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“It is a wonderful place with wonderful hosts.”

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Shining Sails Bed and Breakfast
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I have stayed at Shining Sails for many summers and occasional fall days. You feel like you are coming home there Winnie and John are warm and welcome- The inn is beautiful and peaceful. The folks that come are friendly. It's a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank Carol G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 14 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2013

An artist friend has been raving about Monhegan for years. THis year she talked me into coming to Maine for the fall colors and we took an overnight trip to Monhegan, The island was starting to close down for the season but luckily Shining Sails was still taking guests in. What a pleasant place. The place was clean, great value, and comfy beds. The owner John is a lobsterman and was fun hearing about growing up on the island, His wife was full of great stories as well. Alll in all very dedicated owners to a great gem

Room Tip: we stayed in room 6 and 7 as we did not need a kitchen
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank skipowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

There are many accommodations on Monhegan Island; Inns, cottages, etc.

For an authentic Island experience make a reservation with Shining Sails B &B or rent a cottage through them.

Hosts, John and Winnie have a long history on the Island and are a delightful source of information, advice, remembrances and knowledge about all things Monhegan Island.

With John and Winnie, you are never just a number - you are treasured guest.

The accommodations are charming, clean, and efficient. A great effort is made towards environmental considerations. On an Island, right? Yes, that is awesome.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Christine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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7  Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
1  Thank Gail-VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank liketotravel167
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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8  Thank TheWanderingLady
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

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: £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Shining Sails Bed And Breakfast Monhegan Island, Maine

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