Q. What time is check-in / check-out?
A. Check-in is at 3:30 pm and check-out is at 10:30 am. These times have been set to maximize our cleaning time and ensure the property is in perfect shape for your stay. Depending on reservation schedule and time of year, we may be able to accommodate earlier check-in times, but please contact us in advance if this is needed. Early check-in or late check-out without prior approval may result in guests being charged for an additional night. Specific check-in instructions and door codes will be sent via email 48 hours before check-in. Detailed check-out instructions will be provided with your rental contract.
Q. Can I bring my awesome, well-behaved dog/cat?
A. Raymond Retreat has a strict no pets policy in order to ensure linens and furnishings are equally clean and allergen free for all of our guests. We are dog lovers ourselves and understand that many guests would like to include their furry family members in their travels, but to be fair to everyone, we do not make exceptions to this policy at any time. Evidence of unapproved animals on the property will result in forfeiture of security deposit.
Q. What is the maximum number of guests allowed in my rental party?
A. The property has 4 bedrooms that contain: 1 California King bed, 2 Queen beds, 5 twin beds, 1 full futon, and 1 twin over full bunk bed. These rooms sleep a maximum of 14 people comfortably. We also have a pack and play that is always available to guests and a crib that can be set up by special request for guests with young children. Our cleaning and linen fee is set assuming no more than 14 individuals will be visiting the property. Renters will be required to list the names of all guests on their rental contract prior to check-in. If your rental party exceeds 14 (yes, even if it is only 15, and yes, even if the additional guests are children) please let us know at the time of booking, and we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. Rental parties exceeding the maximum number of guests without prior approval are subject to forfeiture of security deposit and/or eviction. Please see our event policy below for additional day-time guests.
Q. Do you provide linens and towels?
A. Yes! Raymond Retreat is fully stocked to provide a turn-key vacation, and we do not want you to spend your valuable downtime making beds. All beds will be made with freshly laundered sheets and quilts upon your arrival, and bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, and lake towels will be provided for up to 16 guests. Fresh sheets and a quilt will also be available for the futon in the loft if needed. Thicker blankets or comforters will be provided for winter rentals. Please leave all slept-in beds unmade, and leave towels in a pile for our cleaning and laundry services to take care of before checking out. Simple as that!
Q. Where is Raymond, ME, and is there anything do around here?
A. If we don't say so ourselves, Raymond Retreat is the PERFECT location for those looking for peace and quiet with all of the amenities of home. Raymond, Maine is a quick 35 minute drive from downtown Portland, which is a great destination for excellent restaurants, museums, boutiques, bars, and more. Closer to home, Raymond and the nearby towns of Windham and Naples have everything you'll need during your stay. We are a quick 10-15 minute drive from Wal-Mart, Hannaford Supermarket, a local movie theater, antique stores, and plenty of other restaurants and shops. About a mile down the road, we also have a wonderful gourmet market aptly named The Good Life Market that offers local and gourmet provisions, prepared foods, and a top-notch selection of beer and wine. The house is equipped with plenty of brochures and information on local hiking trails, restaurant recommendations, and more. Feel free to reach out before your stay if you are looking for anything in particular.
Q. Is Raymond Retreat kid-friendly?
A. Raymond Retreat is a great place for kids, and we have plenty of activities available to keep your youngest family members comfortable and entertained. We have a pack and play and a restaurant-style high chair available for guests as well as plenty of plastic dishes and cups. We also have a crib that can be set up prior to your arrival by special request if needed. The water near the house is very shallow and great for young swimmers, and the private nature of Panther Pond ensures there is not a lot of wake or large boats zipping by at all hours. Life jackets for adults and children are available in a variety of sizes. The house is stocked with an extensive library of books, DVDs, games, and puzzles appropriate for various ages. We also have a ton of outdoor games and activities available in the garage. Please reach out if there is anything specific you are looking for before your arrival.
