Kennebunkport Captains Collection
Updated Americana, $$-$$$ ($149-$659)
By the time European fishermen landed on the southern shores of coastal Maine in the 16th century, the Native Americans had already established the tradition of living inland during the colder months and moving to the water for the warmer ones. Today, many follow this seasonal pattern of migration, at least in our leisure time. Maine in the summer is glorious in that quintessential New England town kind of way, and a stay at Kennebunkport Captains Collection makes for a superlative weekend away. The hotel, which is really a collection of four historical properties built for the grown children of a successful sea captain in the 1700s, is an imaginative renovation project from Lark Hotels, the New England developers with a knack for nostalgia-inducing boutique hotels in iconic Yankee destinations.
The William Jefferds House opened first this spring, followed by James Fairfield House, Nathaniel Lord Mansion, and Acton Patterson House — all in a two-block radius just off Dock Square. Outfitted by Massachusetts-based interior designers Elder & Ash, each house has its own look, feel, and fit. With four cozy rooms (with fireplaces, distressed leather, plaids), Acton Patterson House is excellent as a full buyout property for families. The William Jefferds House is a bright and airy space decorated with landscape paintings. The Federalist architectural details of James Fairfield House are played up with bold colors and locally procured, abstract works of art. The pièce de résistance is Nathaniel Lord Mansion, a lavish inn filled with four-poster beds, heavy drapes, marble bathrooms, and chaise loungers. Check in takes place there; guests are encouraged to explore and move about the houses.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Nostalgic maritime marvel.
Standout Detail: Cohesive design execution across various buildings. It all feels like it goes together.
This Place Is Perfect For: Couples and intimate groups who appreciate the finer design details with a side of fresh Maine lobstah. This would be a great place to pull off an elegant micro wedding.
Rooms: Forty-five beautifully decorated rooms across four different houses, from petite singles to multi-room suites. The hint of seafaring nostalgia in each building's bones is accentuated by the decor decisions — from rich textiles and wallpaper to artwork, vintage four-poster beds, soaking tubs, screened-in porches, and working in-room fireplaces. Weekly rentals are available, and guests can book the four-bedroom Acton, which has a full kitchen with a fireplace and daily concierge for grocery service and/or an in-house chef, on-site laundry service, and housekeeping.
On Site: A mix of living rooms, drawing rooms, a library, and gardens ready for exploration. Guest pantries are stocked and breakfast service is available. So are bicycles, a courtesy car, and electronic car charging stations.
Food + Drink: The concierge can suggest and arrange deliveries from nearby restaurants and markets.
What to Do Nearby
Find several of those picturesque rocky beaches of your New England dreams nearby. Pick up beach chairs, totes, and towels on the property before heading out to explore the tide pools and a brisk dip in the ocean. Kayaks, canoes, and skiffs can be rented at the nearby Kennebunkport Marina. Call up Coastal Maine Kayak for a lesson and The Pineapple Ketch for a sailing trip on a 38-footer with a shiny black hull and crimson sails. The property is within walking distance of town's shops and casual restaurants (the website has a handy guide to favorite local spots); the hotel can arrange car service to a fancy meal at White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection. Portland, Portsmouth, and Freeport make for easy day trip destinations.