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“Excellent stay”

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Shining Sails Bed and Breakfast
Kennebunk, Maine
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent stay”
Reviewed 6 September 2013

Whenever I read these reviews, I realize that every individual alive experiences places and situations differently, and we're probably all "right." That said, however, I feel I must step up to say that There Are No Two People Nicer Than John And Winnie Murdock, and Shining Sails is never "dirty", or "dingy". It is certainly true that when they are busy running their businesses they are not chatty, and they tend to talk more with people they know than with people they don't know. Don't we all? Having spent a fair amount of time on the island, I have experienced the aforementioned aloofness among residents, but after a while you realize that they're working while you're vacationing, and they're just getting it done amidst constant distractions. I find MYSELF not wanting to smile at every stranger I see on the road while I'm there for one week out of every year. Often I just want to be alone with myself and my thoughts...and Shining Sails fits the bill. It's immaculate, charming, fully furnished and equipped with everything we need, quiet, homey and comfortable. A wonderful place to stay. Simply wonderful.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

My 14-year-old son and I stayed at Shining Sails for 2 nights. We stayed in #2 with a kitchenette and everything was clean and comfortable. My son slept on the fold out couch which was fine for him (keeping in mind that he is 14 and not very picky). The view was wonderful and sleeping with the window and sliding glass door open left us with a quiet unique to such a lovely island. The location was perfect and it was great meeting other guests and hearing about John and Winnie's experiences living on the island for so many years. We would definitely stay there again.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Gail-VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Level Contributor
66 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2012

This property has a great location on Monhegan Island and that's probably why you'd want to stay there. The rooms definitely need some maintenance (broken window latch, none locking door to outside deck, poor carpeting, etc.) and housekeeping needs to step it up in the common room downstairs where they serve "breakfast". My wife commented on all the dust in that room. I put breakfast in quotes because it was possibly the most inadequate breakfast at a hotel (certainly a bed and breakfast) that I have had in years. They had some muffins, three boxes of assorted cold cereal, coffee, a few bagels and that was it. Before we went downstairs I thought I smelled bacon cooking, but it must have been wishful thinking.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank liketotravel167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford, CT
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Shining Sails does not quite meet the criteria for a real B&B, but it is acceptable lodging when one takes into account where it is located, and the way of life on Monhegan Island.

Important things to keep in mind when considering, or booking, a stay at Shining Sails: Most rooms have kitchenettes with stoves, fridges, pans & lobster pots, dishes, dish liquid, etc. Take advantage of that and bring food with you. You'll be relieved you did. Restaurants / delis tend to close early or unexpectedly. Pick up fresh lobster or other fresh sea catches at the Fish Market down the road, and fry / broil / boil super fresh lunch / dinner in your "apartment."

Breakfasts here barely qualify to be called "continental." There are only bagels, limited spreads, homemade (delicious) muffins, fruits (apples, oranges), generic unappetizing dry cereal (neither name nor store brands), and coffee / tea / orange juice. One day they ran out of OJ and, since I don't drink coffee or tea, I had to go find my breakfast elsewhere (Btw, Carina's makes great salmon sandwiches for breakfast.)

The innkeepers are polite, but aloof and seemingly uninterested in their guests (especially first-timers). They are nothing one would expect in a B&B owner. However, when one observes the social mannerisms of other native or long time Monheganites, one will notice most of them also behave in such an aloof way. So SS guests should not hold that against the innkeepers. I, however, did have the disconcerting impression that I, as a first timer at SS, did not belong there and maybe even have taken away a room / time frame that would have gone to one of their regulars. Most of the guests were retired, and much older than myself. In the mornings, these regulars who had been staying at SS for several years / decades, sat in the common room chatting with each other and the innkeepers as if I they were one big family. In essence, my presence was ignored. Not exactly a welcoming way to start a morning, but that's Monhegan Island culture. Next time I stay at SS, I will have breakfast elsewhere and avoid this awkward situation.

The positive details: SS is in a great location, a few houses away from the "busy" part of the island (so it is quiet most of the time). All essential shops and restaurants are within a 5-minute walk of SS. There is a cute, overstocked library directly across the dirt road from the inn. Apartment #3 (where I stayed) is clean, adequately sized (although the bedroom is extremely tight) and has a cute, bright kitchenette and living area. The bed is firm, in a comfortable sort of way. Best of all though is the great view out the west windows, and the tranquility. Yes, you can go sit on the private little deck outside the apartment's living room door. But you can also see the ocean and stars while laying on the bed, or sitting on the toilet bowl!

