We felt instantly welcome when we arrived at the Meranova Guest Inn, tired and hungry from a long drive. Within minutes we were settled in our rooms, one fronting a central garden and the other facing the town’s most popular street. While I declined Frank’s generous offer of a cocktail I immediately pounced on one of his homemade brownies. During our stay we found the owners Frank Baiamonte and David Roy to be efficient, punctual, knowledgeable about the area, and gracious hosts.
The name of the property meant Sea Star from the words mer (French for sea) and nova or bursting star. To honor it there was a starfish on the property logo. The location in the heart of Dunedin, steps away from Main Street, could not be beat. We appreciated the amount of labor and dedication the owners had poured into the property over the years. In David’s own words, “We have been able to do everything ourselves on the property except for income taxes and fix refrigerators.”
Overall Impression I found the Tranquil Vibe Day Spa, tucked away in a suburban neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana, when I needed it most. Although it was only a 10 minute drive from my central location adjacent to the convention center, the ambiance at the spa was serene and inviting. t was exactly what I needed amid a week of back to back meetings and hectic schedules.
Eric Linder, co-owner with his wife Lori, was the smiling staff person at reception when I arrived frazzled after an unexpected delay locating a taxi. He was personable and friendly, making me feel instantly welcome. He and Taylor, my facialist, were considerate and service oriented. The Thursday morning I had my treatments it was an oasis of quiet and solitude.
I especially liked Lisa’s massage. She kneaded my muscles deeply, rubbing out well cemented kinks and knots. I left the spa feeling newly relaxed and ready to face a busy rest of the day.
In this day of economies of scale, the popularity of fusion cuisine and a seeming infinite variety of imported products, a restaurant striving to serve local meals in the true sense of the word seemed to stretch the imagination. Intrigued and drawn by Vinland’s approach to cooking rooted in the land, sea, and traditions of Maine, and the culinary and nutritional wisdom of indigenous cultures with all local ingredients, we went out of our way to sample their food. We also wondered how the influence of new Nordic cuisine (especially restaurants Noma and Faviken where the chef had worked) would translate across the Atlantic to Maine’s similar bioregion.
By local the restaurant meant no citrus or cane sugar, plenty of yogurt whey, rhubarb, sumac, cranberry, maple, honey, and dozens of other ingredients, including herbs, fruits, nuts, roots, and mushrooms. While the wines were all imported they offered the most natural and organic wine list we have come across.