The Colony Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
With a waterfront location in Kennebunkport, the historic Colony Hotel offers incredible ocean views. Rooms vary in decor and are spread throughout the Main Building, the Galland, and the East House -- but not all rooms have TVs or air conditioning. The Colony Hotel has a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs, attracting families with its heated saltwater swimming pool and a private sandy beach. Perks include free Wi-Fi and breakfast.
Stage Neck Inn York Harbor Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Located in the cute town of York, Stage Neck Inn is right next to York Harbor Beach. This scenic oceanfront location includes 58 simple rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers some outstanding features like the outdoor freshwater pool and access to the sandy beach, but some guests complain about older furniture and a variety of fees. The inn has beautiful places for relaxing, such as the firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs, or one of the two on-site restaurants. An indoor pool and fitness center are convenient, but minimum stay requirements can be a pain. Overall, though it's an excellent -- and popular -- pick for families.
Nonantum Resort Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Nonantum Resort occupies two buildings: the historic Carriage House Inn, with Victorian-style rooms (that lack modern amenities like flat-screen TVs), and the Portside Lodge, which features bright rooms decorated with paisley prints. Room decor varies incredibly, and some rooms are more pleasant than others. A popular wedding spot, the hotel is on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the water, but visitors are given a limited window to enjoy the resort -- the hotel closes for four months during the off-season. During the summer, families can enjoy the kids' club, the small pool, and the kayak and bicycle rentals.
Hidden Pond Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Spread over 60 acres, Hidden Pond resort features suite-like bungalows and two-bedroom cottages. While each have their own personality, they all share a shabby-chic style characterized by pops of color and organic touches, such as twig-like hooks and hangers. The spa is set up to resemble a tree house and free yoga classes are held at the organic farm (where guests may also pick fresh flowers and veggies). Another outstanding feature is the outdoor bar and grill that sits on a "sand bar," with chairs circled around firepits. This upscale boutique hotel attracts couples with its tranquil environment and top-notch restaurants, as well as families with cottages that include full kitchens and washer/dryers. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to the beach, which is just five minutes away.
The Dunes on the Waterfront Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Dunes on the Waterfront is a quiet, dated (but cozy) retreat in busy Ogunquit, set on the banks of a picturesque tidal river. Room offerings vary wildly: Standard Rooms have run-of-the-mill, kitschy motel decor with floral print curtains and boring pine furniture, but Superior Rooms have extra space, bigger bathrooms and vaulted ceilings. If you're going all-out, the homey vibe of the Two-Bedroom Waterfront Cottage can't be beat, thanks to its full kitchen, views and screened-in porch. Families with kids will likely appreciate the hotel's abundance of outdoor space, free rowboats, and heated outdoor pool.
The Beachmere Inn Rating: 3.0 Pearls
A waterfront property near Ogunquit, Maine, the Beachmere Inn is a family-run resort with simple, classic rooms spread through several buildings. The location is ideal, with views overlooking the ocean and coastal cliffs. Rooms here vary widely, and guests can choose between ocean-view suites with fireplaces and balconies or simpler options for those sticking to a budget. Beyond the location and views, perks here include a spa with two treatment rooms, a Jacuzzi, sauna, fitness room, and a kids' play room. The Beachmere Inn offers free Wi-Fi and signature cocktails at Bawdy Sally's pub, but some guests complain of loud wedding parties in the summer and some rooms -- specifically in the Bullfrog Cottage -- are in need of renovation.