Smart Lock System Debuts at Mira Monte!

We’ve always been a little dubious of newfangled tech when it comes to the inn.  After all, we’re all about tradition here at the Mira Monte, and personally handing keys to our guests has long been part of the B&B experience.  At the same time, a growing number of our visitors have told us that they’re looking for cardless and keyless door locks when making their booking decisions, particularly during the COVID crisis.   We decided to try a pilot project before going “all in” and equip our 6 rooms in the suites and Ashe cottage with a “smart lock” system just to see what people thought.  We’re happy to report that our guests’ love the new locks- so much so that we’ll be changing over the entire lower floor of the main inn by the end of July and the remainder of our upper floor rooms by spring 2021.  Here’s some of what you can look forward to:

  • No keys or cards to contend with. Say goodbye to forgetting the keys or locking yourself out!
  • Access codes are unique to you.  Combinations are changed for each guest.  We’ll pick a memorable code for  you, or you can specify one of your own.
  • Late arrivals aren’t a problem.  Simply request your access code and let yourself in when you arrive.
  • Check-out is easy.  Close the door behind you, and your’e done (just don’t forget to say goodbye)!  Access codes expire automatically after you leave.
  • Use a key if you prefer.  You will always have the ability to use a traditional key if you like.

Our guests love our new locks, and we think you will too!

The Mira Monte’s Mysterious Doors to Nowhere….

You’ve seen them in all the old horror movies, the door that leads nowhere, the hidden passage behind the library bookshelf.  Tug on the bust of Beethoven or remove a dusty volume of Shakespeare and the bookcase slides away to reveal… a hidden staircase leading to a dank and dismal dungeon… the dwelling place of a fearsome monster… or the skeleton of some unfortunate soul in bricked-up wall.  We think that every rambling old home needs at least one “door to nowhere.” We have quite a few of our own at the Mira Monte, though unlike the horror movie variety, our sealed portals belie a much less sinister purpose.

Back in Victorian era, servants were expected to remain out of sight and had their own separate entrances and hallways in order to travel within the home unseen, to appear only when bidden.  Many of our old doors once served such a purpose.  Today of course these passages and entrances are no longer necessary and the spaces behind have been put to better use.  Yet other sealed doors were to former bedrooms that have been remodeled and converted into bathrooms or other guest areas.   We’re afraid there are no monsters here at the Mira Monte (although we really do have a housekeeper named Igor).  Come see our “doors to nowhere” on your next visit. You might even get to meet Igor too!

The library bookcase hides a sealed door to a guest room.

A former Servant’s hallway paralleling the main hall has been incorporated into guest rooms.

A disused bedroom has been converted into a guest bathroom- a whirlpool tub lies beyond!

An old servant’s entrance can still be seen by the back stairs

A hatch in a guest bedroom formerly held a ladder to the attic.

Introducing the New Newport Room!

One of our rooms just received a major makeover!  We rather liked the old Newport room, but our guests remarked that the room was dark and a bit dreary, while the carpeting had definitely seen better days.  The new Newport room features a bright designer interior in shades of blue and aqua that reflect the tranquil coastal setting of our seaside town. Even the rooms antique Eastlake-style chairs have been reupholstered in a vibrant peacock pattern.  Photos of our updated room follow, along with a “before” shot at the end.

Newport Guest Room

 

Certification Required to Visit Maine

Visitors from out of state who are not residents of Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire are required to submit a certificate of compliance upon check-in to help ensure that Maine remains COVID free.  We at the Mira Monte as well as all other lodging establishments within Maine are required to comply with this executive order.  We ask that you review the form prior to making your reservation and turn in the completed form with you upon check-in.  Please feel free to contact our office at (207) 288-4263 if you should have any questions.  This Certificate of Compliance must be provided to check-in at all Maine lodging, campgrounds, seasonal rentals, and other commercial lodging, such as Airbnb.

Introducing The Carriage Road Suite (formerly North Suite)

For 2020, we’ve given our smallest suite a designer makeover and a brand new name!  An autumnal palette evokes images of a journey on the fabled carriage roads of Acadia National Park.  Contemprorary furnishings add a sophisticated look.  We’ve removed a wall separating the kitchenette from the living room and added a 2 seat breakfast bar for a brighter, airier feel.  Here are a few photos of the new room, followed by a “before” shot.  Oh, don’t worry about the antique furniture; it found a home elsewhere in the inn.  Let us  know what you think!

Stay at Home Recipes- Blueberry Pancakes!

Stay at Home Recipes- Blueberry Pancakes 

 

Blueberry pancakes are always a hit at the Mira Monte, and we’ve had lots of requests for our recipe.  Here it is, just for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C blueberries

In a large bowl, beat egg.  Stir in buttermilk, vegetable oil, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until smooth.  Add blueberries at time of cooking.

