Craignair Inn – a sustainable MidCoast Maine waterfront resort

The Craignair Inn on the St. George peninsula is a secluded MidCoast Maine waterfront resort that’s a lot extra: cozy, homey, historic, unbeatable ocean views, nice meals, with a sustainable focus and never removed from any variety of favourite Maine sights.

Since present homeowners Lauren and Greg Soutiea purchased the inn in December 2018, they’ve endeared themselves to the tiny Spruce Head village and slowly expanded the inn’s choices with an emphasis on sustainability – with out harming any of its historic allure. In fact, sitting on the fringe of the water throughout a brief causeway to an island protect with trails and a swimming gap can’t be beat. Since our first go to in 2020 (throughout the pandemic), two have additionally managed to nail down just a few high Maine awards — no small feat in a state dotted with nice lodgings.

Think about your self on this trip picture now: lounging in an Adirondack chair on the Craignair Inn’s expansive rear waterfront garden, having fun with a few of the inn’s do-it-yourself ice cream, sipping in your favourite beverage from their Clark Bar, watching the ocean waves or birds, and preparing for the milky approach to make its look over the Clark Island Protect.

Overlook bustling, tourist-filled seashores, or streets lined with trinket outlets, the Craignair has the consideration of being the one inn (or enterprise actually) inside just a few miles. You get a intimate, secluded, pure setting, but you might be solely 10-Half-hour from nice villages, ferry landings, cities like Rockland or Camden, lobster shacks, historic enterprise districts, and one of many finest lighthouses in Maine (Marshall Level).

Craignair Inn Back Lawn And View

The view out of the St. George room on the Craignair Inn, trying throughout its expansive garden to the island protect (The anti-mosquito window display is a should, thus the mesh you see within the picture).

Cozy vibe at this Maine waterfront inn

It doesn’t damage that Lauren and Greg are merely a few of the nicest homeowners who deal with company like household and bend over backward to make sure you have exactly what you want.  In a stroke of unhealthy timing, they purchased the MidCoast Maine inn in time to have one good vacationer season (2019) – then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. However they soldiered on, utilizing the time to begin planning what they wished the inn to grow to be and to start plotting reworking touches and small expansions. In addition they stay full time in a piece of the constructing so it’s additionally their dwelling, making the unhealthy luck of the pandemic much less of a  defeat.

Craignair Inn Maine Clark Bar

Co-owner Greg Soutiea, left, prepares a drink on the standard Clark Bar.


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There’s in fact no scarcity of inns and mattress and breakfasts in Maine or New England, particularly with the coveted ocean view, so they’d their work minimize out for them — and I needed to return in 2023 to see all of it. They added non-public balconies on numerous ocean-view rooms; a premium dinner service that pulls, company, locals and vacationers alike; re-envisioned the previous front room right into a sleeker, cleaner house for an added eating space; renovated bogs, and expanded the frequent ocean-view deck. In addition they took steps to remodel the enterprise right into a sustainable Maine inn, choosing regional fare, emphasizing inexperienced practices, and including photo voltaic panels to energy a big proportion of the inn’s power wants. Their work paid off:  In 2022, Lauren and Greg have been named Maine’s Innkeepers of the Yr by Hospitality Maine, a extremely coveted honor in a state full of stunning inns. Hospitality Maine famous the 2 had “turned this rustic locale right into a inexperienced, arty, culinary retreat on the sting of Spruce Head.” That very same yr, they have been named one of many state’s 16 finest new or improved inns by Down East Journal.

Craignair Inn Maine Living Room

The brand new “front room” space has eliminated a whole lot of older litter and grow to be a modern but snug hangout, which additionally serves as additional eating room house.

Craignair Inn has historical past, cool breezes, dramatic tides, and all of the facilities

At first, the clapboard constructing (circa 1928) was a boarding home for the Scottish staff on the quarry on what’s now the 120-acre Clark Island Protect throughout the causeway. (Word: “Craignair” interprets loosely from the Scottish as “black rock.”) In 1944, the constructing was remodeled into an inn, which it has been ever since. Lauren and Greg are the 6th homeowners since then, with three of the prior homeowners nonetheless both in Spruce Head or in Rockland!

