A Glimpse Inside the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport, Maine

June 11, 2008 | By | Reply More
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I’m just back from touring the 4th annual Arts in the Inns in Kennebunkport, Maine. For the unbelievable ticket price of $5 you get to visit 16 historic inns and meet some of Maine’s premier artists as they display their works. The two day festival is called a “pairing of palettes and palates” as culinary events punctuate the weekend festivities. While we made a valiant effort to get to all 16 lodgings, we fell a bit short. Nonetheless, we saw some fabulous inns and met some truly talented artists. Here’s a rundown of the Inns we liked the most:

Kennebunkport InnThe Kennebunkport Inn – Gets my vote for the best in all categories. This stately inn is located just a block off Dock Square, sitting proudly on a slight hill overlooking all the activity. With rates starting at $199 in the mansion and $99 in the Riverhouse/Wharfside it’s hard to beat the price. The interior is elegant with lots of wood detailing and classic New England period furniture. The inn is large enough to offer the amenities of a fine hotel (swimming pool, wood paneled pub, fine restaurant) while maintaining the feel of a welcoming private mansion. If you want to be in the middle of all the town’s activity, park your car once and walk everywhere – this is the inn for you.

Inns of the Historic District (about a 5 minute walk to Dock Square)

Captain Lord MansionThe Captain Lord Mansion – This sophisticated (4 Diamond) inn is all about refined elegance. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more stately, exquisitely decorated mansion turned inn, in all of the United States. With rooms starting at $285, they offer distinguished accommodation that is “not appropriate for young children or pets”, but guests seeking a romantic inn experience will be delighted with their warm gracious welcome. In fact many guests return again and again, trying out one gorgeous room after another. The inn has built a memory garden where guests who have stayed at the inn 10 times or more have a cobble stone engraved in their honor (and the delightful winding path has MANY names on it).

Maine Stay InnThe Maine Stay Inn and Cottages – New owners Judi and Walter Hauer are excited to be adding lots of value and hospitality to their inn which is the former Melville Walker House, a well known merchant sea captain. Have a look at their new video production to get a glimpse at all the inn has to offer. Rates range from $109 to $319 for a cottage suite. Judi tells us to stay turned for summer specials, as she will be adding guest passes to famed Kennebunkport beaches along with the loan of beach chairs and towels for guests.

Captain Jefferds InnThe Captain Jefferds Inn – Like being welcomed to the home of your wealthy grandparents (that we all wished we had!!). A stay at the Captain Jefferds Inn promises an abundance of charm and relaxation. Rates range from $160 – $365. I especially loved the bright airy garden sitting room – you could spend hours there reading a book, sipping their specialty Portsmouth Teas and lazing in the dappled sunlight – heaven!

The Oldest House In Kennebunkport
Waldo Emerson InnThe Waldo Emerson Inn (and Mainely Quilts gift shop).
Constructed over 220 years ago by ship builder Theodore Lyman for Waldo Emerson, this proud dwelling has been welcoming visitors for many years. If you’re seeking a true historic immersion in a casual setting, you will find it here. Wedding Cake HouseJohn and Kathy Daamen are wonderful hosts and rates range from a modest $95 to $155. The inn is located along Route 35 (Summer Street) on the way into Kennebunkport village and an added bonus is it’s location right next door to the famed “Wedding Cake House”. We teased John about a story we had read about the inn being haunted, and he just laughed and explained all the commotion was a result of a weakened beam that would creek when walked on and cause an adjacent door to pop open! With a new beam in place all ghost tales have been put to rest.

Grand Resort Inns
The Colony Resort Hotel The Colony Resort Hotel – The minute you walk in the front door of The Colony you know you’ve stepped into the timeless elegance and comfort of an historic lodging built in the tradition of a turn of the century grand hotel. The commanding property is perched atop a promontory at the mouth of the Kennebunk River. Each lovely first floor public room welcomes you with a different color and decor. Display cases hold items of past glory days when the inn entertained the elite of America’s industrialist society. But the glory is not gone, the resort is as lively and entertaining as ever, with a splendid ocean front pool deck, balconies offering wonderful ocean views and “friendly pampering” for all. Room rates range from $199 to $625 and the hotel is a favorite for weddings and events.

Nonantum ResortThe Nonantum Resort – Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the Nonantum Resort lives up to it’s Algonquin name – meaning ‘rejoicing’. Everyone who stays at this expansive 17th century resort will indeed rejoice in the age-old promise of having a ‘good time at the beach’. There are few family owned grand hotels left in the world, and here in Kennebunkport the Ginn family do a magnificent job in providing an atmosphere where family memories last a lifetime. Room rates run from $99 to $449.

Breakwater InnThe Breakwater Inn – Even though this property was originally built in the 1800’s, the feel of the Breakwater Inn is decidedly contemporary. The inn offers all the modern comforts and amenities a 21st century couple or family could desire. A dramatic, sleek (wrap around) ocean front restaurant greets guests and visitors at the entrance to the inn. And guess what – it’s not white!! The freshly shingled exterior gives a feel of a favorite beach side cottage (on steroids). You’ll find all the comforts of an upscale contemporary hotel at the Breakwater. The full service spa facility is located just next door (in the property of a former hotel). So if service and amenities top your wish list, and historic decore comes in second, the Breakwater Inn may be the perfect upscale resort for you. You’ll need to contact the hotel for rates as they are not listed on their website – this say EXPENSIVE to me….

Inns we didn’t get the chance to visit (mostly because they were set apart from the others), but wished we had….include:
1802 House
Bufflehead Cove Inn
Cape Arundel

English Meadows Inn
Old Fort Inn

And at the end of a long day of walking the town of Kennebunkport, we found a perfect spot for a cocktail as the sun went down – The Ramp Bar and Grill, overlooking Cape Porpoise – perfection!

Category: Hotels, Inns, B&Bs, Maine Travel Tips, New England, Trip Reports