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- Best Overall: Nonantum Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Sets the scene for a memorable vacation with elegant clapboard architecture and manicured lawns."
- Best Budget: Edgewater Motel & Cottages – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Suites and cottages allow you to keep dining costs to a minimum by providing self-catering facilities."
- Best Boutique: Inn by the Sea – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Promises personalized service and a range of family-friendly floor plans."
- Best for Luxury: Samoset Resort On The Ocean – See Rates at TripAdvisor "All rooms and suites include a 50” HDTV, an iHome radio, and a private balcony or terrace."
- Best for Romance: The Beachmere Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor "While the kids are watching TV or snacking in the kitchenette, you can share sundowners on your private balcony or patio."
- Best Urban: Hampton Inn Portland Downtown - Waterfront – See Rates at TripAdvisor "After exploring the eclectic mix of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries, unwind back at base by the indoor swimming pool."
- Best Views: Cliff House Maine – See Rates at TripAdvisor "All rooms and suites look out over the same majestic coastal panorama from their private terrace."
- Best Historic: Colony Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor "A member of Historic Hotels of America, it has been owned and run by the same family for four generations."
- Best B&B: Beauport Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor "A home away from home."
Best Overall: Nonantum Resort
Located within walking distance of downtown Kennebunkport, family-owned Nonantum Resort sets the scene for a memorable vacation with elegant clapboard architecture and manicured lawns that slope gently down to Kennebunk River. A seasonal family activities program makes the most of this waterfront location with boat tours, crabbing excursions, and craft or cooking classes. In the evening, expect s’mores and sing-alongs around family campfires, or sign your little ones up for themed Princess and Pirate nights.
The resort takes part in Kennebunkport’s famous Christmas Prelude festivities, with activities ranging from gingerbread crafts to breakfasts with Mrs. Claus. All rooms offer air-conditioning, cable TV, and a Keurig coffee maker, while Portside Family Suites offer parents a little extra privacy by accommodating the kids in a separate bedroom. Heckman’s Pub offers casual dining off the lobby, while seasonal dining venues include seafood restaurant 95 Ocean and poolside Latitudes Bar & Grill. The hotel is open from mid-April to mid-December.
Best Budget: Edgewater Motel & Cottages
Families looking for a comfortable, wallet-friendly accommodation option will love Edgewater Motel & Cottages. Located just 2.5 miles from Acadia National Park, it’s the perfect fit for nature lovers; TripAdvisor reviewers like that it’s far enough from downtown Bar Harbor to provide uninterrupted peace and quiet, yet still within easy reach of the town’s sights and restaurants. The motel overlooks a private pebble beach and has landscaped grounds perfect for outdoor games in summer. Kayaks, canoes, and sailboats can all be rented locally.
All rooms come with air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, and a furnished ocean-view balcony. Young families on a tight budget will appreciate the standard rooms with two queen beds, while suites and cottages allow you to keep dining costs to a minimum by providing self-catering facilities. There’s no restaurant on-site, but the friendly third-generation owners will be able to recommend options in Bar Harbor. Guest laundry facilities and free parking add to the hotel’s appeal.
Best Boutique: Inn by the Sea
Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Portland, upscale Inn by the Sea overlooks a stretch of sandy beach in scenic Cape Elizabeth. With 61 rooms and suites, it promises personalized service and a range of family-friendly floor plans. Garden and Spa suites have a master bedroom and a separate living room with a pull-out sofa, while Cove Suites have two bedrooms, a living room, a full kitchen, and a furnished outdoor deck. Activities at the inn include family movie nights and story times, nature walks, and fire pits.
In winter, kids will love festive events such as brunch with Santa and traditional tree trimming and cookie decorating sessions. Parents can take it in turns to visit the spa for a signature treatment or massage. On-site Sea Glass restaurant is an elegant affair serving items like lobster gnocchi and New England clam chowder; alternatively, there are plenty of family-friendly cafés and ice cream parlors within easy reach of the hotel. Four-legged family members are also welcome, so you can bring the whole brood.
Best for Luxury: Samoset Resort On The Ocean
Located between Rockland and Rockport, Samoset Resort On The Ocean offers an astonishing array of amenities for all ages. These include an 18-hole championship golf course and the Ultimate Backyard, complete with a vast outdoor pool, a children’s playground, and courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball and more. The Samoset Kids Club hosts art classes and nature programs for little ones aged five to 12; and in winter, the golf course transforms into an arena for cross-country skiing and sledding.
All rooms and suites include a 50” HDTV, an iHome radio, and a private balcony or terrace. Two-bedroom Flume Cottage is the most luxurious, built over the ocean with a full kitchen, a screened-in porch, and a hot tub deck. Dining options are varied and range from Italian-style trattoria La Bella Vita to the laid-back Clubhouse Grill. After the kids have gone to bed, Mom and Dad can enjoy a wine tasting and antipasto at sophisticated Enoteca Lounge, or a relaxing massage at the spa.
