After an exceptionally long and stressful work week, The Wonderer cottages is exactly the kind of place any adult wants to be. Kennebunk's newest adults-only getaway opened its doors for the first time in June, calling it "the rebirth of the classic Maine cottage getaway." The cottages, which are now owned by the same brilliant minds behind Batson River Brewing, are comprised of 17 tiny properties that are truly a beach home away from home. The experience alone makes one feel as though they're part of an ultra-exclusive club - but the kind that makes every adult feel as though they're one of the 'cool kids.' The bottom line is this: For couples visiting Kennebunkport, Wanderer Cottages has raised the bar to a height that few can compete against.
Spa comfort meets chic and attractive beach life as each cottage sports an idyllic oceanside theme, feeling like its own personal - but way cooler - brand of Polo Ralph Lauren meets Nautica. With enough of a Maine touch to make it entirely authentic, naturally. Looks aside, Wanderer Cottages offers a number of amenities from free bike rentals to a heated pool, and even breakfast delivered daily each morning... And that's all before one even unlocks their cottage door for the weekend.
Here's what else Wanderer has in store for its well-pampered guests.
Rosé Upon Check-In, And A Beach Cottage To Die For
The scene is perfectly set for those booking The Wanderer, as the drive through Kennebunkport is scenic enough to rid anyone of the blues. After pulling into this gravel-lined parking lot, the scene is set to begin melting whatever is left of anyone's stress. An old-school beach cruiser displays the name of the rental property proudly at the exit, complete with a surfboard on top to drive home the fact that this is no place for anyone who doesn't love the ocean.
At the entrance, guests will easily find reception in the cedar-paneled building to the right. After walking across the Hamptons-style patio (and taking in the gorgeous plants that line the property and the row of classic beach bikes ready to be rented), a helpful host is ready to assist. We were given a grand welcome with the option to take our complementary glasses of Rosé then or later on, and these celebratory beverages to start off the weekend also came with a gift card to nearby Batson River, the owners of which also happen to own the cottages.
The check-in alone was enough to make a guest feel as though they're well taken care of and are about to have a stellar - yet elevated - experience. A quick minute was all it took to fill out a rental form for Wanderer's bikes, easily recognizable due to the fun license plates that each one sports on the back. After this, we were given excellent suggestions on what to do, how to get around, and how to operate the keypad on the cottage door, which only makes the entire thing feel even more secure and private.
The pool sits in the center of the property, enticing guests with its nautical, pinstriped lounge chairs and deep blue water. At night, LED lights reflect different colors in the water, making one feel as though they might jump into a rainbow of colors rather than a perfectly-heated pool. Extra, yes - but entirely fitting of the scene that Wanderer has set.
Taking those first steps up the stairs in the cottage - which is lined with window boxes and hydrangeas - are like walking into a dream. That click of the door opening gives way to cool air from two window AC units that keep the large cottages at a perfect temperature for Kennebunkport's 85-degrees-or-higher summer days. However, not much would prepare guests for the cozy scene that awaits them inside.
Each cabin features shiplap walls that line each room, including the bathroom, with nautical themes that feel so true to the nature of this historic town. From ship ropes hanging on a cleat hitch to metal numbers that were likely once hung on the side of a yacht, this cottage is a boat-lover's dream. Even so, nothing was overdone; added to the mix were real plants (asparagus ferns) that sat atop vintage wooden side tables, various books on the history of surfing and ship lore, and black and white photos detailing the carefree lives of true Mainers enjoying the beach life decorated the living room wall.
The cottages are broken down into the following types:
- Little Cottages: Suitable for up to two adults, these cottages are studio-style and include a bedroom and a bathroom; a number of them are also dog-friendly.
- Big Cottages: We were booked in one of these for the night, and they feature one bedroom, ample living room space, and a roomy bathroom.
- Accessible Cottage: This features a similar layout, but with a ramp, roll-in shower, and grab bars.
- Dog-Friendly Cottages: For well-mannered dogs under 60 pounds, two dogs are welcome with a $40 fee/night, per dog, in select studio-style cottages.
