Friday June 15, 2012
Coming back to port
No trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is complete without getting out on a boat in Frenchman Bay and the Gulf of Maine beyond. We were reminded of this late yesterday on a cruise about the whale watching boat Friendship V which set sail from the pier right near The Bass Cottage Inn.
What beautiful weather! Crystal clear views of the islands and lighthouses, warm rays of the setting sun and the spectacular vistas of MDI from the water. When you live here year-round, you forget how outrageously beautiful it is.
Oh, there was an open bar and great lobster rolls, too. So the passengers were happy sailors!
On our trip we met some old friends, some great local businesspeople and naturalists who work with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company. We also 'met' 5 bald eagles by the Egg Rock lighthouse and numerous harbor seals who were playing and fishing for dinner off the rocks.
As we cruised back to harbor from Sand Beach, past Schooner Head, Sol's Cliff, Compass Harbor and the like a piper heralded our return to port. And, as we were about to reach the dock The Bass Cottage Inn came into view across Agamont Park.
Do yourself a favor when you visit Bar Harbor: save a day to get out on the water!
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Horse-drawn carriage rides in Bar Harbor
When it comes to activities in Bar Harbor there is always a lot to do. This year there is another option for fun.
Wild Iris Farm in Bar Harbor is providing a Downtown Carriage Service offering carriage rides through the historic village of Bar Harbor. Enjoy our beautiful Maine down at a slow pace, accompanied by the clop-clop of the horses' hooves.
You have several options including a downtown tour leaving from near the Harborside Inn on West Street on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. ($35 per person)
For a special dinner out, you can make arrangements to be picked up at the Inn and driven to the restaurant of your choice in Bar Harbor. (Pricing varies)
Finally, if 4 guests book together they will pick the carriage and beautiful horse team right to the front door of The Bass Cottage Inn. ($140 for up to 4 people).
It's a great and welcome addition to the scene here in Bar Harbor. And another reason to come visit.
Information on carriage tours or taxi services can be obtained by calling 207-288-5234.
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Location! Location! Redux
Periodically I repeat a post I made several years ago. Why, you say? Laziness? No...it's a point that bears repeating. The Bass Cottage Inn enjoys one of the most convenient and calm locations in all of Bar Harbor. The Field, as our location is known, is both historically relevant and confusing to the UPS delivery guys. You'll just love it. Read on....
Mount Desert Island is a magical place -- the only place on the US Eastern seaboard where you have mountains, forests and the ocean all cheek by jowl in the same place. But there are lots of accommodation options if you are planning your trip to visit us. What's the best place to pick? Like lots of things in life - LOCATION IS EVERYTHING.
Bar Harbor is the center of activity on the island. It's important to be close to things you want to do. That way you'll avoid unnecessary car trips.
Bar Harbor itself has literally dozens of lodging options to choose from. There are 'big box' motels that are at or along the shore. They are lots of things, but 'quaint' ain't one of them.
We believe the best location blends proximity to the things you want to do with the peace and quiet you deserve. That way you can avoid unnecessary car trips when you sample Bar Harbor's fine dining, shopping, ocean excursions or visits to Acadia.
There are 2 inns in "The Field" that meet these criteria. The Field is a quiet enclave nestled between Bar Harbor's Main St. and the scenic oceanfront Shore Path. The Bass Cottage Inn is located on a quiet private road, but you're close to everything Bar Harbor has to offer.
So, when choosing a place for your romantic getaway to Downeast Maine, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING.
Monday April 16, 2012
Planning for the Season
Spring has arrived quite early to Downeast Maine. We haven't seen snow in the woods or ice on the ponds for weeks. Flora and fauna have gotten a tremendous jump on the season...time for these Innkeepers to follow suit.
It's already beautiful here on Mount Desert Island as you can see from the photo of Little Long Pond looking south toward Sutton Island and Little Cranberry Island. Yesterday, the Park Loop Road opened for the season and the carriage roads are nice and dry. We try to get some hikes in before the pre-opening routine starts...and it's started this week. Our annual maintenance program has kicked off to get the Inn looking ship-shape for our opening day on May 18th. Fortunately, with a mild winter behind us, the building came through in great shape and there's nothing major to repair. Whew!
Judging by the pace of reservations, it will be a busy season in Bar Harbor and Acadia. Here are some tips for planning your trip successfully.
1. Book early - The pace of reservations is ahead of last year so if you wait until the last minute you might miss out.
2. Stay long enough - A two-day stay is the minimum we'd recommend...and even then you'll barely scratch the surface of things to see and do. Many folks who travel from far away think 1 day in Bar Harbor is sufficient, as they're on a packed itinerary. That's not enough. We recommend a 3 day stay to enjoy Acadia National Park, the charming village of Bar Harbor and water activities.
