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The Island Inn
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Reviews (202)
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All reviewsrocking chairslobsterfront porchshared bathpierce cottagerooms are smallquiet islandcross ventilationthere is no air conditioningthird floorhill overlookinglighthouse museumbring your own bottledown comforterboat dockocean viewnew england
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118 - 123 of 202 reviews
Reviewed July 17, 2013

The rooms are small and sparse. The bathrooms are spartan. The floors and doors are thin. There is no pool, no gym, no service to speak of, luggage is loaded summarily into a pickup truck, and the prices are as high as the Four Seasons in Boston.

So why do I love the place?

Oh my god, that view and that setting!

If you travel in search of transporting experiences, you won't do much better, stateside anyway, than the Island Inn.

A 100 minute ferry ride through open ocean is required to get to Monhegan Island, roughly 10 miles off shore of Maine. There are no cars on the island (just service trucks), only a few restaurants and a small general store. Only about one square mile is developed, the rest a private trust of "wildlands" with public trails throughout - many mounting some of the most scenic vistas in all of Maine. The year-round population is about 75, mostly lobstering families, with summer bringing many more seasonal residents.

Seasonal residents that have included many major American painters, including most of the Wyeth family, Robert Henri, George Bellows, and Edward Hopper. One day on the Island makes it clear what drew them to the Island - the light, the space, and the scenery are astounding.

The Inn itself dates to 1816, has three stories, and towers directly over the ferry landing. The first floor has a small salon in case of inclement weather, and a legendary porch with rockers (guests only) overlooking the ferry landing, Manana Island (say like "banana") and maybe the most beautiful sunsets outside the tropics.

The porch and restaurant are BYOB which can be procured either from home (Open That Bottle!) or from one of two off-sale shops on the Island. One of those shops, the Barnacle, is just down the hill from the porch, and owned by the Inn. So you won't have to stay dry for long if you start early. The Inn will keep beer or wine in a fridge onsite, so your Montrachet will be sweating if you choose to eat dinner in the Inn.

And I heartily recommend dinner in the Inn's dining room. With sunset and water views, and much better food than you have any right to expect on an Island 10 miles out to sea, this is a must-do.

Breakfast is included, and is a very nice buffet with eggs, blueberry french toast, fruits and pastries. BYO Champagne, if you want to.

You can spend your day(s) touring the many fine artist's studios, the few shops, and hiking the many long and rewarding trails through the wildlands, knowing that at the end of the day that porch is beckoning, with a sunset worth waiting for.

Come to think of it, why did I leave, exactly?

Room Tip: Treat yourself to a great dinner in the inn with the money you save by booking a "meadow view" room. You will get plenty of water views watching the sunset on the porch. On a hot night, the cross-ventilation afforded by a corner is nice.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank screwjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This inn is very special. The views are amazing. We found it to be very clean and quiet. We enjoyed delicious meals at the inn. We had a king corner room. It was quite small and very warm. I do wish they had real screens so we could at least open the windows high.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank N N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Our first choice place to stay on Monhegan and now that the bedrooms and bathrooms have been upgraded it is much less of a Spartan experience than it was many years ago. Rooms are still mostly small and modest, but very clean and well cared for. Choose between the front rooms facing the water (more expensive, of course), a "meadow view" room facing the lighthouse and the large interior marsh "meadow" across the road, or a corner room where you can take in a bit of both. Breakfast is included and is a solid B+ event with fresh fruit, mini-muffins, cereals, tea breads, and a few pre-cooked egg, sausage and bacon selections in chafing dishes. We ordered freshly cooked poached eggs and added fresh fruit and toasted English muffins and coffee and were very happy. Did one dinner at the inn - a great bowl of seafood stew - and another down the road at the Monhegan House (another good choice for a very good meal on the island). Scrabble on the side porch, the front porch rocking chairs, the snug reading room off the front lobby, and the super nice staff all make the Island Inn one of our favorite summer destinations.

Room Tip: Choose a "meadow view" room for better value and get your ocean views for free on one of the front porch rocking chairs!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Cabin2125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

The room was a bit undersize, but very clean. The only "drawback" was I hit my head on the angled wall (we were on the third floor). Place is very busy during the peak season. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. The restaurant breakfast was awesome and the other meals we shared at the Island Inn was outstanding. The lightly pan fried Haddock was the best I have ever had.

Room Tip: Nice restaurant/Inn combo. Be careful where you walk when you order a third floor room with the angled walls.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

I have visited this old Inn a number of times over the years and have always enjoyed my stay. The staff are unfailingly helpful and pleasant, and the mgr. seems to be there almost all the time to ensure that everything is going smoothly. The rooms are modest but very clean. I have sometimes stayed in a room that has a shared bath which only means that there are bathrooms across the hall from your room that are available to other guests. It has never been a problem. Water-facing rooms cost more but, in my opinion, are worth it. A full breakfast comes with the price of a room and is bountiful. Dinner is extra but excellent. Bring your own wine - the staff will chill it and serve it at no extra charge. Sitting out on their gracious deck at any time and looking out over the water, sipping your own favorite beverage will make you feel like a millionaire (assuming that you are not one already). This is particularly rewarding if you have previously hiked around this gorgeous island. No TV or Wi-Fi or other distractions. This is a place for adults, mostly because there is little for children to do if they are hooked on TV or other electronic activities. Most of the guests are middle-aged or older but younger couples are sometimes seen. Put Monhegan and the Island Inn on your bucket list.

Room Tip: Water-facing if you can afford it. Another tip - if you have already explored the trails around Monehegan, ask the staff how you can contact Rusty to take you across to Manana Island to walk around this interesting, small island you have been looking at from the porch of the Island Inn.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank iosilver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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