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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
- 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!
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!
Monty the Beaver is our resident mascot, and he’s been after his new guests about the funny way they talk: “Yah gotta talk like a real Mainah if yah wanna fit in” he says…. so he’s put together this little guide to help you get started:
|Ahwah = 60 minutes, amount of time it takes to find a parking spot in downtown Bar Harbor in the summer.
|Ayuh or Yuuh = Yes, yup, yep, uh-huh, “eh?”.
|Bah Habbah = Bar Harbor, best place in the world to visit, even better place to live.
|Bangah = Bangor, second largest city in Maine, closest city to Bar Harbor that has a Sams Club.
|Beans = sportswear and sporting goods company LL Bean, the only Maine company known outside of Maine.
|Bettah = Better, should, oughtta, opposite of worsah.
|Bug = Lobster, spiny shellfish that turns red when you boil it, tourist food.
|Cah = Automobile, collection device for parking tickets in downtown Bar Harbor.
|Californier = California, where Hollywood is.
|Centah = Center, what’s inside the outside.
|‘Chout = Watch Out, look out, don’t be stupid.
|Chowdah = Chowder, a thick white soup with potatoes, may contain lobster or clams but mostly potatoes.
|Crittah = Creature, particularly those that burrow in your yard, live under your house, or have babies in your attic.
|Cunnin’ = Cute, particularly when referring to crittahs.
|Deah = Deer, furry, antlered garden-eating animals that own the town, or the girlfriend that owns you.
|Finest Kind = The best, how Mainers say “da kine”.
|Maahden’s = Mardens, a Maine junk store where everyone shops but no one admits to going.
|Mainah= Mainer, anyone from heah.
|Nor’eastah = Nor’easter, large storm that blows in from the northeast and really, really pisses people off.
|Pahk= Park, what you do with the cah, also place where little kids play.
|Pahtlan‘ = Portland, largest city in Maine named after Portland England or Portland cement, one of the two- we’re not sure which.
|Pissah = Something or someone that (who) is very unpleasant or nasty, the old lady at town hall who you need to see for everything.
|Wicked = Great, very good, the opposite of wicked.
|Yahd = Yard, place where your house sits. Also 3 feet.
|Down Cellah = In the basement, dark scary place where junk is stored.
|From away = stranger, newcomer, anyone who’s family hasn’t lived in Maine for at least 150 years.
|Go Upta Camp = Visit a vacation/hunting/fishing cabin, camping, what Mainahs do on vacation.
|It ain’t theyah no moah = reference to a long ago landmark that everyone (but you) knows about.
|Snow Machinin’ = Snow mobiling, riding a motorcycle that has a track and skis instead of wheels.
|Yah cahn’t get theyah from heah = You’re lost, budddy. Really, really lost.
|You people = your group, your kind, your ilk. Anyone from away- especially Californier.
|Now You Try a Few:
|“‘Chout when yah go down cellah, it’s dahk”
|“I’m goin’ upta camp to go snow machinin'”
|“It’s two ahwahs from Pahtlan’ to Bangah”
|“Last night’s nor’eastah was a wicked pissah”
|“The chowdah at Thurston’s is of the finest kind”
|“The deah that ate my gahden was a cunin’ crittah”
|“Yah cahn’t get theyah from heah. Take a right at Bob’s place (it ain’t theyah no moah), and go from theyah”.
|“You people can pahk yah cah ’round back in the yahd”
|“Come to Bah Habbah, ain’t nothin’ bettah- ayuh!”
So what do you think? Did Monty get it right? Are there a few other Mainerisms that you know of?
Making cookies- what better way to spend an afternoon at home! It just so happens that our innkeeper Bruce is a former chef and culinary instructor. Over the next few weeks he’ll be sharing a few of his favorite recipes along with some goodies from the collections of the Mira Monte. Here’s one we think you’ll really enjoy:
Spumoni Shortbread Cookies- makes about 24 cookies
Inspired by the Classic Italian Gelato Treat. In this simplified version, all ingredients are combined so there’s no need to divide and color dough- but you can if you want!
- 3/4 lb unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until just mixed (you can mix by hand- you’ll develop great biceps!). Add vanilla and lemon zest.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt, add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Add cherries and pistachios and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form.
- Turn the dough out on floured work surface and shape the dough into a flat disc. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the chilled dough out to a thickness of 1/2″. Cut into 2″ squares with a sharp knife, or use cookie cutters to create any shape you’d like.
- Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool to room temperature and you’re ready to serve!
Tip: To scale this or any other recipe, divide the desired yield by the yield of your original recipe. The result is a fraction or ratio that you will use to multiply the amount of each ingredient in the original recipe. To use a very simple example, let’s say your recipe will produce 100 cookies, but you need 200 cookies for your upcoming party. 200/100 = 2. Multiply every ingredient in your original recipe by 2 to produce 200 cookies. This is a very simple and intuitive example, but the same principle applies no matter how many cookies you need or how many cookies the original recipe produces. For example, if your original recipe produces 75 cookies but you need 275, then 275/75 = 3.7. Multiply every ingredient by 3.7. You will probably want to round this up to 4 just to make things easier and have a few cookies left over for yourself!
Given the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the Town of Bar Harbor has made the difficult decision to keep all hotels, inns, restaurants and shops closed through April 30. The town debated this course of action for several hours, but in the end determined that it was a necessary step in protecting our visitors and our citizens. We support this decision. Our reservation system remains open for dates after April, and we have taken the step of relaxing our cancellation policy should you need to change your plans due to COVID-19. All of us at the Mira Monte wish you continued safety and health during this extraordinary time. We are looking forward to seeing you after the crisis has lifted! -Bruce and Cheryl