Looking for some R&R (&V)? These 3 Maine lodging spots offer vegan food – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
Venture away from Greater Portland and vegan food becomes harder to find. But it does exist. Far from the city, these three lodging spots offer plant-based food that is home-cooked and plentiful. Each has plenty of country charm and each has rooms that are still available this summer.
No View Farm Inn & Bakery
855 S. Rumford Road, Rumford
Room rates: $70 to $90 per night, shared bath
Book through: Airbnb, booking.com and Expedia.com
Open: Year round; cafe open Thursday to Sunday
Near the Sunday River ski resort, the No View Farm Inn & Bakery is a working farm that offers two rooms for overnight guests in the farm’s A-frame house. But even if you are just passing through, take advantage of the on-farm cafe and bakery, which offers plant-based meals and desserts.
The Gone Loco! Cafe serves breakfast all day (including vegan pancakes and waffles), alongside Mexican-style dishes for lunch (such as vegan chipotle tacos and vegan quesadillas). The bakery makes bread and a changing selection of vegan baked goods that range from doughnuts and whoopie pies to cupcakes and cakes. Overnight guests get 5 percent off in the cafe. During holidays, the cafe often hosts special dinners.
The farm features greenhouses, Hugelkultur beds and handicap-accessible paths. No View Farm grows organic vegetables for the Kawanhee Inn on Lake Webb in nearby Weld, and it supports many hunger relief programs that provide food to local school children and senior citizens.
“We’re an organic, working farm,” owner Annette Marin said. “We have greenhouses and gardens and horses and chickens. People like to wander around and they can interact a little with the animals.”
The farm also allows guests to bring a dog or a horse and has sites for RVs.
But don’t be fooled by the name. As Marin explains: “We have a view now. They logged both sides of us and we can see Mount Washington.”
Sat Manav Yoga Ashram
243 Greenwood Brook Road, Industry (ignore GPS and Google maps and use directions on website to find the ashram)
Room rates: from $349 to $449 for weekend retreats, which include all meals
Book through: satmanavyogaashram.com
Open: Year round; public welcome during events
Drive along a dirt road for miles into woods filled with shrines and temples, and you’ll eventually arrive at the Sat Manav Yoga Ashram. Here, beyond the reach of cellphone signals, yogis live year-round on a 160-acre property practicing with two gurus, husband and wife team Sri Bhagavan VaShi Baba and Sri Mirabai Ishwari, and welcoming guests to take part in special events and retreats.
At the off-the-grid ashram, residents prepare colorful vegan meals from scratch, using lots of leafy greens, whole grains and legumes. All the food served at the ashram is vegan.
“Our chefs use inspiration from India, Nepal and the Middle East,” said Uma VaShi Devi Lescault, president of the ashram. “The yogi approach to food is to create sattva, to create balance.”
Immersed in the community’s way of life, visitors to the ashram eat the same meals, which reflect the yoga principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence. They also experience the serenity of this community deep in the woods.
“We live in a really amazing place,” Lescault said. “We have a rushing stream. Our closest neighbor is a mile away. We have extensive gardens and meditation trails. We have a library of holistic living and a wood-fired sauna.”
Guests can book their stay in one of three cabins, either two-bedroom or one-bedroom options. Meals are served in the main building.
Upcoming events at the ashram include a Hatha Yoga Retreat (July 10-21), a Vana Visosana Nature Retreat (Aug. 16-18), a Samyama: Pure Yogic Meditation retreat (Sept. 6-8) and a Digital Detox Yoga Retreat (Oct. 4-6). Sat Manav also hosts personal retreats, monthly yoga festivals, regular concerts and weekly yoga classes.
“Yoga in the West is viewed as more of an exercise,” Lescault said, “but in truth, yoga is a way of life. It’s not religious, but it is a philosophy that is based on, and can be proved by, science. It is a system to answer the fundamental questions of what it means to be human. What is our purpose?”
The trails and yoga mats at the ashram could help unlock the answers.
1027 Crystal Road, Island Falls
Room rates: $299 to $470, some shared baths, includes meals
Book through: sewallhouse.com
Open: May to October
In a home that once hosted the future President Theodore Roosevelt, guests today practice yoga, visit nearby Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and enjoy vegetarian meals. A summertime yoga retreat, Sewall House is located in the tiny Aroostook County town of Island Falls, within easy reach of I-95.
Once a hunting lodge, today Sewall House serves no meat. Its home-cooked meals are always vegetarian and mostly vegan – they can be made all-vegan upon request. Popular vegan dishes include eggplant burgers, spicy potato curry, granola, raw key lime pie and chocolate-avocado ice cream.
“We tend toward veganism, while we do serve some eggs and cheese,” said Donna Amrita Davidge, who owns Sewall House and is the great-granddaughter of the home’s original owner, William “Bob” Wingate Sewall.
Davidge, a yoga teacher who practices in New York City during the winter, has offered yoga retreats at Sewall House since 1997.
A stay at the house includes two yoga sessions per day, along with all meals. Upcoming special events include paddleboard yoga (Aug. 12-15), painting and yoga (Aug. 18-23), a women’s mental health weekend (Sept. 6-8), and writing and yoga (Oct. 12-14).
Sewall House was built in 1865. Andrew Vietze’s 2010 history book “Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America’s 26th President” describes the close relationship between Sewall and Roosevelt.
“My great-grandfather was a nature guide to Theodore Roosevelt when he was in college,” Davidge said. “(Roosevelt) stayed in this house three different times. He climbed Katahdin. They stayed in touch throughout his life. My great-grandfather went down for the inauguration.”
What those two hunters would think of the home now — with its yoga practitioners and animal-free menu – is hard to say. But here in the modern world, the website RaveReviews named Sewall House one of the 10 Best Yoga Retreats in the country for 2019.
Avery Yale Kamila is a food writer who lives in Portland. She can be reached at