We've been coming back to the Claremont for at least 20 years now, and I can't think of another hotel where we recognize so many faces, summer after summer. We simply love this place. It feels like a family compound, with it's good points and also stuff that just isn't perfect. If you are the kind of person who likes discovering a truly special place, that feels authentic in a way that hotels just don't feel anymore, and you want to wake up in the morning to fresh wild flowers on your bureau, an array of books from the 19th and early 20th centuries on your bookshelf, and a view that is as spectacular as any view in Maine -- you will be utterly delighted. But -- if you care about fast and reliable internet connection, a workout room, operating phones and fax, or even finding an ant or two in your bathroom -- forget it, you'll never be satisfied here.
One of the highlights of the Claremont is the view from the dining room and the food has improved immensely in recent years; it's now one of the best restaurants on the island. Don't miss lunch or a drink down at the boathouse, which is as close to the water as you can get, but a quiet oasis.
My best advice when you book -- be specific in asking questions about the accommodations, they vary greatly on the property. I care and ask about recently renovated bathrooms and mattresses. Many of the cottages dotting the property do not have views, but some have spectacular settings. We really like Phillips House, next to the main hotel, because the rooms are a bit bigger, and the walls seem thicker. I love the quiet living room and fireplace there too. A new addition, Rouse Cottage, has a sensational ocean front location and was renovated last year.
One small suggestion to the management -- I always recognize the people at the front desk, and even if they don't remember me, it would not be hard to note on our arrival information that we've been to the hotel before, and should be greeted with a "welcome back" (in our case, gosh, nearly yearly for 20 years- it feels almost odd to have the front desk greet us as if it was our first stay!)
- Also Known As:
- Claremont Hotel Southwest Harbor
- The Claremont Hotel Southwest Harbor, Maine