Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New England Vacation 6: Bass Cottage Inn

One the best parts of this trip was the wonderful luxury B&B we stayed at in Bar Harbor. I spent a lot of time researching places to stay in and around Bar Harbor, reading on-line reviews and such and the Bass Cottage Inn sounded wonderful. It greatly exceeded my (already high) expectations. The house the inn now resides in was built in 1885 during what the inn's web page refers to as "Bar Harbor's Golden Age", basically when a lot of very wealthy East Coasters vacationed on Mount Desert Island. As I mentioned in a previous post, a huge fire burned much of the area in the 1940s so only a few of these original homes remain.

This particular house has been an inn for many years. The current owners, Terri and Jeff, bought the place in the early 2000s and did a complete internal renovation, modernizing yet keeping much of the key architecture and fixtures that give the place its charm.

Terri and Jeff were absolutely amazing hosts. You really felt like they were welcoming you into their baby, which I'm sure it is given how much time, energy, and certainly money, they've spent on the place. Our visit began with a tour of the common space of the house, which is the entire first floor. The multiple rooms were warm and welcoming. One had a baby grand, multiple rooms had fireplaces. They had books to read and games galore. I'm pretty sure we would have been content to stay in the inn for the entire 3 days! Here are Adam and I making use of a few of the common rooms:

Here I am reading one of the menu books provided by the inn. They collect menus from all the local establishments as well books w/ reviews of some of the best restaurants in town.

Here's Adam enjoying post-dinner drinks by the fire.

Moving on from the common sitting areas, Terri told us about the 3 course gourmet, homemade breakfasts we would be enjoying each morning and informed us of the homemade afternoon snacks (apple crumble, cookies etc) that were made available all afternoon and evening. She showed us the common pantry with glassware for every possible drink of choice as well as complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and fresh fruit.

The breakfasts at this place are AMAZING. Three of the best breakfasts I've ever had in my life. Each morning, we'd make our way to the dining room at our leisure and would immediately be greeted by Terri and Jeff (they like to serve the guests personally) offering coffee, tea and juice. Next up were just-out-of-the-oven homemade muffins. I'm not really even a muffin person but these were soo good. We had Maine blueberry w/ lemon twist, banana walnut and cappuccino chocolate. Next up was fresh fruit in some form. Very fresh. Each day there were 2 options for the main course. It's funny to talk about a main course at breakfast, but that's what they were! Each day there was a sweet and a savory option. I always went for sweet (pancakes w/strawberries and fruit infused sausage, creme brulee french toast, and waffles w/ applewood smoked bacon) and Adam went for savory (Bass Inn special recipe huevos rancheros, quiche, souffle). I really wished I had an additional stomach- or more room in mine- so I could eat every last bite! We had no need for lunches on this trip (except the day with the lunchables and cheetohs, of course!).

Having such wonderful accomodations that encourage taking it slow and relaxing really made us to do just that! It's easy on vacation to find yourself going from place to place trying to squeeze in lots of fun since vacation doesn't happen nearly often enough. I think the Bass Cottage Inn is just what we needed to remind us to slow down, drink some wine, chat with each other, read books--> all the things that are fun that don't involve running from place to place. We had 3 extended happy hours, each night in a different room. The last night, we spent on the front porch, watching the shadows grow before we headed off for our first of 2 lobster dinners. 3 perfect nights in my book!

I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend Bass Cottage Inn to any adults (for the love of god, don't bring kids here!) traveling near Bar Harbor. Really. Don't even bother looking at other places. I can't imagine any way they could be better than this delightful place.

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