About Newcastle Inn
Newcastle Inn is located in the historic coastal community of Newcastle, Maine. Located on the banks of the Damariscotta River, the town of Newcastle’s history as the center for ship building offers Newcastle Inn guests an authentic Maine experience in the heart of Midcoast Maine. Within a scenic half-mile walk or ride from historic Damariscotta, the Newcastle Inn offers the ideal homebase for exploring the Boothbay region or Pemaquid Peninsula. With the Damariscotta River as its backdrop, Newcastle Inn has a long history of providing lodging for vacationers starting in the 1930s.
The inn’s legacy is memorialized in historic photos of the region framed throughout the inn and guest rooms which are named after Maine lighthouses. Over the years the inn has been remodeled and modified from its original building, sporting many small rooms with shared bathrooms to its current configuration with 14 guest rooms all with private ensuite bathrooms. While most guest rooms accommodate guests in queen or king beds, there is one room offering two twin beds, and a dog-friendly room too. All guest rooms accommodate one or two people, and are perfect for couples.
The inn offers many spacious indoor and outdoor common areas including a living room, screened porch, cozy pub, sitting room, dining room and large outdoor deck overlooking the river. In fact, the spacious and varied common areas set the Newcastle Inn apart from other inns in area. A guest pantry area is stocked with snacks, cold beverages, a Keurig machine, Mighty Leaf Tea, and the inn’s signature bottomless cookie jar for guests to enjoy.
The inn also offers both a welcome mat at the door and a four-legged welcoming committee named Jabu. The assistant innkeeper here is also the inn’s mascot, a Belgian Tervuren pup, and innkeeper Julie’s constant sidekick. As of April, 2017, room rates range from $150 - $295 depending on room selection and time of year.
GUEST ROOMS, AMENITIES AND RATES
The inn, connected carriage house, and the adjacent building (just steps from the inn) offers 14 guest rooms. Each guest room is named after a Maine lighthouse, offering a nod to the inn’s Maine heritage. The inn building is home to seven guest rooms with four rooms on the second floor and three on the third floor. Each of the inn rooms have a flat screen TV and individual thermostats for heat. During the warmer months, cooling is provided with window air conditioners, or a unit that has been installed through the wall. Three of the seven inn rooms have a king size bed and four offer queen size beds. Each of the inn rooms offer an ensuite private bathroom with shower and bathtub or just a shower. Once an attic, the third-floor guest rooms reflect a creative use of space, with cozy sitting areas tucked under the eaves. Quiet season rates for the main inn rooms are $150 - $240 and $195 - $295 during high season as of April, 2017. (Please note that while 2017 rates are set, in the future all rates are subject to change).
The carriage house is connected to the main inn through a corridor, and offers six guest rooms, open seasonally from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. There are three rooms on the first floor (one with a private outside entrance) and three rooms on the second floor of the carriage house. The Isle au Haut room offers twin beds, and the others have a queen size bed. These rooms also have window air conditioners or through-the-wall units. All rooms accommodate and are limited two people – perfect for couples. One carriage house room has a flat screen TV. Rates are $160 - $220 and $180 - $260.
The 14th guest room, the Bass Harbor Suite, is very private and located just steps across the parking lot in a separate building adjacent to the main inn. This multi-level room has a queen bed, a sitting area with two chairs, gas stove, flat screen TV, individual heat control and a through-the-wall AC unit. Rate range is $220 - $260.
Over the past few years the 14 guest rooms at Newcastle Inn have undergone a total style transformation with the removal of dated, dark wallpaper, and the addition of more contemporary and cottage-styled linens. Today guests find freshly painted rooms with new bedding, attractive window treatments, new art and décor. All guest rooms feature crisply ironed 400-thread count sateen bed linens from Cuddledown of Maine, micro cotton bath linens, hair dryers, bathrobes for guest use, and William Roam bath amenities featuring Maine blueberry extract. Each guest room comes complete with re-usable water bottles for guests to take home as a souvenir of their time at Newcastle Inn. Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property keeps guests connected, and TVs in many of the guest rooms keep guests in-the-news-know too. Additionally, no need to run to the grocery or liquor store for adult beverages. The Newcastle Inn’s pub offers up a selection of wines, and craft beers, right on premise, for guests to purchase. And the Guest Pantry offers up complimentary hot and cold beverages, bottled water, and the guests’ favorite…the bottomless cookie jar filled with Julie’s signature cookies.
Those driving Tesla and other electric vehicles, will quite literally get a charge out of the Newcastle Inn. Recently a Tesla High Power Wall Connector (80A) and a Clipper Creek J1772 (30A) universal charger were added and are available to charge electric vehicles while guests enjoy the Newcastle Inn. This service is offered free to guests and for $5 for non-guests who call ahead to the inn to make sure the charging station is available.
COMMON ROOMS & GROUNDS
The variety, and number, of common rooms is a signature selling point that sets Newcastle Inn apart. Surrounded by windows on three sides, the screen porch offers lovely views of the gardens and Damariscotta River in late spring, summer and early fall. Guests often comment this is their favorite place to gather in the warmer months. This is where you will find a jigsaw puzzle ready and waiting during the warmer months. The puzzle table then moves to the living room as the temps drop. The living room is comfortable and welcoming with a beautiful stenciled floor. From there, venture into the cozy pub with an intriguing collection of antique board games. The pub serves a variety of Maine beers along with an innkeeper-selected list of wines. Next, the sitting room is adjacent to the pub, and offers a gas fireplace and a TV, plus great views out to the rear of the property and the Damariscotta River. During the warmer months, the back deck, which runs along the rear of the main inn, is a popular spot for many guests to sit and relax while enjoying views of the gardens and the Damariscotta River.
