Four good reasons to stay at a Maine inn rather than on the parents sofa bed this holiday season

With Thanksgiving and then Christmas and Hanukkah coming up soon, there’s enough to worry about.  Why add the stress of how you’ll both fit into your old bedroom at Mom and Dad’s house to the mix of holi-daze worries.  Knowing that your old room is now the “den”, worrying about that uncomfortable hide-a-bed is enough to send you over the deep end.  Stop the stressing!  The Inns Along the Coast are here with some very convincing reasons to stay INN rather than pull-OUT this holiday season. 

Four reasons to choose Inns Along the Coast for your home this holiday season

Doesn’t this beat a lumpy sofa bed? Photo taken at Captain Jefferds Inn by Christian Giannelli.

Doesn’t this beat a lumpy sofa bed? Photo taken at Captain Jefferds Inn by Christian Giannelli.

No muss, no fuss!

The Inns Along the Coast innkeepers and staff will make your bed, offer up clean towels, serve breakfast and even suggest the ideal itinerary for a day of outdoor fun or rest and relaxation, especially after a full day of family-time.  Make your home for the holidays any of the nine Inns Along the Coast and you’ll be well pampered.  Perhaps most importantly, you escape all the clean-up of a holiday dinner or breakfast for a crowd!

Skip the lumpy sofa bed

If sharing an air mattress or the lumpy sofa bed in Mom and Dad’s den over the holidays as your older sister gets the guest room isn’t your idea of a good night’s sleep, consider a nearby inn or B&B instead.  If one of the Inns Along the Coast are not located near your holiday destination, chances are another inn or B&B are nearby.  You don’t want to spend the holidays exhausted from lack of sleep.  Enjoy a beautifully appointed inn filled with tasteful holiday decorations where you’ll have a private bath and comfortable bed followed by a hearty breakfast to fuel you for a day of family togetherness. Remember, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  You don’t want your lack of sleep to ruin your grateful mood this Thanksgiving or the joy of the holidays.

Champagne & rose pedals at Berry Manor Inn (Jumping Rocks photo).

Champagne & rose pedals at Berry Manor Inn (Jumping Rocks photo).

Enjoy some R&R and R too

Who says the holidays must be rushed and pressured?  Leave all the stress of the holidays behind when you stay at any of the Inns Along the Coast where you’ll find rest, relaxation and even some romance if  you wish, all rolled into one special getaway.  Many of our inns are in beautiful Maine towns where quaint shops will offer up the perfect gift for hard-to-shop-Mom. Take a walk in the woods near our inns and take home evergreen boughs, winter berries and pine cones to decorate your own home too. And if romance is on your mind this holiday season, you don’t want to be sleeping on the air mattress in the middle of Mom and Dad’s living room, do you?

Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner is for family. Breakfast is on us

While the holidays are all about sharing a table with family, breakfast is for sharing with B&B guests.  Each of the Inns Along the Coast will serve up an artfully creative multi-course breakfast; enough to fuel you through a day of family time.  Starting with steaming coffee, juice and baked goods and moving to a homecooked breakfast entrée, you can count on a great start to the day at any of the nine Inns Along the Coast.

Breakfast is served at Hawthorn Inn (Jumping Rocks photo).

Breakfast is served at Hawthorn Inn (Jumping Rocks photo).

Don’t forget to book direct when you visit any of the nine Inns Along the Coast.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: https://www.aysgarth.com/, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: https://www.camdenhawthorn.com/,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: https://www.brewsterhouse.com/, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany & family.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com/, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

 

 

Whatever you do, don’t miss these great leaf peeping opportunities along the Maine Coast

Fall views in Midcoast Maine. Photo by PJ Walter photography.

Fall views in Midcoast Maine. Photo by PJ Walter photography.

Consult the Maine fall foliage map, and you’ll see that harvest hues are infiltrating the state from west to east.  It seems like fall colors started turning a little earlier this year, but there’s plenty more to enjoy.  For leaf-peepers in Maine, October is the bucket list month for Maine inn getaways.  From vistas of the mountains meeting the sea in Camden and Rockland to the pumpkin trail from Freeport to Damariscotta and of course, Acadia National Park is in a league of its own during autumn, this is the time for your Inns Along the Coast fall sightseeing vacation.

Let’s take a look at some of the fabulous Maine leaf peeping opportunities you don’t want to miss this fall.

Berry Manor Inn lit up for autumn guests. Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography.

Berry Manor Inn lit up for autumn guests. Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography.

Inns Along the Coast 7-day Fall Foliage Tour

Inns Along the Coast have created a number of inn to inn itineraries offering travelers the perfect road map for themed adventures along Maine’s Coast.  Each of the itineraries pairs suggestions for things to do with stays at the member inns.  The 7-day Fall Foliage Tour offers the ideal plan for visiting beautiful Coastal Maine inns and the top attractions, lookout points, and ideas for leaf peepers.  You can choose to visit all of the Inns Along the Coast or pick and choose one or two destinations from the itinerary and book stays in those regions.  The inn to inn itineraries are designed to allow travelers to plan on their own, according to their dates available and their budget.

Fall gardens at Newcastle Inn. Newcastle Inn photo.

Fall gardens at Newcastle Inn. Newcastle Inn photo.