Serve with real Maine maple syrup!

Stay at Home Recipes- Mira Monte Popovers!

Stay at Home Recipes- Popovers! makes 10-12 medium popovers

Maine’s shelter-in-place directive has been extended until the end of May, so it looks like we’ll all be doing a lot more baking!  You’d pay quite a bit for popovers at the local eateries, but you can make them yourself for just pennies. When it comes to popovers, success isn’t about fancy ingredients, it’s all about technique! It took me a few tries to come up with a recipe that I could live with, but I think this one’s a keeper.  These popovers are nice and crusty on the outside, soft, light and eggy on the inside, with a nice cup-like shape.  Enjoy!

  • Vegetable oil to coat pan
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt according to taste
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450° F. Pour about 1 Tbsp cooking oil into each well of a muffin pan, generously coating the bottom and sides. Place in preheated oven for 5 minutes or until oil is hot.

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine.

Combine the milk, butter and worcestershire in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, allowing the butter to melt completely. Mixture should be warm but not hot.  Add eggs and whisk to combine.

Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture and whisk until just combined. The mixture will be thin and a little lumpy- don’t over mix or a rubbery texture will result.

Pour batter into the hot muffin pans filling each cup halfway. Bake in oven for 10 minutes until the batter has puffed up and set.  Reduce the temperature to 350° F  and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes more until golden brown.  Serve immediately with jam and butter.

Tips:

  • When making popovers, steam is the sole leavening agent so a hot oven and pan are imperative.
  • Heating the butter with the milk in a microwave results in a firmer crust that will resist deflating.  Cold milk will yield lighter, souffle-like popovers.
  • Try adding some chopped herbs, blueberries or a little cheese for a creative twist.

We Offer the Best Rate on Our Website- Always!

Everywhere you look, there are a myriad of options for booking your vacation. From Expedia and Booking.com to Trivago and AirBNB, offers are everywhere. Most guests don’t realize that when they click on one of these links they are booking through an Online Travel Agency, or OTA, and not the inn they’ll be staying at. A Google survey of 1000 travelers found that 70% of travelers think they are going directly to a lodging website when they press the Book a Room button, but instead they are booking through an OTA.

OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia charge commissions for a reservation.  Unfortunately, the OTAs often have to pass those commissions along to you in the form of rates that are higher than on our site.

At the Mira Monte we can guarantee that our best rate is the one you’ll find when you book directly with us on our website. Not only can we guarantee the best rate, but we can also help you avoid common problems that guests encounter with an OTAs since you will be working directly with us and not an intermediary.  You may also have access to special promotions and discounts not available through an OTA.

We appreciate your willingness to BOOK DIRECT and work with.  Call us or click “book now” to make your reservation today!

Give the Gift of Maine with a Mira Monte Gift Certificate!

For a limited time, we’re featuring an amazing offer on our Mira Monte Gift Certificates!  From now through May, we’ll add an extra 25% value to any purchase!  For example, when you purchase a $100 certificate, we’ll upgrade it to $125! Buy a $200 gift certificate and we’ll make it $250!  These certificates have no expiration date, and you can use them for yourself or gift them to a friend.  Call us today at (207) 288-4263 to take advantage of this special offer.

Stay at Home Recipes- Almond Florentine Cookies

Stay at Home Recipes- Almond Florentine Cookies- makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • Ingredients
  • 1 C blanched whole almonds (slivered or sliced almonds can be substituted)
  • ¾ C all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • ½ C fine sugar
  • ½ C or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Procedure for Chocolate

Microwave ½ C chocolate chips in small oven-proof glass bowl on high for 20 seconds.  Stir.  Add remaining chips and microwave for 20 seconds more.  Stir until smooth.

Procedure for Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Pulse whole almonds in a food processor to a fine meal (or pulse slivered or sliced almond to the desired texture). Pulse in flour, orange zest and salt until just combined
  3. In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, butter, cream and corn syrup together. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Take off heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  5. Round tablespoon sized pieces of dough into balls. Place on parchment paper 3” apart to allow for spreading.  With wetted fingers, pat down gently.
  6. Bake cookies until thin and golden, about 10-12 minutes. Turn pan in the half way through cooking time.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. For best results, remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a wire cooling rack.
  8. Place cooled cookies closely spaced on parchment paper. Dip a whisk, honey dipper or fork into the melted chocolate mixture and coat generously.  Using a back and forth motion, drizzle chocolate over the cookies.  Set aside until chocolate has hardened.  Enjoy!

Tip:  A silicone baking mat is perfect for florentines.  In addition to it’s non-stick properties, the mat will also help to distribute heat evenly.

Need a break after the crisis ends?  Reservations now being accepted for summer!  Book now at http://www.miramonte.com