A perfect vacation home, for some!
I write this review with some difficulty because Harbor Cottage has some wonderful qualities, but it turned out to not be the best vacation rental for us. The cottage is very tastefully decorated, has upgraded kitchen and baths and is very well maintained. The views from the different balconies and porches are beautiful and relaxing.
There were a few drawbacks, though, at least for us. While I loved the natural light that streams through all the windows during the day, I didn't love those same big windows at night. I'm a very light-sensitive sleeper, so I had a hard time falling asleep and then staying asleep in the mornings because of the 3 sky lights in the roof. Again admitting that I'm a light sleeper, the fact that the master suite is really a loft meant that the lights and noise from downstairs carried right up into the bedroom.
Bass Harbor is definitely on the quiet side of the Mt. Desert Island. We thought we would enjoy this fact, but it turned out to be more of a negative. We spent most of our time out and about on the island biking the carriage trails, hiking and kayaking both on the sea and on Long Pond. Because we were all over, we logged over 100 miles in the car in just 3 days! Though the Island Explorer Shuttle stops at the Swann's Ferry landing a very short distance from the cottage, the trip into Bar Harbor (and all other bus routes on the island) takes over an hour. And, the shuttle makes its last drop off in Bass Harbor just after 7 pm (when the ferry service ends for the day). Therefore,we were unable to use the shuttle if we wanted to enjoy a meal and entertainment (shopping, dessert, etc) in Bar Harbor in the evening.
Lastly, though we knew the 2nd bedroom was in a detached building, when it came time for our teenage daughter to join us for our last evening, it was bit disconcerting to me to have her separated from the house and the bathrooms. I am not used to leaving doors unlocked, but we did so so that she would have access to the house if needed. Just something to keep in mind if there are more than two people in your family or traveling party.
Harbor Cottage would be a lovely place for a romantic getaway, or a nice place for two people who are looking to relax, take short walks and enjoy the view from the decks. For easier access to the carriage trails and much of Acadia National Park, though,you may want to consider a rental more centrally located on the island.
Helpful votes: 2/3
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