A new “boutique” bed-and-breakfast with one guest room is now open at 87 Federal St. in Wiscasset.
Ammi Chung owns and operates the bed-and-breakfast, the Sea Salt. She and her husband, Kevin Chung, bought a home at 87 Federal St. and moved to Wiscasset three years ago.
Ammi decided to offer a room in the home to guests through the vacation rental website Airbnb. Her first season, the summer of 2018, was a success, with several guests from Europe and throughout the U.S.
Sea Salt has a five-star rating from Airbnb and Ammi has “Superhost” status. She is seeking Airbnb Plus status.
The Superhost program recognizes outstanding hosts and their hospitality, while Airbnb Plus recognizes homes for their quality and design.
Last month, Ammi received a license for a bed-and-breakfast from the town. However, she refers to Sea Salt as a boutique bed-and-breakfast, as it has only the one room available for rental.
She limits the number of guests to two adults, along with small children.
The guest room at Sea Salt is attached to the couple’s home, but has a private entrance and a private bathroom. It is handicapped-accessible, with parking only a few feet from the entrance.
Sea Salt offers more than a place to sleep.
“I want to give my guests an experience when they stay here,” Ammi said. “I want my guests to be rejuvenated by their visit to Wiscasset. Wiscasset is such a beautiful town with so much to offer and enjoy.”
She provides brochures to guests with information about local events, keeps a library of Down East magazines in the room for guests to learn about Maine, and decorates the room with fresh-cut flowers from her garden.
She keeps flower and vegetable gardens on the property and invites guests to sit in the gardens and enjoy them during their stay.
She provides laundry service to guests and two bicycles for their use. Other amenities include towels, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, and just about anything else a guest might need.
The room has a full-size refrigerator as well as a microwave, toaster, coffee pot, silverware, and dishes from Damariscotta Pottery.
Ammi chose the name Sea Salt because the smell of sea salt from the Sheepscot River is often in the air. Another frequent aroma is that of blueberry muffins baking early in the morning.
The Chung home also houses Ammi Bai Chung Art Gallery 87, which Ammi opened in June to display her paintings of Maine landscapes.
She graduated from the Maine College of Art in 1997 and taught at Lincoln Academy in the late 1990s.
The home is on the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile bicycle path from Key West, Fla. to Calais, Maine. The nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance seeks to foster a safe bicycle and pedestrian route through the country’s most populous corridor, according to its website.
Ammi said the path comes down Hooper Street and turns left onto Federal Street before going through Sheepscot Village to Route 1 in Newcastle.
Guests at her Airbnb have cycled through Sheepscot to Route 1 and back to Wiscasset.
The Sea Salt bed-and-breakfast will accept guests from late April until October each year, depending on the weather.
Ammi said living in Wiscasset gives her a feeling of belonging and the town’s heritage gives her a sense of going back in time. She feels the town has a bright future, with its strong support of the arts and its historic treasures. “Wiscasset offers countless opportunities,” she said.
Ammi wears many hats. For about seven months of the year, she hosts guests at the bed-and-breakfast. She is also a wife, mother, artist, professional yoga practitioner, chef, gardener, and more.
Her life’s motto, she said, is “Live life to the fullest, and living is giving.”