Inn at Sunrise Point
By Jennifer Hazard
Southern hospitality meets the Maine coast at this stunning seaside inn.
If you close your eyes and imagine a classic coastal retreat, there’s a good possibility that your vision would look like the Inn at Sunrise Point, which is located a stone’s throw from Route 1, at the end of a long driveway shaded by birch trees.
When you leave your car, you’ll be struck by the view of the sea. You’ll want to get closer and admire the waves, but business first (the last business of your stay). You walk through the front door of the main house and a kind Southern woman greets you at the desk. Her name is Daina Hill, and she is the owner of this establishment. Hill smiles, asks about your drive, points you in the direction of the herbal tea, and offers you a homemade peanut-butter cookie. When is the last time someone offered you a cookie?
But you’re tired, a little road weary, so Hill walks you to your cottage. You are smitten. The cottage is everything you wanted: it has weathered-gray wooden shingles, a view of the Penobscot Bay, and a front porch with wicker rocking chairs. There is a placard on your cottage with the name “Russo” (all of the cottages here are named after Maine writers and painters).
Inside, the cottage is surprisingly spacious. The decor is simple and clean. You notice the big, fluffy comforter on the bed, a bench by the fireplace, a writing desk, and a cozy loveseat. The colors in the room echo the sea. Hill has added thoughtful touches all around—a blue-glass vase filled with fresh flowers, a handmade throw, and a basket of treasures from the beach.
Hill reminds you that the inn has a library of books and films, in case you need entertainment for the evening. And there’s a fully stocked bar, too. Say the word and innkeeper Autumn Brown will pour you a libation. As if you weren’t relaxed enough.
You decide to enjoy the whirlpool tub, wrap yourself in a terry-cloth robe, and sit by the fire. You have some touring to do tomorrow, but you could happily stay here, with the sounds of the sea lulling you to sleep.
In the morning, the warm smell of baked goods is coming from the kitchen of the main house. Hill invites you to help yourself to coffee, muffins, scones, and homemade granola and yogurt. The New York Times is neatly folded on your table. Then a spitfire waitress named Bonnie places sliced roasted pears with cinnamon and a sprig of mint in front of you. You wonder: How will I ever leave this place?
A couple of honeymooners finish their breakfast and chat with Hill for a while. The woman sighs, feigns a pout. “I’m going to miss the blueberry jam. We don’t have blueberries like this in Florida,” she says.
Hill responds knowingly, “I’d be happy to send some home with you.” The woman grins like a child with a new toy. You can tell Hill has made her day, and made bidding adieu to this lovely place a little easier.
You sip your coffee and notice a sign on the front porch, a reminder to guests: take a nap, watch the sailboats, relax. Suddenly, sightseeing after breakfast doesn’t seem all that important. There’s an Adirondack chair on the lawn calling your name.