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Lindenwood Inn
Clark Point Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
800-307-5335

Lindenwood Inn Home Page

August 2008

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Lindenwood Inn in Southwest Harbor, Maine.


Accomodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

We stayed in the Penthouse Suite on the 3rd (top) floor. The room had dormer windows and sloping ceilings so it’s not a good room for you if you are tall. Keith is just under 6 feet, but he managed to bonk his head pretty badly the first night. We joked that they should provide guests in this room with bike helmets for protection. The room was painted a sort of chartreuse (vibrant light green) color, with a non-working fireplace in a brick color. There were a couple skylights with blinds. On one end was an iron queen-size bed with side tables attached to it that would fan out – we think it was custom made for the room.
On the opposite end of the room are two sitting chairs, a small TV, and a small refrigerator. There is a window-unit air conditioner (which we did not have to use) as well as a ceiling fan (which we did use). There was a full bath with shower/tub combination.
The highlight of the room is a door that leads out to a rooftop deck. There was a gazebo on the deck over bamboo table and chairs. There was also a lounge chair and a two-person hot tub.
There were some nice views of the harbor from the deck. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate, so we could only spend limited time on the deck (it was chilly and rainy). We did our best to use the hot tub. There were plenty of towels and two robes were provided.

We liked the fact that the décor of the room (and of the inn in general) was not fussy Victorian, but rather soothing colors and interesting artwork.

Inn Amenities

This inn boasts a nice outdoor area with small inground pool and hot tub. There is a rock background next to the hot tub and the interior of the pool and spa was different – almost an air-brushed soothing deep blue. Again, the weather was not good while we were there (rain, wind, chilly) so we didn’t get to use these amenities.
There is a public restroom located just inside near this area and plenty of towels are available. Trust us, if the weather had been good, we would have been out there! It looked so inviting. The inn had an ample porch where guests could hang out – but again, the weather while we visited pretty much eliminated that. There are two gas fireplaces downstairs which were lit at night while we were there – in August! (That tells you how chilly and damp it was.) They play an eclectic mix of CDs on the main floor. There is also a guest computer with Internet access available, which is great to look up restaurant menus.

Inn Food

This is a B&B and served breakfast from 8-9 while we visited. We found most guests showed up bright and early for breakfast. There was a self-serve element in the bar area where guests could help themselves to coffee, tea, juice, fruit, and bread (which was generally some type of muffin). Then guests sat at a table and were served the entrée. One morning we had pancakes, another morning was waffles, and one was a single side of an English muffin topped with some dry scrambled eggs and shredded cheese that did not melt. Each of the entrees had what appeared to be a fatty and undercooked slice of bacon, which we pushed away (we noted other guests doing the same).

In all honesty, we were a little disappointed with the breakfasts. We had just come from the Log Cabin Inn several hours south on Bailey Island in Maine, and their breakfasts were superior. If you plan to hike in Acadia National Park and are staying at this inn, you may want to bring along something additional to fortify you for your physical activity.

Inn Bar/Lounge

The inn does have an honor bar. There is pretty much anything you could want. It seemed there was usually an icy pitcher full of mojito makings – all you had to do was add rum. There were fresh limes for margaritas. There was a good selection of beer and wine (and soft drinks) in the refrigerator, as well as spirits. A good selection of glassware hung over the bar. This was definitely a nice amenity for guests.

Inn People/Service

The innkeeper Fred was not present when we checked in, but he left a note for us with instructions as well as the key. We did meet him later and he is a very nice, talkative guy (from Sydney, Australia). He and his partner (who owns the inn) have been in the area a long time and can provide plenty of tips. He is pretty much what you think of when you think of an innkeeper. Amazingly, he knew most of the guests – many are repeat visitors. Additionally, it seems a lot of the guests at this inn plan long stays – there were people there during our visit who were there 5-8 nights. They must enjoy it if they keep returning.

