If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to stay in Kennebunkport, Maine, then look no further. This insider’s guide to the best places to stay in Kennebunkport– whether you’re looking for a resort hotel, glamourous camping, or a cute little BnB– has something for everyone seeking a unique stay in one of America’s most enduringly gorgeous beach towns.
As we wrote in our Insider’s Guide to Kennebunkport, Maine, Kennebunkport has taken off in recent years as a coveted destination for coastal rest and relaxation, though its prominence within the bailiwick of New England coastal getaways comes as no surprise to those of us who have been spending summers here for decades.
Nevertheless, what was once a somewhat sleepy coastal colony is now a world-class hospitality hub, and the area’s best hotels, historic inns, trendy spa resorts, and homestyle BnBs all play a unique role within the matrix.
There are so many different styles of accommodation here that there truly is something for everyone, whether you’re looking to camp or relax in the lap of luxury.
Nevertheless, the list below spotlights the coolest, most quintessentially “Maine” places to stay in Kennebunkport, Maine. We know a thing or two about hotels, and all of these ones are lovely– you just need to choose your vibe.
Scroll our list of the best places to stay in Kennebunkport, Maine, below. Renting your own beach house is, of course, a lovely option as well– but if you’re seeking a hotel where someone else is responsible for washing the towels, you’ve landed in the right spot. These hotels, resorts, camp grounds, and inns are the crème de la crème (and they’re in no particular order).
Enjoy your trip!
Cape Arundel Inn & Resort (For Upscale Seclusion)
Cape Arundel Inn & Resort is a wonderfully secluded oasis not too far from the scenic driving/biking route of Walker’s Point, also known as the Bush Family Compound. This upscale resort nestled inside of what feels like a luxurious summer home is perfect for those seeking solitude out of the fray of touristy beaches or downtown bustle.
We love the panoramic ocean views and the fact that the cozy rooms (above) overlook the foamy surf, as the Atlantic ocean crashes rhythmically on the breakwater across the street.
As we wrote in our Insider’s Guide to Kennebunkport, Maine, the on-site fine dining restaurant, Ocean, is also excellent. It’s one of the best restaurants in Kennebunkport, and a bucket list dining destination for foodies in New England and beyond. Here, while enjoying incredible waterfront views, guests can enjoy boat-to-table seafood within the context of farm-to-table cuisine that showcases the splendor of the region.
In the summer, they even grow their own vegetables and herbs in the on-site kitchen garden, amid a soundscape of crashing waves. Ultimately, however, nothing beats the wonderment of enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail here on the porch during golden hour. You’ll feel like you’re in an elegant private residence, both at home and in awe.
The Tides Beach Club (A Gooserocks Staple)
The Tides Beach Club on Gooserocks Beach is a lovely historic hotel enmeshed into a beautiful, cozy neighborhood on the more rural side of Kennebunkport. With its popular on-site restaurant and porch front views of the beach, staying here is quaint and serene. You can hear the ocean from your bed in one of the hotel’s 21 rooms, and order one of the area’s best lobster rolls right downstairs.
There are two oceanfront suites furnished by Jonathan Adler, which highlight contemporary coastal decor that captures the spirit of the local landscape. (Think: upholstered headboards, colorful walls, and bright pops of light within the matrix of a historic home.)
Dining services at this otherwise homey BnB-style hotel can get quite busy on the weekends, especially. (The restaurant is always packed and the bar can be lively when there are large parties in town.) Thus, it’s not an ideal spot for those who want to slink away into quiet seclusion.
But, if you want to be in the heart of it all– or to stay directly on Gooserocks Beach– it is THE premiere place to do so without renting your own home. The Tides is a local landmark, with its cheery yellow facade and picket-fence celosias blooming across from the sandy, rose-hip lined shore. Locals love dining here, too, and for direct, single-room accommodation on Gooserocks Beach, it’s the go-to spot.
Awol Kennebunkport (Rustic Yet Modern)
Awol Kennebunkport is a lovely rugged option for eco-minded accommodation in the heart of Kennebunkport. Whether you’re attracted to the convenient location or the Kinfolk aesthetic, Awol delivers on the promise of maximalist privacy within chic, minimalist digs.
