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Road Trip: Whitehall in Camden, Maine

Whitehall in Camden MaineHappy Weekend!  Go get a cup of coffee or tea and settle in your most comfy chair.  There are sooo many photos in today’s post that it should have been broken it into 2 parts, but if we don’t get a move on this road trip series, we won’t be finished with it before Halloween! (I’m joking. 🙂 )  Anyway, I am delighted to tell you about and show you around Whitehall today.

Whitehall sign and flowersOur road trip plan was to travel from Georgia to New Haven, Connecticut, get our son’s apartment there all ready, spend another week exploring anywhere we wanted in New England, return our son to his apartment, and then head home.  The “anywhere we wanted in New England” was supposed to be Rhode Island, but I kept running into no vacancy every single place I tried to make a reservation…or whatever was available in the hotel or inn was so expensive we would have blown our entire vacation budget in one night.  So I gave up on Rhode Island and decided to go instead to Maine.  I knew I could find charming towns for me to explore and more nature than my husband and son could ever get their fill of!

Whitehall Camden MaineThen came the search to decide where we might want to go in Maine.  Our son had not been with us when we explored Kennebunkport years ago, so I checked the Cottages at Cabot Cove just to see if they had a vacancy. Nothing available.  Okay.  So then I just started searching inns in the entire state.

Whitehall terraceSomehow in my searching I discovered Whitehall, and oh my goodness what a fun and funky place!  It is waaaay more brave and brash in its decor than I could ever pull off, but the fun atmosphere was just perfect for our wandering trip with a twenty-something year old son. (Not that he was concerned about decor. 😉 ) And yes, I choose Camden merely because of the inn.  I know. Crazy.  But…Camden looked charming, and we had never visited it before.  So after our stop at LL Bean, we headed there.
Whitehall swing and shuffle boardIt’s history dates way back to being a sea captain’s home in 1834, purchased by a widow in 1901 who opened it as Whitehall and made rambling additions to the hotel each year to accommodate a growing crowd of wealthy Camden travelers.  They would come by car (with their chauffeur), by steamship, or by train (with their own maids!)  Its name has changed a few times in its many years – but still retaining Whitehall something in most of them. It has hosted Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Sandy Koufax, Walter Cronkite, Mae West, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and President Bill Clinton, and it lays claim to fame of having poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (the first female Pulitzer Prize poetry winner) “discovered” at a poetry reading in its lobby one evening in 1912.  (They have a room dedicated to her there.)  Oh, and you can catch a glimpse of it in a couple of movies – the 1957 version of Peyton Place and the 1996 Stephen King movie – Thinner.

Whitehall shuffleboardSo it is an old hotel…full of old hotel quirkiness – winding halls, narrow stairways, not quite square doors, beautiful wood floors, small rooms, old hardware.  If you are looking for a spacious Hampton Inn room, this is not it. (There are some spacious suites there now though.)  A $1.7 million renovation took place over the last couple of years along with a totally new interior look by Boston designer, Rachel Reider (who embraced the old hotel quirkiness) and Whitehall has just reopened in May with an energetic fresh young vibe.

Whitehall entranceDon’t let the traditional exterior with its broad porches and dark green rockers fool you. Those little Kate Spade-ish tables there…Do you see them?…The ones with their black and white stripe tops and green bottoms?  They are giving you a little sneak peek at what you will be greeted with inside. 🙂

Whitehall porchWalk on in, and you are greeted by a colorful  sprawling lobby that just goes on and on forever with numerous places to sit and soak it all in with a drink and good book.  Yep, there’s that super cute red check settee that I would have loved to have tied to to the top of our car and hauled home.

Whitehall lobby red check setteeMore lipstick red on the glossy banquet in that same area.  The walls are decorated with work by local Camden artists.

Whitehall lobby red banquetteAnother common space with some orange rockers thrown in for good measure.

Whitehall lobby sitting areaYes, I was loving all the red. 🙂

Whitehall lobby red sofaThis is the Edna St. Vincent Millay room.  On the other side of the piano is a glass front cabinet with memorabilia in it.

