Address: 354 Goose Rocks Road
Web Address: http://www.hidddenpondmaine.com
"HALL OF FAME"
A short distance from town is a relatively new resort, Hidden Pond that is destined to be one of the finest in New England. Set on 60 wooded acres, with manicured lawns and beautiful gardens, this is the perfect place if you are traveling with friends or family. 14 gorgeous and individually decorated (each from a different designer) 2-bedroom cottages and 1 bedroom bungalows are spread about the property. They call it "flip flop chic" which perfectly describes the mood and feel. Somehow you feel as if you have been coming here for years.
A magnificent Lodge centers the property and it is as inviting as any you have seen with a huge stone fireplace, lots of comfortable chairs and couches to curl up in and a cozy little bar, the Back Porch, where guests enjoy complimentary wine and snacks in the evening. French doors open to a beautifully landscaped pool surrounded with super comfortable chaise lounges. The Sandbar, another lounge area, is set out on the sand (who’d a guessed it?) where cocktails and grill specials are served around a nightly bonfire.
The cottages are exquisitely decorated, each in a different style, using wonderful quality furnishings. An open floor plan features a living room with a large stone fireplace, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen (they even stock it with juice, coffee, tea, water, olive oil and balsamic),two bedrooms, one with a king and the other with two twins, an open air front porch with chairs or couches and a side screened in porch with comfortable furniture and game tables. Bedrooms are large, each with their own bath. Beds are draped in Frette linens with down duvets, the towels are thick and plush and bathrooms offer Mario Russo toiletries.
Last but not least, each cottage has an outdoor shower which is one of life’s great pleasures.
Earth at Hidden Pond has opened in the summer of '11, a collaboration with acclaimed James Beard winner, Boston chef Ken Oringer. His Clio in Boston is one of our favorites. You'll dine overlooking vegetable and herb gardens, surrounded by trees and sweet smelling breezes. Executive Chef, Kevin Walsh has created a delicious menu including items like oven roasted asparagus with romesco and a crispy soft poached egg, wood-fired margherita pizza with wild aruglua and line caught bass with English peas, fava beans, garden herbs and black quinoa.
Each morning brings a canvas basket is hung on your door with warm baguettes, homemade muffins, fresh OJ and the NY Times. 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.
Despite a wonderful laid back feel, the staff is both attentive and efficient. Everyone was pleasant and friendly and we never had to wait for anything. It is amazing that in such a short period of time, they “get” the customer service thing, something many places still haven’t gotten in years.
Open May-the end of October. Rates $675-$965 for a bungelow cottage and $945-$985 for a two bedroom cottage, July-early September. Lower in June.
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
“Consisting of private cottages with screened-in porches, gas fireplaces set in river stone, kitchens with floor-to-ceiling windows and bedrooms with Frette linens and down duvets, this new Kennebunkport resort spread over 60 acres of lush birch and balsam fir offers a temporary home in the woods; other lovely features include a main lodge with a stone fireplace and a mezzanine overlooking the pool, a unique, tented spa, daily yoga classes and hiking trails” ZAGAT
WHILE YOU ARE THERE:
Start your day with a yoga class or a work-out in the Fitness Center. Take a walk on the wooded trails. Enjoy an art class from the resident watercolor specialist. Spend the afternoon at The Farm and learn how to grow salad greens and flowers. End your day with a spa treatment in the very cool Spa tent nestled among the trees. Life just seems so right here, away from the rest of the world.
There are beaches close by (we like Goose Rocks about a mile away), 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