Happy 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.
Our 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!
Then 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.
Somehow 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.
It’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.
So 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.
Don’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. 🙂
Walk 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.
More lipstick red on the glossy banquet in that same area. The walls are decorated with work by local Camden artists.
Another common space with some orange rockers thrown in for good measure.
Yes, I was loving all the red. 🙂
This is the Edna St. Vincent Millay room. On the other side of the piano is a glass front cabinet with memorabilia in it.
Spool chairs by the fireplace.
This view gives you an idea of how large all the common spaces are. (Works perfectly for weddings and other events there at Whitehall.)
After checking in and given our ipad (yes!) we headed upstairs to our rooms.
It wouldn’t go in our house, but I thought the carpet that looked like a flowing river was hilariously fun for the hotel.
The 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.
Here 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. 🙂
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.)
A 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?)
Now 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.
Each room had a dresser like the industrial styled one below, an LED Smart tv, wireless internet, and a Keurig.
Now 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.
More Roman shades on the windows…
Oh I forgot to tell you! Each room also has an ipod docking station.
I really liked the bath in our son’s room. Those green light fixtures were precious! And his shower was a fully tiled new one. 🙂
Now 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!
Everything is served on small plates. You just choose what you want.
Here was our first morning’s creative selections.
I 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!
We 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.
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.
Complimentary bottles of water are included.
This room is so cozy, the refrigerator and Keurig are housed in the 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.
We enjoyed breakfast again at Pig + Poet the next morning.
More small plates out..
Another wonderful menu with unusual takes on some traditional dishes…
That morning, we enjoyed our breakfast on the dining porch.
Bread 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. 🙂 )
I forgot to show you this beautiful barn door with the first day’s breakfast.
And 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.
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…