Maine - An Explorer’s Guide
The Claremont (207-244-5036 or 1-800-244-5036; www.theclaremonthotel.com), Claremont Rd., Southwest Harbor 04679. Open May-mid-Oct. Mount Desert’s oldest hotel, first opened in 1884, has the grace and dignity but not the size of a grand hotel, along with the best views on the island. The Claremont has remained low-key and gracious but not stuffy with owners-just three over the years-who have preserved its appeal for families. The McCue family, current owners, have been summering on Mount Desert since 1871. “We didn’t expect to make money, just to keep it going and to improve it” is the way the late Gertrude McCue explained how she and her late husband, Allen, happened to buy the hotle in 1968. All guest rooms have new plumbing, wiring, and phones, and each is carefully furnished in cottage furniture and wicker. Wood floors gleam around Oriental carpets in sittings rooms, the wraparound porch is lined with rockers, and every table in the dining room has a view. Visitors are welcome to dine (or to lunch) in The Boathouse(see Eating Out) and to attend Thursday-evening lectures (see Entertainment). There are large suites in Phillips, Clark and Cole Cottages, as well as 14 individual cottages, each with living room and fireplace, all with kitchenette. Recreation options include tennis on clay courts, two croquet courts, badminton, and water sports; bicycles and rowboats are available. The Croquet Classic in August is the social high point of the season. A room in the hotel is $235-245 douple MAP; rooms $120-170 B&B; cottages $195-265. Before July 15 and after Labor Day rates drop, and ther are children’s and wkkely rates. A 10 percent gratuity is added in the cottages, 15 percent in hotel rooms.
Christina Tree & Nancy English