Pair shopping with leaf peeping and Maine Inns

No trip to Maine is complete without a visit to LL Bean’s Freeport store.  Fall is the season to beef up that winter wardrobe or get a jump on holiday shopping.  Stay at the Brewster House B&B and you’re within an easy stroll of LL Bean’s flagship store.  Yet, Maine shopping goes well beyond LL Bean! You’ll find wonderfully unique and individually owned shops in Kennebunkport when you stay at Captain Jefferds Inn and in Rockland when you stay at LimeRock Inn, Granite Inn or Berry Manor Inn.  No visit to Maine is complete without a little shopping in Bar Harbor.  Both Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B and Aysgarth Station B&B are within walking distance of Bar Harbor’s shopping district.  The Newcastle Inn offers easy access to Damariscotta’s river view shopping – home to the first Reny’s store in Maine along with the only Reny’s Underground for true bargains, and the Hawthorn Inn is just two blocks from Camden’s eclectic shopping  and restaurants.

Fall view over Acadia National Park. Saltair Inn photo.

Fall view over Acadia National Park. Saltair Inn photo.

Shout your fall joy for views from Maine’s mountain tops

Inns Along the Coast are lucky enough to be located near some of Maine’s most famous mountains offering stellar fall views.  Stay at our Bar Harbor Inns and drive or hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain for amazing views both out to sea and over Acadia National Park.  Be the first to welcome in the day by taking in a fall view as the sun rises from the top of Cadillac Mountain; a thrilling experience.

Another option for mountain-top fall foliage views where the mountains meet the sea is Mount Battie, just a few miles from the Hawthorn Inn in Camden.  Hike to the top or drive up for the perfect sunrise or sunset view over Camden Harbor, ringed with beautiful fall color and Curtis Lighthouse at the mouth of the harbor.  What could be more quintessentially Maine than a harbor filled with boats and lighthouses?

There aren’t just three reasons to enjoy a fall foliage getaway to Maine’s inns this fall.  There are plenty more reasons to choose an Inns Along the Coast fall getaway. Of course, the welcoming innkeepers offering their secret spots for the perfect fall selfie and a hearty breakfast to begin the day is another reason, but that’s something offered year-round.  And don’t forget the lobster!  Believe us – there’s still plenty of lobsters to enjoy after Labor Day.

Don’t forget to book direct when you visit any of the nine Inns Along the Coast.

Colorful trees ring the Brewster House B&B. Brewster House photo.

Colorful trees ring the Brewster House B&B. Brewster House photo.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: https://www.camdenhawthorn.com/,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: https://www.brewsterhouse.com/, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany & family.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com/, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: https://www.aysgarth.com/, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

 

 

All the little extras really do add up

By Marti Mayne

When I travel, I like to stay in B&Bs and inns.  They’re just so welcoming and accommodating.  However, during peak periods, it can be difficult to find rooms at local B&Bs, as they tend to book up first.  The lesson here is to book early.  In Burlington, VT, where there are a number of colleges and universities, this is often the case during peak times when students are coming and going from school or during family weekends and graduations.  Luckily, this is not something that happens as often along the Maine Coast, except during peak summer weekends and fall foliage season. Side note: we suggest that everyone book their rooms early at the nine Inns Along the Coast, or forever hold your peep.

Fall color along Midcoast Maine. Photo by  PJ Walter Photography .

Fall color along Midcoast Maine. Photo by PJ Walter Photography.

Back to the story.  With no inns available, I turned to the local Day’s Inn where I found a room in nearby Colchester, VY when taking my daughter back to school this fall.  The room was okay, the breakfast was nothing like a fabulous B&B breakfast, but filled the void.  When I went to check out I was asked if I’d used the safe in he room.  “No, I didn’t,” I responded, “why?”.  It turns out there’s an extra fee (plus tax) for using the safe in the room. Despite the fact that I didn’t use the safe, I was charged for it.  This took precious time to un-do the charge, and the convoluted explanation was that because they have the safes in the room, they have to pay insurance for them, and the safe fee covers the insurance.  I’m just glad they don’t charge to use the TV because they have to pay a cable bill.

All of this got me thinking about all the extras that guests are not charged for at Inns Along the Coast. 

Dutch Apple Pie Toast is one of the many beautiful courses prepared by Daniel at the LimeRock Inn. LimeRock Inn photo.

Dutch Apple Pie Toast is one of the many beautiful courses prepared by Daniel at the LimeRock Inn. LimeRock Inn photo.

A hearty homecooked breakfast for all is included

Breakfasts are an artform at many of the Inns Along the Coast. Each of the nine innkeepers take great care to offer breakfasts that are thoughtfully prepared, healthy, local, hot and delicious.  Special diets or orders don’t upset us.  Rather than pawing through a bland choice of cold cereals (that tasted stale), overcooked and processed eggs, and toast-yourself breads like at Day’s Inn, expect a multi-course,colorful, and straight-from-the-kitchen breakfast at all of the nine Inns Along the Coast.  You’ll leave the breakfast table ready to enjoy a day on the Maine Coast.

Afternoon Refreshments

Whether it’s the bottomless cookie jar at the Granite Inn,  the fabulous homemade cookies and afternoon sweets at Hawthorn Inn, Aysgarth Station B&B or Newcastle Inn, or the homemade pies and ice cream that have made Berry Manor Inn famous, you’ll find extra goodies and beverages at all of the Inns Along the Coast.  Don’t miss the complimentary afternoon wine and cheese reception at the Captain Jefferds Inn and the 24/7 snacks available at LimeRock Inn or Saltair Inn.  All of the inns offer complimentary water, coffee, teas and more. 

