Years ago, Bar Harbor, Maine served as an exclusive summer playground for the wealthy Vanderbilt and Astor families. Today, the popular summer destination attracts cruise ships, New Englanders looking to escape for a long weekend, and many Canadians due to its northern proximity.
One of the best places to stay is the oceanfront West Street Hotel located right in the center of town overlooking the water. The luxury boutique hotel opened last year on the corner of West and Main Street; pet-friendly, the property happily welcomed our English bulldog with treats, food and water bowls and cleanup bags.
When you enter the lobby, you will first notice the massive gas fireplace lining the wall and contemporary furnishings throughout. A short ride up the elevator brought us to a massive suite with entry hallway that led to a harborside view, king bed, flat screen TV, and beautiful bathroom complete with clawfoot tub and separate shower.
Adjacent to this room was another accompanying suite with a massive nautical designed living room, two balconies, flat screen television and separate master king suite with another balcony, enormous bathroom with double sink and separate glass rainfall shower. Each room features rich dark Lexington furnishings, leather sitting chairs, beautiful artwork, fine textiles and private seating balconies. There is also an in-room refrigerator, iPod docking station and high-speed wireless Internet access.
There is an on-site Irish restaurant, Paddy’s, complete with wood imported from Ireland. At night we dined on mussels made with Irish ale, braised leeks and crumbled goat cheese. The St. James crab and lobster dip was rich and creamy made, of course, with Maine lobster mixed into a warm cheese fondue.
For dinner, don’t miss the hook and line caught black cod served with fresh garden peas, lobster hash, lobster butter and crispy leeks. We couldn’t get enough of the jumbo two-pound lobster served two ways—wood grilled and bamboo steamed—served with a crispy potato, grilled asparagus and side of melted garlic butter. Be sure to also check out Stewman’s Lobster Pound where you can nosh on some of the best clams in the northeast—enormous, sweet, and perfectly fried to a nice golden brown.
One of the best amenities here is the rooftop pool (open to adults only) where you can do laps while taking in the beautiful view of Frenchman’s Bay, the outer islands and Acadia National Park. There is also a spa, fitness club and outdoor Jacuzzi where you can take in some amazing sunsets.
Whether you choose to head up to the rooftop pool, explore the downtown area or take a drive to nearby Acadia National Park, there is something for everyone in Bar Harbor with West Street Hotel as your host.