The inn offers a double-dining room, which serves the larger groups during the summer months and New Year’s Eve revelers. While open to one another the two rooms sport distinctly different décor. One brightly lit dining room looks out on to the deck and views of the Damariscotta River. Its yellow décor offers a bright start to the day. The other adjacent dining room, offers a hand-painted scene of coastal Damariscotta on two walls. This stunning mural is yet another nod to the inn’s tenacious commitment to preserving its coastal Maine heritage.
The Newcastle Inn’s Guest Pantry area is available 24 hours a day, and is filled with literature and information about the area, along with a computer and printer for guest use, plus snacks, beverages and homemade cookies.
The Adirondack chairs in the backyard encourage guests to sit and relax while enjoying views of the Damariscotta River and bird life in the inn’s yard. Several small gardens dot the back yard of the Newcastle Inn. Tomatoes, served at breakfast, are grown in the two raised garden beds. And in addition to the extensive perennial gardens, there are two areas where herbs and nasturtiums are grown for the breakfast menu too. With a commitment to local and sustainable, these gardens offer fodder for guest enjoyment at breakfast and throughout the inn.
Also throughout the inn, you’ll find a nod to the past in framed historic photos, collectible antiques and cleverly recycled canning labels or vintage postcards-turned-artwork found in hallways and guest rooms. Guests often marvel at innkeeper Julie’s uncanny vision to make artwork from conventional reminders of yesteryear.
Innkeeper, Julie believes ingredients should speak for themselves without a lot of extra fuss. Apart from beautiful yeast breads sourced from a small, local baking company, everything is made from scratch in the Newcastle Inn kitchen including the Maine Blueberry Jam.
Breakfast is served daily between 8:00am – 9:30 am, but coffee and tea service is available in the dining room starting at 7:30am for early risers. Coffee drinkers, enjoy a signature, specially roasted coffee from Seacoast Coffee made in Maine and only available at the Newcastle Inn. Tea lovers can choose from a variety of teas from Mighty Leaf Tea.
Breakfast begins with a fruit course featuring produce that is local and/or in-season, and is followed by a hot entrée. The entree changes daily and alternates between sweet and savory. A fresh baked muffin, sweet bread or scone accompanies the savory entrées. Two guest breakfast favorites are Cornmeal Waffles (so light and crispy) and Veggie Baked Eggs.
All guests’ food allergies and restrictions are always accommodated, if expressed ahead of time or at check-in. For example, meat is often included with the breakfast entrée, but is always served to the side of the entrée, and never added in. Guests are welcome to express to the server that they’d prefer not to have meat too. And for those who’d prefer a lighter option or don’t want the entrée that is being served there is always toast, granola, yogurt, oatmeal and an assortment of cereals. Breakfast-to-go bags are also available for those catching an early ferry or need an early check-out. Simply mention an early morning commitment the night before, and your breakfast-to-go bag will be prepared with home baked treats and fruit.
In the colder months, breakfast is served in the inn’s two adjacent dining rooms where guests enjoy private two-top or four-top tables. During the warmer months, in addition to seating in the dining rooms, breakfast is served outside on the deck which offers views of the gardens and Damariscotta River. A perfect way to start exploring the Boothbay and Midcoast regions.
Unfortunately, a hunt for the history of the Newcastle Inn reveals only sketchy details, and its only through historic photos that the inn’s early tale has been told. A photo that hangs in the inn’s dining room shows a much smaller, Saltbox-style, home built on the property. The next pictures that were uncovered are from the 1930s and 1940s, depicting the inn as we see it today, much larger with three floors, and added porches on either side of the building. Sometime in the late 1950s or 1960s the carriage house was converted with guest rooms, and an ell was built to connect the two buildings. From the research that innkeeper Julie has done, it appears that there has been lodging offered at the property since the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was in the 1960s that the property became known as Newcastle Inn and offered lodging and breakfast (breakfast for an extra charge back then, that is) to travelers. It went through various owners, and in 2008, present innkeeper, Julie Bolthuis formed a business partnership with close friends and purchased the Newcastle Inn.
YOUR INNKEEPER – JULIE BOLTHUIS
Julie Bolthuis grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in a family where both parents were musicians. Julie began studying piano at age 7 and attended the summer All-State Program at Interlochen, MI for three years. She graduated from Calvin College with a BA in Music and then attended Michigan State University for one year to earn a degree in Music Therapy. A six-month internship brought her to Milwaukee, WI where she stayed for the next 18 years working in a variety of Long Term Care facilities.
Trips to Ireland, where she stayed in B&B’s, planted the seed for Julie’s B&B dream. In 2001, she determined the time had come to seriously pursue a career in innkeeping, and decided to test the waters as a hired innkeeper before buying a property of her own. She found her ideal job as the innkeeper at historic 1811 House in Manchester, Vermont where Julie worked as a co-innkeeper for more than five years learning everything that she could about B&B ownership.
Although her time in the Green Mountains of Vermont was memorable, Julie felt it was time to get back to being closer to the water. In April, 2007 Julie made her first trip to Maine to look for an inn. The landscape of Maine often reminds her of the northern parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, so in some ways it felt like coming home. She found the Newcastle Inn for sale, and a business partnership was formed with good friends Tom and Colleen to purchase the Newcastle Inn in May 2008. The property had been closed and empty for six months, so there was a lot of cleaning to be done before it was ready for guests. The doors of the inn re-opened to receive guests on June 1, 2008 and the adventure began.