Gay Travel Information: Camden Harbour Inn – Camden, Maine
Camden Harbour Inn * Natalie’s Restaurant / 83 Bay View Street / Camden, Maine / 207-236-4200
This past spring I was fortunate enough to be invited by Camden Harbour Inn owner, Raymond Brunyanszki & his partner, Oscar Verest, to experience this truly enchanting inn.
My story is rather unique in that not only did I get to celebrate my 35th birthday at this beautiful location, but was also going through a traumatic breakup as well. I had been broken up with days earlier and wasn’t sure if I would be able to make the trip to Camden, but after much consideration I decided to go for it, and what a wise decision that turned out to be.
The Camden Harbour Inn embodies the finest aspects of travel, relaxation, discovery, and renewal. From it’s hilltop vantage point, it offers guests sweeping panoramic views of beautiful Camden village, the harbor, the mountains, and Penobscot Bay, dotted with islands.
It is a New England landmark updated with fresh European flair, offering a simultaneously elegant and comfortable modern atmosphere.
The inn has been the recipient of countless awards, including the Smart Luxury Award by Sherman’s Travel: “One of the best 50 experiences in the world.” It has been recommended by Conde’ Nast Johamsens and named one of the 29 best seacoast inns by Travel & Leisure magazine.
Camden Harbour Inn is also home to Natalie’s, a fine dining, yet comfortable experience. Natalie’s rich in design with it’s red, black and white decor, will please your senses for sure!
The restaurant has a comfortable atmosphere and provides spectacular views of Camden’s harbor and mountains. The restaurant is open nightly from 5:30-9:30pm (last reservations). Smaller plates are offered at the bar, opening at 5pm.
Natalie’s was named best French restaurant in New England by Opentable.com and executive chef, Geoffroy Deconinck was honored by the James Beard Foundation and nominated by Food & Wine magazine for their People’s Best New Chew award. The restaurant has also received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
I was in the Cape Colony ocean side room. This gorgeous unit, named for a former Dutch settlement in Africa, is located on the 3rd floor and offers exceptional views of Penobscot Bay and Mt. Battie. The room has a wood-burning fireplace and a private bath with tub/shower.
If you have a broken heart and are celebrating a birthday, THIS is the room you want to be in! 😉
Let me also add that Oscar was beyond attentive and sensitive to my situation. I am sure I must’ve looked a wreck this weekend, but he truly made me feel welcome and at ease.
My traveling companions were in the Sumatra, ocean side, room. This unit, inspired by Indonesia’s green rain forest, was created to offer a serene and refreshing guest chamber. It is a spacious corner room overlooking Penobscot Bay with a private deck and bathroom with shower/tub combination.
Camden Harbour Inn had a lively atmosphere full of contemporary verve, playful surprises, and a few references to the owner’s Dutch homeland.
Be sure to spend some time in the Princess Juliana Lounge meeting fellow travelers over a freshly baked pastry in the morning or cup of tea in the afternoon. This is a great spot to relax with a book or magazine, or select one of their many DVD’s to enjoy in your room.
Camden Village is filled with charming shops, galleries and restaurants and is walking distance from the inn.
Thinking back to my stay, I remember worrying that I wouldn’t truly soak in everything the inn had to offer due to my “state of mind” during my stay, but that couldn’t be further from what happened.
I remember waking up the morning after my birthday, June 4th, and having all my senses overtaken. I saw the sunshine rise over the bay. I could smell the salty ocean air. I heard the birds singing outside. I felt the softness of the most comfortable pillow I’ve ever experienced under my head and soon tasted an absolutely fantastic breakfast. For as heavy as my heart was at this moment, I remember feeling so lucky to be having such an amazing experience.
- Camden Harbour Inn’s accommodations include the Grand Suite, one of three Jr. Suites, or one of 14 luxurious bedchambers.
- All rooms have king-size featherbeds (some covert to twin beds), flat-screen cable TV and DVD, CD player, mini-bar, and soft bathrobes. Some rooms also have fireplaces, private decks, balconies, or patios. All have water views. Turndown service is offered each evening and room service is available.
- Sip a cocktail, an exceptional wine, or a fine beer at the bar. Sit at the bar, or enjoy your drink on the heated wrap-around porch. When you are in the mood for a light meal, the bar menu offers the perfect selection.
- Dine at Natalie’s award-winning restaurant, and be transported to the Left Bank in Paris.
- The inn has been an elegant destination for travelers since the late 1800’s. You will see many reminders of that golden era, from the Inn’s delightful Victorian facade to the graceful staircase leading upstairs.
- The inn is perfectly situated atop a gentle rise overlooking picturesque Camden, on the storied coast of Maine. The 180-degree views are breathtaking, sweeping from the village, harbor, and mountains, to Penobscot Bay and the evergreen islands.
- Camden Village is within easy walking distance of the Inn.
- The Inn invites you to try something new and indulge yourself. They will help you arrange any sort of activity, including spa visit, you would like.
- The Inn offers fantastic wedding and private event packages. From your engagement party, to vows, to a romantic honeymoon, your wedding will be taken well care of.
Gay & Lesbian Factor: The inn is owned by Raymond Brunyanszki & his partner Oscar Verest. These two charming men will make sure you are taken special care of. Both born and raised in the Netherlands, they are both extremely personable and will make you feel like an old friend. I can’t stress enough how kind Oscar treated me (and my family) during our stay. I was, at most, 1% present, and he not only gave me a big hug on several occasions, he made it a point to look me in the eyes and let me know that if I needed “anything” to simply let him know. Such warmth! Camden Harbour Inn is beyond gay & lesbian friendly. It is a place you MUST experience for yourselves. There is no other alternative in the Camden area in my opinion. A 10 out of 10 experience for sure. Camden Harbour Inn does not need me to “out” them as LGBT friendly, but nonetheless, that is what I am doing! 🙂 Contact me for reservations right — now.
My experience at Camden Harbour Inn will always be bitter sweet, but definitely more on the sweet side. I had no idea that during my stay I would be mending a broken heart, but I could think of no better place to do so. Oscar’s smile and warmth hugged my broken heart and by the time I left, 2 days later, I was already on the road to healing.
By the way, the heart is fully mended and I cannot wait to bring the TRUE “love of my life” to Camden Harbour Inn to experience it’s beauty.