Graycote Inn

40 Holland Avenue, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Innkeeper(s): Pat & Roger Samuel
  • Summary

    Plum Spot

    The Graycote Inn inhabits that happy medium of being close to practically everything Bar Harbor, Maine, has to offer, yet on a quiet section of town.

    The Graycote Inn prides itself on being a “quiet inn,” that means no TVs, and that’s just how their guests like it! Its Victorian-style guest rooms and suites have private baths, some with claw-foot tubs. Other amenities include sitting rooms, balconies, wood-burning fireplaces, a skylight, ceiling fans and air-conditioning. If you need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, you’ll appreciate the tray of locally roasted organic coffee in the foyer of your floor. A nice selection of freshly brewed teas also awaits non-coffee drinkers.

    Depending on the season, the hot breakfast, including fresh-baked goodies, is served on the enclosed porch or by the fireplace in the dining room. Afterwards, take it easy and sit out on the veranda, stroll the gardens, nap on one of its hammocks or play croquet.

    Staying at the Graycote Inn places you within walking distance to most of the area’s attractions: Bar Harbor Village and its historic corridor, shops, museums, art galleries, theater and about 40 restaurants; Acadia National Park, where you can go hiking, rock climbing and bird watching; not to mention the various water activities such as whale watching, scenic cruises, kayaking and canoeing. Brown bag breakfasts are available for those who have scheduled early morning activities.

  • Introduction

    Graycote Inn side view

    Step back into the Bar Harbor of the quieter, more gracious Victorian era. Be our guest at the historic Graycote Inn, built in 1881 for the first Rector of St. Saviour's Episcopal Church.

    The inn is located on a very large lot in the Village of Bar Harbor, close to everything - shops, galleries, restaurants, and activities - but on a quiet side street away from the noise and traffic of the Historic Corridor. You can park your car off-street at the inn and walk easily to anywhere in the Village.

    Innkeepers Roger & Pat Samuel are here to welcome you in any season, whether you wish to "do it all" in the great outdoors, or simply relax and "recharge your batteries" on the country's most beautiful island.

    Sleep in one of our seven guest bedrooms or five suites, each with a king or queen bed - many with canopy - and all with private bath. Some rooms have a working wood-burning fireplace, sunroom, private sitting room, balcony, and A/C.

    Start your day with a tray of locally roasted coffee outside your room then come down to a full hot breakfast served to you at your table on our sunny enclosed porch. In the winter breakfast is served in the dining room in front of a wood fire. Baked goods are made from scratch each morning. Enjoy afternoon refreshments on the veranda or in front of the living room fireplace.

    Play croquet on the side lawn, or take a nap in one of our hammocks. One of the country's oldest golf courses is located only a mile away from the Inn. We are only a mile from Acadia National Park with its 60 miles of carriage roads, 120 miles of hiking trails, and miles of the most majestic coastline in the State of Maine. The carriage roads become some of New Engand's best cross-country ski trails in winter.

    We offer a variety of packages - something for every interest - theater, romantic getaway, honeymoon, anniversary, sea kayaking, lobster fishing, nature cruise, and more. Gift certificates are available.

    Graycote Inn side of inn

    Graycote Inn garden

  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Roger Samuel for sharing his own secrets with!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    Nearly all of our guests are visiting Bar Harbor on vacation. During the quiet season we do have business travelers.

    What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?

    We are best known for our quiet but very convenient location. We are unique because we are a quiet inn (e.g. no TV). We also have a full served breakfast (most inns do a buffet). We love the spacious grounds in the central village.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    The number one reason to come to this area is to visit Acadia National Park, the only full-fledged National Park in New England.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    The best compliment we can receive is that our hospitality includes much helpful information.

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    The best kept secret around here is the vibrant arts scene. Many galleries, First Friday art walks.

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    For most visitors a 4 night stay will provide 3 usable days in Bar Harbor. First time visitors to Mt. Desert Island should try some of these ideas:

    Day 1: Get oriented by touring Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park by car (Park Loop Rd., Cadillac Mountain Summit, Somes Sound, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse)

    Days 2 and 3: your choice from many options. Assume one-half day for each:

    Active outdoors: hiking (120 miles of trails); walking or bicycling (60 miles of car-free carriage roads); bird watching; rock climbing

    Water-based activities: whale watching; scenic cruises; windjammers; nature cruises; sea kayaking; canoeing on lakes

    Cultural activities: live professional theater; improv comedy club; museums (history, auto, native American); music festivals; art/craft galleries

    Shopping: wide variety of locally-owned shops

    Relaxing at the Inn: hammocks, croquet, books from the Inn's library

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    Nearly everything is within walking distance (not more than 10 minute walk). Many restaurants, galleries, shops, water-based activities (whale watching, sea kayaking, nature cruises), and Acadia National Park.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    Seafood, seafood, and more seafood! Lobster (of course), crab, scallops, shrimp, etc., etc. Venues range from very fine dining to rustic lobster pounds; lobster thermidor to lobster roll; white linen tablecloths and award-winning wine lists to a picnic table on a wharf with a bottle of locally brewed beer. Most guests choose from among the 40 restaurants that are within a 10 minute walk of the Inn.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    Bar Harbor B&B Association:

    Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce:

    Acadia National Park:

    How many rooms does your inn have?

    We have 12 rooms: 5 are suites, 7 are single rooms.