Whitehall pianoSpool chairs by the fireplace.

Whitehall lobby fireplaceThis view gives you an idea of how large all the common spaces are.  (Works perfectly for weddings and other events there at Whitehall.)

Whitehall living area

After checking in and given our ipad (yes!) we headed upstairs to our rooms.

Whitehall stairwayIt wouldn’t go in our house, but I thought the carpet that looked like a flowing river was hilariously fun for the hotel.

Whitehall stairsThe first night we were there, the only room that would accommodate the 3 of us together had a rate that was as much (or more) than 2 rooms together.  So I opted for us to have a queen room and our son to have a double. The rooms were across from each other.

Whitehall hallwayHere is our queen room.  It was on the small side, but that really does not matter to me.  We are not ones for luxuriously big spaces to spread out.  Just give us a good bed, a chair, a closet to hang our clothes, and a bath, and we are happy. 🙂

Whitehall queen room bed

And in this case I was very happy with the room.  Red and a black plaid to go with it!  Roman shades in a cheery red print! (Remember I told you earlier to remember the detail of a Roman shade from Oakhurst Inn. Keep it in mind again.)

Whitehall queen room windowA black tweed chair, that wonderful jute ticking rug from Dash and Albert, and a red clawfoot tub…
(hmmm…wonder if I need to paint ours?)

Whitehall queen room cornerNow this is the entire bathroom (which is why the sink is in the bedroom.)  I had a devil of a time with the shower curtain coming up against me while I showered in that tub (not fun.)  It would have been better had I moved the curtain to the outside of the tub and just taken a bath (or gone across the hall to the shower in our son’s room.)  Note for next time.  But that is the only thing that I did not like about the entire place…and an easy one to remedy for me.

Whitehall queen room bathroomEach room had a dresser like the industrial styled one below, an LED Smart tv, wireless internet, and a Keurig.

Whitehall queen room dresserNow let’s look at our son’s room across the hall – a double. The circles on the wall are slices of trees that have been painted colors to match the room decor,  Reider’s happy nod to the importance of nature in the area.

Whitehall double room bedMore Roman shades on the windows…

Whitehall double room windowOh I forgot to tell you!  Each room also has an ipod docking station.

Whitehall double room dresser

Whitehall double room chairI really liked the bath in our son’s room.  Those green light fixtures were precious!  And his shower was a fully tiled new one. 🙂

Whitehall double room bath

Whitehall double room bathroomNow let’s talk food. (Are you hungry? 🙂 )  Whitehall has an onsite award winning restaurant, Pig + Poet.  Our schedules did not jive with having dinner there, but breakfast is included in your rate.  This is what we saw when we entered Pig + Poet on the first morning!

Whitehall breakfast bar day 1Everything is served on small plates.  You just choose what you want.
Here was our first morning’s creative selections.

Whitehall breakfast menu day 1I am obviously partial to breads, so here was my plate full of goodness. (Don’t judge. 🙂 )
Hard to pick a favorite because everything tasted delicious!

Whitehall breakfast day 1We checked out of our 2 rooms and into a different room altogether for the next night.  We were not hanging around the hotel that day because we were driving and exploring different areas of the state.  So it didn’t really matter because we would be late returning to the inn.  I chose the queen with a loft twin over it for that night.

Whitehall loftbed room

Very cute room, and again a small space.  It is really perfect for a couple traveling with a child (although I do not know what age is allowed on a bunk bed.)  It worked great for us, but I do think the room needs a chair in it.  (There wasn’t one.)  It could go to the right of the window there.

Whitehall loftbed room window

Complimentary bottles of water are included.

Whitehall loftbed room dresser

This room is so cozy, the refrigerator and Keurig are housed in the closet. 🙂

Whitehall loftbed room closet

The bathroom, though, is great!  It is full size, has those precious lights again, (this time in red 🙂 ) and has a new full size beautifully tiled shower.