3. Bring the right stuff - You won't necessarily need any dressy clothes and be sure to bring good, supportive shoes if you plan to hike. A waterproof light jacket is also recommended. But omit things like hair dryers and irons..we have those for you to use. Remember that you'll enjoy your trip more if you pack light.
4. Book key activities 1 week in advance of your arrival - horse-drawn carriage rides, water excursions and the top restaurants book up in advance during the high season. We can help you with restaurant bookings - including our own 10 Tables restaurant, so give us a call. Non-restaurant activities can be researched via the Concierge section of our website so you can make those arrangements yourself. (Bike rentals do not normally need to be made in advance of your arrival).
5. Get the best of the Maine coast - If you're traveling up the coast there's lots to see before you get to Bar Harbor. When you're making your reservation at The Bass Cottage Inn be sure to get our expert advice on where to stay and what to do on the way Downeast.
Thursday April 5, 2012
SPECIAL STAY & DINE PACKAGE - May 18 and 19 (2 nights)
Greetings from Bar Harbor Maine….
…Where Spring is arriving early. Soon The Bass Cottage Inn will be open for its ninth season. We’re kicking things off with a bang by offering a special Stay & Dine package in combination with our restaurant here at the Inn, 10 Tables.
Stay Friday and Saturday nights May 18 and 19 and dine with us either night at 10 Tables where we’re offering a special 7-course Spring Chef’s Table menu:
* Creamy chicken liver mousse, rhubarb chutney, toasted baguette
* Sweet pea, leek bisque, mint creme fraiche
* Maine shrimp, crab, avocado salad, frisee, spring gazpacho vinaigrette
* Butter poached Maine lobster, truffled potato risotto, chive oil
* Grilled beef tenderloin, thyme-braised mushrooms, cabernet reduction
* New England cheese medley, candied walnuts, acacia honey drizzle
* Chocolate torte, MDI 'Very Vanilla' ice cream, spring berries
This package includes:
* Two nights’ accommodation in a king or queen bed room, double occupancy
* A delicious 3-course breakfast each morning
* Dinner for two at 10 Tables on May 18 OR May 19 (wine, beer , tax and gratuity not included)
Enjoy a splendid getaway weekend at Bar Harbor’s premier small luxury inn and have a special gourmet dining experience right here at the inn.
Queen room - $250 per person, double occupancy, plus 7% tax
King room - $350 per person, double occupancy, plus 7% tax
This package can only be reserved by phone and is subject to availability. Call 866-782-9224 to make your booking today.
Wednesday January 25, 2012
Looking ahead to our 2012 season
REMEMBER YOUR LAST VISIT TO BAR HARBOR?
Take a moment right now and recall the forests and trails of Acadia, the warm sunshine and the balmy air. Perhaps you enjoyed a bike excursion on the scenic carriage trails. Did you get out on the water? See the whales? Relax, unwind and just do nothing? Maybe you enjoyed a special meal or lobster on the dock. Do you remember the crisp air, pristine woods and the peace of Mount Desert Island, Maine?
It’s still here. Waiting for you this season. And, if you've never been here -- why not?
Make The Bass Cottage Inn, Bar Harbor your home base for a wonderful Down East Maine holiday. Enjoy the comfortable, stylish guest accommodations. Revel in the delicious gourmet breakfasts, dinners and all the little touches to make you feel right at home.
We’re right here. Waiting to welcome you this season at The Bass Cottage Inn.
It’s the depth of winter now, but it’s not too early to look ahead and make plans. Advance bookings are ahead of last year at this same time, so don’t wait. Give us a call at 866-782-9224 or visit our website to book today.
“ALL HAPPINESS DEPENDS UPON A LEISURELY BREAKFAST”
All of the good things you love about The Bass Cottage Inn will be waiting for you. But some new offerings are in store for you.
Every year we study our breakfast menus and see how to make them even more special. This season we’ll be introducing Bass Cottage Hash – a variety of hearty egg dishes with potato hash and special ingredients. Like Chorizo and Red Pepper Hash. Lobster and Leek Hash. Or, Crab and Asparagus Hash. All topped with two poached eggs and served with country toast.
We will now also offer a*Light & Fresh Breakfast* entrée each day as a third breakfast option. Enjoy homemade granola , Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. Or, during the cooler weeks, homemade oatmeal topped with fresh fruit. So you can take pleasure in your holiday without ‘breaking training.’