Area/Attractions

Southwest Harbor is on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, which is also home to the more touristy town of Bar Harbor. One of the main reasons people visit this island is to go to Acadia National Park. Much of the island is a part of this beautiful park. There are plenty of hiking trails. Had the weather been nicer, we would have done some hiking, but it was too wet and rainy so we confined most of our sight-seeing to the car (yes, we’re sure we missed some great things, but when there is so much fog it is difficult to see 10 yards in front of you, that definitely puts a damper on things). We do feel we managed to cover a good portion of the island. There are also a number of bus and boat tours you can take in the area – again, the weather prevented us from doing that.

The rain let up a little so we could get out and walk down to look at the Bass Harbor Head Light if you are a lighthouse fan, check this out. You can’t go inside because a Coast Guard family lives there, but you can walk right up to the lighthouse.

We did take the local ferry that stopped at the Cranberry Isles (at the suggestion of Fred, the innkeeper). It is a small boat that accommodates passengers on foot. We encountered several people who live on the islands and were returning with groceries in tow – we noted the use of coolers and canvas totes. We also met a very enthusiastic black lab puppy named Susie, as well as a college-age woman who had spent several weeks working on a schooner and was spending the remainder of her summer on Great Cranberry Isle. It cost $22 for each of us to make the 2-hour trip. It’s not narrated as this is public transit for the locals, but one of the two men working the boat came over and chatted with us. Unfortunately, after 90 minutes of no rain, it was time again for the skies to open up (but note that the boat had a covered area).
We boarded and disembarked the ferry from the Upper Town Dock in Southwest Harbor. There were many boats in the harbor and the owners tied up their dingies to the same dock as they visited town.

Dining

Sips - Clark Point Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 207-244-4550
Sips is a delightful bistro that derives its name from its extensive wine list and the fact that you can get a 2-ounce taste, a 5-ounce glass, or a full bottle of wine, as well as a flight of different wines. They had a very interesting menu. Keith had an apple walnut salad that was almost an entrée in itself. For dinner he had a chicken brioche, which he said was wonderful. Lori went with a special, which was lobster ravioli. The ravioli was cheese with the lobster on top. We had a delightful bottle of sauvignon blanc. This place is busy (and rightfully so), so go early and/or make a reservation.

Parkside Restaurant - 185 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 207-288-3700
Parkside Web Page
We drove into Bar Harbor for lunch after climbing Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park (OK, we were in a car). We lucked out and found a good parking spot on the street. This place looked like it would do the trick. There is a massive covered porch in front of the restaurant with trellises and plants and lots of tables. There is indoor dining as well – this restaurant appeared to be huge. The hostess took us up to the second floor and explained there was a covered outdoor area that overlooked the park in the center of town. Indeed it did and we had a nice view. There is a wide variety on the menu and we expect nearly anyone could find something they would like. Our server was excellent and very friendly and kept our iced tea topped off. Keith went for the French Dip and Lori had a simple cheeseburger. We’re sure it would have been a great choice for dinner as well but we were staying on the other side of the island. We would describe the menu choices as mostly traditional with some that were a bit more interesting.

Bella Mare - 48 Shore Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 207-244-9144
Bella Mare is on the other side of the harbor – a quick 5-minute drive from where we were staying. They are located across the road from the marina and there is a view of the harbor through their large windows. There are tables outside for dining (but you guessed it – the weather precluded outdoor dining). The people at this place were super friendly – our server had a huge smile on her face the entire time we were there (we heard other guests at our inn mention the same thing and relate to the innkeeper that they had a wonderful experience). We had made an early reservation (this place fills up as well). We had a bottle of Kris pinot grigio. Keith had the side of sausage as his appetizer and Lori had the la caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and vinaigrette with fresh basil, which of course she shared with Keith). Keith had the Penne Bolognese for his entrée, which he said was excellent and spicy. Lori just had to get the lobster sambuca – a combination of two of her favorite things. The sauce was incredible – it had a sweet taste to it yet was peppery. Lori ate more of the pasta than she usually does just to get at that sauce! We would recommend this place. We noted that they also had selections for children.

