Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Gazebo Inn; The Best Part of My Summer Vacation

My wife and I were fortunate enough to get a gift certificate from our two wonderful sons to the Gazebo Inn in Ogunquit, Maine.  Nothing could prepare us for what lay in store.  We drove up from Connecticut in a horrendous rainstorm. I thought I saw an ark plying the passing lane on the highway.  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it was hours of relentless, torrential rain.   I was also recovering from food poisoning and was in a pretty foul mood.  We finally get to Ogunquit in the middle of the afternoon, and according to our GPS, it was no more than a few minutes drive to the inn.  Wrong!  There is a peculiar shaped intersection with no stop lights smack dab in the center of  Ogunquit that turned a ten minute cruise into forty-five minutes of rain soaked bumper to bumper torture.  

Finally we see the Gazebo Inn in the distant mist.  We park the car and haul our travel weary selves into the inn.  We are greeted by Scott, the owner and operator of this gem of a bed and breakfast.  Immediately his warm, enthusiastic, and engaging manner makes us forget the hell we just went through.  He begins to take us on a mini-tour of the inn.  To say that this place is gorgeous is to do a dis-service to the word gorgeous.  Stunning, amazing, dazzling, enchanting—take your pick.  Scott’s obvious pride comes through as he describes the renovations, use of recycled materials and workmanship involved in the building. The exercise room with sauna, media room with an extensive DVD collection, bar, laundry room, common room, kitchen, salt water pool and spa, all add up to a perfect stay. The decorations, level of artistry and attention to detail is incredible.  I mention to Scott that I used to build furniture and he launches into a fascinating story of how the floors and bannisters were made.  Wood geeks will be thrilled with this.  Others will simply stare in awe. 

One thing that strikes me as unusual is during the tour is that Scott  continually says that if you want something, take it and settle up with him later.  Want a nice bottle of wine from the bar?  Un-cork it and pay for it when you see him. Like a hat from the gift shop?  Put it on your head and settle up when you see him.  Interested in the most comfortable robe you have ever worn?  Put it on and settle up with him later.  Amazing in this day and age the level of trust he has in his guests. 

Finally we go to our room.  It was one of the smaller ones at the inn, but incredibly lovely.  Handmade cherry bed frame, leather club chairs, fridge, and even a Keurig coffee maker.  A pocket door leads to the bathroom with a two person tiled shower, rain shower faucet, pedestal sink, and on and on and on.  I can only imagine what the larger rooms and suites must look like. 

I’m still tied in knots from the trip so I head off to the sauna for a nice schvitz, as my wife makes dinner reservations.  They have a book with menus of area restaurants available to peruse.  Also, Scott has made some delightful dining deals with several of the restaurants; we chose the seventy-nine dollar deal that includes two apps, two entrees and a dessert.  Immediately, the night manager books us a reservation.  And, you guessed it, settle up tomorrow when you see Scott. 

The meal was divine and we head back to the inn.  The sheets on the bed are this amazing microfiber material that feels like the most expensive, high thread count cotton.  I had one of the best nights sleep in ages.  Guess what?  The sheets are available for purchase in the gift store.  Guess what again; we buy a few sets! 

The bed part of the bed and breakfast was great, now for the breakfast. Our sons kept on telling us about the blueberry juice and scones.  What?  Blueberry juice?  Oh yeah, delicious.  The scones?  To die for.  My diet goes out the window as I tuck into sausages, cinnamon French toast, home fries and cranberry scones.  The second day we had scrambled eggs, hash loaded with chunks of corned beef, spinach with cheese and a red pepper pesto sauce and blueberry scones. 

The weather for the second day was warm and clear so we decided to drive into town.  Big mistake!  There is NO, let me repeat, NO parking in Ogunquit.  We drive back to the inn and bump into Scott.  We explain our dilemma and he tells us that he is driving into town and would be glad to give us a ride.  Nice!  We kick around town and take the trolley back to the inn.  We settle in beside the spa.  The gurgling waterfall is so soothing as we soak up the sun.  We chat, read, decide where to go for dinner, and just relax.  I take another schvitz in the sauna and get ready for dinner.  We go to a place for lobster, because we are in Maine and, well, how do you go to Maine and NOT have lobster? 

Morning comes and it is time to leave. NOOOOO!!!  I’ve been to many hotels and motels and they all have one thing in common, you can’t wait to get the hell out of there and head home.  Not the Gazebo Inn.  I begin to plot out how I can actually move into it.  It’s your most comfortable shirt, your chilling sweats, and your favorite pair of shoes all rolled up into one experience.  It is so welcoming, so comforting so absolutely awesome.  Scott, Bruce and Peter have made customer service an art form.  I cannot wait to go back. 

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