Charging station at Captain Jefferds Inn.

Charging station at Captain Jefferds Inn.

Free wi-fi, charging stations and Parking

There are no extra fees for using the wi-fi or parking at any of the Inns Along the Coast.  In fact, if you’re driving an electric car, many of the inns offer free charging stations for Teslas and hybrid/electric cars.  Be sure to ask about these facilities when you book.  Unlike bigger city hotels, which tack on a hefty fee for parking and use of the wi-fi, you’ll find complimentary parking included at all of the Inns Along the Coast. 

Either way, you won’t be nickeled and dimed with fees (plus tax) for the many extras you find at the Inns Along the Coast.  You won’t need a safe in your room – the buildings are safe and secure.  However, if you find one, you can be assured you will not be charged for use of it.  Better yet, book directly with the inn and you’ll also find the best price. Sign up for the inns’ newsletters and you’ll be the first to learn about special offers and packages too. 

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany & family.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com , 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

Warning: Five ways Inns Along the Coast Getaways Can be Habit Forming

Everywhere you look, warning signs are present. From “hazardous to your health” to “slippery when wet” to “small children may choke on pieces”, we’ve become a risk-obsessed society – or at least a warning-filled one.  Therefore the nine Inns Along the Coast thought it would be politically correct to admit the risks involved in a getaway to any of the nine inns along Maine’s coast, and make sure all our blog readers know upfront that Inns Along the Coast escapes can be quickly habit forming.  Full disclosure: While his information is a bit tongue-in cheek, we’re all about keeping you healthy and happy at Inns Along the Coast!

Be forewarned, there are risks involved in an Inns Along the Coast getaway…

Apricot Brulee with honey ricotta and thyme served with berries & pistachios at Aysgarth Station B&B.

Apricot Brulee with honey ricotta and thyme served with berries & pistachios at Aysgarth Station B&B.

Inns Along the Coast getaways can lead to weight gain.  Of course, this varies from person to person, but it’s likely you’ll indulge in a two or three course breakfast that you wouldn’t prepare for yourself at home.  And, if you’re not used to snacking, you may feel compelled to take part in it at any of the Inns Along the Coast properties you visit, offering everything from craft beers to complimentary cookies and freshly made pie. 

Inns Along the Coast can be a cardio-workout.  When visiting any of the Inns Along the Cost, chances are you’ll enjoy a little adventure, whether it be inside your guest room or outside.  From hiking, beachcombing, swimming, golf, or even a little aerobic shopping, you’re sure to get the heartbeat up a little faster than when you sit at your desk.  Whether you seek soft adventure or a hard workout, you’ll find plenty of ways to explore adventure on Maine’s Coast.  In fact, for those seeking an adventure filled getaway, consider the Adventure Along the Coast itinerary. 

Sarah, innkeeper at the Captain Jefferds Inn, serves homemade cookies to guests each afternoon.

Sarah, innkeeper at the Captain Jefferds Inn, serves homemade cookies to guests each afternoon.

Inns Along the Coast can become habit forming and quickly addictive.  Once you’ve experienced the supreme R&R and welcoming hospitality of any of the Inns Along the Coast, you may become obsessed, and could be compelled to leave all other vacation accommodations by the wayside. Beyond that, it’s easy to become quickly dependent on the amazing breakfasts, incredible beds, lack of stress and the chance to leave all the clean-up to the innkeepers.

Inns Along the Coast may cause missed days at work.  For those who feel they can’t miss a day at work your “work martyr” days may be over after visiting one or more of the Inns Along the Coast.  Three day weekends or playing hooky become regular occurrences after one or two getaways to Inns Along the Coast.  No more saving that vacation time for a rainy day!  Use it now on an Inns Along the Coast inn to inn itinerary or getaway. 

Inns Along the Coast will impact your relationship with loved ones.  While we can’t always guarantee it, more often than not, time spent during an Inns Along the Coast romantic getaway will improve your relationship with your travel partner.  At a minimum it will give the two of you time together with no outside pressure or stresses to distract you – just the two of you hand-in-hand as you explore the Maine Coast.

Newcastle Inn at dusk.

Newcastle Inn at dusk.

While the Inns Along the Coast acknowledge liability for these positive results from your upcoming getaway, we think that the outcomes outweigh the risks! These are the kinds of risky behaviors we encourage all travelers to embrace!

Don’t forget to book direct when you visit any of the nine Inns Along the Coast.

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany & family.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

Inn to Inn itineraries from Inns Along the Coast of Maine

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Nine fabulous inns have created the marketing consortium referred to as Inns Along the Coast.  It’s not a formal association; it’s a collection of nine wonderfully eclectic inns and B&Bs all located in towns on the Coast of Maine.  The wonderful thing about Inns Along the Coast is how different each one is.  No cookie cutter rooms here. Every room is individually decorated and designed. Each inn has a distinctive personality of its own.  The inns range from 18 rooms to 6 guestrooms, and they all vary in the wonderful amenities they offer.  One thing that’s apparent at every inn, though…the breakfasts are amazing!

