Our family enjoyed a magnificent week at the Retreat House - I award five stars for the pleasure of our experience. What a great venue for a family reunion! Owner Paul Barclay was extremely welcoming, warm and sincere in his efforts to accommodate us, which meant a lot to us. Our rental took place shortly after ownership transition and he and crew had clearly put in a lot of work in a short period of time to be as ready as possible our challenging panoply of people.
Our group tested the limits of the space in a variety of ways – two wheelchairs, toddlers and children, and sheer number of people (28) stretching through four generations. After being turned down from numerous large rental houses, I was grateful (or maybe even incredulous) to even find a venue that could accommodate us all, let alone also fulfilling our need for two wheelchair-accessible bedrooms on the main level, as well as being by the water in a beautiful Maine environment worthy of distant travel for family members! The delightful bonus was the atmosphere at Retreat House. Warm and intimate, yet spacious enough for us to move around, share a meal, relax, and enjoy the spacious deck and lovely view. The spaces enable a feeling of togetherness but not crowded, yet also with getaway nooks. I loved the way we could comfortably socialize in the spaces. Interior details like the extra-long, live-edge table, benches and stairs and the welcoming fireplace contributed a cozy “Maine” interior - a casual hominess, rather than 5-star but sterile elegance. Just what we wanted!
The beach is PERFECT for kid play, with a safe shallow “wading pool” indent enabling kids to play in the water and adults to watch them without safety fears. Lots of hammocks, the little fort, easy chairs and fire ring extend a comfortable and fun beach experience. We loved how it connects all the way to Sandy Point, making long loop walks down the beach and along the quiet lane to Sandy Point a real pleasure.
It was really important for us to research the house’s layout and features ahead of time so that we could determine what adaptations we would need for our group – and how WE would need to adapt. The deck, interior stairs and 2nd floor loft can be made safe for toddlers with the aid of safety netting; we brought our own netting and three child gates. Paul kindly provided ramps at the doorways for the wheelchairs. Guests learned ahead of time that they would be sharing bedrooms and bathrooms, and what degree of privacy to expect; expect to be flexible here. The 72-step wood stairway with railing leading down to the beach was rickety; I expect with the speed and conscientiousness with which Paul attends to things, it will be more secure soon. Adults always accompanied kids going down to the beach. We enjoyed kayak and bicycle outings with our own boats and bikes.
We all really enjoyed a relaxing and fun week in an environment, inside and out, that fulfilled our hopes for a real Maine retreat. I was proud to share my state with my extended family at this special spot.
For years we have rented many houses along the coast of Maine from Orgs Island to Deer Island. The Retreat House is by far the very best we have rented. We are a family of 13 adults and 8 grandchildren so we need lots of varied sleeping space. Paul's house has it. We love to grill and eat outside and did this frequently on the expansive deck overlooking the ocean. But, what separates this house from all others we have considered or rented is the beach. We didn't need to get in our car to provide safe and fun swimming and other waterfront activities. It was just down some steps from the house. In the mornings we took walks along the shore to the park or visited the nearby lighthouse or fort and every afternoon we enjoyed the beach. We even did a lobster and clam bake on the beach. Just fantastic!
Amazing place to stay, especially if you've got a large crowd. We booked this house for a family reunion and, since we had the family together, a wedding. The beautiful and private sandy(!) beach was perfect for a lobster fest the day before the wedding and a bonfire that night. The field across from the house was abloom in lupines and full of color, just perfect for the wedding ceremony. The house easily accompanied our large clan, with a huge wooden table for meals and lots of nooks and crannies for people to mingle. The house itself is unique and charming, with a variety of sleeping quarters throughout. And the huge decks were great for watching the sunrises.
And our hosts couldn't be beat. We actually rented the house in February (for June), just before Paul and Shankari bought the property. Not only did they fully honor our rental agreement, but they did an amazing job of upgrading the place from stem to stern, so we ended up with a much nicer place than what we originally saw. They kept us totally in the loop as the work progressed and went out of their way to make our wedding and our week perfect.
We have been to this place in Jul 2017.Are you guys looking over to spend some time away from busy office schedule? Definitely consider Maine,and in Maine plan ur stay in "RetreatHouse Maine" .We were a group of 14people and we stayed here for 3 nights - quick access go beach, morning walks in towards beach,campfire in the evenings, quick drive to near by super market,considerable drive to Barharbour and Acadia what else would you not love about this Stay? The house had any and every small thing that we could think off, great view from the patio, lawn in the front porch! We were able to manage with with 2 restrooms but seems like there are considering expanding so I won't mind you going back to this place again. Thanks to Paul who was always helpful and was available with quick updates and timely response !!
A gathering of friends (around 20 people, including 5 kids) stayed over Memorial day weekend, for a birthday celebration. My wife and I thought carefully about our rental selection when planning the trip - the private beach, large communal table, gorgeous deck, and the artsy ambiance of the house tipped the balance in this "retreat's" favor .
Not only did we explore the area for 4 days (trips to Belfast, Deer Isle, Blue Hill, and Acadia), but we also took full advantage of what the house had to offer. Even though it wasn't warm, we spent time on the beach and lit a bonfire at night. The beach is relatively secluded, so whatever noise we made did not appear to bother any of the neighbors.
We also used the lobster pot and the grill on one of the nights, and cooked several delicious meals in the kitchen. A Hannafords supermarket is within a 10-minute drive in Buckstport, and there is also a co-op store in Belfast specializing in organic fare.
We happened to be the first group to stay after renovations, and the friendly property manager was close at hand to make a few last-minute changes on our request. The owners even installed a larger TV and a blu-ray player in the "media corner" before our arrival.
The main house indeed sleeps 20-22 if all the cots and futons are used. Some perhaps may find the sleeping arrangements on the 2nd floor a bit tight, but a close-knit extended family or group of friends shouldn't have a problem. I haven't heard complaints from anyone in our group, and all agreed that this was a highly memorable weekend (and this comes from people who've been to plenty of unique events!)
I stayed here May 30th to June 3rd, I have so much I could say but I’ll try to make this concise. This place is warm and bright, the sun lights the place up. There has been so much work done here, rooms gutted, ceilings replaced, floors retiled, redecorated and painted, this place is a palace now. The area is incredible you have Fort Knox, next to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge which has the world’s tallest bridge observatory, there is Sear’s Island. If your a hiker/biker your in paradise! If not, not a problem, the place is situated right on the Penobscot, Sandy Point beach. Stunning! The beach front is anything you could imagine, romantic? Yes. Remote? Yes. There is a beach shack on the property on the beach to have a fire in the already made fire pit and plenty of chairs, hammocks, even horse shoes (3 out of 4 ringers first try still got it…). High speed internet access so I could do my work online, watch movies, send correspondence. New dishwasher (as opposed to the prior your on your own system). The fireplace is right in the middle of the house. A fresh steak from Hanneford’s down the street and a glass of wine, and a craft beer from Maine as well. This place is incredible. The sunsets are incredible as as it is when the sun rises. I was up at 5am every day and hated to go to bed. The best money you will ever invest in your sanity, it rained and the sun shined and each day was equally amazing. Close your eyes and look deep in your soul step outside yourself and let your thoughts go, open them to paradise inside a castle on the Penobscot. So much history, so much for everyone and anyone to do. I want to live here, retire here. I yearn so much to come back. Really! This is the spot. Not only that but you couldn’t be dealing with better ownership these people rock thanks Paul & Shankari!