Insiders’ Guide
Off the Beaten Path - Seventh Edition

The Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor is one of the best surviving examples of a grand nineteenth-century island resort. What makes it so extraordinary is that it retains not just the architecture and gracefully simple décor, but much of the quiet, dignified character. Built in 1884 on a low rise overlooking the mouth of Somes Sound, the distinguished four-story wooden hotel once attracted the eastern seaboard’s gentry, who summered here for weeks at a time. It’s been blessedly unchanged over the years and features nice touches, like rush-seated rockers on the porch and a pianist serenading guests during cocktail hour at the boathouse. The big event is the Claremont Classic, a croquet tournament that ends with a dance on the croquet court.
 A room for two in season begins at $180; cottages begin at $195. The hotel is open early June through mid-October. Call (800) 244-5036 or 244-5036; on the Web,

Wayne Curtis – Revised and updated by Tom Seymour

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