Checking in: West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor


West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor. Hilary Nangle photo. IMG_2258The West Street Hotel, one of the newer additions to the Ocean Properties empire, opened last year on the corner of Main and West Streets in downtown Bar Harbor. Frankly, I was suspect of the property, as construction required a controversial variance to the town’s height law. Locals aren’t fond of either the height or the Miami-does-Maine facade, but when offered the opportunity to visit, I went. What I found was a smart, boutique hotel with a sophisticated, nautically inspired decor, spacious rooms—many with balconies and most with prime views, and a decent pub-style restaurant.

Guest room, West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor, Hilary Nangle photo.IMG_2068Guest rooms have almost all the contemporary amenities: free Wi-Fi, plush linens, heated floors in the bathrooms, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and refrigerators. I loved the views from my third-floor balcony: the harborfront, Bar Island, and even out to a few of the Porcupine Islands. Noise from the street and pub below wasn’t a problem; but I can see how it could be. That said, heavy drapes not only block the light but also minimize the noise from outside.

The only things missing are in-room coffee and tea. Each floor, however, has a pantry area with a Keurig for brewing coffee, ice, complementary water, morning fruit, and evening snacks. Tea drinkers are ignored (but I made a suggestion to the manager, and I’m hopeful that electric kettles will made available along with Forte tea, which is served in the restaurant). Of course, to get your morning jolt, you’ll have to either get dressed or ignore vanity and pad down the hall in your bathrobe.

Rooftop pool, West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor. Hilary Nangle photoIMG_2290The hotel does have some other noteworthy perks: Guests older than 18 have use of a heated, rooftop pool with gull’s-eye views over the harbor, and all guests have access to the facilities, including tennis courts, spa, and oceanfront pool and hot tub at the Harborside, the hotel’s sister property across the street. I spent too little time enjoying these benies, but I must confess that I easily could have spent a day lounging by that rooftop pool, especially if I arrived early enough to snag one the shaded loungers, or equally spent the time in the spa.

Lobster eggs benie. Paddy's, Bar Harbor. Hilary Nangle photo. IMG_2088Breakfast isn’t included in the hotel’s rates, but Paddy’s, the hotel’s Irish bar, is located on the street level, and it does a fine job (lobster Benedict!). The pub lays on the Irish theme with interior millwork handcrafted in Ireland, traditional Irish furnishing, and wall murals drawn from Irish folklore.

Paddy's Irish pub, Bar Harbor, Maine. Hilary Nangle photoIMG_2275The menu also is a trip across the pond, with breakfast fare including a ploughman’s breakfast, bubble & squeak, and pan boxty scramble in addition to the usuals (and that lobster Benedict, $16); most items range $10-14.

Lunch and dinner options include lobster bisque and onion and Irish ale soup; Irish farm house chicken salad and a Celtic Caesar; sandwiches and burgers; and rotisserie items, which are cooked in a glassed in area; most run $10-28. The sliding glass doors open to the patio, with heat lamps, allowing diners to eat inside, outside, or in between.

Stewman's, Bar Harbor, Hilary Nangle photoIMG_2251And if you’re hungering for lobster, Stewman’s Lobster, across the street and another sister property, is the place to dress down  and muckle on to one of the tasty critters while enjoying the harbor views.

Bottom line: The West Street Hotel is a good choice for folks who prefer a hotel over a B&B, want to be front and center in Bar Harbor and have access to that rooftop pool as well as the spa, tennis courts, and oceanfront pool across the way.



  1. Thanks for the brief but thorough overview of the West Street Hotel. My wife and I are coming to the area the first week of June. After much investigating, I believe we have settled for this lodging. this article just provides a little more assurance that our choice will be a good one.

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