BAR HARBOR, Maine — Rise early at West Street Hotel and wander up Cadillac Mountain for the first glimpse of sunrise in the United States. Or sleep in. At this boutique hotel, which opened last July and already has a Four Diamond AAA rating, the latter’s not a bad option.
I hadn’t seen Bar Harbor in 35 years. Gone are the low-slung businesses at the corner of West and Main streets. In their place is the four-story, 85-room hotel, open through October. Its many features include the adults-only heated infinity rooftop pool, said to be the only one in Maine, with comfy rattan lounge chairs and covered cabana seating. Before you sprawls Frenchman Bay, dotted with boats, behind you, Acadia National Park.
Waterfront rooms with balcony rockers are the best. Decor is decidedly nautical, bright and breezy, with Tommy Bahama Lexington furnishings, deep-blue leather chairs, king beds, iPod docking stations, free Wi-Fi, and spacious bathrooms with rain-head showers.
Dine at Paddy’s Restaurant downstairs, with all things Irish, from imported, hand-crafted millwork to Irish cuisine and libations such as the rustic Irish stew of coastal shellfish and an Irish bloody Molly.
Guests also have privileges at a sister property, the Bar Harbor Club, an easy walk to get a massage at the spa there and where you’ll also find a family-friendly pool with views of Bar Island just offshore.
WEST STREET HOTEL 50 West St., 207-288-0825, www.theweststreethotel.com, $299-$1,079
PAUL E. KANDARIAN