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Maine

Captain Lord Mansion

Captain Lord Mansion

Address: 6 Pleasant Street
Phone: 800-522-3141
Web Address: http://www.captainlord.com

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Kennebunkport

THE INN:
The Captain Lord Mansion, is one of the best B&B's we have encountered in our travels. But don't let the term "B&B" dissuade you, because this place is much more than that. This is a AAA Four Diamond property owned by the same people, Rick and Bev, for over 30 years. It is a labor of love that is evident everywhere. Bev handles the gardens and the decorating and her talents are equal to any professional. The rooms are magnificently decorated and Bev actually sews all the window treatments, bed skirts and comforter covers. Rick is the marketing guy and never stops thinking about how to make the Inn better and more customer friendly. One visit here and it will become an annual event for you.

Set at the top of a sloping lawn that overlooks the Kennebunk River, the imposing yellow Mansion sits on a beautifully manicured lawn with perennial gardens and shaded by towering maple trees. Comfortable Adirondack chairs are scattered around the lawn, perfect for a lazy hour or so with a good book.

Step inside and the first thing you’ll see is a sign greeting guests by name and home town. You’ll also notice umbrellas for the rain and OFF for the mosquitoes considerately set out for the guest’s comfort.

Just to the left of the entry hallway is the Gathering Room, a comfortable and elegant room with a large fireplace (that served as the cooking fireplace in 1812) surrounded by couches, window seats, hardwood floors, Oriental rugs and a beamed ceiling. Guests “gather” here for coffee in the morning, tea or cocktails in the afternoon, a game of chess or a drink before bed. Downstairs is a Gift Shop and a Game Room with a fireplace, game table and a big screen TV.

THE ROOMS
Too often, B&B’s have a couple of really nice rooms that are featured on their website and the rest are passable but nothing special. Not the case here where each room unveils its own charms and each one you see becomes your new favorite. They are exquisitely decorated with period antiques, wonderful artwork, lush fabrics and quality wall coverings. While we didn’t see every room, we saw enough to know we’d be happy in any one of them.

All 20 rooms have king or queen beds, gas burning fireplaces, Posturepedic mattresses with down comforters and pillows, large marble baths with heated floors, fresh flowers and plants, Jacuzzi tubs for two, big, plush towels and "Baronessa Cali" toiletries.

Our room, The Captain Merchant's Suite, was gorgeous with a carved 4 poster high boy canopy bed centering the main room with couches and a wing back chair at its base surrounding the fireplace. The artwork and furnishings were magnifiscent.  A 42" plasma TV rose majestically from its cabinet and a mini refrigerator was stocked with water and juice. The huge bathroom had its own fireplace, a marble 10-jet, hydro-massage, waterfall shower which I didn't want to leave, a double vanity and a two person whirlpool tub.

THE RESTAURANT:
I am not usually one for communal breakfasts, but here it is fun event, served in a wonderful, newly renovated country kitchen on two long farm tables by two local women who couldn’t be more pleasant. Somehow these charming women get everyone talking to each other and you find yourself really enjoying the camaraderie. Take excellent coffee and freshly squeezed juices, add poppy seed muffins, homemade granola, fresh fruit, cream cheese stuffed French Toast or blueberry pancakes or another of the ever changing entrees and you’ve got a great start to the day….and some new friends.

Locally, there are some excellent restaurants for lunch and dinner. Lunch one day was at Pier 77, a charming place on the water with white paneling, cherry wood tables and chairs, hardwood floors, a fireplace, a baby grand piano and a cute little 8 stool bar. The food was excellent and locals say its great for dinner. Adjacent to the restaurant is the Ramp Bar & Grill, a more casual sibling with outdoor seating overlooking the harbor.

