Camden Harbour Inn
What We Love
- A la carte champagne breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Great location on a hilltop above downtown Camden
- Each room is named after a former Dutch colony and decorated accordingly
- Home to one of Maine’s best restaurants, Natalie's; Executive chefs Chris Long and Shelby Stevens meld Down East ingredients with continental styles
What To Know
- The structure dates from 1874, but the inn underwent a considerable overhaul by the owners
- Modern touches include Molton Brown products in the bathroom, cushy featherbeds, and fireplaces and balconies in some rooms
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
With a design that’s equal parts Dutch and Down East and an award-winning restaurant, the Camden Harbour Inn attracts guests from around the world. The crisp white and gray inn sits on a hill overlooking the staunchly old-school town of Camden, and folks from Boston and guests from foreign shores can be found together on the inn’s porch overlooking Penobscot Bay. This 140-year-old property is suffused with love for both its home state and for European style. The structure dates from 1874, but the inn underwent a considerable overhaul by the owners, a Dutch duo who stay close to the action here.
Bed and Bath
Each room is named after a former Dutch colony and decorated accordingly. The Sumatra, for example, has a rich, dark wooden bed and overlooks Penobscot Bay; the Malacca has Southeast Asian–inflected splashes of red and gold. Though it sounds eclectic in concept, it feels cohesive in execution. There are plenty of modern touches, too: Molton Brown products in the bathroom, cushy featherbeds, and fireplaces and balconies in some rooms.
The Camden Harbour is also home to one of Maine’s best restaurants, Natalie’s. Executive chefs Chris Long and Shelby Stevens meld Down East ingredients with continental styles — hence the large number of Europeans you’ll see in the dining room or on the porch, munching on fiddleheads and crustaceans. Reservations are strongly recommended, as is a light lunch — the last reservation is at 9 p.m., so you’ll be dining on the early side. For a dose of pampering, there’s a single-room spa for massage treatments.
In the Area
At the base of Camden Hills on Penobscot Bay, the petite and picturesque town of Camden has been a summer vacation destination since the late 19th century. Today nature lovers head out on hikes through the 5,500-acre Camden Hills State Park or explore the area by water on a power boat or daytrip across Penobscot Bay. Out of season, make the most of Camden’s indoor activities, from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, in nearby Rockland to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay. Beyond onsite Natalie’s restaurant, Camden offers a raft of top eateries, including Melissa Kelly’s modern Italian restaurant, Primo, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar for Japanese fare and buzzing Francine for mostly local and organic dishes.
How to Get There
We decided to book at CHI with their Thanksgiving package. We had a group of 3 families but with the maximum of 3 per room we had to rent 4 rooms. We flew into Portland and had about a two hour drive from the airport but there was a snowstorm so it was a bit longer than in good road conditions. Our rooms were very spacious and clean. There are many nice amenities that you don’t normally get in a regular hotel. We had complimentary charcuterie plates waiting for us in the rooms when we arrived. The Inn has nightly turn down service with gourmet chocolates and a special hand written note. There is baked goodies, coffee and hot tea available downstairs at all times. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful!! Luann was always ready to chat if we wanted. Sean assisted us with mapping a driving tour of lighthouses that did not disappoint!! The complimentary breakfast in Natalie’s is ample and delicious. They give you a different daily smoothie and there is a small buffet also available with yogurt, charcuterie and baked goods. We are already planning to go back in a warmer season and highly recommend Camden Harbor Inn!!
Our 2 night stay at the Camden Harbour Inn was wonderful. Staff and services provided were impeccable. Our corner room on the 2nd floor was great. We loved the turndown service provided.
Natalie’s does not disappoint! The bartender at Natalie’s was charming and engaging. Breakfast was delicious and dinner spectacular.
Easy walk into town from the inn.
So, the prices here are in the top 3 hotels/Inns in all of Camden. For which one gets the expectation of a flawless stay in all respects. The building is a solidly built inn - no creaking floors here. As it sits on a hill, we were happily surprised that two staffers came down to take our luggage from the car and up to the front desk and then onto our 2nd floor room.
The Malabar Coast room was well appointed with a beautiful bathroom with huge shower that had both vertical and horizontal shower heads with controls that rival the space shuttle. The bed was extremely comfortable in-spite of the fact that is was on the softer side which I normally have problems with. A small secretary occupied one corner of the room. Robes were adequate and the room had a small fridge w mini-bar. The restaurant (Natalie's) was a dichotomy of feelings for me. The menu was limited and the offerings were trying too hard to impress. The breakfast was just good not excellent. The staff seemed distracted (both in the restaurant and in general ). Front Desk person didn't know a thing about the area. Some of the staff hardly acknowledged us as we passed. We sat for close to 10 minutes on their wonderful deck waiting to gain a server's attention. We had an incident in the bar that could have been very serious but fortunately was not. I hesitate to describe here as it can happen anywhere to anyone and there's no need to penalize the staff but I would have expected a large comp for the room or for dinner, etc. We did receive a couple of drinks but that was disappointing.
Room service (yes they have that at the Inn) only has one or two items that are not gourmet dishes. We ordered a cheeseburger with truffle fries @ over $30.00/one BUT I now cannot eat any other cheeseburger as this one was magnificent as were the fries. This is not hyperbole, we were blown away.
Our room did not have a view of the harbor but the location was convenient for short walks into town or down to the harbor itself.
Would have loved to give a higher rating but the value for room prices over $500.00/night one would expect flawless performance.
We stayed 2 nights at the Inn. King room, second floor, harbor view. Design and decor is dated. Shag carpet is crusty. Bathroom is not very user friendly, counter top space wise and there are shower curtains, as I recall. Room is dark, poorly lit. No charging stations or USB ports near the bed or anywhere. Just not a modern room and expensive. We did not use the restaurant except for one breakfast that was good. Great out door dining in the morning. I am pretty certain that for similar costs there are better places in town in Camden. I do not recall the name of the room we had. Rooms are named not numbered as I recall. The one with the sticky door.
Can express in words how wonderful our stay was. Camden Harbour Inn delivers big time! The service is like something you have never experienced before. The room was well appointed and had a beautiful view over the harbor. The food is define and Camden is beautiful. We were sad to leave.