The White Barn Inn
If academic degrees were awarded to resorts and inns, the White Barn Inn located in Kennebunkport, Maine, would graduate summa cum laude – with the highest distinction.
Built as a farm-house, dating back to 1820, the Boothby family, who were the owners in 1887, added a large porch to the front of the property, divided the upper floors into guest rooms, constructed large airy rooms on the ground floor, et voilà, you had a charming delightful boardinghouse.
Much has changed since these early days, when it was known as the Forest Hill Inn. It was renamed in 1973 and has also undergone considerable renovations in order to achieve and maintain its AAA Five Diamond status.
As a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux Association, the unpretentious international staff, as well as its informal general manager, Roderick Anderson, strictly adheres to the association’s philosophy: all members must be devoted to catering to their discerning guests with a passion for hospitality and pampering. In addition, each establishment must reflect the five “C’s”-courtesy, charm, character, calm and cuisine.
It is little wonder this establishment has earned top honors and accolades. Condé Nast Traveler “Readers Choice Awards” recognized the inn as one of the “Top 25 North American Small Hotels.” In 2003, Travel and Leisure placed the inn among the top five hundred greatest hotels in the world.
Tucked away on a residential street in picturesque Kennebunkport, and located less than a mile from Gooch’s Beach to the south, the intimate inn’s suites and its several cottages with its private patios and entrances, provide the classic environment to escape from the chaos of urban life. Where guests can soak up the exhilarating ocean air that will rejuvenate mind, body and soul within a setting of peace and tranquility.
Added to all of this is that it is only 80 miles from downtown Boston and 25 miles from Portland, Maine. It is also a stone’s throw away from the quaint fishing village of Cape Porpoise, where you can pick up the freshest lobster in probably all of Maine.
Stepping into anyone of the guest accommodations, you immediately are greeted with fresh flowers and fruit, plush terry cloth robes and Moulton Brown toiletries. Recently, the entire main house guestrooms as well as the junior suites have been tastefully renovated. The latter are named for their colors and each comprises expansive bathrooms with sleek black granite floors, white marble walls and seamless glass-enclosed rain-style showers. In addition, sleeping on king-size feather beds with down comforters and oversized upholstered headboards is something you can hardly refuse.
If the air should be a little chilly, every one of the junior suites comes equipped with a wood-burning fireplace and plenty of wood. The staff will even start the fire for you. In fact, they strongly recommend they attend to this chore, as you run the risk of smoking up your suite, if you should attempt this yourself.
Among the amenities offered are a more than an adequate continental breakfast, the morning newspaper, afternoon tea served with delightful goodies, port and brandy, turndown service, public-area fireplaces, lending library, touring bicycles, canoes and beach chairs.
The inn also boasts a unique swimming pool nestled into a landscape of birch and pine trees. Apparently the pool had been pattered after those found in many Swiss exclusive hotels.
Introduced recently are the in room massage services offered guests of the garden rooms, wharf cottages, junior suites, Mays cottage, the Loft and by the pool in the summer. These run the gamut from a Swedish massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, to a Four Hand Massage.
Ultimate Romantic Experience
For the ultimate in a romantic experience, and if you are a guest of the Junior Suites, Mays Cottage and the Loft Suite, you may wish to experiment with one of the inn’s bath services.
After setting up a time, a butler will arrive and transform your suite’s bath with richly fragrant waters reflecting one of your choices, the orchid milk bath, the goodnight (moon bath), it’s a good day bath or even the double bubble champagne bath. All drawn baths feature the finest quality Molton Brown bath and spa products. You need not worry about intruding on your privacy. As soon as the baths are drawn the butler discreetly disappears.
Although the inn is not set up for large wedding parties, they nevertheless can lay claim to setting up a most unique wedding ceremony. Recently, a justice of the peace performed a marriage ceremony while the groom’s rabbi participated in the ceremony via a telephone conference call. The wonders of modern technology!
The inn also proudly upholds its reputation as New England’s première AAA Five Diamond dining establishment, where the experience is nothing less than memorable and the food superb. We can all use a little dose of romance every once in awhile, and when you have the combination of candlelight and fireside quiet conversation with superior service, you can’t help but create the perfect romantic setting.
We had the pleasure of sampling the mouth-watering sautÃ¯Â¿Â½ed local halibut filet on a white asparagus and vanilla ragout with a Vidalia onion and potato cake. This had been preceded with a lobster spring roll with carrot, daikon radish and snow pea in a Thai inspired spicy sweet sauce.
After savoring these tasty delights, we understood why in 2002 Relais Gourmand recognized the creative, elegant and innovative cuisine of the White Barn Inn’s signature dining facilities. Wine Spectator in 2001 bestowed the Award of Excellence to the inn’s restaurant for having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world. Condé Nast Traveler‘s “Top 100 Readers’ Choice Awards” in 1998 ranked the dining facilities as highest in the world for a resort kitchen.
Just consider its incredible wine cellar with an international selection of more than 7000 bottles of carefully chosen wines, impeccable service, refined atmosphere and superb chefs, and you can appreciate why these prestigious publications have agreed with Relais Gourmand.
For luxury-loving travelers and sophisticated tastes the White Barn Inn and its restaurant will beyond doubt serve as that sought after impetus in realizing all of your romantic fantasies.