Whitehall loftbed room bath

We enjoyed breakfast again at Pig + Poet the next morning.

beverages breakfast Whitehall day 2More small plates out..

breakfast choices Whitehall Day 2Another wonderful menu with unusual takes on some traditional dishes…

breakfast menu Whitehall day 2That morning, we enjoyed our breakfast on the dining porch.

breakfast on dining porch WhitehallBread girl had almost the same choices for her meal.  (I took the corn off the French toast in case you are wondering…too early in the day for veggies for me. 🙂 )

breakfast Whitehall day 2I forgot to show you this beautiful barn door with the first day’s breakfast.

Whitehall chalkboardAnd now you have made it to the end!  We loved Whitehall…old hotel quirks and all. 🙂  When we make another trip to that area, we definitely want to stay there again. Because it is not insulated, it is only open seasonally…so keep in mind you cannot stay there in the winter.

roadtrip in Maine

Thank you so much for coming along with us on this journey.  When we hit the road again, we will be exploring some towns and a beautiful park in Maine before we head to Vermont.  Please be sure to come back again for that!

Until next time…

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Charissa - October 1, 2015 - 4:51 pm

What a great spot. I love how you include the history of things when you can and you notice all the same details that I would look for. Where as my hubby just says it was fine when asked to describe something. hee hee Glad we have you for the deets;)
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I can totally relate to a husband saying “it was fine.” (My husband AND our sons do that, so it happens a lot around here!) Our daughter, on the other hand, can tell you every little detail about the place. Must be a girl thing. 🙂
Kelly

Stephen Saint-Onge - September 22, 2015 - 10:16 pm

Love this. Maine is an amazing place.

Happy Fall to You….

Here’s to all things creative for the new season ahead.

Cheers,
Stephen
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Thank you Stephen! Yes, Maine was amazing, but I think Vermont was even more so. Our room at the inn we stayed at in Stowe was absolutely gorgeous.
Happy fall to you too!
Kelly

Gina - September 21, 2015 - 3:24 pm

Another lovely inn!! I love the look of the additions through the years. It makes it look so interesting. What a bold decision the owners made with the décor but it is lovely too. My favorites are the spool chairs, the red and green light fixtures and cable knit throws on the beds. Oh, and the red tub, of course. 😉 Love how vivid the colors are! Interesting breakfast menus too. I’m like you I would have chosen the breads too. :)How sweet that your son commented. 🙂
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Yes, those spool chairs! We need a pair of them. LOL Definitely a bold decor direction. You should google Lark Hotels and see more of their “boldness.” Very cheerful places!
Kelly

Charlene - September 20, 2015 - 8:53 pm

Love this post- you open my eyes to new types of accommodations! But here’s the real excitement- I just got your magazine!!! Your holiday home looks beautiful! You are so deserving of the recognition! Love your blog and loved the magazine feature!
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Aw thanks Charlene! Yay! You found the issue. I’m glad you liked the feature (even if it IS too early to be thinking about Christmas. 🙂 )
Kelly

Anne Boykin - September 20, 2015 - 6:03 pm

Hi Kelly, I’m changing the subject … I just found the Christmas Ideas magazine with the article about your lovely home! The pictures are so beautiful. Congratulations! Ok, and I must ask … what small town in Georgia do you live in? I live in a small town in Georgia too.
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Yes you ARE changing the subject Anne! LOL Thank you for the compliments on the article and our home. I’m so happy you found the issue and that you enjoyed it! As far as our small town, let’s just say I live in a small town near the center of the state…there are so many “crazies” out there, I try to retain some privacy with the blog when I can. Hope that’s okay with you.
Kelly

Tricia - September 20, 2015 - 1:49 am

Hi Kelly. Another great read. Love that your son commented for the first time AND was the first comment 🙂 I’m curious now about Shepard’s Pie, off to check it out.