Best for Romance: The Beachmere Inn
The Beachmere Inn enjoys a prime location on Ogunquit’s famous Marginal Way — the perfect place for family outings and romantic strolls to the town’s idyllic white-sand beach. In summer, the hotel hosts weekly lobster bakes on its sweeping lawns and in winter, you can explore the grounds on a snowshoeing tour. Rooms are housed in six unique buildings, ranging from the historic Victorian Building to modern Beachmere South with its spacious family suites. While the kids are watching TV or snacking in the kitchenette, you can share sundowners on your private balcony or patio.
For an added touch of romance, ask for a room with a fireplace. The spa is set up for couples massages, and afterward, you can soak in the hot tub or unwind in the sauna. On-site restaurant Blue Bistro manages to be both family-friendly and intimate, with soft lighting and rustic decor. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before heading to the beach with the kids, or celebrate a special anniversary with filet mignon and champagne.
Best Urban: Hampton Inn Portland Downtown - Waterfront
Beautiful Casco Bay views, an unbeatable downtown location, and a list of practical amenities make Hampton Inn Portland Downtown - Waterfront a reliable choice for families hoping to explore Maine’s biggest city. Start your day with the hotel’s free hot breakfast, then take a 15-minute stroll through cobbled streets to the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. After exploring the Old Port’s eclectic mix of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries, kids and adults can unwind back at base by the indoor swimming pool.
Sebago Brewing Co. Restaurant offers family-friendly menus for lunch and dinner, while on-site convenience store the Suite Shop caters to hungry kids at all times of day and night. For a little extra living space, book a suite with a pull-out sofa bed, a 42” HDTV, and free Wi-Fi. A microwave, coffee maker, and mini-fridge make basic self-catering possible. Those traveling with infants and toddlers can use the provided cribs and high chairs instead of having to lug the bulky items from home.
Best Views: Cliff House Maine
Located between Ogunquit and York, Cliff House Maine boasts commanding views of the Atlantic Ocean and Nubble Lighthouse from its perch atop Bald Head Cliff. All rooms and suites look out over the same majestic coastal panorama from their private terrace. Other amenities include a 55” flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, and luxury bedding. Wherever you go, the same astounding views await, whether through the glass wall of The Tiller Restaurant or the double-height windows of the Atlantic Ballroom.
There are countless ways for families to immerse themselves in Cliff House Maine’s coastal way of life. Join a lobstering tour, sign up for a fishing trip in summer, or make memories snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. In the evening, you can share stories over s’mores by the fire pit or unwind in the hotel movie theater. Swimming options include an outdoor pool and hot tub especially for families and an indoor pool for when the weather turns cold. There’s also a spa and wellness center.
Best Historic: Colony Hotel
The Colony Hotel has occupied the mouth of the Kennebunk River since World War I broke out. A member of Historic Hotels of America, it has been owned and run by the same family for four generations and is loved by TripAdvisor reviewers for its nostalgic feel. Kids can spend idyllic days exploring the tidal pools on the private beach, or playing in the heated saltwater pool. There’s an 18-hole putting green and shuffleboard, croquet, and rental bikes for endless outdoor fun in summer.
Guestrooms are renovated when the hotel closes each winter, but they retain many of their original features including hardwood floors, hooked carpets, and floral wallpaper. Complimentary Wi-Fi and iPod docks add a touch of modernity although not all rooms have a TV. Family floor plans range from single rooms with two queen beds to the five-bedroom Florence House. Every day starts with a full breakfast buffet in the Grand Dining Room while two ocean-view restaurants serve classic New England fare for lunch and dinner.
Best B&B: Beauport Inn
Parents in search of a home away from home for their Maine vacation should consider Beauport Inn, a very special B&B with a near-perfect TripAdvisor score. Nestled amidst eight acres of gardens and woodland on the outskirts of Ogunquit, it’s secluded yet convenient for exploring the area’s beaches. The interior is full of historic pieces and for this reason, the inn may be a better fit for older kids. There’s a lap pool, an outdoor hot tub, a sauna, and a Turkish steam room.
After breakfast, complimentary bicycles and beach carts come in handy for day trips to the coast. When the weather’s not cooperating, you’ll find plenty of DVDs and board games in the library. Children are especially enamored of the owner’s rescued parrots. There are five rooms, including a two-room suite with a master bedroom and a sofa bed in the separate living room, and a two-bedroom River View Apartment. All rooms have cable TV, high-speed internet, and a Keurig coffee maker.