Shining Sails has some flaws, but it does have a certain appeal. I decided to stay on Monhegan Island to refresh, relax, and purge my mind of my old hectic responsibilities. And Shining Sails helped me arrive at the relaxing mental state Ultimately, on Monhegan Island, the hotels / inns / b&bs are only places where one sleeps and washes up. It's the rest of island that is important; that's where you go on vacation, or to paint, or to hike, and eat and live.

Room Tip: Upper rooms have magnificent views of the peaceful harbor. Leave your windows open all day while y...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TheWanderingLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2012

We were excited to be staying somewhere new on Monhegan Island, one of our favorite places. In the past we have stayed at the Monhegan House but friends recommended Shining Sails so we thought we would give it a try. Upon are arrival we were met by the Inn Keeper and we introduced ourselves by name and he did not introduce himself. So we never did get his name until I looked it up on Tripadvisor. We were in Room 6 and it had a lovely balcony overlooking the water and gardens. A wonderful place to sit read, eat, and relax. The room was perfectly fine as far as furnishings and the bed we was comfortable. The bathroom was fine but the shower was a bit cramped. I guess my biggest disappointment was the breakfast. They offer cereal (no healthy choices) bagels (which are not really healthy) and cream cheese or peanut butter. They do offer orange juice and coffee. And daily they make muffins using fruit that is in season (rhubarb). They are OK but there was no whole grains in them and for something they make everyday they should be perfected by now and healthier. There were a some of fruit on the table. We are people who like to have some protein in the morning. A continental breakfast could do it if they offered some good yogurt, nuts, and grains. The reason we stay at B&Bs is to get a good breakfast, so we were a little disappointed only in this area. I sure was glad we brought our own yogurt and bananas and nuts. We did enjoy the sharing of experiences around the breakfast table with the group each morning, that was very nice. Next time we will get a room with a kitchenette then we can have the kind of breakfast we need to fortify us for hiking the trails of Monhegan and we can still go down and have coffee with the other guests for fellowship. Over all, we did like the location and the room and balcony and we will return for another visit.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank bitty15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pompano Beach
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2011

I enjoyed my 3 nights at Shining Sails on Monhegan Island just after Labor Day. I had Apartment 4, which was a lovely efficiency with a porch overlooking a backyard full of flowers, and the water.
     I had a full sized gas stove and oven, a small refrigerator with freezer, and a pretty fully equipped kitchen. The double bed was comfortable, the living room couch soft, and a sturdy comfortable chair was also in the living room. Kitchen table had 2 seats. 
     My only complaint would be the shower head, which seemed to be clogged up after a full season of use. But the water was hot. 
     Most of the apartments have a patio or balcony.  Apartment 5 is acknowledged to be their best. I took a look and could see why. Upstairs, so the view was better. Larger fridge and freezer, and a gas fireplace in the living room added up to a lovely location. 
     Daily breakfast was continental, but each day I was there they served fresh red raspberry muffins. More important than the food was the company. I was traveling single and it was great to talk with regular island visitors to get the low down about what was happening and where to hike.  I felt very comfortable and never rushed to leave breakfast. After all, even in Maine, Island Time applies. No rush to do/go. Very nice atmosphere.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank L0vet0travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
69 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2011

We stayed for two nights at Shining Sails' sister property, The Inn at Fish & Maine, which is not an inn but is rather vacation apartments. The apartment was spacious and well-stocked. We were in the China Cap apartment, with two bedrooms and a pull-out sofa bed.

Pros: just up from Fish Beach, so very close to the water and to Fish Beach's fish market that also serves cooked food. This was where we ate dinner both nights -- how can you beat eating lobster on a picnic table 4 feet from the water? The apartment is also across the street from Carina II, a lunch/dinner place, and close to Carina, the island's only grocery store. And, as mentioned, the apartment was spacious and had everything we needed. And although this is not advertised, there was free wi-fi -- just call Shining Sails and ask for the password.

Cons: because of its central location (the windows open to the main "road" on the island), it was noisy well into the night. People tried to be thoughtful and not talk loudly as they walked by, but on an island that is otherwise almost silent, voices carry. Also, it was hot while we were there, and it would have been nice to have a fan to move the air. (In the inn's defense, we did not ask for a fan.)

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ALTSwiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Shining Sails Bed and Breakfast

Property: Shining Sails Bed and Breakfast
Address: P.O. Box 346, Monhegan Island, ME 04852-0346
Region: United States > Maine > Monhegan Island
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Monhegan Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Shining Sails Bed And Breakfast Monhegan Island, Maine

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