Inside the property’s numerous cabins (they offer studio cabins, king cabins, King Porch suites inside the main house, and more!), there are also freestanding tubs and enclosed sunrooms. The bright, white interiors feature mid-century vintage furniture that feels synergistic and enmeshed with the nature surrounding it. (If you didn’t know any better, you might think you were staying somewhere in Scandinavia. It’s simultaneously rustic yet modern, isolated yet in the middle of it all.)
Pine, elm, balsam fir, and birch trees, as well as wild Maine blueberry bushes, envelop the property. This native landscape engenders a serene feeling of privacy– as if you’re staying in the middle of nowhere– despite being just steps away from Dock Square (the main hub of activity in the Port)!
Most rooms have working fireplaces and breakfast (included) features an artisanal toast bar with a wide range of sweet and savory spreads, from smoked salmon, cream cheese, and pea shoots to Nutella, strawberries, and chia seeds. You get the idea. The creations you can make are as cute as they are convenient– not unlike the hotel itself.
The White Barn Inn (Technically in Kennebunk, But Very Close to KPT)
The White Barn Inn is a unique Relias & Chateaux property that exists within the luxury orbit of Kennebunkport’s more well-heeled travelers. Yes, this place is fancy— it’s a Relias & Chateaux property, after all– but a thoughtful approach undergirds every detail of the hotel, from the antique chessboards that match the couches in the lounge area to the fact that the refreshment table offers individually-wrapped slices of housemade banana bread.
They also have a beautiful on-site spa and restaurant, dapper bicycles for rent (along with helmets, good thing!), and a walkable location mere minutes from the heart of Dock Square.
The property, like all of the best hotels in Kennebunkport, is situated within the bounds of a historic building that used to be a barn (and later, an ice creamery!). In the 1970s, the property was restored and has since changed hands before arriving at its present incarnation as the White Barn Inn.
The sophisticated, tasteful rooms by Jenny Wolf feature antique furniture, 19th-century-inspired art, and fresh flowers. Suites have jetted soaking tubs and warming, gas-burning fireplaces that are lovely for use on spring and fall nights.
Outside amid the lovely native landscaping (hydrangeas, etc), there’s a heated infinite pool, five stand-alone cottages with views of the Kennebunk River, and valet parking on site. They also sell local artisan goods in a small, bespoke shop inside– including locally-made scarves and jars of housemade provisions from the culinary team. (Maine blueberry & thyme preserves, anyone?)
Ultimately, the spa is an even more luxurious draw. Here, you can get a whopping two-hour massage (yes, it’s as relaxing as it sounds) and still have time to enjoy your complimentary truffle and hand-made bath salt bundle before having dinner on-site at the AAA Five Diamond restaurant, which serves elegant New England cuisine.
Kennebunkport Captains Collection (Centrally Located, Elegant)
The Kennebunkport Captains Collection consists of the Acton Patterson House, the Nathaniel Lord Mansion, the James Fairfield House, and the William Jefferds House, all of which are clustered in the heart of Kennebunkport.
Each historic and beautifully-appointed home offers a series of queen, king, suite, and deluxe rooms, all encircling the Kennebunkport Village Green, which is ideal for picnicking and lounging on a sunny day (but I digress). What’s worth noting here is that this model of hotel-rooms-inside-of-historic-homes is a signature feature of the area. As a result, these spaces capture the beauty of old Kennebunkport with modern flair.
We love the trendy, tasteful decor in each one of the homes, from the bold pops of color and patterns at the James Fairfield House to the historic four-poster beds inside the Nathaniel Lord Mansion. (And a mansion it is, indeed.)
Bonus points go to the lovely outdoor lounge, which features white couches spread out on a lush green lawn under the shade of towering oaks. In the summer, shadows from the canopy’s leaves dance across the grass, and it’s a lovely place to hang out between walks around town.
The effect, besides looking like a scene from an idyllic movie, is to welcome outsiders into the community while dazzling them with aesthetics. Because the architectural style and footprint are so integrated with the surrounding neighborhood, it’s hard to differentiate where visitors stay and locals live.
Fortunately, this keeps Kennebunkport’s charm perennially intact. The Kennebunkport Captains Collection is easily the nicest place to stay in heart of town, and from the moment you step inside your chosen accommodations, it becomes clear that it’s also the prettiest. Design lovers: this is the Kennebunkport hotel for you!
The Inn at English Meadows (For Historic Inn Vibes)
The Inn at English Meadows is a quaint historic property that’s not too far a walk from the restaurants and retail of Dock Square. As we wrote in our Insider’s Guide to Kennebunkport, this historic inn used to be a working dairy whose footprint has since been converted into a timeless New England inn.
