Is your idea of the perfect Maine vacation sitting on a warm sandy beach shaded by a colorful umbrella, iced cocktail in hand? Or, would you prefer being comfortably nestled in a mountain hideaway, sipping your morning coffee from a balcony overlooking a tree-rimmed lake? These are just two of the vacation experiences awaiting you in a Maine resort. Prepare to be suitably pampered, whether your idea of vacation is non-stop adventure or the simple pleasure of doing nothing at all.
What Exactly is a Resort?
Sometimes the line between deluxe hotel and resort is a fine one. There are certainly many high-end Maine hotels that offer supreme customer service, to-die-for amenities and onsite activities. Resorts tend to take things a bit further and in some cases revolve around a special theme, such as golf or skiing. Wilderness resorts offer creature comforts, sometimes a bit more rustic, combined with the chance to hunt, fish or just explore the natural world.
The theory around the resort lifestyle is that everything you could ever possibly need for your vacation is at your fingertips. Once you check-in, you don’t have to step foot off the resort to find restaurants, pubs, swimming pools, wellness spas and recreational activities. If you decide to go off-property, an amiable concierge sees to your every wish.
Pricing at resorts varies according to season, quality and type of property. As an example, a deluxe property with a great waterfront location could range from $155 per night in the low season and $340 per night in mid-summer. Special packages that include activities such as golf, spa services or meals also affect pricing, as do long term stays.
Maine offers resorts within steps of sandy beaches, near coastal towns or villages and deep within the wildlife rich interior. Choose from large properties with hundreds of rooms, or more intimate establishments with only a few guests sharing your space. It is even possible to find clothing optional resorts for those wanting to spend their vacation wearing little more than a smile.
Maine Golf and Ski Resorts
In a state that is home to over 140 golf courses, it is not surprising that some of these recreational gems are affiliated with resorts. Point Sebago Resort, on Point Sebago Lake, has been welcoming guests for more than 40 years. In the warmer seasons guests enjoy an 18-hole championship course with emerald green fairways surrounded by forest. If you’re looking for winter fun, Point Sebago offers onsite cross-country ski trails and the chance to enjoy other winter sports within minutes of the property.
Sugarloaf Ski & Golf Resort is in the Carrabassett Valley, part of the Maine Lakes & Mountains Region. Spend your winter vacation skiing, snowboarding and even zip-lining over the snow-covered terrain. In summer, tee off at a scenic 18-hole course that has been a favorite of Golf Course Digest Magazine for more than 26 years.
Sunday River Resort, in Bethel, offers golfers the chance to play on an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones. Winter guests have a choice of 131 ski trails as well challenging terrain parks for snowboarders. Saddleback Mountain Resort, in the Rangeley Lakes Region, offers skiing during the winter and golfing on two 18-hole courses the rest of the year. This family friendly resort also offers the chance to get out and enjoy the areas six large lakes and countless smaller ones.
Coastal Maine Resorts
The Samoset Resort near Rockland sits on a peninsula overlooking West Penobscot Bay. Surrounded by the greens of the Samoset Golf Course and offering luxurious suites and cottages, this high-end resort is also family-friendly. Parents can head off for a golf game or a massage in the health spa while leaving their little ones at the Samoset Kid’s Club. Founded in 1889 as the Bay Point Hotel, it has changed hands and designs several times during the last century. Today the property hosts conventions, weddings and vacationers from around the world, drawn to the eye-popping waterfront location.
Located in Lincolnville, the Inn at Ocean’s Ledge offers luxury accommodations surrounded by 22 acres of manicured gardens, lush lawns and hardwood forests. The inn is a more intimate resort, with only 30 vintage rooms in the two main buildings and 2 luxury suites fronting the infinity pool. It operates as a cross between B&B and upscale resort. This is the place to grab a book and relax in an Adirondack chair overlooking the Atlantic while you recharge those work-weary batteries.
Near Acadia National Park, the Claremont has been welcoming guests to its Mount Desert Island locale since 1884. The historic building offers 24 guest rooms in all their vintage glory, as well as 14 cottages. This low-keyed resort offers the chance to sit on a rocking chair on a century old veranda and do some shore-side whale watching. If you prefer, get up and stretch your legs on one of the hiking and biking trails that criss-cross the island.
Maine’s Wilderness Resorts
The Birches Resort on Moosehead Lake is one of Maine’s more rustic resorts. Choose from rooms and suites in the main lodge or private cottages with names like Stanger in Paradise or Moose River Lodge. Open year-round, this resort offers kayak and wildlife watching adventures led by registered Maine guides. The resort, surrounded by 11,000 acres of wilderness, offers plenty of trails for hiking or skiing in season. Onsite massages and a lakeside lounge and restaurant are available.
Also in Maine’s interior is the Forks Resort Center, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Part of the Northern Outdoor Resorts family, this locale offers guest rooms in the main lodge, built of whole hewn logs and featuring a river-stone fireplace. Enjoy modern amenities such as internet Wireless access, an arcade room, pool, hot tub and an onsite brew pub. At the same time, prepare to venture into Maine’s back-country, in search of moose, songbirds or the simple serenity found when communing with Mother Nature.
While traveling in Maine, whether to one of the many lakes or along the coastal byways, you should look into a timeshare rental. The timeshare lifestyle is convenient and very practical if you enjoy traveling with a little luxury. Maine timeshares are often more spacious and homelike than a hotel, with luxurious features like multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, private balconies and extra living space. Many units also feature a washer/dryer en suite. Maine timeshare resorts are also known for their great on-site amenities including swimming pools, restaurants, beach access and tennis courts. Best of all when you rent a timeshare from a current owner, it doesn’t cost any more than booking a hotel room!