We enjoyed a wonderful sunset and a delicious meal at The Hurricane, in town and on the water, where we started with a Pear Martini (Grey Goose Pear, pear puree, dry vermouth and white cranberry) and a Pineapple Martini (infused pineapple vodka with seasonal berries). Appetizers were PEI mussells with tomtaoes, garlic, capers and white wine and a Hurricane Salad of spring mix, roasted shallots, toasted pine nuts and raspberry vineagrette. We enjoyed a delicious pan roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and roasted vegetables and garlic shrimp with roasted garlic, white wine over fettucine. Good wine list and moderately priced. We had a wonderful Chateau de la Ragotiere Muscadet at only $20.

Stunning ocean views from a crisp white dining room with striking and colorful gold framed artwork and a blue palette serve as the background for the excellent Cape Arundel Inn restaurant. Start with a cocktail on the porch as you gaze on the bobbing lobster pots just off the coast. There's an excellent wine list with lots of choices under $50 and about 18 wines by the glass. Views and wine would almost be enough, but the food is outstanding and the combination makes for a wonderful experience. We started with a panko crusted Maine crab cake with summer vegetable slaw and a sweet chili ginger remoulade. Now this is what a crab cake should taste like. Next up a salad of baby lettuce, shaved Bermuda onion topped with a lemon olive oil vinaigrette and shaved Reggiano. Entrees were a perfectly prepared oven roasted free range chicken with a lemon herb veloute sauce and garlic mashed potatoes and a crspy potato crusted Halibut fillet over baby spinach with a Cabernet remoulade and crisp summer vegetables. Dessert was a triple chocolate tasting of dark rum almond truffles, raspberrry chocolate mouse and a chilled caramel chocolate latte. About $150 with wine.

See our White Barn Inn profile for our review of that restaurant.


THE SERVICE:
The innkeepers and staff seem to truly enjoy what they are doing and it shows in how they interact with the guests. The list of thoughtful amenities seems endless; free wireless, guest computer, iPod dock, complimentary bicycles, beach chairs and towels, a birding kit, chocolate chip cookies in your room, iced coffee and tea and lemonade in the summer and "Swedish Glogg" (a non-alcoholic mulled cider and cranberry juice) simmering in a crock-pot on the antique stove in the kitchen, a sewing kit in the bathroom, special make-up remover and towel and even a pretty good wine list.

Visit 10 times and a commemorative brick will be added to the patio with your name on it….what a charming little way to say thanks.

THE RATES: $291-$499 mid-week depending on the time of year. $337-$499 weekends, again depending on the time of year. Two night minimum for weekends throughout the year. Check their site, however, for special offers and pricing. These are difficult times and everyone is being flexible.

WHAT OTHERS SAY:
AAA Four Diamond Award Winner
Select Registry Member

“The individually decorated rooms – many with “canopy beds” and fireplaces – are “so pretty you won’t want to leave”, except to dig into the “fabulous breakfasts” at this “homey” B&B “near the heart of Kennebunkport” (though “thankfully” enough of a distance from the Bush compound); “warm and friendly owners” offer “home-baked cookies” and other daily snacks, while “no TVs” in most of the rooms mean “total relaxation”; N.B. children over age 12 preferred.” ZAGAT

WHILE YOU ARE THERE:

There is much to do in the area and probably as much to do in winter as in the prime summer months. The Inn offers Day Spa services with some interesting treatments and has put together some interesting packages like the Lighthouse Tour and Deluxe Lobster Picnic, a steal at $99/couple.

There are beaches close by (we like Goose Rocks), you can shop in town or at the nearby outlets (L.L. Bean) in Freeport and Kittery, lots of water activities from sailing to kayaking to whale watching, golf at Cape Arundel Golf Course, biking along Ocean Ave. (past the Bush compound), cross country skiing and snowshoeing in winter and antiquing (don't miss Antiques on Nine).

In early June Kennebunkport presents Pairing, Palates + Palettes a wonderful celebration of food, wine and artwork that we thoroughly enjoyed during our visit.

DRIVING DISTANCE: Boston: 1 hour 45 minutes, Hartford: 3 hours, Albany: 4 hours, NYC: 5 hours, 30 minutes
 

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