All-American, cozy, family-friendly
354 Goose Rock Road 207-967-9050 www.hiddenpondmaine.com
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At a Glance
This relaxed seasonal resort (open May to October) expertly caters to both couples and families creating the feel of a luxurious yet quintessentially Maine summer camp where there is something to keep everyone happy.
- The proximity to the historic and charming (albeit sometimes a little touristy) town of Kennebunkport
- The beach access at sister property The Tides’ semi-private beach club on Goose Rocks Beach
- Earth, the on-property restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner
Located in the woods just a 10-15 minute drive from Kennebunkport, Hidden Pond opened in 2008 as an update on the classic summer cottage resort. The resort is split into two sections – the adults-only one bedroom bungalows and family-friendly two bedroom cottages. The sixteen two-bedroom homes each feature the work of a local designer. Although the décor varies from the bright canary yellow clapboard walls and hip farmhouse décor of Periwinkle to the more neutral palette of Stargazer, all have spacious porches, stone fireplaces, full kitchens plus washer and dryer and the expected luxury amenities (flatscreen televisions, Bose iPod docks, Frette linens and reliable WiFi). The 20 one bedroom bungalows are set in a separate section away from the family-friendly larger units. These have an open plan with a king bed, outdoor shower and forest views. They are well suited for couples who like the proximity to the spa and more private setting for romantic getaways.
In addition to the cottages, Hidden Pond has traditional resort amenities as well. There is a small main lodge with a family-friendly swimming pool, the Sandbar Grill for lunch, a porch bar for pre-dinner cocktails and a daily evening bonfire, complete with s’more roasting. (Families with small children should book cottages close to the Lodge for ease of walking back and forth.) In the Bungalows section, travelers can find the Tree Spa and Hidden Pond’s fine dining restaurant Earth, a joint venture with Boston-based chef Ken Oringer where the food served lives up to the quality of his hometown establishments such as Clio and Toro. The staff grows many of their ingredients on-property, and they source most others from local purveyors in true food-to-fork fashion. The wine list is eclectic, well-priced and interesting, with Spanish txokoli and Lebanese Cabs mixed in with more classic bottles from California, Italy and France. Couples visiting should not miss a chance to eat at the Potting Shed, where an antique table sits in a rustic shed with a window overlooking the natural spring pond next door.
Next door to Earth sits the Tree Spa, a small but great spa with three treatment rooms, each in its own tree house. Not much beats a treatment with views over the treetops while the smell of the wood mixes with that of the massage oils. Keeping in line with the hotel’s general eco-luxe vibe, the spa also uses all organic products from the Farmaesthetic line. The Tree Spa building also houses a small fitness room, although it’s more fun to get your daily exercise in by riding the resort’s fleet of bikes down to Goose Rocks Beach or spending a day with a guide kayaking through the Cape Porpoise islands.
For a generation raised on Dirty Dancing, Hidden Pond seems like cooler, updated version of the kind of place where Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze could fall in love. There are community-style activities where guests come together and bond over morning yoga or evening cocktails. Children will play together in the pool and parents will show the kids the best way to melt a marshmallow over the fire. But there’s also plenty of privacy for biking to a quiet beach, walking through the woods or just kicking back with a good book on your porch swing. In other words, it’s vacation.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families alike looking for the quintessential outdoorsy Maine experience.