Sweet dreams in Bar Harbor

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Every time I visit The Inns at the Ullikana in Bar Harbor, I stay in a different room, and every time, I swear it’s my new favorite. This time was no different. I stayed in Rockaway in The Yellow House, and I didn’t want to check out. Ever.

The Ullikana and Yellow House are sister inns located across The Field from each other. The former, a Tudor style “cottage”  is a riot of color and art inside, a melange of antiques and contemporary pieces, bright and subdued colors. It’s bright, cheerful, fun, and outgoing… just like its owners, Roy Kasindorf and Helene (the world’s best breakfast chef) Harton.

The Yellow House is decorated in old Bar Harbor style. Spacious rooms, old fashioned wallpaper, antiques, and wicker furniture, most of it original to the house. The guest rooms here are more subdued than those in the Ullikana, and for the most part are more spacious. And quieter.

Guests from both inns gather in the Ullikana’s living room each evening for wine and cheese and to swap stories about their day’s adventures along with advice about where to go, what to do, and where to dine. The return in the morning for breakfast on the harbor-view patio, if the weather’s decent; if not, in the formal dining room by the wood-burning fireplace (that was the case this morning).

And breakfast? Oh my. Today’s began with maple syrup muffins than progressed to carmelized/candied apples, then the main event, lemon souffle pancakes with raspberry sauce. Heaven! And enough food so as not to need lunch, even if hiking in the park all day.

Now here’s the surprise. The inns are within steps of Bar Harbor’s Main Street, yet tucked away and very private. Some rooms even have a water view. Although downtown, you won’t just stumble upon them (unless you’re lost). They’re well hidden in plain view. Extremely convenient location to everything. Walk to the Explorer bus, to the shops, to dinner.

And finally, the hosts. Roy and Helene are two of the finest innkeepers, bar none. Now I’ve stayed at a lot of inns and B&Bs over the years, so when I say that, it means they really stand out against the best of the best. They truly want their guests to enjoy their vacations, and they go out of their way to make sure that happens. They’ve been doing this for 19 years, so they’ve got the experience to back up their naturally outgoing personalities. And trust me, Helene is one of the best breakfast chefs anywhere. I’m still dreaming about the chocolate crepes she served when I visited a year or so ago. Mmmmm.

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