above: The White Barn Inn has been a beloved local landmark for over 150 years. – Photography: Auberge Resorts Collection
Maine is always a good idea. But Maine in the warmer months, with its beaches, boating and buttered rolls stuffed with fresh lobster, is the quintessential New England escape. Vacationland beckons with many worthwhile stops along its rocky coastline—from Biddeford to Bar Harbor—but Kennebunk makes for an easy trip from Connecticut, especially when you’re settling in at The White Barn Inn.
Tucked away from the town’s busy center—which becomes heavy with foot traffic during peak months as visitors shop, line up for seafood and seek out ice cream—the Inn offers a quiet refuge to unwind and indulge. The historic site, originally constructed in the 1860s, includes twenty-seven rooms spread among the buildings that surround the namesake barn. For extra privacy, book one of four waterfront cottages on the White Barn Marina, and wake up to unobstructed water views. Each of the hotel’s spaces embraces its farmhouse history but features contemporary finishes and a modern designer’s touch, courtesy of Jenny Wolf Interiors (her Pound Ridge store, The Huntress, should also be on your must-visit list), who completed a redesign in the summer of 2020. The result is at once elegant, inviting and cozy.
Because the Inn is an Auberge Resorts Collection property, the service is exceptional. Take the welcoming staff up on an offer to coordinate tailored excursions during your stay, whether you’re borrowing bikes to explore the area with a private tour from the general manager or driving off in search of antiques at stops recommended by a local collector. Of course, staying on-site is just as tempting, with an award-winning spa and an outdoor infinity pool available for guests.
Whatever lands on your itinerary, a meal in the picturesque barn is mandatory. This year, White Barn Inn is celebrating fifty years as a fine-dining destination with a series of events that highlight the bounty of the region and the mastery of chefs who put the restaurant on the culinary map, some of whom will be returning to recreate their favorite dishes. Choose from oyster and wine tastings, traditional lobster bakes and unforgettable menus paired with over-the-top cocktails. Chef Mathew Woolf also prepares seasonal fare in a more casual setting at Little Barn, but a guided epicurean experience under the wood beams and magical picture window in the main dining room is worth the trip alone.
White Barn Inn
37 Beach Avenue
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
Cottages nestled on the Kennebunk River enjoy panoramic views, include wood-burning fireplaces, and offer options for both families and couples to experience the coastal landscape.
HOME SUITE HOME
Come and go as you please from the Loft Suite, which comes with a private entrance, a balcony and 620 square feet to spread out.
When you’re done taking in the view from a Garden Deluxe Room, spend some time in the soaking tub.