The owners of Acadia Bay Inn, just like their guests, were captivated by the same thing that catches everyone’s eye — the inn’s panoramic view of Cadillac Mountain and the other Mount Desert Island peaks across Frenchman Bay.
Built in 1888, the rambling, shingle-style cottage faces Sullivan Harbor. It was originally inhabited summers by an affluent family as were similar, palatial “cottages:” across the bay on Mount Desert Island.
Innkeepers Angie Perron and Todd Vafiades of Brunswick, opted to jettison their busy lifestyles — she as a podiatrist specializing in complications from diabetes and he in high technology — to ease into semi-retirement.
Vafiades and Perron met through a mutual friend about five years ago and, as they reconsidered their futures, decided to focus on what they like to do.
“We asked what is our passion,” Vafiades said.
Both enjoy hosting friends, cooking and remodeling. They also wanted to be their own bosses.
An inn or bed and breakfast seemed to be a natural.
They looked around the state and eventually settled on Downeast Maine, where Vafiades spent summers at his family’s cottage on Molasses Pond.
The couple’s former lives bear little resemblance to what they are doing now.
After college Vafiades joined up with Fairchild Semiconductor in Portland, where he was an electrical engineer for 16 years.
From there he worked for Broadcom, based in Irvine, Calif., eventually becoming vice president responsible for North and South American operations.
Vafiades said the company helped Broadcom customers such as Apple and Samsung incorporate Broadcom’s computer chips into their cell phone products.
A multibillion-dollar purchase of the company earlier last year led Vafiades to reassess what he wanted to do next.
For Perron, who, like Vafiades, grew up in the Hampden area, life in the world of medicine was becoming more stressful with changes in the field and with the difficulty of caring for patients who at times had tragic outcomes.
The couple had had many pleasant stays at bed and breakfasts and inns. In fact, they had spent some time in their travels at the former Island View Inn, which they bought and renamed last year.
Since then, Perron and Vafiades have upgraded the inn’s mattresses and beds, remodeled many of the bathrooms, wallpapered and painted rooms, installed new lighting and purchased new linens among other things.
They added outside dining on the deck — a menu of coffee, orange juice, fresh fruit and yogurt and pastries — so guests can breakfast leisurely gazing across the sparkling waters with fishing boats bobbing in the foreground.
Guests can choose from seven rooms, all with private baths. There are four king beds and three queens. Three rooms have garden views and four have ocean views. Each room has a private deck with comfortable seating and lounge furniture.
Much of the furniture the couple brought with them or have since purchased.
One of the inn’s most notable features in addition to the view is the massive floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace that is flanked by cushioned seats for a cozy tete-à-tete.
Vafiades’ brother, a landscaper from San Francisco, visited them for a week and spent his time creating several new gardens on the property.
Perron and Vafiades have received phone calls from guests who have stayed at the inn in the past. Some married there. Some have sprinkled their loved one’s ashes in the garden overlooking Frenchman Bay.
Perron and Vafiades plan to ease into their new venture, but thoughts of future projects are percolating none the less.
The name change, by the way, is purely practical.
“It’s for search engine optimization,” he said. “Everything around here is ‘Acadia,’ and that’s the main attraction.”