Summer Escapes: Drift Away

MAINE

Kennebunkport

Just outside this seaside town lie 60 wooded acres of laid-back luxury that put Blair Waldorf’s summer camp to shame. Book a two-bedroom cottage at Hidden Pond Resort, or opt for one of the 20 new bungalows, which feature floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces and screened-in porches perfect for sipping a Dark and Stormy. Also new this summer: the gourmet restaurant Earth, which boasts a Ken Oringer–designed menu.

Guests are given free range of the grounds, meaning you can pick from the resort’s organic vegetable patch, create a bouquet of fresh flowers, or channel your inner Monet with artist-in-residence Judith Kinsman, who offers an hour of free instruction in the garden. Or get a bamboo facial in one of the spa rooms, perched 8 feet off the ground and connected by a catwalk through the trees.

The rest of your trip, though, can remain wonderfully unplanned. When Hidden Pond staffers arranged a lobster boat tour for guests Jeff Baron and his family, the elder George Bush had his boat docked nearby in the canal. “We came right by and the president was waving to us,” Baron recalls. >> Hidden Pond Resort (two-bedroom cottages start at $945 per night), 354 Goose Rocks Rd., Kennebunkport, ME, 888-967-9050, hiddenpondmaine.com. — Sharon Male

CHEAT SHEET
Insider Tip
    Order a lobster roll at Cape Porpoise Chowder House. “It’s a little quieter, with fewer tourists and more fishermen,” says Judith Kinsman.
Deal Alert!   The new bungalow cottages at Hidden Pond are renting for just $399 per night through June 23. Once the cottages are booked, the deal is over.
Know Before You Go    Many of the beaches near Kennebunkport require a parking pass. Before you book, ask whether your hotel will provide one; if not, expect to pay $10 to $15 for parking.

  • Tourist

    Awful, run-down, overpriced, understaffed.

  • Duncan

    Folk such as me, my family, and my friends, who are blessed to have raised their children in ‘sconset never go near the Summerhouse, which, while located near our charming village, is totally not of the village. A better idea is to drive your leased Escalade to the Hamptons and hope you get to slobber during a celeb-sighting (and you’ll be doing ‘sconset a favor). If you must visit us, please do so on a bike and have dinner at the Sconset Cafe.