Anyone will tell you that there’s something quite magical about Maine in the summertime. The salty sea breezes, the ombre pink sunsets, and the smell of lobster rolls, fried clams, and fresh blueberry ice cream; it is quite honestly, what quintessential, all-American summer memories are made of.
As the wife of a man who has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry, I am no stranger to his high expectations. We have been lucky enough to stay at many hotels around the world, but none have been quite as quaint as the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.
Upon arrival, I immediately felt like I was on the set of a Hallmark movie. From the rocking chairs on the front porch to the grand piano in the lobby, I felt transported to a place where time stood still. At the front desk, Sherry greeted us warmly and informed us about the rich history of the property before directing us to our room.
The view from our Portside King room overlooking the lighthouse and lobster boats sprinkled along the inlet was breathtaking. From the heavenly mattress and the wood stove to the heated floor in the bathroom, it was the perfect combination of cozy and luxurious. With the doors and window open, and the salty breeze rolling in, our only option was to relax and take it all in.
Having arrived at the pool for happy hour, we were greeted by friendly staff. Katie, our server, was personable and provided stellar service. With her help, we chose to indulge ourselves with a few cocktails and items from their menu. The grilled shrimp and pretzel bites were exactly what we needed to hold ourselves over until dinner, not to mention easy to nibble on while laying on our lounge chairs listening to the band.
The Nonantum partners with Pineapple Ketch, a sailing charter offering a 90-minute sail along the Southern Maine Coast. Departing daily from the Resort, the tour can be as hands-on or as laid back as you would like; haul lines, raise sail, take a turn at the helm or just sit back and take in the beautiful views and fresh ocean air. It is also a BYOB charter. With a sunset sail, we packed up our wine and snacks and headed for the dock. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the sights along the coast. Everyone on board was friendly and despite some rocky seas, a good time was had by all!
Back on shore, we continued to indulge with dinner at Latitudes Outdoor Bar and Grill. We chose to sit upstairs under the twinkling lights just as the dusk turned to night. The food was delicious; the ahi tuna tostadas were fresh, light, and left both of us wanting more. For our main course, we decided to split the pan-roasted salmon and Henry Heckman’s double cheeseburger. Both entrees were tasty and left us feeling satisfied.
As we were headed back to our room, we noticed a campfire sing-along, complete with S’mores around one of the fire pits. We took a seat in the Adirondack chairs and made ourselves at home with the other guests. Sitting under the stars, by the warmth of the fire I felt overwhelmed with gratitude that places like the Nonantum still exist. Despite the craziness of our world, this Resort has continued to create experiences for strangers to come together in intimate moments and memories such as these; to laugh together, to sing together, and to feel connected as one over some toasted marshmallows and a collective soulful attempt at some Van Morrison.
With our stay winding down, we opted to sleep with the doors and windows open. Falling asleep to the smell of the ocean, with the light of the stars and some heat lightning dancing across the night sky, we both slept soundly. We woke to the light of the sun and the sounds of seagulls and lobster boats heading out for their morning catch. Breakfast was delicious; with an option for everyone, we chose a balanced meal of healthy and decadent. Yogurt and fresh berries for him, and eggs, potatoes, and sausage for me. It was the perfect combination to send us off on our day exploring Kennebunkport’s shops and beaches.
Upon checking out of the Nonantum, I found myself feeling a little bit sad that it was over. Being used to these one-night getaways with my husband for work, my melancholy caught me by surprise. Normally, we’re in and out; on to the next one, but our stay at the Nonantum was different. Although he was working, we were still able to relax and reconnect; to make memories we will cherish for a lifetime. From the ambiance and activities to the friendly staff and the gorgeous Maine setting, I can understand why everyone we talked to continues to return year after year. For all of them, and hopefully now for us too, the Nonantum has proven itself to be a place where traditions most definitely begin.
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