Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina’s new wall-to-wall renovations are doing double duty: bringing a fresh nautical look to the property, while catering to their core clientele of family.
When the operating season ended in November 2018, Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina began a metamorphosis. Over the course of the winter, out came the carpets, the furniture, and décor. The whole hotel – all 200 guest rooms – received a complete overhaul to create a space that fit both the culture of Bar Harbor and the needs of their clientele from the youngest to the oldest. We sat down with Eben Salvatore, the manager of the property, to hear all about the big changes for this season.
What prompted the refresh?
“Harborside was already a beautiful hotel, but we found that the traditional style wasn’t quite the right fit for our clientele anymore. We wanted to create a space that felt more modern and connected to the area. There’s clearly a nautical theme, but more importantly, there are nods to Mt. Desert Island everywhere. For instance, all of the framed prints and photos you’ll find on property were taken in Acadia. How is that for local?”
How did you make the space more nautical?
“Well for starters, we went for a blue and white palette. Color goes a long way for setting the mood, and blue and white just create a feeling of calm, like being on the water. From there, we borrowed a page from the West Street Hotel, our sister property located just across the street. You walk in there, and it feels like walking into a luxury yacht. We wanted a similar vibe, so we replaced the ornate Victorian-style furniture with more simple pieces, so the emphasis was on the clean lines, as well as drawing your eye to our windows offering gorgeous views of the harbor.”
How are you keeping Harborside distinct from West Street?
“Honestly, we aren’t too concerned with keeping the properties separate. We share a lot of amenities, like the Bar Harbor Club, so it seems silly to try to draw a line in the sand. That being said, there are natural distinctions between the two properties. West Street Hotel is located right on – you guessed it – West Street and, with the adults-only rooftop pool, is an ideal choice for couples or groups of adults. However, Harborside is right on the water and have our fabulous lawn. We tend to be the natural choice for families, and we really wanted to showcase that in this renovation.”
How are you making it more family-friendly?
“The biggest change is in some of our rooms. We’ve created ‘bunk rooms’ for the kids that are separated from the rest of the room or suite with a partial wall. The kids feel like they have their own space, with their own lights, TV, and gaming console. Our dedication to families isn’t just limited to the room aesthetic, though. We want both kids and parents to be happy when they dine with us, which means offering plenty of choices that our younger guests will love in our on-site restaurant, La Bella Vita, while made from fresh healthy ingredients that parents will love. Also, this summer, we are sponsoring the Chamber of Commerce’s “Seaside Cinema” right next door in Agamont Park. We want families to love every moment of their stay with us, and that includes when they aren’t on the property.”
Where to Stay Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina