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Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

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Boston...
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Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

We got engaged over Christmas and are hoping to have a really unique foodie party as our wedding in the fall of 2008. We think we want to rent a mansion/villa/luxury home and host a weekend long party for 75 guests (maybe 15-20 to stay at the villa). We want to do the rehersal/ceremony/reception/morning-after-brunch in the same place.

We are based in Boston and really want a New England coastal feeling so Portland, ME came to mind. We want to stay away from a banquet room type setting, but we are having trouble finding appropriate venues online.

Any recommendations on services in finding our perfect venue? Any recommendations on catering services in that area? Are we crazy?

Thanks for any help!

Madison, Maine
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1. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

A bit further up the coast from Portland (near the Fantastic Popham Beach) is a great find called the Stonehouse Manor Inn. I had some friends stay there this summer and they spoke very highly of the Innkeeper. The location doesn't get more "New England Coastal" and they have 5 guest rooms with a number of other B&B's close by. The website is below:

www.midcoastmaineinns.com/inn.asp?innID=24

There are also a number of other gorgeous inns in Bath, Maine many of which will let you have events catered if that is what you are looking for. You certainly would not have a difficult time in finding a beautiful spot overlooking the Kennebec River as it empties into the sea.

As for caterers etc... there are a ton of event planner/catering companies between Portland and Camden. Your best bet to start is a google search and browsing the menus to begin with. Or, once you choose your venue start asking around.

Good Luck! the party idea sounds like fun!

Maine
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2. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

Congratulations on your engagement! This is an interesting challenge. You might want to check out Vacation Rentals By Owner - for example:

http://www.vrbo.com/59245

or

http://www.vrbo.com/43906

Look through the Portland/Casco Bay rentals, as well as up and down the coast if you're not too tied to Portland.

It would not be difficult to find a caterer/wedding planner in the area to take care of everything else for you.

If not a private home, there are so many lovely inns! But, you might have difficulty booking one for next fall. Good luck, and keep looking!

Maine
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3. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

Just remembered a property up on Portland's Eastern Prom:

http://www.victorianterrace.com/index.html

Brunswick, Maine
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4. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

I recommend that you hire a wedding planner in Portland to do all the leg work for you, including finding the perfect location.

There are several top notch wedding planners in the Portland area. Diane York, see http://dianeyorkweddings.com and Laurel Johnson, see http://www.dreammariposa.com are two who come to mind. City Side Events, see http://www.citysideevents.com/ has venues and planners.

Good luck!

Brunswick, Maine
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5. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

If you would consider going as far as Castine, Maine, there are several possiblities there. There are several very large houses that are summer rentals, big enough for your 15-20 folks. I'm not sure who to call, but you could start with the local real estate companies. See castine.me.us/pages/business/business.html

If you wanted to take over a B&B, look at The Manor Inn, a grand old mansion, staying there would be like a big house party (grogeous rooms).

Or the foodie in you could pick The Castine Inn, sweet dining room and porch outside, and incredible chef (written up in national publications).

The town is so small it would be easy to explore on foot.

Boston...
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6. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions! I continue to look for the perfect place, but really appreciate everyone who took time to post a reply!

boston
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7. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

Would strongly recommend against Stonehouse Manor. Stayed summer of 2006. I agree with Princess -- the inn keepers were very nice with one exception -- as long as you didn't make any requests. As a guest, I don't think it's out of line to request a room key -- the inn keepers did & refused to give me one because "how else would they get into the room". As a single woman I found it uncomfortable, to say the least. I'm not terribly picky -- but, if I'm being charged $235 a night -- I think the least I could expect is a clean room, which I did not receive. I brought this issue to the inn keepers attention & she nicely told me that I must be mistaken. I had to persist to get her to send someone to clean old food from the sink & "stuff" in the toilet. The room had no clock, no radio, no tv, no phone -- I couldn't even use my cell as there was no service in that area. Anyway, I wish you all the best!! :)

new york
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8. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

I know this is a bit out of left field but we went to an amazing place that does weddings in Rhode Island.The weekapaug Inn in Weekapaug which would be about the same distance from Boston and has beautiful coastal views.The clambake/lobster bonfire we went to was top-notch,classy,yet rustically elegant.

Cincinnati, Oh
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9. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

try www.onthewaterinmaine.com

There are a few large rentals, one is in Freeport and one that I stayed in is in Camden, on the harbor on Sea Street. It is 3 floors, it used to be one unit one the first floor and the second unit was 2 large floors with large kitchen,dining room,living room with floor to celing windows and a nice deck off the dining room. It is intown in Camden and a very short walk to everything.

10. Re: Need to rent a mansion/villa in Portland! Help!

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