Cottage Amenities At The Wanderer
If you thought this was it for Wanderer Cottages, think again. The amenities did not stop there, and it was more than enough to make a fantastic first impression. The sink, situated just outside the already-spacious bathroom, was lined with soap and small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body cleanser, and body cream by Grown Alchemist, high-end, holistic skincare brand that specializes in science-proven formulas for anti-aging. If scents of citrus, bergamot, damask, and chamomile weren't enough to whisk one away to a happier time and place, then it was the fluffy white towels - enough for multiple showers, the pool, and extras - to make a guest feel welcome.
Additionally, the two LG televisions - one situated in the bedroom and one in the living room - featured basic cable and were more than enough, if guests even planned on spending any time in front of the tube. Upon further exploration, it was determined that the couch in the living room was actually a pull-out and offered tons of seating space for a cottage such as this one, with two more comfortable swivel chairs on either side, to boot.
Soft pillows and a queen-sized bed that's firm without being rock-like allow a guest to truly relax, drifting off to sleep with dreams of their next beach day, feeling sun-kissed and radiant from Kennebunk's ocean air.
Starting The Morning Off Right
In the mornings, it's only expected to wake up hungry, especially being surrounded by so much fresh Atlantic air. After a day (or night, if you're a night owl) of Kennebunkport activities, guests will likely be hearing the rumbling in their stomachs. Not to fear, though - Wanderer has taken care of that, as well. Around 8 AM each morning, guests can find an insulated cooler bag with goodies from a local bakery. In ours, we found two apples, two cranberry juices, and three cheese danishes, which was the perfect way to start of the day with some delicious munchies before heading out in search of a full brunch or early lunch.
There's a Kuerig in each cottage, so making coffee in the mornings is not a difficult task. These easy-to-use machines pump out a single coffee each time, and Green Mountain k-cups provided the perfect caffeine jolt, accompanied by three different sugar options and half-n-half. This miniature coffee bar was situated conveniently atop a mini-fridge, which also held four complementary bottles of water.
Wanderer Cottages: Costs & Details
For those interested in booking a weekend at The Wanderer, prices range from $349/night to $475/night depending on the cottage type and time of the year. Lower prices ($349/night) can be found in October on weekdays, when the peak season in Kennebunkport is coming to an end. However, the money will be well-spent on these small pieces of beach heaven and the amenities they offer.
The Wanderer cottages are open seasonally from early July until late October, with 2022 being their first year of business in Kennebunk.
Cottages are adults-only, and are unable to accommodate children due to the small nature of the cottages themselves. This lends the property to a serene and quiet adults-only experience, with plenty of privacy.
Check-in is at 3 PM daily, and check-out is 11 AM, providing plenty of time for guests to enjoy their breakfast and coffee the morning before their departure. Across the street is also Bennett's, one of Maine's most famed sandwich shops.
Tips For Staying At The Wanderer
There are some additional things to know about Wanderer Cottages that made things that much easier along the way.
- Cruiser bikes are available for use, and guests can make the trip to downtown Kennebunkport in about ten minutes
- Reception recommended RideMaine, which is a golf cart shuttle service. Not only is the ride a blast, but the service is friendly, efficient, and quick - we were able to schedule transportation to Kennebunkport for dinner via text within a half hour, and schedule a ride back within 45 minutes of finishing dinner. For $5 per person, it's a tough deal to beat.
- While there are a plethora of places to dine in Kennebunkport, the $50 gift card we were given at reception led us to Batson River, which had an awesome atmosphere - chill vibes and laid-back indeed, playing throwback club hits alongside the best lobster roll to grace this side of New England.
- Walking to Kennebunkport takes about 25 minutes, which isn't bad for the avid walker who doesn't mind a bit of exercise on vacation.
- Looking for the beach? Wanderer Cottages is 0.8 miles from Mother’s Beach, two miles from Gooch’s Beach, and seven miles from Goose Rocks Beach. Note: Kennebunkport beaches require a $25 parking fee.
- If guests need assistance, reception is open until 7 PM every night, and are incredibly easy to find around the property!
For those who consider the beach their comfort zone, Wanderer Cottages is a home away from home. For those who are new to the coast - and, specifically, to Maine - Wanderer provides an unforgettable first experience.