One of the primary reasons for forming Inns Along the Coast was to create an easy inn to inn itinerary for the many people hoping to travel up or down the Maine Coast and stay at welcoming B&Bs and inns.  The group started with a simple un-themed inn to inn tour of all the members.   Once that was created, they realized that travelers might like to pursue a few themed itineraries and then expanded the list from there.  The nine Inns Along the Coast have taken great care to create a number of inn to inn itineraries for traveling the coast of Maine that would feed all interests, palettes and budgets.

All the itineraries offer a host of  ideas for things to do along the way.  The itineraries are self-guided, so travelers can pick and choose from a wide range of ideas at each of the towns where inns are located.  Some travelers want to visit all nine Inns Along the Coast, and others want to pick and choose their destinations, skipping a few.  Because these trips are so individualized, we leave the planning and booking up to the guests and offer all the ideas and tools to make it easy to plan and book your getaway. 

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The new Inns Along the Coast availability calendar makes planning your Maine coast inn to inn itinerary so easy.  Simply visit the calendar and you can see whether there is availability for you to stay on the date you wish. Simply click on the BOOK NOW button at the top of the website’s page.

For the more adventurous travelers, the Adventure Along the Coast itinerary includes everything from whale watching in Kennebunkport to kayaking and tours of oyster farms in Damariscotta to renting e-bikes in Bar Harbor.  The seven day fall foliage tour offers up all sorts of fabulous places to see fall colors along the coast of Maine too. 

For foodies, there are a number of great itinerary options.  Knowing how popular Maine’s craft breweries have become, the Inns Along the Coast designed a “Drink your way up the Coast” itinerary. This itinerary offers in-the-know ideas for stops at microbreweries, wineries and distilleries up and down the coast of Maine.  All of the suggestions are close to one or more of the Inns Along the Coast.  Of course, we do suggest a designated driver or at least small tastes! 

Photo by PJ Walter Photography

Photo by PJ Walter Photography

In addition, foodies can combine the Drink Your Way up the Coast itinerary with the Foodies Along the Coast plan, where innkeepers have laid out the perfect way to also eat your way up the coast of Maine.  From clam to lobster shacks and casual to fine dining, you’ll find great ideas to fit every palette.  Likewise the Lobsters and Lighthouses itinerary hones in more closely on the best places on the Maine Coast for lobster, and also offers a complete itinerary for lighthouses to visit. Have the camera ready!

To find all of the itineraries creatively cultivated for Inns Along the Coast guests, simply visit Inns Along the Coast and click on ITINERARIES in the upper navigation bar. Remember, for the best price and outcome, be sure to book direct when you plan your trip inn to inn itinerary to Inns Along the Coast. 

To make it even easier to plan your inn to inn itinerary, here’s a complete contact list of all the Inns Along the Coast members.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany & family.

 

Three great reasons to choose an inn vs a vacation rental or hotel along the Maine coast

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Today’s traveler has so many options for lodging.  Less than 20 years ago, travelers chose to stay at either an inn or B&B, a Mom and Pop motels or a hotel along the coast of Maine.  Now, those who travel from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor have so many choices for lodging it’s almost overwhelming. Between Maine’s vacation rentals, condos, resorts, hotels, campgrounds, inns and B&Bs, the options are dizzying.  With the rise of Airbnb in Maine, not to mention all the choices offered by third party booking engines like Expedia, TripAdvisor and Booking.com…oh yes and discounters like Groupon…travelers are bombarded with messages about places to stay when traveling.  Inns Along the Coast, a consortium of nine eclectic inns and B&Bs, collectively offer something that the rest of these Maine lodging options can’t offer:  Local, fresh and insightful experiences.

This blog is dedicated to offering ideas for inngoers along the coast of Maine.  We’re here today to explain what sets Inns Along the Coast apart from all the other lodging options between Bar Harbor, Midcoast Maine, Freeport and Kennebunkport

Breakfast

Your Mom always told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Ask any innkeeper, and they’ll agree.  And the breakfast you’re served at any of the Inns Along the Coast will not only be fresh, delicious and original, but will also be complimentary for all in your travel party.  Stay at a vacation rental, motel or hotel and you’ll either be heading out to a restaurant for breakfast or making it yourself in your scantly equipped kitchen.  It’s only at an inn or B&B that you can start the day out with a multi-course, hand-cooked and planned breakfast – the way your day should start.

Strawberry bomb with Cardamon Yogurt prepared for Brewster House Inn guests.

Strawberry bomb with Cardamon Yogurt prepared for Brewster House Inn guests.

Dutch Apple Pie Toast created by Chef Daniel at LimeRock Inn.

Dutch Apple Pie Toast created by Chef Daniel at LimeRock Inn.

In-house itinerary planning & best secret spots

Innkeepers have a knack for creating the best itineraries.  They’re not just keepers of the inns, they are local experts who not only know but have experienced everything from the best swimming holes to the best watering holes.  Unlike hotel concierge who’ll steer you toward their own restaurant or front desk people at area motels busy waiting on all guests, your innkeeper will not only share the best places for a lobster dinner but will make reservations for you.  Your vacation rental doesn’t come with a knowledgeable built-in concierge focused on creating perfect local experiences for their guests like the Inns Along the Coast do.  Oh yes, and a hug goodbye too. Just sayin.

