Hotel Cliff House Maine is a place like no other. The name says it all – the hotel sits on a massive cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This scenic location, unique for the East Coast, grabs your vision from the moment you walk in. Walls of windows bring the ocean straight to your eyes from the lobby, restaurant, and manicured grounds. If you like the oceanfront setting for your Maine vacation, it cannot get any better than that. But the views are just the beginning! At Cliff House Maine, the service and amenities match the outstanding natural beauty. In this post, you will learn why this one of a kind hotel can easily be considered a travel destination on its own.
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HOTEL CLIFF HOUSE MAINE – A DESTINATION ON ITS OWN
Before I discovered Cliff House, I thought I knew almost every stretch of coastal Maine, but to my surprise, I didn’t. And no wonder since this most spectacular part of Southern Maine belongs to the hotel and is not listed anywhere as a natural attraction.
For my visit, I came for the views, and I got them! I believe there is no hotel like that on the entire East Coast. Yes, there is plenty of beautiful rocky shores, but a cliff like that is only one. The top-notch facilities only added to the splendor of this place.
History of Cliff House Maine
Cliff House was the vision of the enterprising Elsie Jane Weare, a captain’s wife and mother of seven, who traveled to Maine on the Boston-Maine Railroad in 1866 and realized the location’s potential for a summer resort.
She purchased the Bald Head Cliff and began planning a tourism mecca. Her formula was simple: clean rooms, fine food (provided from the adjacent Weare farm), fresh air, personal hospitality, all in an incomparable scenic location atop the cliff.
Cliff House debuted in 1872, and its repute as a seaside retreat for the refined spread quickly. The resort enjoyed decades of success until World War II when the US Army took over the property as a stationed lookout for enemy ships. Although the resort was re-opened by the Weares and updated significantly throughout the 20th century, it never returned to its former glory.
That is until Destination Hotels, a hotel group that seeks properties manifesting a distinct sense of place, took over in 2000. Cliff House was reduced to its bones in late 2015 and rebuilt, tastefully transformed into the contemporary seaside luxury. It reopened in 2016.
Location of Cliff House Maine
Phone: (207) 361-1000
Located minutes from Ogunquit’s sandy beach and just over an hour north of Boston, Cliff House stretches across 70 oceanfront acres atop Bald Head Cliff on Maine’s southern coast. The resort is located 34 mi from Portland International Jetport Airport. It can also be reached from Boston Logan International Airport 70 miles away.
The resort features newly designed guest rooms and over 40 suites, and a classic New England Cottage. Additionally, it offers 25,000 square feet of new meeting and event space, including the new Atlantic Ballroom, oceanfront dining and bars, indigenous landscaping, and more.
- Maine Stations available on every floor, complete with coffee, tea, and fresh milk
- Oceanfront restaurants and bars
- Beautiful landscaping, pathways, gardens, and resort lawns
- 24-hour Fitness Center
- Two seasonal outdoor swimming pools
- Indoor swimming pool (open year-round)
- Indoor and outdoor resort hot tub (open year-round)
- Cover Bar and Grille at The Cove pool
- The Spa at Cliff House
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- The Tiller Restaurant
- Bald Head Coffee Co.
- Nubb’s Lobster Shack
- Events, adventures, and local excursions
- The entire resort is a non-smoking environment
- ATM available for guest use
- Shopping at Spoondrift in the resort lobby features the very best of Maine, including clothing, accessories, snacks plus gifts
- Private balcony with ocean views
- Serta Signature Suite Elite II mattresses
- In-room safe
- In-room steamer
- Two-line telephone lines with voicemail
- 55-inch flat-screen TVs
- In-room beverage chiller
- Cozy bathrobes
- Red Flower bath amenities
- PressReader Mobile App
- A/C in rooms & on-property
(Note: no coffeemakers in the room. Free coffee is available in common areas. )
What to do at Cliff House Maine
As I mentioned before, the hotel, with its vast oceanfront and fantastic amenities, can easily serve as a destination on its own. Here are the activities you can enjoy during your stay.
Explore the cliff and resort’s rocky shore
The oceanfront at the hotels is truly fantastic. It reminds me more of Maine state park and amazing Acadia National Park than a hotel ground. You will find a walkway along the shore, but you can easily access the rocks and even walk up to Bald Head Cliff.
I found it mesmerizing to watch the waves pounding the shore but be careful; they are powerful! You can also admire the views of the resort from many different angles. For the best experience, I suggest to get up for a sunrise.
View the sunrise and the sunset
Even though I love to see sunrises during my vacations, I often have a hard time getting myself out of bed to witness them. This is especially true when I first need to drive to a destination.
