The Towne Motel is a property with layers of history. The first layer is the house which fronts Route One. Our 1853 home was part of a large plot of land owned by the Taber family. The Tabers operated a forge out of the property immediately south of us; on our plot, one of the Taber sons ran the saddlery, which made saddles, harnesses, and bridles. Instead of a parking lot full of cars, think horses!
Fast forward to 1955, when the Towne Motel (a “motor hotel”) was built to host the first big wave of vacationers heading to Maine by car. For many years, the motel was only one story. And our electrician tells us that back in the day, Towne Motel included a hamburger stand. The original sign (in aqua and blue) boasts TV…and hot water! In the 1980s the sign was replaced with the large blue one you see today, and the second floor of the motel was built. Every set of owners over the years has added their own touches and improvements to “the Towne,” as it affectionately known in Camden. With annual upgrades and makeovers, we are carrying on that tradition.
Policies at Our Maine Coast Motel
Check in is from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. You may already know you’ll be arriving after 7:00. Not a problem: just let us know this when you book. Or call us from the road/plane/train/boat/bike at (207)-236-3377. Same goes for early arrivals. If your room is ready and it’s not too early in the day, we are happy to check you in. If not, you can park in our lot and have lunch and a stroll into the beautiful village of Camden (a five minute walk).
Check out is at 10 a.m. Occasionally, a later check-out can be accommodated.
8:00 am to 8:00 pm (Eastern Time!). We usually don’t answer calls after 8, but will return your call the next day if you leave a message. If we’re not half dead or asleep at night, we usually answer e-mails later than that.
We don’t have minimum stays except for special event weekends: the Toboggan championship, the Camden Conference, Bluesfest, Lobsterfest, and the Windjammer Festival. For these, we have a two-night minimum. Room rates are based on double occupancy, and we charge $10 extra per person per room. Some of our larger rooms accommodate families, but the limit per room is four guests with a maximum of three adults.
If you cancel one week or more before your reservation, there is no charge. Cancellations within a week of the reservation will be charged the cost of one night’s lodging, unless we can re-sell your room. We do often re-sell rooms in high season, but we can’t guarantee it. For special event weekends, the cancellation period is two weeks: the Toboggan Championships, the Camden Conference, and the weekends of Bluesfest, Lobsterfest, and the Windjammer Festival.
We’ll need a credit card to hold your reservation, but we don’t charge the card till you check in. Full payment for your stay is due at check in. We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and cold hard cash (American).If you pay cash, we will also need a valid credit card and ID.
Children are welcome! Some rooms can accommodate a rollaway bed (please inquire at the time of booking), and most can accommodate a crib or Pack’n Play. All children under age 18 must stay in a room with you (the parents/caregivers). Children age 5 and under stay free.
We have one pet-friendly studio with a small kitchen, but can’t accommodate pets in any of the other rooms. If you are reserving the studio and would like to know more about our pet policy, please contact us beforehand.
Smoking is not allowed in or near the rooms, but is permitted in certain outdoor areas away from the buildings.
Introducing Siobhan & Katja, Your Hosts and Innkeepers of This Charming Maine Coast Motel!
In September 2013, we packed our bags and boxes and cats, and left the New Jersey shore and the world of academia. It had made us feel stuck (often quite literally, during morning commutes), we love travel (the kind without traffic jams), and we were ready to take off in a different direction. Siobhan’s Mom had run an inn in Camden in the 1980s, and during our first trip to Maine together in 2010, Katja fell in love with it too. And thus began a few years of trips and adventures to search for our perfect inn – a journey that kept bringing us back to Maine.
Most innkeepers did something quite different before they came to innkeeping – but not a lot of them used to be teachers. Whenever we tell anyone we taught English for many full time years, they tend to say, wow – that’s quite a big change. Yes, we definitely had a change in lifestyles (No more late night grading! No more summers off!) – but students and guests have more in common than we would’ve thought. They both come from all walks of life; we get to know most of them for just a limited amount of time; we bake(d) a lot for them (ok, we didn’t have to bake for students, but they were convenient guinea pigs for potentially inn-worthy recipes!); and while we didn’t like to see our students as ”customers,” we obviously wanted to serve them well, just as we like to serve our guests. (Unlike guests, students weren’t supposed to be with us for fun and relaxation – although many of them tried!)
In sort of opposite ways, what we did for students and now do for guests is not about us, it’s about them – their education, their vacation and relaxation. For students, it’s about work; for most guests, about play; we’d fail with students if we didn’t keep them awake in class; we’d fail with guests if we did keep them awake at night. But what’s great about service is that in the process of serving others, you get a whole lot out of it yourself.
Hosting travelers, we now travel vicariously every day we have guests, and we love the way our little motel is a microcosm of travel and its encounters between worlds and people: 17 rooms full of guests spending the night under the same roof, sharing space, experiences, breakfast; exchanging stories, information, travel tips, and email addresses – before dispersing again into the many directions they came from or are on their way to see. It’s fun to have the world arrive in our parking lot each afternoon! Thanks, past and future guests, for staying with us and allowing us to be a part of your journeys.