    Do you accept pets?

    We do not accept pets. Several hotels/motels accept dogs.


  • Meet The Innkeepers

    Graycote Inn innkeepers

    Pat and Roger Samuel - Owners and Innkeepers

    Innkeepers, Graycote Inn, Bar Harbor, Maine Perhaps the questions most frequently asked of us are "how did you come to be innkeepers?", or "What did you do before becoming innkeepers?" Some have even asked what we did "when we worked"!! So, to satisfy that curiosity…

    Pat grew up on a dairy farm in northern Ohio. She attended Notre Dame College of Ohio where she majored in Chemistry and Physics. She did graduate work at Oregon State and Boston University and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle. She spent most of her academic career on the Chemistry faculty at Boston University where she was responsible for the freshman chemistry program (about 1000 students). Roger grew up in Cleveland. He attended MIT and the University of Michigan where he took degrees in Civil Engineering. Following graduate school he worked as a structural engineer for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company in Seattle. He then returned to MIT where he worked as a liaison between academic and industrial researchers. During his last ten years at MIT he was a research manager and director of an executive education program in MIT's Sloan School of Management.

    Roger and Pat were married in 1966. They have a daughter who is an orthodontist with her own practice in Vermont. She and her husband have two daughters.

    We have always enjoyed staying in B&Bs during our travel in the U.S. and in Europe; for many years we had thought about the possibility of buying an inn to enjoy working together in retirement. In late 1995 we both found ourselves thinking about some sort of job change - nothing radical, just something different for the last ten years or so of a career. This led to some thought about what we would do after that. We decided that we should look into innkeeping to make certain that it really was what we might do after retirement and if so start some serious planning. We read books about innkeeping and it still looked promising. In February we took a seminar for prospective innkeepers. At that point we started feeling comfortable that innkeeping was something that we would enjoy doing. It also became clear just how much physical work was involved in the job, and therefore the difficulty of entering the business at normal retirement age. Early 50s was a good age. If so, why waste time? Things then moved at a rapid pace and in June 1996 we became the proud owners of the Graycote Inn.

    We haven't looked back, finding that "Maine, the way life should be" is much more than just a marketing slogan - and there is no place of which it is more true than Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island. Nothing makes us happier than sharing our home with our guests and helping them get the most enjoyment out of their time with us here in Downeast Maine.

  • Directions

    Graycote Inn bush

    From the south:

    1. The fastest approach from the south is via I-95 North through northeastern Massachusetts, seacoast New Hampshire, and southern Maine
    2. Take I-295 through the Portland area; I-295 rejoins I-95 north of Portland. Continue on I-95 North to I-395 at Bangor (1 hour from Bar Harbor)
    3. Follow I-395 about 5 miles to Rt. 1A
    4. Take 1A to Ellsworth. At Ellsworth Rt. 1A becomes Rt. 3 East
    5. At this point you will begin seeing large, clear signs indicating the route towards Bar Harbor

    From Northern New Hampshire (Conway):

    1. Take Rt. 302 east to Rt. 11
    2. Take Rt. 11 northeast to Rt. 26. Take Rt. 26 south to Rt. 122
    3. Take Rt. 122 east to I-95
    4. Proceed north towards Bangor and follow the route described above.

    A more scenic route:

    1. Take Rt. 16 north to Gorham then follow Rt. 2 east
    2. At Newport, ME take I-95 north towards
    3. Bangor then follow the directions above

    From Bangor International Airport:

    1. Ask the car rental agent for directions to I-395
    2. Take I-395 in the direction of Ellsworth/Bar Harbor and follow the directions above "From the South" from that point onward

    Approaching Mt. Desert Island:

    1. After passing the Bar Harbor Airport on the left hand side and Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound on the right hand side you will cross a small bridge and causeway onto Mt. Desert Island
    2. About 8 miles after crossing the bridge you will pass the Hulls Cove entrance to Acadia National Park. 2.6 miles beyond the park entrance you will come to a stop sign at the junction of Rt. 3 and Rt. 233; turn left (staying on Rt. 3)
    3. Take the first left onto Holland Avenue (the Aurora Inn, a small white motel, is on the near left side of the intersection of Holland Avenue)
    4. The Graycote will be the large gray house four doors down Holland Avenue on the right. Parking is on the left side of the house

    Some driving times to Bar Harbor:

    • New York City - 9 hours via Hartford/I-90/I-495/I-95/Bangor*
    • Burlington, VT - 7 hours
    • Quebec City - 6 hours
    • Boston - 5.5 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • Conway, NH - 4.25 hours via Rt. 302 / 5.25 hours via Gorham and Rt. 2
    • Kennebunkport - 4 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • St. John, NB - 4 hours
    • Portland - 3 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • Freeport - 2.5 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • Camden - 2 hours
    • Bangor - 1 hour


    Driving times to the Graycote Inn

    • Bar Harbor (Hancock County) - 15 mins
    • Bangor - 1 hour
    • Portland - 3.25 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • Manchester, NH - 5 hours via I-95/Bangor*
    • Boston - 5.5 hours via I-95/Bangor*

    Add 1 to 2 hours to travel times if taking U.S. Rt. 1 between Freeport and Bar Harbor

    A word about GPS: It is not uncommon for GPS systems to fail in rural parts of northern New England. We strongly encourage you to bring paper maps.