We love Maine too and I’m enjoying sharing your experience. Thank you!
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Thank you Tricia. I was so glad our son commented too! And it is amazing that he even had time to read the post with all he is having to read for Yale! Guess even law students take a break every now and then. 🙂 I was not that big a fan of Shepard’s Pie…in fact I only ordered side dishes because I was unable to eat most of their dishes with my shellfish allergy. They too have what I call a “creative menu” which is something our son really likes. I guess I boringly like to stick to my traditional favorites…except when it comes to desserts. 🙂
Glad you are enjoying our road trip!
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - September 19, 2015 - 9:52 pm

Kelly,
While I appreciate some of the quirks of this hotel, I’m not sure I totally love the decor. Still, what a history and the food looked delicious. I have heard such great things about Maine. I can’t wait to hear what else you discovered on your road trip.
xo,
Karen
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The decor was certainly different from what we have here, but it was fun to stay in a place with such a different look. (I could not live with that much pattern and color here…even if the color IS red. 🙂 ) There were several elements I would like to have though…that jute rug is one I have been wanting, and the black tattersall headboard was pretty, oh and the red print Roman shades. I would really like to have them in the kids’ bathroom here. I think you are going to be smitten with the Vermont inn Karen. It is coming this week (if all goes as planned…we have had no internet all day, and I am using someone else’s hotspot at the moment. 🙁 )
Kelly

Debbie@debbiethisandthat.blogspot.com - September 19, 2015 - 9:21 pm

What a beautiful Inn! I feel like I am on vacation with you each time I read one of your travel posts. Can’t wait to hear about Vermont! It’s been about 20 years since my husband and I took a trip through New England. Makes me want to head back in that direction!
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I am so glad you are following along with us Debbie. 🙂 Vermont was just gorgeous and actually more to our liking. It reminding me very much of north Georgia.
Kelly

Louvina - September 19, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Just what I needed — looked forward to enjoying your post and waited until I finished my novel ( 3rd one from Sue Monk Kidd) “The Invention of Wings”– set in Charleston early to mid 1800’s. Love this author and would recommend her books to the readers. I need to go back and look again at all the pictures of White Hall. Very unusual breakfast menu but I like to try different!! Going home tomorrow after spending 10 days at the beach. PS: I think you should paint your tub at home!! Loved the red!!
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10 days at the beach again? Well you deserved it after the big party for your daughter. 🙂 I will have to check out that author when I am ready for a series. Yes, the menu selections were quite creative, but I did stick to muffins and scones…pretty traditional on my part…oh and yogurt too. You can put practically anything in yogurt, and I will enjoy it. 🙂
Kelly

Donnamae - September 19, 2015 - 8:22 pm

Looks like an interesting place to stay! So many choices on the menu…I would have picked the bread choices too. You’ve given me some great choices for our future trip! 😉
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It was interesting, and you could try out everything on that menu if you wanted. (More than I could eat at breakfast!) Glad I can help you with trip dreaming. 🙂
Kelly

Elizabeth Kubiak - September 19, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Kelly, still waiting to see what you did with your sons small new apartment?
You always decorate so beautiful.
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Elizabeth, it’s coming in about 4 posts after this one (I think.) It will be after we tour Vermont.
Thank you for the sweet compliment! (I hope you won’t be too disappointed with his “un-decorated – but functional” tiny place.)
Kelly

Anita - September 19, 2015 - 7:17 pm

Thank you for sharing your trip to Maine! I can imagine how busy the Inns must be at this time of the year. The lights in the bathroom are charming. I like how they incorporated a chalkboard with the sliding door as well. Looking forward to reading all about your excursions next week!
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August must be high season in New England (while Georgia is back in school at that time!) I liked that barn door chalkboard too.
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post Anita. Enjoy your weekend!
Kelly

LJ - September 19, 2015 - 5:47 pm

Kelly, thank you so much for bringing us along on your travels…I appreciate you and your including all your readers.
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Thank you LJ. I appreciate you for reading and leaving your comments here!
Kelly

