Attean Lake Lodge is on an island in the middle of a gorgeous lake far, far away from anything in Maine. The lake is big, dotted with islands, and improbably scattered with lovely little sandy beaches.
The cabins are simple and rustic but spottlessly clean - the housekeepers (thanks Elise!) keep an eye out for you to head to breakfast and they go in and clean while you are in the dining room. Cabins have no electricity, but they have woodstoves (your woodbox is kept stocked) and karosene lanterns for evenings. They are all right at the water's edge, and all have front porches which we loved hanging out on, watching birds, reading, etc.
You get breakfast (you order - pretty basic eggs, pancakes, cereal and usually a delicious homemade pastry of some kind) and dinner (choice of three entres) in the lodge dining room and the pack up a lunch for you to take with you on your day's adventures. The food is not fancy, but really tasty. It's good old American 3-square meals style - the lunches are like your mom used to make you. This is definately the best food north of Brunswick.
The people and the service are terrific. This has been the Holden's family business for three generations; and generation #4 is at work too. Everyone is very friendly. You have the same waitress most of the time, so it really feels like you get to know people a little, which is nice (thanks Michaela!). We felt like they really took care of us - Bennet (the Holden's son) picking up some bait for fishing when he went into town, Andrea giving the kids some bubble wands on a rainy day to play with - that kind of thing was great.
Things to do are all of the outdoorsy variety - swimming (the lake was really swimable, even in June - refreshing for sure, but I thought it would be frigid and it wasn't!) boating, fishing, hiking, looking for wildlife (we saw 9 moose!) It is perfect for a family who wants to be active and has kids that like to get out there and play and have adventures. Every day we'd wake up, go have a nice hearty breakfast, pick up our picnic lunch, and head off on the adventure of the day. We'd come back just before dinner, have a nice hot shower, enjoy some wine with dinner (often sending the kids outside to play while we lingered over dinner/drinks and relaxed) chitchat with other guests, and then put the kids to bed. Evenings we'd maybe read a little and then crash nice and early - I haven't gotten so much comfortable perfect sleep in years. There is nothing to do at night except relax, and the air is so fresh and crisp - makes me sigh just writing about it. The whole week was just what my family needed and wanted - relaxation with none of the usual high-tech distractions; just relaxing, being together, getting lots of fresh air and exercise, great food, and restorative sleep. We may have to go every year.
This is not a budget vacation. If you compare it to camping, it seems incredibly expensive, and if you are just as happy sleeping in a tent and cooking your own food over a camp stove; then think about one of the (fabulous) campsites on the lake. If you compare it to renting a house almost anywhere though, this comes out even or ahead when you consider that all your food and activities are included - and there is nothing "extra" here to spend your money on.
If you are looking for a place to relax, get outside, and make your life easy for a while, this could be it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape into the beauty of nature. Spend your days un-driven by schedules or agendas. Enjoy breathtaking views of mountains and the lake, warm hospitable staff, delicious food and charming, 15 comfortable cabins where you fall asleep to the sounds of the loons. Spend your days relaxing leisurely in the lodge or by the lake or fill your days with adventures, exploring the numerous hiking options, or seeing the beauty of the lake and rivers using one of the many boating options available to you. Either way you can truly unwind at this wonderful all-inclusive, island retreat. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Attean Lake Lodge Maine/Jackman