The little extras

Stay at a hotel and the little extras like water, homemade afternoon snacks, fully stocked guest pantries, not to mention fluffy robes and homemade pie will certainly add up.  Each of the Inns Along the Coast offer guests extra amenities you won’t find at other lodging choices. You’ll be treated to coffee, tea, water, and sodas plus snacks for the road at the 24/7 guest pantries at LimeRock Inn, Newcastle Inn and Saltair Inn.  At Captain Jefferds Inn, enjoy a complimentary early evening reception with wine and light hors d’oeuvres.  At Granite Inn, guests are treated to the bottomless cookie jar. And at Aysgarth Station B&B, Brewster House Inn and Hawthorn Inn, you’ll enjoy freshly baked treats each afternoon.  Berry Manor Inn is famous for their homemade pie topped off with ice cream (if you wish) offered to guests each day.  All of these extra perks are complimentary with a stay.  And all of these extras are found at these inns only – not at Airbnbs, motels, and if you find them at hotels, you’ll pay dearly.

Homemade pie served every night at Berry Manor Inn.

Homemade pie served every night at Berry Manor Inn.

You’d think that with all these extras these Inns Along the Coast would cost more than their counterparts.  Well, yes, it’s more expensive to stay at an inn or B&B than at a campground, but when you compare the rates of a Maine vacation rental or hotel/resort – with similar amenities as these inns – you’ll find that you’ll actually save money between the rates and amenities by staying at the Inns Along the Coast.  We know travelers are looking for upscale travel experiences, and while the settings vary among each of the inns, you’ll find local experiences, locally knowledgeable innkeepers/hosts and anything but “cookie cutter” styled accommodations at the nine Inns Along the Coast.

Beautiful peonies from the gardens at Hawthorn Inn.

Beautiful peonies from the gardens at Hawthorn Inn.

Today’s travelers have many lodging options to choose from, and we’re so grateful when guests choose to stay at Inns Along the Coast. When you’re making your reservations this year, book direct for the best price.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

Lovely Lupines in Maine: Where to find lupines near Inns Along the Coast

We call this lupines with a view. These lupines are growing in gardens around the Newcastle Inn in Newcastle, ME. Photo courtesy of Newcastle Inn.

We call this lupines with a view. These lupines are growing in gardens around the Newcastle Inn in Newcastle, ME. Photo courtesy of Newcastle Inn.

By Marti Mayne

Barbara Cooney, a children’s storybook author, wrote a wonderful story about how Miss Rumphius planted flowers among the rocks in her gardens and the seeds spread throughout the countryside.  That story, entitled Miss Rumphius was make believe and Miss Rumphius was a fictious name and roughly based upon a true story.  According to the New England Historical Society, the “real” Miss Rumphius was a woman name Hilda Edwards who arrived in South Bristol, Maine, from Bristol, England, in 1904, at the age of 15. She loved visiting her uncle’s cottage in Christmas Cove, however at the time there were no roads to Christmas Cove. Hilda Edwards had to take a train to Newcastle and then a mail launch down the Damariscotta River to get to the cottage.  She returned to the cottage year after year, eventually bringing lupine seeds imported from her home country of England. After they began to bloom, every summer she cut bundles of lupine stalks and shook out their seeds over a wider space to spread the bounty of purple and pink flowers across the rocky roads and countryside. 

She eventually gained the nickname “Lupine Lady”, just like in the  Cooney story.  And one of the best messages from the book was found in one of the final paragraphs when Miss Rumphius tells her niece: "You must do something to make the world more beautiful." 

While they don’t have the same fascination with lupines as Hilda or Miss Rumphius, the innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast continue the tradition and many have planted lupine gardens at their own inns. Follow any of the Inns Along the Coast’s wonderful itineraries, staying at a different inn from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor, and you’ll not only find beautiful lupine gardens at the inns, but along the way too.  The scenic route between all nine members of Inns Along the Coast is Route One, meandering through beautiful Coastal Maine Towns where lupines grow along the roadside.

 Let’s take an armchair tour of what you’ll see when you visit any of the Inns Along the Coast’s gardens or on the roadside along the way. Did the seeds originate in Christmas Cove, planted by Hilda?  It’s entirely possible that with the help of the wind when these beautiful flowers go to seed, that some of the plants you’ll see roadside today may have started in 1904 when Hilda arrived at her uncle’s cottage and began her planting career.

Starting in Kennebunkport at the Captain Jefferds Inn, you’ll find gorgeous gardens filled with lupines planted by master gardener and innkeeper Erik Lindholm. Alive in a vista of purple, these gardens offer guests quite a thrill when the lupines are all in bloom.

Beautiful purple lupines in bloom with Captain Jefferds Inn in the background. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Beautiful purple lupines in bloom with Captain Jefferds Inn in the background. Inns Along the Coast photo.

More lupines grow amidst the rock gardens surrounding the Captain Jefferds Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

More lupines grow amidst the rock gardens surrounding the Captain Jefferds Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Moving up the Maine Coast along Route One, it’s easy to spot fields of lupines along the road. The wind easily spreads the seeds of the lupines once they go by creating fields of purple, pink and white lupines, standing straight like soldiers along the way. Our next lupine stop was along Route One, right outside of Freeport, home to the Brewster House B&B.

Purple lupines on Route One, in South Freeport, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Purple lupines on Route One, in South Freeport, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

The sun shining on purple lupines makes them appear blue. These lupines found along Route One in South Freeport. Inns Along the Coast photo.

The sun shining on purple lupines makes them appear blue. These lupines found along Route One in South Freeport. Inns Along the Coast photo.

