This week, Living’s executive editor (and resident travel expert), Yolanda Edwards, hosted Maine Week on her blog, Travels With Clara. We are dying to visit all of Yolanda’s favorite spots—check out her other posts here, and head over to her blog to see more photos. For her final post, Yolanda gives us a tour of Hidden Pond. . . .
Hidden Pond is one of those all-too-rare properties that gets five stars for being perfect for families. First of all, you get your own cottage, with lots of space around it—with plenty of trees and plantings grown in, so it feels private. I think they’re also spaced out enough that your kid could be having a meltdown, or you could be having an argument, and nobody would hear you. Which is good, since the other families staying at the property will become your friends pretty quickly. Although we arrived at about 8:30 p.m. for check-in, we let Clara go for a late swim. Within 60 seconds, she had befriended Catherine, a girl the same age, and we were talking a mile a minute with her parents (we are still friends and visited them in Virginia over spring break). In the distance, there was a bonfire, with s’mores being cooked up by other families.
Back in the cottage, which was a lovely two-bedroom, the beds were perfect—great mattresses, great bedding. A screened-in porch perfect for hearing the sounds of a summer night. A full kitchen, so you can make your own coffee in the morning, or help yourself to wine whenever you like. We didn’t cook in it, but it was nice to know we could if we wanted to. Every morning, a light breakfast is delivered to the front porch—along with the newspaper. There’s usually some fruit, yogurt, and a pastry/muffin.
Now back to the macro reasons of why you would love this place: Technically, the property is in Kennebunkport (about which all I knew was that the Bush family has a home there), but actually, it’s on a quiet rural road, a 10-minute drive from “civilization.” You feel like you have options if you leave—plenty of them, from exploring just in Kennebunkport town (just to park in the Honor System parking lot and to go to Daytrip Society, both adult and kid stores, and Anniebells—or to dinner at The Ramp), or to the Goose Rocks beach, which Hidden Pond is affiliated with, so you can have lunch on the beach and just sign it to your room. Or you could drive up to Portland and have lunch at Eventide, or dinner at Fore Street, and do some shopping in between (if it’s a rainy day!). But you’ll probably just want to sit tight, hang by the pool, and relax.
There’s also the Tree Spa, the fantastic spa onsite—where you can have a treatment in a treetop room, with products from Farmaesthetics (from Rhode Island). (I had an amazing therapist and treatment!) There are bikes for all sizes that you can use during your stay. And definitely have dinner at Earth, a special restaurant—it is definitely not casual dining, so you might want to spring for a sitter if you go.
It’s definitely one of my favorite properties I’ve ever been to (Clara still talks about it and is dying to go back) and it’s just amazing that they could successfully create a proper five-star property/experience that you’d be happy to go to no matter where it is. But it’s in Maine, so you get all the pluses of getting to explore the Pine Tree State at the same time.
Above: the family pool. Below: the adult pool.
Outside the restaurant Earth…
The fantastic restaurant Earth, which is on-property.
Above: the setup of help-yourself lemonade and iced tea in the bar next to the pool. There’s also a basket of sunscreen and bug repellent.
The bar near the family pool . . .
Provisions is the little store on-property where you can buy everything from light groceries (remember, there’s a full kitchen in the cottages) to sunscreen (they have great brands like Coola) to activity kits (should it be rainy). Outside, there’s an herb-and-vegetable garden that guests can help themselves to . . .
Our front porch, with the cooler that has the morning-paper delivery, along with a simple breakfast.
Above and below, Provisions…
Above two pictures: our cottage . . . flowers from the garden that were in the vase upon our arrival . . .
At Goose Rocks Beach.
Kennebunkport . . . Daytrip Society has such a wonderful edit of stuff in their kids’ store, Daytrip Society Jr.
At The Ramp, a restaurant that has probably the best décor ever.
There’s a long wait usually, so be prepared for that . . .