Q. What is the water like near the property?
A. Panther Pond is a beautiful, private lake in the heart of the Maine Lakes Region. Measuring about 13 square miles with no public boat launch and superior water quality, Panther Pond is the ideal destination for vacationers looking for a peaceful, tranquil setting for relaxing on the dock or partaking in just about any water activity you can imagine without the noise of larger, busier lakes like Sebago. We are members of the highly active Panther Pond association that is dedicated to ensuring the lake remains free of invasive plants and pollutants and remains crystal clear and beautiful for visitors year after year. Raymond Retreat is situated on the southwest side of the lake with beautiful views of the sunrise and more than 250 ft of private waterfront. The backyard is very level and slopes gently down to the lake without any stairs or steep walking paths. The property is equipped with a 70-ft fixed dock as well as a small sandy area with 2 granite steps that provide an additional entry point into the water. The water at the end of the dock is the ideal depth for swimming and docking a boat and continues to get deeper further away from the shore; the shoreline is incredibly shallow and perfect for families with young children. In addition to our private waterfront, guests of Raymond Retreat will also have access to the Hawthorne Beach Club, a private sandy beach about 8 minutes from the house by canoe and the perfect way to enjoy another part of the lake with a short day trip or picnic.
Q. What kinds of water sports are available on Panther Pond?
A. Panther Pond is a great destination for all kinds of water sports and activities. Raymond Retreat is equipped with 2 canoes, 2 single kayaks, 1 double kayak, life jackets in all sizes, and a variety of floats and inflatables available for guest use. If you are interested in speed boat or pontoon rentals or any other small watercraft, there are several local marinas in the area that we can recommend that will deliver boats to Panther Pond via a small launch a few minutes down the road on Mill Street. We have a mooring available for guests that choose to rent or bring a boat for their stay. Please note, many marinas in the area will have a 2-3 day rental minimum, for day rentals, we recommend taking a trip over to Sebago lake, which is about 10 minutes away.
Q. Can I fish on Panther Pond?
A. Panther Pond is an ideal destination for fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter. The principal game species in Panther Pond are: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, landlocked salmon, lake trout (togue), brook trout, and white perch. Other fish that may be encountered occasionally include: rainbow smelt, yellow perch, chain pickerel, and american eel. We provide a couple of basic rods and reels and a tackle box at the property, but we suggest guests with more than a casual interest in fishing bring their own gear or rent locally.
Please Note, no resident or nonresident, 16 years of age or older, may fish in inland waters or transport fish taken from inland waters without first obtaining a valid Maine fishing license. Maine Residents may obtain fishing licenses from any resident license agent. Nonresidents may obtain fishing licenses in person or by mail from the IF&W Department Office in Augusta, or from any of the numerous nonresident license agents throughout the State. Please visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website for information on how to obtain a fishing license for your stay.
Q. What about winter rentals?
A. Raymond Retreat is available for rent 365 days a year. The house is located immediately off of a paved, public road that is regularly plowed in the winter. The driveway, patios, and walkways on the property will also be plowed, shoveled, and sanded during your stay; always use caution in the winter, as there could still be ice on the walkway or patios. Please let us know if you have an early morning flight or any other special needs, and we will do our best to work with our vendors to accommodate. Panther Pond is absolutely beautiful in the winter and (weather permitting) will freeze over for activities like ice skating, hockey, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. We are also located a quick 30-minute drive from Shawnee Peak, which is a great local option for skiing. The closest major ski resort is Sunday River, which is about an hour away. Want to take some stress out of your holiday planning? Stay with us for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years for a cozy setting to host the whole family. Raymond Retreat will feature festive holiday decorations from the first week in December through the first week in January. Check out our photo gallery or contact us for details.
Q. Do you provide pantry stock or chef services?
A. We partner with an excellent local chef that provides pantry stock, prepared meals, onsite private chef services, and interactive cooking parties for an additional fee. Contact us after booking for availability and pricing. Please note, these services tend to book up quickly during the summer season in particular, so let us know if you may be interested as soon as possible.
Q. What processes have you implemented to minimize the risk of COVID-19?
A. We are taking the below additional precautions in light of COVID-19 going into the 2020 summer season
1) Enhanced Cleaning Practices- In addition to the thorough cleaning checklist our staff always follows between reservations, we will be supplementing our usual checklists with recommendations developed by the CDC in partnership with vacation rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO specific to the hospitality industry. We will also continue to leverage offsite commercial laundry services and change out sheets, towels, and bed coverings after every reservation.
2) Onsite Cleaning Supplies - as always the house will be stocked with disinfectants, soap, and basic cleaning supplies, as well as disposable plates and utensils, so guests can continue disinfecting surfaces and minimizing exposure throughout their stay. We do ask that you please leave all additional supplies your party does not need or use for the next guest.
3) Grocery Delivery Services and Catering Service Updates - The private chef service we work with, 2gether We Cook is providing grocery delivery services, prepared meals, and modified catering services to accommodate small group dinners while maintaining social distancing practices check out their website for details https://www.2getherwecook.com/together-again