Classic Old Style Cozy Historic Meets Hip Asian Vibe
(NOTE: I wrote about The Danforth on Tripadvisor back after our stay in 2014. The first part of this post is taken from that, with updated info on their transformation and current look.)
If you like charming old-fashioned historic inns, the Danforth in Portland fits the bill. My husband was not a big fan of historic inns so it took some convincing him to agree to try a stay.
On the fall day we arrived as we parked on the side of the brick house, the heavens decided to open up. As I opened the car door to make a dash for it, one of staff in an impeccability tailored suit was already beside it with a huge umbrella to escort us in! Talk about service!
We were given a full tour of the inn, learning the history of the house. Entering the attic, we climbed narrow stairs up to the cupola. I was intrigued with this space resembling a treehouse, imaging solitary escape to this little hideaway during the stay to enjoy a book or just to enjoy the view of Casco Bay. Check out the moon and stairs painted on the ceiling and a quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on one of the walls. I fell in love with charm of the wood floors, crown molding, the grand staircase and cozy fireplaces.
Even the basement has a history, having been an old speakeasy. Now it serves as a billiards room. This was the only area of the inn I didn’t like – too musty, old, dark and creepy for me.
We stayed in Arts District Room at the back of the inn – cozy homey decor and very quiet. The bed had a Cuddledown 600 fill super featherbed topper creating the experience of sleeping on a cloud! The bathroom at that time could have used some cosmetic updating but was very spacious. There are sitting rooms on each floor if you want more space to lounge, read, etc.
The breakfast was fresh made and delicious. Fresh squeezed orange juice, good coffee, a freshly baked muffin and apple amuse started things off. The pumpkin French toast was to die for and they printed out the recipe for me.
Hated to leave this tranquil place. The Danforth is great for a romantic weekend. The inn is charming, yet classy. Not appropriate for children.
Fast forward to today – The Danforth underwent a major renovation in 2015 to make room for an onsite restaurant (SE Asian cuisine), allowing them to qualify to become a Relais & Chateau property. The first floor common areas, Opium Lounge and Tempo Dulu Restaurant are anything but old school. Replacing the heavy wood trim and stuffed chairs are pops of purple and Asian influenced décor with a modern, bold, sometimes offbeat flair.
The grand stair case leading up to the rooms remains the same, possessing the charming architectural character of the time it was built, yet dressed in a refreshing coat of white. (Could be the perfect spot for a bride to descend on her special day. Just saying.)
The rooms still retain have much of original architectural charm and character but have been updated with white paint and modern bathrooms, giving a sleek look. The linens are still sumptuous to sink into. Service is still top notch.
Today’s Danforth is still a great place for a romantic weekend, but also a hip gathering spot to meet friends for drinks or dinner. It preserves the past while embracing Portland’s modern future.