A Little Dream
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Historical Traveler Reviews Abigail's Guest House Chesterfield
I have been to Camden many times, but I have never had such a wonderful stay as I had this summer! A Little Dream was just that! Immaculate and full of artistic flourishes. Great decor, magnificent antique furnishings. The bed was piled high with beautiful bedding, down-filled duvets and the best pillows we have ever slept on. We had to ask our innkeeper where she bought the mattress! It was like sleeping on a cloud. The breakfasts were fabulous as well as a work of art, I even had my husband get a photo of the table before I would let him eat. Our room, Islewatch, was enormous and beautifully appointed, full of thoughtful amenities and unexpected touches. It had every creature comfort you could wish for and very private, with fireplace, sitting area, and beautiful pampering bathroom. Since our room afforded a tree-framed view of Camden Harbor and Curtis Island (hence the name Islewatch) we were entertained by the twinkling boat lights at night, windjammers and sailboats by day. The best of all, JoAnne, our aim-to-please innkeeper, ordered us up a full moon while we were there. We will never forget the beauty of the little island in our view, bathed in glimmery white moon-light! All in all, an unforgettable and five-star experience! The BEST little secret in Camden!
Our decision to chose "A Little Dream" was based upon guest reviews and mainly from several, prominent magazine reviews. Upon arrival, we were instantly enchanted. Joann's and Bill's hospitality is by far the best that we have encountered over the past 20 years of vacationing. Joann offered recommendations and provided insight into what we needed to make our week's stay relaxing, enjoyable, and interesting. She never rattled off a list of choices--it was always tailored to our tastes. Breakfast was an extraordinary event ! Bill prepared delicious gourmet breakfast meals. The evening prior, an artistically designed menu was ribboned around our bedroom doorknob, allowing us to tick off our breakfast choices. There was not one repeat meal during our 7 day stay. Bill baked a signature muffin and prepared a breakfast appetizer (e.g., rasberry souffle' with framboise sauce; creme' anglaise) every morning along with the entree (eg.: fluffy blueberry pancakes, 3 choices of omelletes, delectable french toast). The dinner plate was framed artistically with at least 4 to 5 fresh fruit selections of melons, citrus, and berries.
All of this was served in either the dining room or sunroom decoratively appointed with the most beautiful Victorian period furniture and accessories. The sunroom looks over a well designed, maintained terraced garden. We felt as it we stepped into the pages of some of the more prominent interior decorating magazines. Joann infuses her outstanding decorating talent with some whimsical touches so as to make the Inn comfortable. There are countless books, magazines, and even a lovely, decorative tote filled with yarns if knitting strikes your mood. Chocolates and other treats were always available in the parlor. We thoroughly enjoyed the harbor view from comfortable furniture on the wide and deep porch.
Our quiet room was beautifully appointed and comfortable. Our kingsize bed was composed with many pillows, fluffy duvet, blankets, decorative throws. Our room led out to a small sunroom with a built in cushioned window seat and then outside to our private patio.
We are looking forward to a return visit. It made our vacation experience wonderful and memorable.
The Devines, Cranbury, NJ
Where do we begin????
Every once in a while you look through a magazine and you see a location so beautiful that you say to yourself, "Can you imagine staying at a place like that?" Well, imagine no longer. JoAnn and Bill take you into the pages of those travel magazines as soon as you walk into their charming parlor. With a welcoming hand shake, a smile on their faces and the soothing sounds of classical music playing in the background you cannot help but be swept away from all of the stressors of life. It became immediately apparent to us that this place would play a special part in our lives and we quickly decided that this was going to be a bed and breakfast that we would visit annually.
We stayed in the Carriage House which was nothing short of perfect. JoAnn personally ecsorted us to our room. As soon as we walked in we immediately noticed the crisp cleanliness of the room, the roaring fireplace, the soft sounds of classical music, a silver searving tray with a crystal decanter with Sherry for two and a King size bed that was beautifully dressed. JoAnn took the time to show us around our room and even gave us the in's and out's of the local dining. She is a wealth of information and has a talent for desinging an evening around your interests. Before retiring for the evening we filled out the breakfast menu that had been left on the door knob of our room. The selections were wonderful. Something for everyone's taste and she even encourages you to write in items that are not on the menu.