Dawn - September 19, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Kelly,

Thank you for sharing yet another great trip. I love to e-travel with you during the school year. I love the green, black and white “Kate-Spade” like tables on the front porch and the green in-door/out-door lights in your son’s bathroom. I could use both of those if put an outdoor shower at the lake house! What an interesting breakfast menu the inn had to choose from. I can’t wait to see what you have for us next. Take care.
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Yes, you could use both of those green things! Great thinking! The breakfast items were definitely “not the norm,” but they were delicious. I wish we would have had the opportunity to eat dinner at the restaurant. It was extremely busy there the nights we were there.
More road trip coming early next week. 🙂
Kelly

Kathy - September 19, 2015 - 1:35 pm

That was fun! Thank you for letting me tag along. I love seeing how people have redone places like Whitehall. The Pig and Poet looks like a great place to eat…and what an interesting name. My favorite things in the hotel were those lights you liked above the sinks and the black and white tile bathroom floor. I am glad you don’t stay in chain hotels. I can’t wait to see what is next on your blog!
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Kathy I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming along. 🙂 Weren’t those lights great??! The bathrooms really were my favorite things too…those and the red checked settee. If we had slowed down enough, I know we would have loved relaxing by the fire pit in the evening. We’ll just have to go back in a year or so and enjoy the area at a slower pace.
Hope you are having a good weekend!
Kelly

Julie in Asheville - September 19, 2015 - 1:27 pm

Hey Kelly, always enjoy your photo trips, especially the inns you find. Let me just say, hats off to your husband and son. My other half would never consider staying in an inn of any kind…wants an old hotel and the cheaper the better. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful places and letting us just see how Some People get to have a fun time!!
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Julie, I so hope our son sees your comment. (First comment ever by him on my blog BTW in the first comment above. 🙂 ) Most definitely hats off to the guys, but I do try to stay within a reasonable price range – although for around $80 less a night, we could probably be in a chain hotel. I think the guys really like staying in these unique places. We all enjoyed Oakhurst Inn when we stayed there in Charlottesville, and it was our son’s favorite of the trip, and as “decorator-y” as Whitehall is, we all thought it was so much fun..and loved the food! The next inn on this trip is gorgeous, and my husband’s favorite of the trip for a number of reasons. But, after we dropped our son off in New Haven, the rest of our trip was between chain hotels…that I researched to make sure they were good ones. 🙂 We just pick and choose where to splurge. If your husband would ever give one of the good inns a chance, he might be converted. (But I don’t know for sure…I am running into a somewhat similar problem with planning a trip for my parents. But the issue there is space…my dad wants his own living room.)
Kelly

Pat Mason - September 19, 2015 - 12:58 pm

I’ve enjoyed your road trip so much – Wonderful pictures and descriptions ! Your blog is fantastic…I always enjoy your posts..thank you !
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Thanks for the lovely compliments Pat! I am so glad you are enjoying the posts here. They are actually beneficial to me as a journal to remember our trips. 🙂
Happy Weekend!
Kelly

DeeDee - September 19, 2015 - 12:58 pm

Omg! I am so glad to see that the Whitehall Inn cleaned-up as well as updated the place! My husband and I heard so many good things about it, so while in the area exactly one year ago, decided to stay. What a d-u-m-p! The outdoor patio had filthy carpeting that looks original to the Inn and the inside lobby was also, outdated and not appealing in the least. We vowed never to return. After seeing your photos, I’m thinking we may need to change our mind!! I love the new decor!
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Yes, MAJOR renovation. It was all clean and new looking but they kept the same doors I think. It has only been reopened a few months. The waterfall out front was removed, and a nice terrace with a fire pit replaced it as well. (Forgot to mention that. Darn.) It still retains the flavor of an old “family” hotel but certainly with a lot of updates. Give it another chance if you are in the area. I would recommend one of the suites though for a little more spaciousness.
Kelly

jon - September 19, 2015 - 12:56 pm

nice. nothing from shepherd’s pie? i was really impressed by that place.
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Yes, it was nice. I’m afraid my photos from Shepherd’s Pie came out way too dark, but I am doing a post on Camden next week. So perhaps I can round up some others from that restaurant.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Mom

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