We continued our lupine tour traveling North once again on Route One. Soon we came to a gorgeous field of lupines and wildflowers right outside the turn off for Newcastle and Damariscotta, home to the Newcastle Inn.

This beautiful filed of wild daisies, lupines and yellow flowers is found on Route One, right near Newcastle, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

This beautiful filed of wild daisies, lupines and yellow flowers is found on Route One, right near Newcastle, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines come in pink too, and this pretty field of lupines was spotted growing along Route One, near Waldobo, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines come in pink too, and this pretty field of lupines was spotted growing along Route One, near Waldobo, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

We condinued North on Route One, passing Moose Crossing Garden Center outside Waldoboro, and had to stop to get a shot of the beautiful lupines there (we ended up taking home a few potted ones from the Garden Center too!).

Unusual pinky/purple lupines at Moose Crossing Garden Center. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Unusual pinky/purple lupines at Moose Crossing Garden Center. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Our next stop was the three inns in Rockland - Berry Manor Inn, LimeRock Inn and Granite Inn, where we found beautiful gardens and plenty of additional purple flowers.

Purple and pink lupines surround the gazebo at LimeRock Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Purple and pink lupines surround the gazebo at LimeRock Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Berry Manor Inn’s gardens are filled with these purple flowers and budding peony bushes. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Berry Manor Inn’s gardens are filled with these purple flowers and budding peony bushes. Inns Along the Coast photo.

While we didn’t find lupines at the Granite Inn, we did discover gorgeous purple irises in bloom in the gardens there. And across the street at the Ferry Terminal, another field of pretty purple flowers was found to add to the scene!

Beautiful purple irises with one stand-out white one in the crowd, all found in the gardens surrounding the Granite Inn in Rockland, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Beautiful purple irises with one stand-out white one in the crowd, all found in the gardens surrounding the Granite Inn in Rockland, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Fields of these beautiful purple and white flowers grow wild right outside the Rockland Ferry Terminal. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Fields of these beautiful purple and white flowers grow wild right outside the Rockland Ferry Terminal. Inns Along the Coast photo.

As we continued North on Route One between Rockland and Camden, we discovered field after field of wild lupines along the side of the road, just beyond Rockport, ME. These were perhaps the most spectacular lupine fields of all.

Lupine fields filled with purple flowers on Route One, coming into Camden right outside Rockport, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupine fields filled with purple flowers on Route One, coming into Camden right outside Rockport, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

And finally we found ourselves in Camden, Maine. We wandered through the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn, and discovered not only beautiful Camden Harbor views, but of course, lupines too!

Lupines and other purple flowers growing in the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines and other purple flowers growing in the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

While our tour had to come to an end in Camden, Kristi, innkeeper at the Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B was able to capture some photos of lupines on Bar Island, just off of Bar Harbor. The lupine season is a little behind here, but if you look hard, you’ll find them.

Look closely and you’ll see the lupines growing in this field on Bar Island, near Bar Harbor, ME. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Look closely and you’ll see the lupines growing in this field on Bar Island, near Bar Harbor, ME. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Oh! There’s one! A lupine growing on Bar Island. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Oh! There’s one! A lupine growing on Bar Island. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

So that’s the end of your armchair tour of lupines near the Inns Along the Coast. Don’t wait too much longer to take your lupine tour of these inns. The blooms are peaking throughout most of Maine now, but they don’t last long. However, once they go to seed, be sure to stop and grab a few to spread in your neck of the woods, just like Miss Rumphius!

When you take your tour, be sure to stay with one or more of the 9 Inns Along the Coast. Book directly with these inns for the best rates.

Consider one of  the Inns Along the Coast for your next New England getaway, holiday or vacation.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany



















No Robots Here: Inns Along the Coast offer a genuine welcome

By Marti Mayne

The Yobot at Yotel, NY

The Yobot at Yotel, NY

Recently, while visiting Manhattan I stayed at the Yotel, on the city’s west side.  Chosen for its access to the Javitz Convention Center, I was taken aback by the low touch, low welcome approach here.  The experience starts with a number of kiosks in the lobby with glowing pink and purple lights.  Guests are supposed to know how to check themselves in at these kiosks.  For millenials and younger, this may have seemed hip. To me – accustomed to a friendly, hands-on and helpful approach to the Inns Along the Coast check-in, I found it cold and impersonal.  What’s more, half the lobby here was taken up by a huge locker room of sorts with an enormous robot. Given the small rooms here, guests are “invited” (for a fee) to store their luggage in the lockers attended by a huge robot, named “Yobot”.  Once again, guests are left to figure out how to get the robot to open the door, take the luggage and store it.  Fast forward to the Inns Along the Coast – a group of nine coastal inns – and the welcome is completely different.  Guests are greeted by name, offered a tour of the property and luggage is carried by a person – not a robot – to the room.  It’s the personal approach that these nine Maine inns offer that brings guests coming back.

Head over to Japan and you’ll find even more of this robot technology. At the Henn na Hotel, in the town of Sasebo, near Nagasaki, robot technology is well on the way of replacing humans. Enter and go to the front desk and a velociraptor greets you then asks you to check-in using the provided touchscreen, while a female Android flaps its eyelashes at you. On entering your room, via face recognition, there’s another robot that can control the heating, lighting, provide a weather forecast, and sing all at your request. Quirky yes.  Personalized, no way.