In the morning we went to the main house for breakfast and were once again speachless. Bill provides you with a breakfast that is so attractive that you literally have a difficult time eating it. The table settings are charming. Your choice of fruit juice in a champagne flute, hot, quality coffee searved from a silver coffee pot, and the flicker of candles all around you. We could not wait to go to bed that night just so we could wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
Trully, A Little Dream is the only bed and breakfast choice when you stay in Camden, Maine. After watching the sun rise over the ocean while sitting on the padded window seat in a heavy-weight, white spa robe and a hot cup of tea in my hand it became very clear to me that this is New England's best kept secret. What started out as a Christmas gift to each other has quickly become a tradition. Allow JoAnn and Bill the opportunity to take your mind off your daily hustle and bustle. You will not be disappointed!!!
A Little Dream - is just that
My wife and I have been coming to A LITTLE DREAM annually for the past ten years, usually for at least a week or more each time. During each vacation period in Camden, Maine, the owners have gone out of their way to suggest opportunities for our participation in the area and have assisted in the arrangements for many interesting activities. The arrangements have always included recommendations for the new restaurants, and identification of changes in the formats for the existing dining facilities. Because of their interest in our satisfaction in having an outstanding holiday, we continuously return to their Bed and Breakfast Inn. The accommodations are very attractive, with a wonderful view of the harbor. The breakfast is meticulously prepared and served in an unique setting. These vacation stays have become most memorable occasions for us. It really is "a little dream."
A Little Dream is a great mini-vacation!
We have stayed at A Little Dream each autumn for the past 13 years. We have tried other Inns at other locations, but no others measure up to our annual stay with Billy and Joanne. They are both always very helpful, and have always taken care of any special requests we have had. Billy prepares an excellent breakfast each morning (different each day), and Joanne engages each guest in conversation while serving breakfast. She has also consistently been a great resource for the current best local places to go for dinner. We are already looking forward to our autumn 2006 stay at A Little Dream.
Pampered in Maine
This was my second stay at Little Dream. The first time i stumbled on this bed and breakfast on the internet. The second time i knew what a treat i had in store for me.
The rooms are spacious yet so cozy. Every possible ammenity is included to make you feel so welcome and cared for. Breakfast is a huge treat both visually and for the tastebuds.
Most outstanding of all are the owners. They are so friendly and so caring and warm. You are made to feel instantly at home and comfortable and you leave wildly checking your datebook for a free weekend when you can sneak away from home and come back to A Little Dream.
Perfection in Camden
We just spent 8 days at the Little Dream - a perfect week enjoying the beauty of what JoAnne Ball and Bill Fontana have created over the last 17 years. This special inn - the best in Camden - has both the appeal of a large, sprawling, wooded property and the intimacy of a small European inn. The rooms are really suites (and the actual suite is like a personal cottage), each designed around a color scheme, and all with "extras" that could include a beautifully-upholstered window seat, a waterview patio or a deep Victorian tub beside a modern tiled shower. In addition to the rooms themselves, all the public rooms and salons are decorated with period antiques exhibiting wit and great taste. The house and rooms are immaculate with an abundance of fluffy towels and quality toiletries. JoAnne has perfect pitch and knows exactly how much service/help her guests need - whether that's a lot or a little. Each night she puts out the menus for the next morning and so making breakfast choices becomes a favorite event. Breakfast - cooked to order by Bill - includes a hot, fresh muffin - made with nuts or fresh fruit or both - an appetiser, like whole poached pears in berry sauce and a choice of hot entree (delicious waffles, omelettes with cheese and/or ham or smoked salmon or any number of possibilities). With all this attention to detail, you never feel smothered. Bill and JoAnne present a sophisticated take on the B&B experience and make Camden as great a destination getaway as it can be.
