Once a classic summer hotel, over the years, the Camden Harbour Inn had morphed into a B&B, sprouting wings and adding private baths, and gone Victorian to the hilt, with ruffles, and flowers, and layers of clutter. Not anymore.
Partners Oscar Verest and Raymond Brunyanszki have infused this genteel lady with light, opened walls and windows, and brought it fully into the 21st century with vibrant color, comfy furnishings, and all the whistles and bells that a four-aiming-for-five diamond property requires. It is most unVictorian inside and yet, there are faint echoes of that era. Those echoes, however, are dulled by the purples, silvers, and reds of the upholstery, the minimalist gas fireplace, and the Asian and African accents. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound soothing, but it is, and it works.
Now add a fabulous restaurant, Natalie‘s, decorated to evoke a Parisien brasserie on the Seine in the 1930s—think stop red chairs and fringed lighting—again, it works. Better yet, Chef Lawrence Klang is turning out fabulous food that’s gaining attention far beyond Maine’s borders. He offers not only a la carte (entrees $28-44), but also a six-course tasting menu and a four-course lobster-sampling menu.
Settle in for a leisurely meal, with well-trained servers who are friendly, but not gushy, in a setting that invites relaxation and is not the least bit stuffy. Dine inside or on the porch, with views of Camden Harbor from many tables. Dining here is splurge-worthy, but if your budget isn’t flush, consider the lounge menu, $8-14, instead. It offers a world of flavors, and Damariscotta oysters are $1 each.
Every guestroom has a water view and a stocked mini-bar. Beds are comfy clouds of down; chocolates and a quote note, along with slippers, are provided at turndown. Some rooms have fireplaces or whirlpool tubs, some have balconies, a few are suites with separate sitting areas. All refrain the inn’s decorating theme: White walls offset by reds, silvers, and purples and accented with worldy art and antiques.
REVIVAL AND BREAKFAST
Now this is where the inn really adds value. Guests are welcomed with a glass of Prosecco. Snacks and treats are always available. Breakfast includes not only a European-style buffet with fruits, cereals, baked goods, meats, cheese, even smoked salmon, but also a choice-of-menu entree, and those choices include lobster benedict (oh so good!).
The inn also is now offering lifestyle packages, with fanciful extras from chauffeur service to dining tours to lifestyle coaching.