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 fire pits. 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 5 minutes away.
The Tides Beach Club Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport was fully renovated in 2011, and the vibe evolved from cozy to South Beach-esque and trendy. Two suites designed by Jonathan Adler, spectacular ocean views, and a contemporary restaurant with a sophisticated menu are just some of the upgrades that came with the renovation. The prices are a bit more Manhattan than Maine, but if it's beachfront luxury you're after, this is it -- The Tides sits on a semi-private three-mile stretch of Goose Rocks Beach.
The White Barn Inn & Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This award-winning, upscale inn offers a real boutique experience in charming Kennebunk. It is housed in a historic building, and so its 26 rooms vary greatly in size. However, they all feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, free Wi-Fi, and classic, elegant decor. The much-acclaimed restaurant serves outstanding (and pricey) seasonal cuisine in an 1820s restored barn, and the spa is arguably one of the best in the region. The cottages are quite a trek from the main building, so make sure you book a guestroom instead if you want to be close to the property's great amenities.
Captain Lord Mansion Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Captain Lord Mansion hotel, just an eight-minute walk from the town center, is a small classic inn featuring Victorian-style rooms. Each room's decor varies slightly, but all feature four-poster beds, numerous paintings, and antique-style Victorian furniture -- cozy to some, gaudy to others. Modern amenities such as iPod docks and flat-screen TVs bring the rooms to this century, and the hotel offers tons of freebies including free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and bicycle rentals. The hotel lacks amenities like a fitness center and a pool (though there is a small spa).
James Place Inn Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The intimate James Place Inn offers seven rooms on a quiet street near central Freeport and local shopping. The polished rooms are named for the color on the walls, and some come with fireplaces or soaking tubs. One of the most outstanding features is the free, extensive breakfast made up of homemade items. This family-run inn might be in a historic Victorian home, but it also offers modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Some nice extras include a peaceful outdoor deck and cozy hammock.
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. While perks such as free Wi-Fi and breakfast are nice, some guests complain about the presence of too many dogs and the minimum stay requirements.
Dockside Guest Quarters Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The Dockside Guest Quarters hotel has large, bright rooms with a lovely (yet basic) seaside-cottage style. Though the decor in each room varies slightly, most rooms feature shades of blues and yellows, stripes and flower prints, and balconies overlooking the sail boat-dotted water. The hotel lacks amenities like a fitness center and a pool, but guests enjoy perks such as free bicycle rentals, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast in the often-crowded breakfast area.