3 Stylish Maine Inns To Check Out This Summer

3 Stylish Maine Inns To Check Out This Summer

New owners are putting their stamp on Maine’s historic inns with bold patterns, inventive wall treatments, and spray-painted art.

interior of the Blind Tiger in Portland, Maine
Photo by Matt Kisiday


History: Newspaper manager Oscar Rugg Wish lived in this 1869 Second Empire on Portland’s Carleton Street in the 1900s, before it became the city’s longest-running B&B. Last winter, it became part of the Blind Tiger inn, which also occupies an 1823 Federal on nearby Danforth Street.

Rehab: Crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors, and a symphony of patterns — stripes, checks, medallions — play up the grandeur in a pair of living rooms graced with marble fireplaces and elaborate moldings, while modern art, like a graffitied landscape painting, winks at the formality. Guest rooms in rich rust, moss, and navy shades feature playful painted “wainscoting” and ceilings.

Highlight: A graphic mural Portland’s Ryan Adams rendered in transparent earth tones over original star-patterned wallpaper in the hallways.

Rates: From $139/night

46 Carleton St., Portland. 207-879-8755

exterior of the Blind Tiger in Portland, Maine
Courtesy of Lark Hotels

interior of the Norumbega in Camden, Maine


History: Weld native Joseph B. Stearns built his castle-like 1886 Camden Queen Anne with the fortune he made inventing a telegraph that enabled simultaneous messaging. He named the estate Norumbega after an opulent, mythical city early explorers claimed existed in Maine. It became an inn in 1984, and owners Will Tims and Brett Haynie took over last year.

Rehab: With Stearns, a nature lover and world traveler, as their muse, Tims and Haynie juxtaposed sleek sage-green and navy sofas and modern brass and vintage Murano glass lighting with elaborately carved woodwork in the drawing and dining rooms; in the breakfast room, a striped banquette and mid-century Japanese screen play off the intricacy of patterned fireplace tile. The guest rooms have also been reimagined and feature marble baths.

Highlight: In the Sandringham guest room, checkerboard wallpaper that’s forest green on the lower portion and sage above, suggesting wainscoting.

Rates: From $239/night

63 High St., Camden. 207-236-4646

exterior of the Norumbega in Camden, Maine
interior of the Captain Nickels Inn in Searsport, Maine
Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography


History: Captain Albert and Elizabeth Nickels raised eight children in their 1874 Searsport Italianate. Later, Everett Hurd — who, in 1937, helped bring down the fugitive Brady Gang by alerting police to their presence in Bangor — lived here. In 2019, mother and daughter Dawn and Cassidy Gintz bought the mansion, which had operated as a B&B for decades.

Rehab: The Gintzes renovated the ballroom, located in a former barn, with a tin ceiling and powder-blue paneled walls; replaced the dining-room’s wraparound windows; swapped wall-to-wall carpeting for reclaimed-wood flooring with historically appropriate cut nails; and overhauled the guest rooms, named after members of the Nickels family and decorated to reflect their imagined personalities.

Highlight: The restoration of an elegant octagonal widow’s walk and copper-topped cupola.

Rates: From $265/night

127 East Main St., Searsport. 207-548-1104

exterior of the Captain Nickels Inn in Searsport, Maine
Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography