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“First Time in Maine - Great Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Captain's Watch Bed and Breakfast

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The Captain's Watch Bed and Breakfast
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926 Cundy's Harbor Road, Harpswell, ME 04079   |  
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Ranked #2 of 4 Harpswell B&B and Inns
Mount Vernon, Washington
1 review
“First Time in Maine - Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

This is our first foray into an on-line rating system, but since we referred to Trip Advisor prior to our booking our stay at the Captain's Watch B&B and found the reviews very helpful, we thought we should add our experience to the mix. Our only previous experiences with B&Bs were in Canada, Ireland and Italy where we discovered each location and breakfast offering was different. We had never stayed at a B&B in the USA and therefore could only compare to our other out-of-country experiences. That said, we know what we prefer in an accommodation and we were very pleased with our three night stay at The Captain's Watch.

Our experience started with e-mail exchanges with Donna that included room selection options and her asking about special dietary needs (we are one vegetarian and one omnivore). On the date of our first night we arrived late, 11:00 PM, and directions to our room were readily visible upon our arrival. We had come to Maine with no set plan or agenda, just three days to explore. Our room had brochures to local attractions neatly laid out for our use. After breakfast the first morning, both Donna and Ken presented a wide variety of options for our sightseeing, from historical sites, art museums, places to hike, etc. so that we could select activities we prefer. In addition, they gave us some great restaurant recommendations. (I made the mistake of not following Donna's advice for a lunch spot and was disappointed in our meal. I learned my lesson.)

The rooms were immaculate, appointed with appropriate decor and some antique furnishings. Our bath towels were changed daily and it was obvious the rooms were attended to each day. The breakfast room was a wonderful, bright room in which to enjoy both the food and conversation with other guests as well as Donna and Ken.

We had read about the wonderful breakfasts offered at the Captain's Watch in other Trip Advisor reviews before our visit, and we were not disappointed. With one of us a vegetarian that eats little dairy and one who eats everything, our diet preferences were accommodated at each meal with quality offerings. The portions were such that we did not leave the table hungry. We had commented to Donna on how much we enjoyed our breakfasts and, unsolicited, she sent us the recipes for many of the dishes.

We were very happy with our first visit to Maine and the experience of staying at the Captain's Watch B&B in Cundy's Harbor. Being from Washington State and never visiting the east coast before, staying in this historic building overlooking the working harbor and exploring the greater Harpswell area was exactly what we were looking for, and Donna and Ken were great hosts. Of course, enjoying lobster in many forms over three days added to our first-time Maine experience. We hope to return to The Captain's Watch in the future.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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50 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

My husband and I just had the most fabulous breakfast at Captain’s Watch B&B, that even addressed my gluten free diet. Hot sour cream blueberry gluten-free pancakes with butter and warm maple syrup, fresh melon, organic local sausage, fresh orange juice and piping hot coffee – a real Maine breakfast feast with all day staying power. As guests of Ken and Donna for over 20 years, we have been the frequent recipients of their gracious hospitality and the pleasure of staying in their beautiful historic homes. We’ve especially enjoyed staying at the Captain’s Watch in the midst of a working fishing village, often hearing lobster boats going out in the morning or unloading catch later in the day. One questionable review we saw does not line up with either our past experience or this weekend’s – perhaps the reviewer needed more of a big chain, urban experience instead of a quiet Maine village. What we have always enjoyed here is getting the “real Maine deal” – gracious, hard working small business owners operating with integrity and civility.

Room Tip: They have first floor rooms for those challenged by stairs, and lovely rooms on the upper floor with...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunswick, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

I am just joining the world of reviewing and sharing our traveling experiences. This last trip to Maine seems a good place to start. We have been visiting Maine yearly for over 20 years and have stayed in many B&Bs and Inns. There are a very few that we consistently return to as part of our love affair with Maine. We have been guests at Captain's Watch since Ken and Donna took it over as a Bed & Breakfast. They are always most gracious hosts. They happily share their knowledge, love and enthusiasm for Maine in any area that a visitor may need direction...restaurants, walks, hikes, hidden gems along the coast, local attractions both time honored or something that may be brand new. We have found them to be sensitive to both our needs and to those of other guests while we were staying with them. They combine the rare ability of running their business (and it is a business) very professionally, while genuinely making their guests feel welcomed and appreciated.

