June 1-8, 2024 Sol's Cliff House, Bar Harbor, Maine
Sol’s Cliff House is an extraordinary property on Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, Maine, overlooking Frenchman Bay and adjacent to Acadia National Park. Nestled into twelve private acres of pine and fir, yet walkable to downtown Bar Harbor, this Mount Desert Island estate delivers what we think is the most magnificent view on an island of incredible views.
The current owner's step-grandfather, New York lawyer-turned-novelist Arthur Train, commissioned the house to be built by Boston architect George Shepard in 1914, making it one of the last surviving “summer cottages” of Bar Harbor’s gilded-era golden age. It barely survived the great fire of 1947.
Large ground-floor rooms connect by double doors and a great front hall. The entire east side overlooking the bay is lined with double French doors opening onto a brick terrace, affording wonderful views east across Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands to the mainland and south to Egg Rock light house and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
Second- and third-floor bedrooms include ocean-facing or garden-facing rooms with king, queen, double or twin beds. All have windows that open. You'll share a unisex bathroom with one other retreat-goer. The old house does not have an elevator, so unfortunately the house is not fully accessible to those who can't walk the stairs.
To stay at Sol’s Cliff House is to step back in time to an era of long family summers, house parties, vigorous exercise, domestic culture, and a note of extravagance. Enjoy this special place where Acadia meets Frenchman Bay, and rejuvenate where the mountain and sea air mingle. There are palpable creative vibes in this place, leftover from novelist Arthur Train, whose novels line the shelves in Train's library.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the house is so old, please do not expect hotel-like accommodations or service: bathrooms have clawfoot tubs and some have only hand-held showers; hot water can take some time to get to your bathroom, so patience is important; radiators can be temperamental, so warm clothes are important; the rooms with twin-beds are very small, so you might choose to work in the communal spaces (we have a "do not disturb" rule); you might find peeling paint and temperamental light fixtures; you won't get maid service (towels are yours for the whole week, or you can wash your own in the laundry room).
That said, the house has so much charm, and the private setting on the water is phenomenal (plus, we do have our own private chef), and most people understand and accept the quirks of the house. Again, though, this is not a hotel, so if you love plush hotels, please understand that the Sol's Cliff House might not be your cup of tea.
Give yourself the gift of time to finish your novel.