What better way to enjoy the spirit of New England than to indulge in a getaway at a charming inn or luxury resort? There are so many attractions to experience, from craggy coastlines and sandy beaches to restaurants serving scrumptious dishes dancing with local flavors. We curated a list of six distinct destinations where you can recharge in style.
Hidden Pond is a cottage enclave set within 60 acres of birch forest in Kennebunkport. Its accommodations range from single-story two-bedroom cottages for up to five guests, two-story two-bedroom cottages for up to five with more space, and one-bedroom bungalows for couples. With amenities like gas fireplaces, private porches, outdoor showers, luxury toiletries, and more, any cottage at Hidden Pond is a magical, peaceful, private oasis.
And that’s just the beginning. There is so much to see and do at this award-winning resort once you’ve settled in. Hike along nature trails, explore footpaths, and visit the Farm, where vegetables, fresh herbs, and blossoms abound. Lounge by one of two pools while sampling drinks and light fare. Or feast on farm-to-fork freshness at the onsite yet in-demand restaurant Earth. There’s even a spa for additional pampering.
For the ultimate beach day, head to Goose Rocks Beach at sister property Tides Beach Club. Here, “beach tenders” seek out whatever you need: a towel, beach chair, cooler with chilled waters, or even lunch. And don’t forget the rest of Kennebunkport. Be sure to pop by the shops at Dock Square, enjoy a cup of clam chowder at Mabel’s Lobster Claw restaurant, or sample some wild Maine blueberry pancakes at Salt & Honey.
“Whether you’re planning a romantic couple’s getaway or a fun-filled family vacation, Hidden Pond is idyllic,” says General Manager Kristen Cauoette. “It provides an unforgettable escape and the perfect recharge.” hiddenpondmaine.com
The Sailmaker’s House is a restored 1800s colonial in downtown Portsmouth that fuses modern and tradition in one vibrant destination. Each of the 10 bedrooms includes Matouk linens, newly renovated bathrooms, and WiFi. Sailmaker’s feels like an elevated version of home thanks to free snacks and beverages in the lobby and games in the lounge. Outside, guests can sit among cherry and peach trees in the lush three-season garden.
But perhaps its best feature is its location. Situated on a quiet street in Portsmouth’s historic district, it’s a short walking distance to Strawberry Banke Museum, Prescott Park, The Music Hall, Seacoast Repertory Theatre, and 3S Artspace. Close by are historic homes such as the Moffatt-Ladd House and John Langdon House, plus the area’s best restaurants, cafés, and shops. Dine at Tuscan Kitchen, enjoy a lobster roll at The Beach Plum, or savor a craft beer at Beara Brewing Co.
“Come and enjoy the casual comfort and all that downtown Portsmouth has to offer on your doorstep,” invites Manager Todd Dowey. sailmakershouse.com
While beautiful inside, Weekapaug is equally appealing outside. For starters, a quick stroll is rewarded with two miles of private beach. To ease beach-going, The Bathhouse conveniently offers bathrooms, storage lockers, beach towels, and cheerful attendants who can help set up your spot. A concession counter serves up lunch and snacks while the back deck serves wine and beer.
If sand isn’t your style, the inn’s 65-foot heated saline outdoor lap pool and Jacuzzi are perfect for unwinding with pond views in the distance. A staff naturalist leads guided walks, various boat excursions are possible, and a complimentary Hunter Boot Borrowing Closet encourages outdoor exploration.
Why anyone would want to meander away from the Relais & Châteaux resort is a wonder, but guests can also enjoy activities at sister property Ocean House in Watch Hill.
“Weekapaug Inn is a treasure of a destination because of its natural setting, relaxing atmosphere, and extraordinary service,” says General Manager Simon Dewar. “Come enjoy all that the inn has to offer: locally sourced cuisine, a scenic waterfront, and complimentary activities.” weekapauginn.com
One of the Bay State’s newest properties is the freshly opened Briar Barn Inn in Rowley. Designed to offer a “farmhouse experience” in a country setting, it boasts 30 spacious rooms that blend rustic décor and upscale amenities. An onsite spa offers a variety of restorative, all-natural treatments, while the post-and-beam barn restaurant uses local ingredients from North Shore farms and purveyors.
“Briar Barn Inn is a beautiful retreat with outdoor amenities like scenic hiking paths and wildlife sanctuaries at your fingertips,” notes owner Briar Forsythe. “It boasts plenty of outdoor seating at the onsite restaurant Grove and a fun outdoor fire pit so guests can soak in the beautiful New England setting.”
For those looking to explore, nearby coastal towns like Ipswich and Newburyport are just a short drive away and have boutiques and restaurants galore. briarbarninn.com
Fans of Gilmore Girls are familiar with the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. For those of us in the real world yearning for the life of Rory and Lorelai, you can travel to the idyllic town of Washington (where show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino found inspiration) and stay at the majestic Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection.
A visit to this Relais & Châteaux country retreat is truly transformative. Boasting 58 acres of landscaped grounds and woodlands, Mayflower Inn is a luxurious hideaway. The guestrooms and suites exemplify modernized New England charm. Relax at the spa, workout at the fitness center, or swim in the outdoor pool. Dining options include the Mayflower Dining Room, which overlooks the immaculate Shakespeare Gardens, or the more casual and cozy Tap Room.
“Springtime is when Mayflower’s gardens and wooded grounds burst with color and fragrance; there’s a multisensory feeling of renewal,” says General Manager Marco Bustamante. “From outdoor pursuits such as archery and fly-fishing to botanical spa treatments and creative dishes inspired by seasonal harvests, every corner of our country estate celebrates the simple pleasures of every season.” aubergeresorts.com/mayflower
Tucked away in Vermont’s secluded woodlands, Twin Farms is an adults-only paradise. It features 20 uniquely designed accommodations and an “inclusive” pricing structure. For one rate, sans tipping, you receive prepared-to-order breakfast, a customized lunch (including picnics) in any location, cocktails and canapés in the evening, and a farm-to-table dinner.
The fairytale continues with surprise amenities like a sommelier-curated 15,000-bottle wine cellar, onsite beehives, and two BMW 750i X sedans available for countryside cruising. It’s impossible to pass up the spa services and fully equipped fitness center with regular classes.
Every year, Managing Partner John Graham sees the Relais & Châteaux property emerge from thick layers of snow and blossom with life, including crops produced by the onsite farm. Various special events, celebrating art, food, wine, music, yoga, and more, are scheduled all year long.
Take advantage of the setting with the outdoor pursuit of your choice: hiking, cycling, fly fishing, swimming, canoeing, tennis, skiing, skating, snow shoeing, and more. Foodies can opt for a chef-prepared picnic, explore the Vermont Cheese Trail, or visit the local distillery Bar Hill. twinfarms.com
Text By Stacey Marcus