At Cliff House, this is not the case. I got up and just walked out the door to witness the sunrise at Cliff House Maine. I was the only one walking around, but since it was a resort’s grounds, I felt safe. The views were stunning, and the waves put on a powerful show.
Enjoy one of many sitting areas outside with a book or a drink
The resort lets you take advantage of its incredible oceanfront location. Sitting areas are scattered along the water and by the pool area. Some areas are communal, but there are many cozy sittings just for two.
Take a swim in the pool
Although the Cliff House sits straight on the ocean, the rocky shore prevents guests from swimming. The waves are stunning to watch but too powerful to take a dip. But you can take advantage of indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs.
Visit the art gallery
Cliff House has created The Gallery to highlight and pay homage to the talented local artists. The Gallery is curated by Chris Caraviello of the Van Ward Gallery, the premier regional dealer in contemporary and period fine art.
The Gallery is open to the public and can be found on the lower level, just below the main entrance adjacent to The Tiller restaurant and Tidemark lounge.
Enjoy dining at Cliff House
By partnering with local fisherman, farmers, distillers, and purveyors, Cliff House combines the region’s distinctive culture and tradition with culinary innovation and sustainable practices for an authentic and nuanced dining experience. Four dining options are available at Cliff House.
Do a little shopping
Shopping at Spoondrift in the resort lobby features the very best of Maine, including clothing, accessories, snacks, plus a variety of gifts.
Play a round of golf
Nestled adjacent to Cliff House is the Cape Neddick Country Club. This historic and picturesque 18-hole semi-private golf course is the perfect choice for guests wanting to golf while also taking in the incredible scenery that Maine boasts. Preferred tee times are available to resort guests through the Cliff House concierge.
Visit The Spa at Cliff House Maine
The 9,000 square foot luxury spa showcases the best in beauty and wellness practices, providing energy, therapeutic, and salt stone therapy as well as unique skincare and body treatments. Sauna and steam room are available.
Book in advance, before your arrival!
What to see outside of Cliff House Maine
Cliff House Maine is located in Cape Neddick, close the all major attractions of Southern Maine.
Visit the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse
The lighthouse sits on top of the Cape Neddick Nubble, which is a small rocky island. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country and visited by thousands of people each year. This lighthouse is worth a visit all year round and looks even more interesting when decorated for Christmas.
Visit Ogunquit, Maine
The village of Ogunquit is bustling in the summertime with shopping in boutiques and gift stores. Guests enjoy sampling homemade fudge and chocolate at the candy stores, ice cream, or dining at one of many local restaurants. In season, Ogunquit is a hotspot for nightlife and entertainment.
Perkins Cove in Ogunquit
Originally a small fishing community and artists’ colony, the Cove is a charming area that consists of local shops, restaurants, and scenic outlooks. Hugged by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a small harbor on the other, it offers picturesque dining with southern Maine’s beautiful views.
Enjoy the sunset at the Marginal Way
Perkins Cove is also the southern terminus of the Marginal Way, the famed cliff walk that meanders for a little over one mile along the ocean. The northern terminus is in downtown Ogunquit. Do not miss this attraction! The views are glorious.
One of the biggest draws to this area of Southern Maine is Ogunquit Beach. The 3.5-mile white sandy beach is ideal for fun in the sun. Its soft sand and gentle surf make this beach popular amongst families.
Rates at Cliff House Maine
Cliff House is very expensive. I have to be honest; I truly stretched my budget to say at this hotel. The daily rates start at about $400 for a partial waterfront room and go up to over $2000 per 4-person suite, and this is offseason!
Summer rates start at $580 for Partial Coastal View Room and $600 per Coastal View. I suggest not to book partial coastal view rooms. Your first plan view is going to be a flat roof that takes away from experience. If you are splurging for this hotel, go all the way to have a clear view of the ocean.
Cliff House Maine During Covid-19
I stayed three nights at Cliff House during my fall trip to see the best places for fall foliage in the Northeast. During that trip, I stayed in a lot of hotels in a few different states. As a resident of Pennsylvania, I was required to quarantine at all these states.
Out of all hotels I stayed at, I felt most comfortable at Cliff House. It was the only place where each time I entered the resort, my temperature was taken. It was also the only hotel where the staff clearly explained what I could not do with a quarantine status.
Social distancing rules were strictly enforced, and the one-way path was clearly marked through the resort. Rooms were spotless, but no daily service was provided due to Covid-19 safety regulations. Learn more: Traveling During Pandemic – What You Need to Know
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