The Danforth

Taste(ful) Stays by Lisë Stern / January, 2013

Kim Swan is an accidental hotelier. She is a real estate agent first, but she loves renovating and turning over inn properties – and sometimes holding on to them. Swan purchased The Danforth in 2009. The previous owners had converted the 1823 mansion into a B&B about 20 years before, and Swan updated the décor. “I do not call myself a designer, I’m not educated in design” Swan says. “But it’s an absolute passion of mine.” She reconfigured some of the rooms to add more common space, and updated the color scheme. Last year, all the bathrooms were renovated.

The Danforth has eight rooms, all with fireplaces (the property has 14 fireplaces) and free wifi. Those on the second floor are larger rooms, with sitting areas. Some have king beds and some queen. Rates range from $125 to $350 depending on the time of year and the room. It’s the low season now, so prices are more economical. Rooms are named for Portland neighborhoods, like Eastern Promenade, Old Port, and Casco Bay. “It’s the perfect hybrid of a nice hotel with the nuances of an inn,” Swan says. “Every room is different, and you have the space, and the privacy.” Swan is in the process of adding a spa to the property, which will open in the next few months.

Rooms include breakfast, which is a continental buffet with offerings like housemade granola and fresh fruit, with made-to-order changing hot entrees offered on weekends. There’s a daily “intermezzo” in the afternoon, such as homemade cookies. There’s also an extensive wine list. “One of the original owners of the house owned one of the banks in town,” Swan says. “He had a safe built in the house. We turned that into a wine cellar.” Carmen at the Danforth is here too, with Chef Carmen Gonzalez, although it is currently closed for renovations. Public spaces include a rooftop cupola, gardens, and sitting rooms. Free parking is included.

163 Danforth Street
Portland, Maine
Photographs courtesy of The Danforth


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