The experience at Captain's Watch includes the beauty of this wonderful old building. The "public rooms" include a comfortable sitting room filled with books, a deck that overlooks the water and the dining room with it's fireplace and views of the sea. We have stayed in 3 of the 4 rooms offered at Captain's Watch. Each has it's own charm, but we especially like Cupola East with it's very comfortable four poster bed, old hardwood floors, views of the harbor and wonderful deep old tub in the bath. The rooms are furnished with lovely antiques, quilts on the beds, comfortable chairs. Among the thoughtful touches that I have noticed over the years, the simplest and most exceptional is when we return from a day of exploring, the bed has been turned down, lights are on in the room and a nightlight in the bath has been turned on. That nightlight is a very personal, thoughtful touch...it epitomizes the graciousness of our hosts.

In the morning, Donna always provides a delightful and full breakfast that includes juice, fruit, breads and jam and, of course, a delicious hot main course...we let it be a surprise and have never been disappointed. As host at the breakfast table, Ken welcomes each guest, introduces everyone and keeps the conversation flowing. We have met the most interesting and varied group of people over the years at Captain Watch's dining table. Conversation often continues over coffee long after the dishes have been cleared. Ken also has a beautiful sailboat and offers charter sailing trips. We've enjoyed several wonderful afternoons on the water with him.

Captain's Watch is a stately historic building that has been lovingly maintained with all the charm of its' age. Leaving Cook's Corner and it's strip mall, you drive out to the peninsula of Cundy's Harbor and into a small Maine village with a working harbor. We love it because it offers an escape from the often crowded and touristy experience that many of Maine's villages have become. There are a couple of good seasonal restaurants, a shop or two that have changed hands over the years. Yet, you are maybe 15 to 20 minutes from Highway 1 and access to Portland, Yarmouth, Freeport, Brunswick, Bath and beyond. We try to begin our Maine visits with Ken and Donna...we leave them smiling, relaxed and ready for the rest of our Maine adventures.

Room Tip: Cupola East on the second floor looks out on the working harbor. If you are an early riser, you can...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Vermont
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

We have recently returned from one of our several stays at the Captain's Watch B & B and again had a wonderful experience. Donna and Ken are exceptional hosts with their warm greeting of guests at their door, their individual attention to their guests comfort and their better than tour guide knowledge of their beautiful area. They are quick to make dinner reservations, eager to give directions and answers to all questions.

The bedrooms are light, clean, tastefully furnished with antiques and the beds are comfortable. There are lamps on each side of the bed-so important for those who like to read. Each room has it's own bath supplied with soap and shampoo and the towels are changed daily. The town water even tastes good. Speaking of good-the breakfasts are excellent with juices, fruit, baked goods and a filling meal. You may pour your own cup of coffee or tea while waiting for your breakfast to be prepared. You are introduced to the other guests so there is the pleasure of meeting new people.

The gathering room has books to read, a flat screen TV and a comfy sofa and chairs. The sunrises and sunsets can be gorgeous so don't forget your camera. It is hard to take a bad picture along the Maine coast! We have even enjoyed a nice sail on Ken's boat.

We highly recommend staying at this historic old home.

Room Tip: Two rooms share an access to the belvedere that gives birds eye views of the area.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We were slightly disappointed with Captain's Watch, but in all fairness, our hosts were very nice. I will list what we thought the pros and cons were, and not comment much on the area as we find that when reading reviews of hotels and B & Bs, we want to know about the accommodations and not necessarily where people ate.