Gilley’s Head of the Harbor Restaurant - Southwest Harbor, ME 207-244-5222
As its name implies, this place sits high up at literally the head of the harbor in downtown Southwest Harbor, Maine. It is a simple seafood place lined in wood with plenty of windows overlooking the harbor. We had lunch here. Lori had yet another lobster roll and Keith had a cheese burger. Both were accompanied with wonderful home-made potato chips. Since it was our last full day in Maine, Keith had a local microbrew and Lori had a glass of wine.

XYZ Restaurant - Seawall Road, Southwest Harbor, ME 207-244-5221
Lori found a brief review of this restaurant in an issue of Downeast Magazine and thought it sounded like something we would enjoy, so we used our GPS to find the place and made a reservation. They serve authentic Mexican food (from the interior region). This is not the sort of place to get a huge burrito smothered in cheese. Guests drive up a secluded gravel road to the restaurant, which resembles a sort of small ranch with a front porch. Tables with colorful coverings are scattered throughout the rustic dining room, and there is a bar as well. The margaritas are very good (and we are purists). The owner of the restaurant warmly greets guests and seats them, and circulates throughout the restaurant. They use fresh-squeezed lime juice, not sour mix, and good anejo tequila. Along with our drinks arrived some fresh bread with a combination of olive oil and fresh lime (which tastes better than it sounds and was a great idea). Keith had the all-beef chili as an appetizer. This was not ground beef, but rather shredded beef and was extremely spicy (the way he likes it). Lori had the queso fundido – freshly shredded cheese with spicy chorizo sausage. We were each given two containers of freshly made tortillas that tasted wonderful – and were replenished without our having to ask. Keith chose an interesting-sounding chicken dish – it was a version of chicken mole (with chocolate sauce) but instead of chocolate they used peanuts. It was incredible tasting and he raved about it and ate every bit of it. Lori had a combination – some shrimp done in a light Mexican sauce accompanied by chiles rellenos (baked, with an incredible mix of cheese within combined with corn kernels). You can tell that everything is made on the premises – the overwhelming sensation is that it is incredibly fresh.

This is a very worthwhile restaurant, especially if you appreciate true caliente cuisine. This is a small restaurant (only 50 seats) and reservations are a must. There were NO empty seats while we were there, and it’s no surprise. People take their time and enjoy their meals.

Additionally, here is a link to a wonderful review of this restaurant.

Nightlife

There was a bar downtown called the Lazy Moose. We went there after dinner at Sips. Drinks were generous and the owner and bartender were extremely friendly. There is a pool table and we played for awhile. They do serve food as well. There was a sign up indicating they have entertainment and karaoke on select nights.

Weather

OK, you can’t really go by our experience. We were on Mount Desert Island during the first week of August – when supposedly the weather is at its best. It seemed to be on its worst behavior while we were there – rainy, gray, and chilly. In fact, the last day we were there, the sky opened up in the afternoon. Poor Lori was in the beginning stages of a cold and after riding the local ferry all she wanted to do was warm up in our rooftop hot tub. Finally she gave in, put on a hat, and kept her wine covered so it wouldn’t get diluted by the swiftly falling rain. Seriously, in the summer the temperatures are in the 70s by day and can get down into the 50s at night. Be prepared for changing weather – shorts, pants, jacket, etc.

Tips and Suggestions

Again, GPS was a huge help to us on the island. If you go, try to make sure you do a tour on water as well as on land. And enjoy the lobster! Southwest Harbor is quiet and is dominated by fine dining and B&Bs. We prefer that. For those with children who want more tourist activities, Bar Harbor is probably a better choice. We did visit Bar Harbor and found it to be busier than what we were looking for.

Here are some links that may be helpful in learning more about this area:

Maine Vacations Network
Mount Desert Island
Acadia National Park
Acadia Magic
Acadia Chamber