Kennebunkport, Maine is renowned for its beachfront homes that don’t shy away from overstated grandeur and opulence. Especially along the miles-long Goose Rocks Beach, where picture-perfect villas are accessorized with wrap-around porches just steps away from the sand. Tucked into this assembly of homes sits The Tides Beach Club, a 21-room hotel offering the feel of an intimate bed and breakfast.
The property has been used as a hotel since 1899 but was purchased by Kennebunkport Resort Collection in 2010 for a complete renovation. “The primary goal of the renovation was to incorporate a light and airy feel throughout the property by creating an open floor plan for the restaurant and social spaces in the lobby,” explains Ophelia Muradian, general manager at The Tides Beach Club and Hidden Pond (another KRC resort), who notes that the former property felt darker due to multiple enclosed spaces.
Along with transforming the guest rooms, Muradian says the property combined the front rooms to form the Jonathan Adler Suites—the property’s most requested rooms—to offer premium, beachfront suites in Kennebunkport. “Louise Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Designs in Kennebunk, Maine brought her quintessential coastal Maine design accents and color palette to honor this grand dame’s presence on Goose Rocks Beach.”
Today, the property reflects that “airy feel” with its welcoming common spaces, including the indoor-outdoor restaurant that meshes into bar and lounge seating to attract locals and non-hotel guests for happy hour and their famed watermelon cosmopolitan (best enjoyed on their spacious front porch).
Below, Muradian discusses more about the property’s design and culinary offerings (emphasizing the local bounty of fresh seafood!) as well as some of the most popular happenings at the Tides Beach Club.
How does the hotel connect to its beach locale through cuisine and design?
Through food, our focus is to offer a menu that celebrates seafood and locally harvested ingredients. We are fortunate to have such incredible access to fish mongers, local oyster cultivators and small family farms, that we endeavor to highlight the fruits of their labor through the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus. From a design standpoint, we’ve preserved many of the historical features of the original inn, while adding a modern take on the décor. The original sign of the hotel hangs in the lobby as a design element and we’ve preserved the front porch as a social space, which is so important to any beachfront home. The building is full of windows which allows for the sea air to pour in on warm summer nights.
What is the most requested room at the Tides Beach Club?
The most requested rooms are our two Jonathan Adler suites.
What makes it so special?
Each room spans half of the width of the building, offering the most spacious accommodations in the hotel. They are decorated with fun splashes of color and Adler’s whimsy throughout the sleeping space and bathroom. The two rooms share half of a private deck, which is partitioned off to give each room a front-and-center (but private) view of Goose Rocks Beach and the Goosefare Bay.
What room is your personal favorite?
My favorite room is Room 304, which is our King Oceanfront Room. This room encompasses the front dormer of the building and protrudes out above the outdoor deck of the oceanfront suites. It has a complete 180-view of Goose Rocks Beach from its windows on all three walls. It’s the closest you can get to sleeping on the beach without getting sandy!
Are there any fun facts about the hotel and rooms?
Room 305 is known as “Emma’s Room” which was the bedroom of the original proprietor, Emma Foss. The building was designed by architect John Calvin Stevens and has hosted famous guests such as Theodore Roosevelt and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The property burned down in the 1940s and was rebuilt to the original standards of the property.