NEW STAY AND DINE PACKAGES!
10 Tables, our on-premise fine dining restaurant, enjoyed a very successful first year in 2011, attracting a loyal following of local summer residents and inn guests. 10 Table returns once again starting May 23 with the same focus on creative New England cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions of France and Italy.
We have two new packages you can book to get the best accommodations AND dinner experience on Mount Desert Island.
** Acadian Luxury Honeymoon – for honeymoons, special anniversaries or anyone in a honeymoon mood. Three nights in a king room, dinner at 10 Tables, champagne and more.
** 10 Tables Gourmet Stay – Three nights in a king or queen room, dinner at 10 Tables, champagne and more.
Details and pricing on these great new packages can be found here. New Packages
Call at 866-782-9224 or visit www.basscottage.com to book today.
Since 2004, we have always accepted Visa, MasterCard and American Express (as well as cash, of course). Many guests have commented that other businesses along the coast won’t accept American Express. Well, Amex does cost us a little more, but we accept American Express and will continue to do so. Plus, we now accept Discover cards as well. Have it your way, as they say.
Enjoy your winter and hopefully, by the time spring starts to warm things up, you will have confirmed your plans to sleep, eat and relax at The Bass Cottage Inn, Bar Harbor. We look forward to sharing our splendid little corner of New England with you once again....or for the first time.
Tuesday December 27, 2011
Tis The (Off) Season
Happy Holidays to all our blog followers. We hope you are having a pleasant holiday with time to enjoy family and friends. We know that we are. It's been about 7 weeks since The Bass Cottage Inn closed after a very successful 8th season. During the off-season, we catch up on sleep, sketch out plans for the season ahead and do a little investigative work. We recently returned from a pre-Christmas trip to Quebec City where we 'benchmarked' a Relais & Chateau property in the old city, did a little homework at a number of Quebec's fine dining restaurants and just enjoyed what seems like 'driving to Europe.'
Over this past season, we noticed a number of our guests who stayed with us were also including Quebec City on their itineraries. And, why not? Quebec City is actually 10 miles closer by car than Boston, with a beautiful drive through the woods and mountains of western Maine (just keep an eye open for moose).
While Quebec is famous for the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, we selected Auberge Saint-Antoine in the
basse ville as our hotel. Being a Relais & Chateau property, we know they had high standards and it would be useful to compare/contrast what we do at The Bass Cottage Inn with this much bigger urban boutique hotel.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Auberge Saint-Antoine and, while we picked up a few good ideas, I'd say that The Bass Cottage Inn compared quite favorably - especially when it came to the clean and compete accommodations and the gourmet breakfasts. If you go, be sure to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or two at Panache, the on-premise restaurant. And, don't miss a dinner there either! Great service, expert preparation and a focus on locally sourced ingredients.
In fact, we really enjoyed a number of Quebec specialties during our visit such as duck confit, sauteed sweetbreads, glace du cidre (a strong and sweet 'ice wine' treatment of Quebec cider), elk burgers, bison ravioli and duck poutine.
Jeff has been dying to try poutine for a couple of years. What is it? Flavorful duck gravy with shredded duck leg confit, green peppercorns, squeaky farmer cheese curds....served over frites. Not spa cuisine, but worth an indulgence once a year.
Best of all during our trip to Quebec, we got to enjoy holiday shopping in the Quartier Champlain in the old city. Not at all like a trip to the mall! Plus, we had dinner with a Bass Cottage Inn guest and friend. Great conversation!
Check back here at Innkeeper's Corner for an upcoming blog describing upcoming new offerings for The Bass Cottage Inn in 2012.
Monday November 7, 2011
Our 8th Season is Complete! Here's to our staff...
We concluded our eighth season as innkeepers about a week ago. It was our best season ever and the first successful season for our restaurant, 10 Tables, under the direction of Executive Chef Teri. They say that the average tenure of innkeepers is about 7 years...we still have lots of gas in our tank and will keep going for years to come.
A huge part of our guest satisfaction comes from the contributions of our great staff who keep the place spotless, the breakfast delicious and who all have put guest service at the top of their priorities. We couldn't do this without them, so we want to take a blog entry to recognize 2011 staff (almost ALL of whom should be back in 2012).
First off, completing his eighth year as Breakfast Chef, we want to thank Chris for his continued contributions and professionalism. He's been on cloud nine since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and is hoping for a repeat performance. I'm sure he'll be watching... Every. Single. Game.