Pros:
Donna and Ken - very nice, accommodating and friendly.
Building has locks :-)

Cons:
The rooms do not lock. I don't particularly like this just because we carry expensive electronics
when we travel (a laptop, iPad, iPod, camera, etc) and I don't like it left out for all to see.
The bedrooms (we were in the Cupola East room) were in their house. Usually that wouldn't
be an issue, but the B&B is just that: Donna and Ken's house. This was just a bedroom in
someone's home. Not really what we had in mind.
The bathroom is tired. Really tired.
The breakfast was OK, but there was absolutely no choice. In fact, Donna said to us the night
before that the other guests (there was one other couple staying there) requested sour cream
pancakes so that's what we were having for breakfast. Would have been nice if they took
us into consideration. No big deal, but just another thing to add to the list.
There was one bottle of water in the room when we checked in, but within an hour it was
apparently removed from the room. When I asked Donna if they had any bottled water, she
told me she removed it from our room because we could drink the water from the faucet.
The B&B is very isolated. There is no where to walk to and no place close by to eat. If we did
it all over again, we would stay in Brunswick or Bath and drive to Harpswell for a visit if we
want to see it. Obviously not there fault. Just something to note.
The water view from our room was barely a water view. There is a water view from the cupola upstairs which is shared with another room, but there are only 2 chairs that fit up there, so only 1 room can use it at a time. Don't rely on this if it is important to you.
This was a very expensive B&B for what we got. A tired room and bathroom, isolated location,
mediocre food, absolutely no frills (shampoo, etc.).
Lastly, the thing that made me the most upset (and which I didn't really think about until we left,
or I would have said something), Donna charged tax on the room. Now normally, this would
be typical, but because she insists on being paid in CASH or by CHECK made out directly to
her, I should NOT be charged tax on the room! My best guess would be that she does not pay
tax on the money collected, and therefore should NOT charge tax!
All in all, our stay was OK, but disappointing.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
captainswatch, Owner at The Captain's Watch Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Thanks for your review for reading it is one way I can strive to improve our service to guests. I was of course deeply saddened that we were unable to meet your expectations for a B&B experience. Unfortunately your stay was brief (only one night on the way to a further destination). With limited direct communication about any of your feeling while you were here, there was little opportunity to explain any misunderstandings. MY home and B&B is accurately presented via the website, phone calls and direct four email communications we shared, including sending an Area and B&B article which is an objective opinion by an unsolicited travel writer. While I am happy that you liked us personally, many of the cons you listed are the very things that make us special and have been appreciated by guests...small, personalized, open and historic. We are just off the beaten path for in Maine, a ten or more minute drive to and from the peninsulas and islands is really quite normal. Drives to restaurants are scenic and part of the whole experience. In summer season...restaurants and tiny gift shops/general stores are all open right here in the Harbor, sorry that they were closing for the season when you were with us. Perhaps we do reflect a time that has been lost in other parts of our country and society...treating guests as friends and almost family more than simply a customer. We are unpretentious...but also gracious and welcoming.
Breakfasts are special here...not only do we serve you...we rotate thru several breakfast offerings, something different but equally delicious during each day of ones stay. Most of our guests are with us for extended stays (except for last minute reservations or that fit between our existing reservations). I am proud to be their home away from home to explore Harpswell and all of Mid-coast Maine....so I was pleased in announcing the Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes was on the menu for the following morning as it is probably the most requested breakfast entree and requested recipe and you were to only have one breakfast here. Anyone with a special dietary need is respected...anyone can have good oatmeal (not minute kind) or healthy cereal...we can always do eggs or not. We can't do this unless someone lets us know of their concern...but I must say I am sorry if someone misses the pancakes (a family recipe served with small, sweet Maine blueberries since 1968).
Regarding your privacy concern, I do prepare rooms myself and being right here onsite within earshot of the three to four rooms, have never had guests roaming others rooms and never know a theft to be a guest. I take the time to do evening bed turn-down, putting on a light in the room for your first night when unfamiliar with the room...and switching on a night light in the bathroom. In your case I noted that a 16oz bottle of water had been left from the previous night as our power company had emailed that there was to be a short power interruption in the wee hours of the morning...a jug of water for an emergency flush and a bottle of water should it be needed in the middle of the night was left....but no longer needed so I removed both when preparing your room for your evening's return. Yes, we have wonderful non-chlorinated tasting and safe well water, but do loose it when with out power :) I had no idea that this had so concerned you as it was obvious that I had attended to your room.
Sorry you did not have time to explore Cundy's Harbor more closely...Cundy's and Bethel Points as well as the little side roads and public wharves, our library waterfront park with our 19ft. waterfront ROW are wonderful places to visit, walk and cycle from our B&B (or Bethel Point for putting in a kayak). Had we known you wanted to go for longer hikes or walks...we would have shared our town's newly produced "Harpswell Guide to Trails and Town Lands..." but we can only respond to a guests questions and interests as we come to know them. Sharing local knowledge and acting as a mini-C of C is something we enjoy and spending a good deal of time doing that very thing with our guests (we do have a good area guide but even add to that) is apart of our service.
Regarding our "old fashioned" check payment, we do have small revenues and try to be efficient with costs. We are more or less seasonal, though try to be available year round for some of our tried and true off quiet-season guests. Smaller seasonal restaurants (yes our harbor eateries may close early fall) and crafts/artisans also find a credit card fees too punishing to the business, and as us (the B&B or the sail charter), we take checks for payment. This does not mean that the Maine tax is not to be collected and reported. We are registered with the State and are happy that this 7% tax helps to support road maintenance (great roads considering our tough winters) and also supports a % of our school revenue sharing and tourism promotion for the state. Besides being a legitimate business, not collecting or reporting our rooms and taxes would be a lose in all respects. The current 7% tax is collected on all lodging if not used for a long term residence. I hope this clears up your concern. It was quite hurtful that you would question anything regarding my or any other guests honesty.
Thankfully we have guests who have shown their appreciation and approval for much of what we do and I have taken this time to thoughtfully try to convince you that we are worth a return visit and can certainly address you specific concerns. While outside keyed locks on our bedroom doors which are original to this historically documented 1862 structure will probably happen (you can lock when in the room)...the Slate Room will have its entrance knob changed to a key lock so anyone which this concern can call ahead and reserve this particular room if it is available.
For any perspective guests who have taken the time to read this, thank you too and may this inform everyone for a better understanding of what the Captain's Watch offers!
With sincere regards,
Donna Dillman, owner and a woman wearing many hats as any guest knows :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012 via mobile

