A Bar Harbor Classic Gets A Stylish Redesign

New owner Kim Swan updates the Bayview Hotel with bright colors and a touch of glam

At the ocean’s edge, with Acadia National Park and the village of Bar Harbor just a stone’s throw away, the Bayview Hotel is a classic New England retreat re-imagined for today. The guest experience begins at the wrought-iron welcome gate, the first indication of the bespoke hospitality that awaits at the end of the winding drive. The boutique hotel has just 26 rooms, redecorated by new owner Kim Swan of Swan Hospitality Group—just the third proprietor of the property—with distinctive modern style.”

Our inspiration comes from the nineteenth-century ‘rusticators’ who discovered the extraordinary beauty of Mount Desert Island and created Acadia National Park,” says Swan. “They loved spending their days enjoying outdoor adventures, and coming back to comfort and luxury in the evenings.” That tradition continues at the Bayview, which has guest room on three levels, each with its own oceanfront balcony. The Peak Level rooms on the top floor feature Jeffrey Alan Marks for Palacek four-poster canopy beds, spa chairs, and original artwork.

From May through October, a day at the Bayview starts with breakfast on the oceanside deck or in the Rusticator Room, which boasts custom rugs by Stark Carpets and original portraits of local deer by Northeast Harbor artist Aaron Mitchell. Swan and her close friend, Washington, D.C.-based designer Betsy Stires of Frog Hill Designs, collaborated to create the “modern rusticator” style of the hotel’s public spaces, and worked with Stark to design the custom staircase runner, featuring bright green pine boughs against a natural gray background. Above the stairs is a vintage photo of Acadia founder George B. Dorr and colleagues that Swan had made into wallpaper and framed with birch branches. Birch trees are also used as a natural screen between the lobby and the check-in desk.

From late afternoon through sunset, the Rusticator Room and deck are one of Bar Harbor’s favorite secret spots for craft cocktails and plant-based small bites, a welcoming environment in which to relax after a day of hiking or biking in Maine’s most magnificent natural playground.

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