Penury Hall Bed & Breakfast

374 Maine Street P.o. Box 68, Southwest Harbor, Maine 04679
Innkeeper(s): Gretchen Strong
  • Introduction

    Penury Hall Bed & Breakfast - front view

    Located in the village of Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert Island in Southwest Harbor, ME, Penury Hall is a classic three room Bed and Breakfast in a rambling main street home. The rooms are airy, the colors vibrant, the art work eclectic, the gardens beautiful, the atmosphere casual and breakfasts are hearty and delicious.

    Because there is such an abundance of activity in and near Acadia National Park even on a rainy day (14 museums, antique shops, shopping, etc.), we do have a minimum of two nights stay from June to October. Even then you can only briefly sample the area's attractions. Also remember that Mt. Desert island is only 10 miles by 12 miles and you are never more than twenty minutes away from anywhere... Be our guests while you swim, sail, explore, fish, kayak, whale watch, hike, cross-country ski, or just enjoy Mt. Desert Island.

    Penury Hall Bed & Breakfast, Green Living Room

    For Your Enjoyment

    Winter or summer, our sauna is the answer to a strenuous day of activity.

    Our fridge will store your lunchables; laundry facilities will keep you neat and tidy; our library, music, puzzles and games (we play backgammon for blood), and (ugh) TV will entertain you.

    We would like to extend a warm welcome to those who enjoy the company of cats, who have a sense of humor and who would like to benefit from our intimate knowledge of the Island and Downeast Maine.

    Come and enjoy our green living room!


    On Main Street, Southwest Harbor, (8 miles south on Route 102 from the head of the island), 99 yards past blinker on right toward Manset. Grey house, red door, white porch trim.

    Our Philosophy of Bed & Breakfast is that you become an honorary member of our family while you are with us, but you don't have to do the dishes!

    Do Come and Visit for awhile and let us introduce you to the many pleasures this little corner of the world has waiting for you.

  • 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 Gretchen Strong for sharing her own secrets with!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    Most travelers like to stay at Penury Hall because of its closeness to our small village, its small size and so convenient to all Acadia has to offer.

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

    We're known for our casual, comfortable atmosphere, vibrant colors and wonderful breakfasts.

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

    Our major attraction is Acadia National Park - the first national park east of the Mississippi.

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

    "Penury Hall feels like visiting family or long time friends."

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    Our best kept secret is the range of outdoor activities on the Island: hiking, climbing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, boat tours, island hopping, museums, and history.

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

    All of the above, depending on their interests.

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    Within walking distance of Penury Hall you'll find a variety of small restaurants, the harbor and town docks, galleries, shopping and a bird carving museum - and a beautiful view to some of the outer islands.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    My favorite restaurant is Red Sky.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    The Southwest Harbor-Tremont Port Directory is a wonderful guide and for hiking 'A Walk In The Park' - Acadia Hiking Guide.

    How many rooms does your inn have?

    Penury Hall has three rooms.

    Do you accept pets?

    We do not accept pets; My cats object if other animals invade their space.

  • History

    Penury Hall Bed & Breakfast, marquee

    On the quiet side of Mt. Desert Island in Southwest Harbor, just 14 miles from more populous Bar Harbor, we established, in 1982, Penury Hall in the classic Bed & Breakfast inn tradition. Originally built in 1830, the house was added to in 1865 and 1900 (and remodeled by us in 1977-82) and now provides comfortable accommodations and lodging for us and our guests in a rambling Maine home. The decor reflects our interests in fine art, antiques, books, music, gardening and sailing.

    We are often asked where the name Penury Hall came from. Bed and Breakfasts being an English tradition, Dickens could well have coined the name.

    Further, since bed and breakfasts were generally less expensive accommodations, one can freely translate "Penury Hall" to the "Poor House." Q.E.D. the small sketch that is now our logo. There is more to the story which we will be happy to tell you when you arrive.

  • Breakfast

    Penury Hall Bed & Breakfast,  Dining Room

    Breakfast is served at your pleasure from 7:30 to 9:00 am (early or late by arrangement). Our menu is served in rotation. Special needs may be accommodated.

    On the Sideboard

    • Juices - orange, apple, cranberry
    • Beverages - coffee (high-test and low-test), stash teas
    • Fruit - fresh fruit, berries, and melon in season
    • Cereals - granola, cheerios, wheat chex

    The Maine Thing

    • Monday - blueberry pancakes and sausage links, maple syrup
    • Tuesday - penurious omelet and popovers
    • Wednesday - cinnamon waffles and sausage links, apple syrup
    • Thursday - herbed scrambled eggs, bacon and blueberry muffins
    • Friday - french toast casserole and bacon, maple syrup
    • Saturday - eggs your way, ham and Maine biscuits
    • Sunday - eggs benedict, Canadian bacon on English muffins, Hollandaise sauce

    A vote of the house can change the order of service.