The principle home has 13 rooms, 5 of which share a corridor lavatory with others. In a small home behind the primary inn, one finds the “Sacristy,” which was the group church. In it, there are eight extra rooms, which have decks, air-con, and are a bit extra spacious, and are additionally pet-friendly. A car parking zone between the 2 is handy in your highway journey journey and likewise offers house for guests to the island protect. The 2 even have expanded the lot since their begin and added electrical automobile charging stations to satisfy extra of their sustainable promise.

Craignair Inn Maine Cozy Room

The comfy St. George nook room — no balcony however home windows that enable a cross-breeze in the summertime.

For my first keep at this MidCoast Maine waterfront resort, I stayed within the St. George room on the third ground of the primary home, a nook room with three home windows for superior cross breezes and unending views of the ocean, tides, stars and island. The rooms are usually not expansive suites, however have a clear, tidy, historic really feel that’s all you want. My room had a ceiling fan, and all rooms have full facilities, additional ports for USB charging and extra plugs, and loads of plushy towels. Oh, and the Wi-Fi labored fantastically (though I definitely didn’t stream motion pictures – an excessive amount of nice outdoor stuff to do!). With wood flooring and classic wooden chairs, you do need to take heed to company above and under you — it’s an outdated constructing, in any case.

Upon my return post-pandemic with Michael to try all their laborious work, we stayed within the Cobble Seaside room on the second ground, which is one with a brand new balcony and a barely extra trendy and sleeker really feel than the St. George room. The balcony is a grand addition for a personal completely happy hour or simply studying peacefully.

Craignair Inn Maine New Balcony

One of many rooms on the second ground with a newly added balcony. That is the Cobble Seaside room.

Breakfasts are included with stays, and also you get to select from a menu with a pleasant selection, together with vegetarian, vegan and wholesome selections, partially as a result of each Lauren and Greg are vegan and emphasis their very own private well being and health. The breakfast menu modifications up sometimes: My first keep I loved a breakfast burrito with candy potato hash may have served over a mattress of greens (my fave!), and naturally I needed to strive the Maine blueberry pancakes with native Maine maple syrup. You additionally get a alternative of sides, juice, and all of the regionally roasted darkish espresso you need. They’ve since added bowls which are simply tailored to cater to various dietary wants.

Craignair Inn Maine Ocean View Deck

An expanded deck permits more room for dinner on good days, breakfast for company, or a snug ocean-view place to hang around.

Usually, throughout the excessive vacationer season, the award-winning Craignair Inn serves dinner a lot of the week in its Causeway Restaurant, though hours could range throughout the winter. Since dinner service was very restricted throughout my first keep throughout the pandemic, I took my return alternative to dine on the Craignair Inn Causeway Restaurant. The menu nonetheless caters to natural, regional delicacies but has a broad selection for all tastes together with oysters, crab truffles (and vegan “crab” truffles), lobster bisque, and an array of mains from filet mignon and halibut to pastas and lamb. Since his arrival in June 2023, Government Chef Gil Plaster has remodeled the restaurant into a real premium vacation spot, specializing in matching the vibe and ethos with their native, sustainable method, he stated. With such nice meals choices and a comfy really feel, the restaurant has gone from “simply being there for company” to turning into an space vacation spot and bringing in practically triple the enterprise it did earlier than.

Craignair Inn Maine Causeway Restaurant Dinner

Dinner on the Causeway Restaurant on the Craignair Inn is certainly fairly scrumptious — to the eyes and tastebuds.

New as of late June 2020 is the “Clark Bar,” which is a freshly created bar space in the primary eating room of this MidCoast Maine waterfront inn with a window to the deck for out of doors ordering. Company, group members, or guests to Clark Island can saunter over, order delicate drinks, laborious drinks, ice cream, or snacks and alcoholic drinks, and take all of it away or take pleasure in on the again garden, which since my first keep has been expanded to incorporate extra hearth pits, seating areas, and video games.

All in all, the Craignair Inn is a pleasant alternative for high MidCoast Maine waterfront lodging with a private really feel for vacationers which are both passing by means of, dashing from sight to sight, or simply eager to chill out in a secluded setting.

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