Marriott and Hilton hotels have begun moving to robot concierge.  According to an article about robot technology at hotels on Socialtables, “Back in March last year it was widely reported that Hilton, together with IBM had announced a partnership. The purpose of this was to bring a robot called Connie to the hotel brands McLean, Virginia branch. Connie named after Hilton’s founder, Conrad, is a concierge, able to inform guests about nearby places of interest. Plus, give dining recommendations and information about the hotel. Powered by IBM’s Watson super-computer AI, Connie is about as personable as a robot can get.”  And that’s the point – how personable and hospitable can a robot be?

Enter the lobby of any of the Inns Along the Coast and immediately that sense of “ahhhhhh” takes over.  Inns Along the Coast innkeepers talk about how they can see the stress visually fade from their guests’ face the minute they step in the door.   Add the signature hug, hearty handshake and the big smiles both innkeepers and returning guests have when they come back, and that’s simply something that a hard plastic robot can’t offer.  And these innkeepers remember too.  They know the preferences of their returning guests and will create an experience that focuses on individualized hospitality that no robot could ever provide. 

But let’s get to the next level.  We know that a robot could never provide the listening ear and consolation for a mourning widow or pick up a guest by the scene of an accident on the way to their vacation and bring them to the inn. These and many more acts of kindness are daily occurrences with the innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast. 

We at Inns Along the Coast are confident in our ability to offer supreme service, unparalleled by any hotel chain and certainly never to be eclipsed by a robot.  While we’ll concede that some hotels offer fine accommodations, we know that they will never be able to compete on the same level as inns and B&Bs for service.  There’s a saying that we hear often at inns and B&Bs: “Arrive as Strangers, Leave as Friends”.  Sorry, but your robot butler will never become your friend. 

Looking for friends and management that truly cares?  Consider one of  the Inns Along the Coast for your next New England getaway, holiday or vacation.

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu

Book Direct: That’s the best way to travel

BookDirect-personAtComputer-PexelsPhoto.JPG

Not so long ago, booking a room at the inn was as easy as picking up the phone and calling the number.  The friendly innkeeper would answer all your questions, and together you’d find then book the room. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Fast forward to today, and travelers are bombarded with messages on where to book and how to book your next lodging stay.  From Booking.com to Trivago, it’s all so confusing now.  Worst of all, most of the work is left up to  you, the traveler.  You’re stuck researching availability, prices and then finally trying to figure out if you’ve actually booked the right place and whether your credit card will stay secure. 

The Innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast have some advice on how to make booking simple and secure. It’s two simple words: BOOK DIRECT.  Next time you want to enjoy an inn-to-inn itinerary at one of the nine members of Inns Along the Coast, visit InnsAlongtheCoast.com, consult the new availability calendar there, then from there you can book directly with the inns.  They’ve made it easier than ever to find availability at any of the nine member inns, then book directly from there.  This makes booking inn to inn itineraries easier too.   If you’d rather, simply visit each member inn’s website to book directly or call the inn to make your reservation. 

We are willing to bet that seven out of every ten people reading this blog doesn’t realize that when they search for a lodging property on Google or other search engines and see that blue “Book A Room” box, that they’re not connecting directly with the inn.  Instead, they’re being directed to an Online Travel Agency (OTA for short), which makes the reservation for the traveler and charges the property a commission for that reservation. 

LimeRock-GoogleBookBox.JPG

In fact, when you click on that blue “Book A Room” box, you’ll be directed to a new page and offered a number of choices from OTAs.  Yes, innkeepers list their rooms on these third party booking sites, because that’s the way the travel booking world has evolved.  However, when you book a room on these sites, the inn doesn’t “own” the reservation and the inn is also charged a hefty commission for these reservations.   

 Recently, Acorn Internet Services, Inc. in conjunction with the Professional Association of Innkeepers International and Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (all important businesses and associations in the B&B industry) surveyed 1,000 U.S. Google users - both men and women from the ages of 18 to 65+. The survey asked if the travelers thought clicking the BLUE “Book a Room” button would allow them to book direct at the property’s website.  A full 70-percent of those surveyed responded that they thought that Google’s “Book A Room” button went directly to the hotel or inn.  So, as you can see, if you thought that too, you’re in good company.

Travel Advice from Inns Along the Coast: Four reasons to book direct

As innkeepers, we not only would rather work with those coming to our properties directly, but we want to protect you from some common misunderstandings from bookings on third party OTAs  that can lead to travel disasters.  Here are four important reasons to book directly with the inn.

The OTAs control the reservation:

When you book on a third party site, like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotels.com or Booking.com, that Online Travel Agency (OTA) “owns” your reservation.  Thus, if your travel plans change and you need to reschedule your stay or other aspects of the reservation, the innkeeper is unable to help you.  With any OTA reservation, the traveler is required to abide by the OTA’s cancellation policy and can only work with the OTA to change it.  This is always a painful situation for the innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast.  They want to help you make the change, but their hands are tied.  They must abide by the OTA’s rules of reservations and send you back to these corporate giants to attempt to make a change.  The sad news is that the giant OTAs are much less understanding or able to make exceptions and changes when situations for travel change. It pains the innkeepers.

The inn is unable to offer upgrades:

Once your reservation is made with a third party, it’s set.  That means your Inns Along the Coast innkeeper may want to offer you an upgrade to another larger room, but is unable to upgrade you to a different room level.  The innkeepers are bound by the OTAs to provide a room at the level you booked, with no changes whatsoever. So, while they’d love to upgrade you to another room level, the innkeepers are  bound to provide only the room you have booked. Once again, the traveler loses out. 