Beautiful inn, INCREDIBLE breakfasts
I loved this B&B. The rooms are gorgeous. Mine had a refrigerator, a coffee maker, a luxurious bed, fluffy robe, a little snifter of sherry, an ironing board, TV, and a huge bathroom with a tub and shower.
It is located on busy Route 1, but many of the finest B&Bs are in the same location and all presumably suffer from the same road noise. When I said I wanted to walk to town, innkeeper Jo Anne gave me directions that took me the long way, down quiet streets and into the harbor through the back way. It was a very thoughtful suggestion. In fact, with her guidance I spent three days doing things I wouldn't have otherwise known about and would have truly missed out on. She helped make my stay very special.
As for the breakfasts, they are truly an experience. Jo Anne's husband should be sought after by the finest restaurants. Not only is the food superb but the presentation exquisite. I couldn't wait to see what he was serving up each morning.
It was an unforgettable stay.
Very Good - Grade: B+ (A for service, C for location)
Went to Camden - a town I know and love - for a getaway weekend. Found the Little Dream via the internet and booked the "TreeTops Suite" - which is the top 1/2 of the carriage house (located next to the main house) - and included a 4 room suite plus open rooftop wraparound porch.
I travel for a living - frequently staying in B&Bs, and can offer that the Innkeepers did impress me with the Little Dream. They did not take the easy and cheap route out with this place. All the soaps, towels, and bed linens (300 thread count) are high end. The place is absolutely immaculate without a hint of dust. The quality of the furnishings is impressive - solid iron tubs, hardwood floors, real antiques, fresh flowers everywhere. The sun porch had lots of lounge furniture and a few telescopes so you can look out over the bay. No shortcutting whatsoever....which is rare (and expensive). The Innkeeper - Joanne Ball - decorated it herself. While Victorian in theme, it successfully avoids the all to common "Laura Ashley Hell" I've found in so many other B&Bs.
The breakfasts each morning were astonishing - no shortcutting here either - warm apple crumble, home-made bread, made from scratch biscuits, fresh omelets, fresh yogurt, fruit, tea, coffee. Each meal made to order for the most part by the Innkeeper's husband -Bill Fontana - he's the cook/handyman of the place.
On the positive side, the property is lovely, secluded, and the rooms extremely well appointed. I think we paid 225 per night off-season and was surprised at what we got in terms of a room - it was a good value and the trip was relaxing, clean, and nice.
The only thing I would offer as a criticism is that I got the impression from their website that it advertises itself to be right in the middle of Camden. Loosely this is true - but it's still about 1/2 mile from the main harbor/bay that is featured on so many postcards. You CAN walk it, but we ended up driving it due to rain. Not a large deal, but the vision was to get up in the AM and walk into the harbor for breakfast. Not the largest criticism but note there are other B&Bs 'slightly' closer.
I'd have to say that based on the quality of the accomodations, and the wonderful food and snacks each night....I'd gladly stay here and take the walk, actually. I was pretty impressed in the end...and will be back.
Noisy location and poor service
We spent 3 nights at A Little Dream September 2004. We would not recommend this Inn because of the highway traffic noise and the inn keepers. On arriving and being shown to our carriage house suite, she pointed out all the not to do's, like not to use washclothes for makeup removal, don't sit glasses on marble tables, be quiet, and do not walk around in the main house- may disturb other guest. So from the begiining we felt as if we may do something wrong. We have stayed at many 5 star inns across the country and have never been treated in this manner. Also there was no coffee available except at breakfast seating. When we requested, the inn keeper said she would bring it but most of her guests never request coffee, and to have a coffee table set up in the lobby would disturb other guest. The breakfast was delicious but felt uncomfortable. When asked about reservations at restaurants and activites, she said it was best for us to call and not her. She seemed too busy to help. At $300.00 a night, one would expect more service and a quiet peaceful rest, not the sound of trucks driving by.
TripAdvisor Reviews Abigail's Guest House Chesterfield
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