinctive guest room buildings are bordered by lush lawns, manicured gardens, and an enchanting harborfront path that beckons guests down to visit the gentle waves lapping on the beach below. In all, the Inn has 153 guest rooms and suites, each capturing the charm and elegance of the best of New England’s fabled Inns. After driving through some of Maine’s most dramatic scenery, we entered the graceful lobby of this seaside resort, stopping for a moment to admire the cozy fireplace and savor the relaxed ambience of a historic, 19th-century Inn. What was once the center of social activities during Bar Harbor’s Golden Era is now an enchanting waterfront oasis where guests come to enjoy spectacular sunsets from the large, picture windows of The Reading Room Restaurant, one of Bar Harbor’s most romantic vistas.

After a cheerful reception and check-in, we ambled down the hall of the historic Main Inn to find our luxurious oceanfront abode. Our well-appointed guest room featured two comfortable queen beds and a large, modern bathroom equipped with jetted tub. Stepping out onto our private balcony on a late summer evening, we breathed in the bracing, salty fragrance of the luminescent bay just a stone’s throw away. It’s a scene still etched in my memory—the golden-soft glow of the rising harvest moon glimmering sensuously over dimly-lit boats anchored in the indigo waters below. Close by, docked at the Inn’s private pier, lay the majestic Margaret Todd, Maine’s only four-masted schooner, now gaily illuminated by dancing lights strung about her booms, yards, masts and bowsprit.

Every room at the Bar Harbor Inn & Spa is equipped with air conditioning, heat, touchtone telephone, remote control cable television and VCRs or DVDs. Other special amenities include complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness room, afternoon coffee with homemade cookies, complimentary morning newspaper, HBO, voice mail, refrigerators and wireless Internet access for a nominal fee.

The next morning, pushing aside the floral drapery that hid our ocean view, we awoke to find a gleaming, white cruise ship anchored Bar Harbornot far off the rocky beach of our serene harbor. We made our way down a meandering path toward the morning dining room, a cheerful enclosure within the Oceanfront Lodge situated perfectly beside the shoreline path to capture the full panorama of Frenchman Bay. Some guests had already staked out their seats on the open porch, savoring coffee, muffins and fruit. Inside were more culinary treats, and we piled our plates high to fuel ourselves for the day ahead. This complimentary continental breakfast is served daily from 7-11 am, but guests also have the option to choose hot breakfast in the Reading Room Restaurant for additional charge.

Bar Harbor Coastal Maine Spa The Spa at Bar Harbor Inn offers world-class service, state-of-the art facilities and a variety of spa treatments. Open daily from Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. and on Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, guests may indulge in spa treatments, massage therapy, facials, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Brochures with a menu of service are available in Guest Rooms, in the Spa and at the Front Desk. The Inn also features The Terrace Grille, open daily from 11:30 am until dusk for lunch, dinner and cocktails. No visit to the Inn is complete without a meal here, offering waterfront dining al fresco on the harbor’s edge, overlooking the famous shore path. However, the Reading Room Restaurant is truly the “can’t miss” feature of this historic resort.

Here in the vibrant and historic community of lobster fishermen, outdoor adventurers, explorers, and artists one can find incredible natural beauty all around. A walk down nearby Main Street offers endless opportunities for exploring colorful shops, boutiques and restaurants, all set against the backdrop of the most enchanting scenery you will ever find. Whales, porpoises, seals, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, and puffins are commonly sighted along the jagged coastline where the mountains meet the sea. Forty-five miles of picturesque carriage roads throughout nearby Acadia National Park offer opportunities for cyclists, joggers, cross-country skiers, hikers and horse-drawn carriages. Sea kayakers paddle by the rocky-cliffed coastline as birdwatchers scan birch, maple and aspens tucked in between white pine, spruce and fir trees.

Mount Desert Island is the third largest island on the eastern seaboard, and the town of Bar Harbor offers some of the most stunning visual and sensual experiences you will ever find. And here, in this wonderland of coastal beauty, amidst the splendor of one of America’s most beloved historic village communities lies the incomparable Bar Harbor Inn, the crown jewel of Maine’s premier destination resorts.

The Bar Harbor Inn, Oceanfront Resort & Spa

Newport Drive, Box 7 Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 USA

Reservations 800-248-3351 ~

Business 207-288-3351


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