More room options when you book direct:

As you might expect, innkeepers don’t offer up all of their room inventory to the OTAs.  In fact, they offer a select few.  Thus, what you might find on Expedia or Booking.com is most likely not the entire availability for rooms at the inn on any given date.  If you’re celebrating a special occasion and want the best room at the inn, chances are you won’t find it on an OTA.  Book directly with the inn and you can choose from all the available rooms on the date you are traveling.  Mention that you’re booking a celebration vacation, and the innkeeper is able to offer additional services, ideas, and amenities to help celebrate that you won’t find when booking with the OTA.   

Better chance for savings when you book direct: 

When you book a reservation on any of the OTAs, it costs the innkeeper a commission.   When you book direct with your favorite Inns Along the Coast member or any other property, your reservation does not cost the innkeeper a fee.  This often means that the innkeeper is then able to offer additional savings when you book directly with the inn.  At a minimum, when you book direct, the innkeeper can apply savings via AAA or AARP discounts, when requested.  If you make a booking on an OTA, the innkeeper is unable to combine your stay with any other discount , package or promotion.  Once again, the reservation is set strictly by the limits of the OTA, and the innkeeper is unable to offer any additional perks. 

You might be asking why do the Inns Along the Coast and other innkeepers list rooms on the OTAs.  Sadly, as the world of internet searches and travel have evolved, when you go online and look for a room, the larger directories and OTAs appear first.  Thus, in order to be found, lodging properties – from small B&Bs and inns to large hotels – must offer rooms on these sites if they want travelers to discover them.

Yet, if you’ve visited the Inns Along the Coast, you know how much you love the properties and the innkeepers who own them  Do your Inns Along the Coast innkeepers a favor.  Next time you want to plan an Coastal Maine getaway, be sure to go directly to the Inns Along the Coast Availability Calendar or to the website of the inn or call them and book directly with them.  Mention you read about it in this Inns Along the Coast blog and you can be sure that your innkeeper will appreciate your willingness to work directly with them. 

And we have one more favor to ask.  Please tell all your traveling buddies to book direct too! Use the hashtag #BookDirect, and we’ll be most grateful.  No matter the destination, road trips include an element of expectation, and they rarely disappoint. Start planning your summer road trip to Maine and don’t miss the best part– staying at any or all of the nine Inns Along the Coast, from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor.  And don’t forget: Book direct for the best rates.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu

National Road Trip Day: Kick off summer vacay season with a trip to Maine inns

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We know there are holidays that everyone celebrates, like Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and July 4th, then there are those holidays that some, but not all decide to observe like Grandparents Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and so on.  We at Inns Along the Coast of Maine have decided that National Road Trip Day – celebrated the Friday before Memorial Day – is one holiday we will observe this year!

We all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to the summer vacation season, so it’s perfectly fitting that the Friday before Memorial Day - National Road Trip Day – can serve to kick off the kick-off to the summer season!  According to NationalDayCalendar.com, with two-thirds of leisure travelers (64 percent)* planning to take vacations this summer, the open road will be calling when long weekends and Fridays roll around. And all open roads in New England lead to Maine and the nine inns that make up Inns Along the Coast. As travelers, pack up, fuel up, stock up and then crank up the tunes, innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast are readying rooms and creating fun itineraries for the culmination of these road trips. 

While your road trip may end at any of the nine Inns Along the Coast OR involve an itinerary that includes all of them, road trips that begin and end with happy passengers are always the best kind.  So here are a few tips you may want to consider for your upcoming road trip.

Plan ahead.  While many of the best road trips are spontaneous, it pays during the busy summer and fall travel season in Maine to plan ahead.  The new Inns Along the Coast availability calendar allows travelers to see which inns have availability and then link through to make an easy online reservation.  That way you’ll know that there’ll be room at the inn when you arrive.

Plot your course. Consider construction, fuel and snack stops, shopping and the interests of yours and the other travelers.  Remember, traffic tends to back up at the Maine and NH toll booths. Time your drive to avoid rush hour on the road.  Anytime between 4:00pm to 8:00 you’ll tend to find back-ups at the tolls on Friday.  If you can time your trip to arrive to Maine before noon or after 8:00pm, you’ll get there a lot faster.  And road trips are all about road snacks too!  Might as well make getting here half the fun and stock up on road snacks.

Let your innkeeper help plan your days once you’re here: Innkeepers are heralds of the best in everything local.  Nothing makes a great road trip more than living life like locals, and your innkeepers can let you in on all the secrets – best selfie-worthy locations, best hikes, biking paths, boat rides – you name it.  Worried you can’t get a reservation at the best restaurant in town?  Let your innkeeper know – chances are they can help.  Believe us when we say that the difference between staying at a Maine vacation rental, hotel or campground and staying at one of the Inns Along the Coast is the hospitality and inside knowledge that the innkeepers can add to your road trip.

No matter the destination, road trips include an element of expectation, and they rarely disappoint. Start planning your Memorial Day road trip to Maine and don’t miss the icing on the cake – staying at any or all of the nine Inns Along the Coast, from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor.  And don’t forget: Book direct for the best rates.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  PJ Walter & Frank Isganitis

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  PJ Walter & Frank Isganitis

 

 

*According to AAA Travel survey; April 11, 2019