Greg and Jen did an excellent job on the Reception Desk when Innkeeper Jeff wasn't on duty. From welcoming arriving guests to providing concierge services they were totally guest-focused. We're grateful to both for their professionalism
Housekeeping is one of the most important roles at the inn. This season Doni, Ani and Moni (students from Bulgaria) had a great sophomore season keeping our guest rooms spotless and they also worked at night at 10 Tables. Many thanks for being hard workers and really nice girls. See you on Facebook this winter.
Cati from Bucharest, now a grad student, came back after a 4 year hiatus to work with Velina from Bulgaria on breakfast service. Both were charming and gracious every morning with the guests...and they kept us smiling back in the kitchen as well. Many thanks!
Thanks to lovely Terra who was our lead server at 10 Tables. Her hard work and leadership in the dining room at night helped make our first 10 Tables season a big success. Plus, she's a big Red Sox and Patriots fan...which, around here, certainly doesn't hurt!
Finally, many thanks to our wonderful guests at The Bass Cottage Inn and new patrons of 10 Tables. We'll be back to serve you starting on May 18, 2012.
Teri and I will be around MDI most of the winter with time to plan recipes, check on the Inn (which is being fully shut down for the winter as I write this), catch up on reading and getting back to the gym. Check this blog throughout the winter for new posts from Mount Desert Island, Maine. Cheers.
Tuesday October 25, 2011
Random facts from our corner of paradise
Here at The Bass Cottage Inn, we focus on making each and every guest visit special. Harking back to some of my old marketing lingo, it's a 'high-touch' business. But we also do analysis at the end of each year to try to quantify how we did. Beyond the comfy beds, the delicious scones or the romantic dinner there are some fun facts behind the scenes. We present a 'quant' version of our 2011 season for your amusement.
Bass Cottage Inn: 2011
Number of breakfasts served at The Bass Cottage Inn this year: 3,104
Number of eggs used in the kitchen this season: 2,750
Number of small family weddings held at the Inn this year: 1
Top 3 regions guests come from: Massachusetts, New York, Texas
Number of guests this year from South Africa: 2
#1 referral source for new Bass Cottage Inn guests: Tripadvisor.com
Number of Bass Cottage Inn “Excellent’ reviews on Tripadvisor: 250
B&Bs with more “Excellent” Tripadvisor reviews than Bass Cottage Inn in Bar Harbor: 0
Percentage of this season’s guest who were repeat guests: 23%
Occupancy during high season (June 17 – Oct 9): 97%
Number of days above 90F this season in Bar Harbor: 3
Average daily high temperature for Bar Harbor –July 2011: 78F
Average daily high temperature for Dallas –July 2011: 102F
Average daily high temperature for Atlanta –July 2011: 92F
Number of tables in our fine dining restaurant, 10 Tables: 11
Number of acres in Acadia National Park: 48,419
Number of visitors to Acadia National Park 2.5M (2010)
Number of cars “from away” that attempted a sudden U-turn on Cottage St. to snag a parking place: 47
Number of moose sighted on Mount Desert Island this year: 1
Maximum number of whales spotted by a guest on a single whale watch trip: 12
Sunday October 30 marks the last breakfast of our 2011 season - our eight and best yet. We thank our guests, staff, vendors and neighbors for their involvement in our lives.
One more number: 10am...when we'll get out of bed on the day after we close. Peace everybody.
Friday October 7, 2011
Why we live here...
Or, alternate Downeast title: "Frost, you say?"
October 7th dawned beautiful, bright and nippy up here on Mount Desert Island. With dawn temps at 30F, the grass had a slick coating of frost as I walked across the lawn at the Somesville Libraray at 6:30am to snap this photo. In the foreground is the falls at the Somesville Mill Pond. In the middle ground you see the steam rising from the inner harbor at Somes Sound cloaking Sargent and Parkman Mountains in the distance.
Later, I took my usual swing down Cromwell Harbor Road on the way to the Inn. This road winds through the middle of Kebo Valley Golf Course. Standing on one of the greens was a placid doe. Steam shot from her nostrils in the morning sunlight as she regarded my passing vehicle. I hope the greens-keepers weren't too upset by cloven hooves on the putting surface!!
To the summer folks who couldn't imagine coming to Acadia in October this beautiful shot should be ample motivation to try autumn next time. To the folks from the Deep South who've suffered with terrible heat this season I say this: There was FROST this morning!
And about "Frost, You Say" -- Marshall Dodge (of Bert and I fame) wrote this essay that captures an old-timer from Downeast Maine who wanders off topic to hilarious effect when asked if there was frost at his house this morning. You can listen to the audio performance on "Bert and I Stem Inflation". Highly recommend Yankee performance art!