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Come summertime, Maine fills with sojourners who feast on lobster, poke through antique shops and sail the rugged, rocky coast. If you, too, want the quintessential seaside experience, put these three historic hotels at the top of your list:
The Colony Hotel. Ocean porches, gazebos, poolside bar service - it’s no wonder this family-owned hotel has such a long history of attracting Brahmin types. Located on a rock promontory overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the mouth of the Kennebunk River, the majestic Colony Hotel is within walking distance of town. The resort features a heated saltwater pool, beach and gardens. Other nearby activities include golfing, tennis, kayaking, bicycling, boating, shopping and touring art galleries. Best of all, you’ll find Maine lobster and local seafood on the menu at the in-house restaurant.
White Barn Inn. Built in the 1820s, White Barn Inn is one serious romantic getaway. This quaint, coastal Four-Star resort is made up of cottages, restored barns and a main house circa-1860. No matter which room you book, you’ll enjoy elegant appointments: antiques, wood-burning fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and flat-screen TVs. Simple pleasures here include swimming in the stone pool, biking the coast, experiencing a treatment from the Four-Star spa or taking afternoon tea by the fire in the comfortable sitting room. The inn houses one of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants, the Five-Star White Barn Inn Restaurant, where diners enjoy New England cuisine in a rustic, candlelit setting.
Kennebunkport Inn. Colonial on the outside, updated on the inside - the 1799 Kennebunkport Inn has all the old-world charm of centuries past but offers all the modern accoutrements of today. The property (which was once the home of a successful tea merchant) features a terrific onsite restaurant, is convenient to downtown Kennebunkport, and offers onsite spa services and exceptional service.