Today, it feels like a home away from home for those looking for a traditional BnB experience. As one of the few chosen Distinguished Inns of North America, the Inn at English Meadows delivers on the promise of preservation and local charm. (Owner and Innkeeper Elizabeth Arruda sees to that, herself. Rooms have original moldings and plank floors, etc.)
Rooms and suites are pet-friendly and clad in dapper, stripe-y neutrals, with hypoallergenic mattresses and common areas designed for languidly sipping wine.
Ultimately, it’s a quiet place to stay just a short walk from the center of town. It also affords access to some of the area’s most rugged and beautiful coastline. Plus, it’s cheaper than many of the nearby historic hotels, and feels much more homespun (in a good way).
Above all, enjoy the homemade gourmet breakfast on the patio amidst the morning glories (above shown) for the full experience.
^ This thoughtful, multi-course meal features items like goat cheese and garden chive slow-scrambled eggs with fresh garden tomatoes, locally made Greek yogurt with house-made granola and seasonal local fruit, and lemon-ricotta-blueberry pancakes with Maine maple syrup and local North Country maple sausage. In true Bed-and-Breakfast fashion, the breakfast is the real draw.
The Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club (For A Riverfront Experience)
The Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club— also known as simply “The Yachtsman”– is a preppy bungalow-style hotel that’s right on the Kennebunk River (see above for a view from one of their private rooms).
This upscale, low-key locale is a great place for those who want to stay in the center of town while still maintaining direct access to the water. Here, you can stay in one of 30 river-front bungalows with garden terraces and luxe designer furnishings by local power couple/design partners Louise and Ralph Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Designs. (I describe their signature coastal decor as “maximalist nautical chic”.)
The hotel also offers free stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes that you can rent and launch directly from the dock adjacent to the hotel.
^ This is a great way to explore the coves and inlets of neighboring Kennebunk. Plus, there’s nothing as deliriously serene as being able to paddle right back up to your room after an adventure.
~ Honorable Mention ~
Sandy Pines Campground (For “Glamping”)
Sandy Pines Campground is a destination spot for “glamping”– aka “glamourous camping”– located not too far from Gooserocks Beach. This traditional campsite has a mix of high and low-end options– there are people in tents, RVs, and Winnebagos alongside luxurious cabins and air-conditioned safari tents like the one above.
For those who want to “get out in nature” and fully immerse themselves without, you know, giving up linens or electricity, this is a fabulous place to stay.
For adventurous families on a budget, it’s also a nice place to stay in proximity to the beach, numerous biking routes, and great ice cream at Goose Rocks Beach Dairy. They even have family-friendly programming like s’mores nights, crafts, planned watersport “splash” weekends, and bike parades.
But really, the glamp tents are what’s super unique about this property, especially in these parts. As a result, these fill up quickly so be sure to book well in advance!
Hidden Pond (For Extremely Luxurious Private Digs)
If entire luxury cabin rentals in the Maine woods sound luxurious and idyllic, that’s because they are! Hidden Pond is truly the top-of-the-line destination resort– not just in Kennebunkport, but in all of Maine.
The only reason we’ve named this resort as “Honorable Mention” and not one of the central recommendations in this guide is– to be frank— because it is exceedingly pricy. Staying here for just one night is thousands of dollars, so we want to be upfront about the cost here. It’s ideal for families and groups, for sure, and the stylish decor reflects the modern sensibility of grounded luxury incarnate.
Here, you can feel at once secluded from the rest of the world, totally immersed in nature, and get still have access to the resort’s sumptuous amenities like the fantastic on-site restaurant, Earth, or the aptly-named Tree Spa. There’s also a beautiful pool that offers “nighttime glow swims”, and a host of kid-friendly activities like tie-dye, campfire s’mores, and watercolor lessons.
Ultimately, when you picture an aspirational “Maine” resort experience, you are likely picturing this. But the environment is even more ineffably beautiful in person.
For most people, this is a bucket list/ special occasion destination– so if that’s what you’re looking for, have at it! 🙂 The setting is sensational and the surrounding nature, pristine. You’re unlikely to find a more gorgeous or charming backdrop to any woodsy adventure. The fact that this one exists in a town as wonderful and welcoming as Kennebunkport is just a bonus.