Hay Creek Hotels Travel Series Stay 4 of 6
Written by Stavros
The New England Travel Journal visited Chebeague Island Inn, on Chebeague Island, Maine as as the fourth hotel in our travel series partnership with Hay Creek Hotels (HCH). HCH manages a collection of timeless boutique hotel properties largely in New England. To book a future stay at any of the HCH we visited or any of the many hotels in their portfolio use Promo Code NETJHCH20 for 20% off the best available rates.
The Exterior and Grounds
Chebeague Island Inn traces its roots back to the late 1880s and is one of the few remaining coastal Maine Inns of its time. Located on a hilltop above Casco Bay, the hotel boasts beautiful views of the bay and all that travel in its waters. The hotel is located on 2.5 acres of oceanfront land that are the perfect spot to catch some spectacular sunsets Our trip to Chebeague Island was unique compared to the other Hay Creek Hotels we visited. The reason being we had to embark on some additional travel steps to get to the hotel. We drove from Connecticut to a commuter lot on the mainland in Maine and from there we took a shuttle to Cousins Island. The shuttle dropped us off right at the dock of the Chebeague Island Ferry. We excitedly jumped aboard and took our 30 minute cruise to the island. From the dock on Chebeague Island, we jumped into the hotel shuttle and rode the 2 minute ride up the hill and through the golf course to the front door of the Inn. The trip that required one car, two shuttles and a ferry ride to get us to the hotel was totally worth it.
After being dropped off at the hotel, we got our room key and took our bags to the room and rushed back downstairs to start exploring the grounds. The yard of the Inn is expansive and large enough for multiple crowds to enjoy time outside at various groups of Adirondack chairs. The patio wraps around the south and west side of the Inn and offers even more outdoor seating and sunset viewing options. A portion of the onsite restaurant also has a closed portion of the patio on the northwest side where we enjoyed our breakfast the next day. Aside from the 9-hole golf course, the Inn also has a few vegetable gardens where they take and use some of the vegetables grown in those gardens and cook them into the meals at the restaurant.
Inside the Inn, the lounge has walls of wide dark wooden panels with complimentary columns, dark wooden panel floors and large open windows which let the ocean breeze spill in and fill the whole first floor. Walking through the main floor we got the feeling that we were transported back in time sailing on a Brigantine wooden sailboat from a couple of hundred years ago. When we came to our sense we noticed the tremendous stone fireplace in the center of the south wall. It’s surely large enough to warm the whole downstairs when lit in the colder months of the year.
We stayed on the second floor of the Inn, on the southwest corner in room 215. From one window, we could see the entire golf course and the south side of the yard. From our second window we had the best view of all of Casco Bay and mainland Maine. With both windows open, our room had the perfect ocean breeze that kept us cool even in the hot August weather. Our comfortable queen sized bed and sounds of the ocean helped us get a great nights rest and recharge for our next day of adventuring.
Being that the Inn is on a small island, there aren’t many options for going out to eat. Luckily, the on-site restaurant `has delicious meals for any time of the day. For dinner we paired our craft cocktails with a lot of seafood. We started with the Bangs Island mussels appetizer in a white wine and Fresno chili pure with chorizo sausage. Then enjoyed North Atlantic Cod in a chowder broth with salt pork slices and the Day Boat Scallops in a buttermilk whey beurre blanc. The mouthwatering food along the craft drinks and the spectacular sunset from the patio were enough to make this dining experience one that will stand out in our mind for a long time. Just as delicious were the breakfast options that we enjoyed on our second day. With plenty of hearty egg, meat and potatoes options to choose from we left feeling fueled for our day ahead. A special note on the lemon scone with the raspberry preserves and clotted cream whipped butter. That was definitely an unexpected but mouthwatering delight.
The ferry ride to and from the island definitely added a bit of fun to the experience of visiting Chebeague Island Inn. We felt like we were getting a mini private tour of Casco Bay with only a handful of strangers aboard. There was plenty of seating on the roof deck as well of large open windows on the main deck for plenty of fresh and salty sea breezes to filter through.
On the island, there are limited modes of transportation. Car rentals are not an option so unless you know someone or have a connection to get you a car, going by foot or using the Inn’s shuttle service are some of the few travel options. The Inn does offer complementary cruiser bikes that you can ride around on. We took a pair of bikes and rode about 5 minutes up the road to Hamilton Beach which happens to be the closest to the Inn. We even took a very quick plunge into the frigid yet refreshing Maine ocean water. Aside from that and a morning walk we did not leave the grounds of the Inn because we felt like we had enough seating options to find relaxing places to sit and enjoy ourselves.
On the way back from Chebeague Island Inn we did make sure to stop at a favorite location of ours. The Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. We’ve been back to this spot many times over the years as it was the first ever lighthouse that we visited in Maine. This time around we opted for getting lunch at Fox’s Lobster House and snapped up a pair of cold lobster rolls and devoured them while enjoying the view of the Nubble.
Chebeague Island Inn was the perfect escape on one of Maine’s breathtaking islands. This was one of the most unique trips we went on as part of our travel partnership with HCH and although not the easiest to get to it definitely stands out in our mind because of our great experience.
To read about the rest of our Travel series Partnership with Hay Creek Hotels Visit our Season Wrap Up Story