The Inn at Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay was added to a list of historic hotels by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Credit: Courtesy of Colwen Hotels

A hotel in a small, private community about 30 minutes offshore from Portland is now on a list of historic hotels.

The Inn at Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay was added to the list by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Getting to the island takes about 30 minutes by ferry from the Old Port in Portland, and the inn is in a private community there.

The designation — officially called Historic Hotels of America — has only been granted to about 300 hotels and resorts in the United States. It recognizes hotels that preserve and maintain the historic integrity and architecture of the structure.

Seeking the designation was a strategic move by the hotel, said Crystal Ingerson, area director of sales for Colwen Hotels, which manages the property.

“We did a lot of research on figuring out pretty strategic ways on how we can make an unbranded hotel stand out,” Ingerson said.

To be eligible, the hotel must be at least 50 years old and have been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior either as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It must also have historic significance.

Built between 1891 and 1907, the Inn at Diamond Cove is located on the site of Fort McKinley, which was used to defend Portland Harbor during the Spanish-American War. Although a fire burned many of the buildings, they were restored using the same footprints in the original brick, preserving the original character and details.

The historic value of the property stands out there, Ingerson said.

“You’re surrounded by so much history and beautiful scenery,” Ingerson said.

The Inn at Diamond Cove opens for the season on May 25 and takes reservations through Sept. 30, 2023.

Sarah Walker Caron is the senior editor, features, for the Bangor Daily News and the editor of Bangor Metro magazine. She’s the author of “Classic Diners of Maine,” and five cookbooks including “Easy...