By Jennifer Pelaez
Nearly as large as the rest of the New England states put together, Maine is known for its spectacularly scenic vistas and a variety of landscapes showcasing its grandeur and natural beauty, from rocky coastlines to picturesque sandy beaches, to islands of pastoral country surrounded by forest. With more coastline than California, exploring the vastness of Maine’s entire coast with its plethora of inlets, peninsulas and jagged coves is a daunting but rewarding journey. The first 30 miles of coast, the Southern Maine Coast Region, boasts some of the most charming and picturesque villages and panoramic views of the Atlantic. Among these villages include Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, best known as being the family summer home of Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush.
Inspired by the beauty of this region and the vision to create a collection of resort properties unique in design and architecture with first-rate service and sophisticated style, five local entrepreneurs came together to develop The Kennebunkport Resort Collection. Comprised of nine boutique hotels and resorts, seven innovative restaurants and catering venues, this collection of properties offers numerous options for guests looking for casual yet elegant lodging and exceptional dining. All set in distinct and beautiful locations surrounded by typical Northeast activities like shopping, lighthouse hunting, and a bevy of outdoor adventures.
One of these unique properties, Cape Arundel Inn & Resort was originally one of Kennebunkport’s many summer cottages and has been transformed into the area’s only oceanfront inn, worthy of any traveler seeking glorious views and understated luxury. Cape Arundel is perched on a bluff overlooking the crashing surf of the Atlantic. This shingle-style 19th-century mansion has all the New England touches like a river rock central fireplace along with shelves of books and antiques juxtaposed with some newer furnishings. The light and airy guest rooms feature incredible ocean views, some with balconies, and feature luxe amenities like Frette linens and other modern touches.
The ambiance of Cape Arundel is comfortable and laid back, one that encourages leisure time and relaxation. Whether lounging on a veranda stargazing or participating in one of the resort activities like their “Artist on the Lawn” series, you will find that there are many spots of quiet and repose to completely unwind and breathe in the fresh Maine air. Sightseers can take a short drive to the center of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square or walk to nearby Colony Beach or Walker’s Point, or even kayak at Kennebunkport’s beautiful harbor. Afterwards, enjoy early evening cocktails at the bar or lounge, followed by dinner at Ocean. Savor the French-inspired creations which utilize only the finest and freshest ingredients and highlight native Maine delicacies from the sea.
For additional authentic Maine cuisine, be sure to check out Earth at Hidden Pond, a restaurant in another charming luxury boutique hotel also part of The Kennebunkport Resort Collection. As the name suggests, Earth celebrates the beauty of its environment which is integrated into its decor with walls built from the actual trees that were cut when clearing the site. The interior is warm and rustic, accented with solid wood and intricate details resulting in a space that feels inviting yet also romantic and elegant. The unique focal piece is a beautifully preserved apple tree dotted with lights which was cleverly transformed into a stunning chandelier high above.
The underlying vibe and philosophy of Earth is the symbiotic relationships between the cuisine itself and the community of people behind the scenes including the farmers and food gatherers. Earth’s menu is simple yet also innovative and focuses on fresh local ingredients which come from one of two onsite organic gardens. All dishes are hand made, even the pastas, and the local lobsters are caught fresh each day. Exactly how you would imagine a perfect New England culinary feast.
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