Hello every one. It's been a few day since we got back from Maine & I thought I would start with my reviews. Our first night was in Harpswell. We stayed at the Captains Watch Bed & Breakfast. The drive up from Portland International Jet Port was under a Hour. Once we landed , picked up the rental Car and got moving, we were running a little late. I called Donna to let here know that we wanted to go out for dinner, before we checked in. She recommended a local Place on Bailey Island. Morse's Cribstone Grill. She even called and got us a reservation for 2 which they usually only reserve for 4 people. Her recommendation for dinner was perfect, as this was our first Maine Lobstah, that we had in Maine....We had a great time and did not get check in until 10 pm. Donna was very accommodation on the late check in. We stayed in the Slate Room on the first floor. With a view over looking the water. If you want to sleep in make sure the window curtains are down. The bath room had a great shower in a cast Iron tub. Breakfast was great. I am not a big fruit eater but in joyed the fruit & pancakes

I liked breakfast because you are able to chat with all the other guest staying there.

If one wanted to spend a little time here in the Harpswell area Donna could keep you busy with local attractions...

As it was, we just stay here one night here, We were on a journey to sample the Maine coast..

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Saint James, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

The proprietors of this serene little B&B are absolutely fantastic. If you've never been to the area and you decide you want to "go it alone", you'll be missing out on Ken and Donna's sincere and detailed insight. Their sense of accommodation was beyond parental. The food and coffee is fantastic and perfectly portioned, the environment is void of awkwardness and tiptoeing, and the house itself has an eerily pleasant historic quality about it. You'll have the freedom of sitting on an outside deck, lounging in the front living room to read, and refrigerator access if you need to chill your wine or beer! I believe most of the rooms have a waterfront-facing window, so beware....when your hosts boast about the sunrise, they are NOT kidding! We are already planning our next trip to Harpswell.

Room Tip: We took the Slate Room, but, during our stay, none of the occupants of the other rooms voiced a sing...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Captain's Watch Bed and Breakfast

Address: 926 Cundy's Harbor Road, Harpswell, ME 04079
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maine > Mid Coast Maine > Harpswell
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Harpswell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
The Captain's Watch Bed And Breakfast Harpswell, Maine

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