-- After a long day of boating and swimming followed by a dinner of
fresh lobster, my family and I settled on our private porch to
watch a wedding on the lawn situated between our cottage and the
We, or the dozens
of other onlookers pausing on their way to and from their cottages,
didnt know the bride and groom or any of the 100 guests dressed in
their summer finest, but that didnt seem to disturb
In just two days,
it had become evident that Sebasco Harbor Resort, which marks its
75th anniversary this year, can handle all types of weddings or
events -- and the group dinners and special activities that go
along with them -- in stride.
While a good deal
of the charm of this 118-room, 575-acre property -- including the
scenery, colorful cottages and even its lighthouse -- is owed to
its history, the hands-on management of the owner and his staff
also play a part.
Owner Bob Smith
has the title of Lighthouse Keeper on his business card, even
though the 10-room lighthouse on site, built in 1940, never
actually functioned as such.
But its apparent
Smiths role as innkeeper, more than caretaker, is what drives him
in making his daily rounds.
Did you try the
blueberry pancakes? he asked our children, as we enjoyed an al
fresco breakfast on the spot of the previous days
Be sure to try a
boat ride, Smith suggested, before moving off to engage another
family in conversation. Where are you from? we heard him ask
But all of this
low-key friendliness in no way diminishes the more upscale aspects
of the resort, which was built in 1909 on Popham Peninsula at Casco
Bay, a one-hour drive north of Portland, Maine.
resort grounds feature the Gazebo on the Village Green, a perfect
setting for concerts and weddings; a nine-hole golf course; and a
well-equipped playground for families with young
The 118 guest
rooms at Sebasco Harbor Resort comprise three types of
accommodations: 10 lighthouse rooms, 23 cottages
with one to 10 bedrooms each and 37 in the more traditional main
For the 2006 high
season, the resort will debut a new room category, with 18 suites
housed in two eight- and 10-unit structures by Memorial Day
The decor in our
oceanview cottage was casual, with two bedrooms and a pullout couch
for our teenager as well as a small kitchen.
There is no air
conditioning at Sebasco, but we didnt miss it, as ocean breezes
kept us cool.
Kids seemed to
have the run of the property, especially in July and August, when
multigenerational gatherings appeared to be more the rule than the
Camp Merritt program for children ages 4 through 12 offers a range
of activities, such as a hike up Merritt Mountain, golf lessons
with a resident pro, arts and crafts, a field trip to Totman Cove
and a visit to the resort ice cream shop.
The kids camp is
open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and the staff provides snacks,
sunscreen and bug spray. Lunch is available for children whose
parents are occupied all day.
A highlight for
our teens was an evening at the Quarterdeck Recreation Center, the
resorts old-fashioned amusement arcade.
Daytime found us
poring over boating options: kayaking trips, sailing instruction,
canoeing and various sunset outings.
We opted for a
cruise aboard the Ruth, a vessel launched at Sebasco in
The 38-foot ship
is one of the longest continuously operated passenger boats on the
coast of Maine.
cruises on the Ruth include Pirate Adventures for kids, a
lobstering cruise and a lunch cruise at Cundys Harbor, during which
passengers disembark and dine at a local seafood
Because this is
rocky Maine, dont expect to spend days at the beach -- there isnt
one. But if your preference is to be in, rather than on, the water,
the resorts sea-water infinity swimming pool, fittingly perched
over the ocean, should fit the bill.
with a yen for relaxation can head to the fitness center for a spa
treatment, such as the Maine Ocean-Tumbled Hot Stone Massage. The
resort plans to open a full-service spa on site in 2007.
at Sebasco -- and a benchmark of the resorts dedication to the
luxury market -- is the dining, which walks that fine line between
casual and gourmet.
late on a Friday evening, we had to have our first meal at the only
on-property eatery still open at that hour, the Ledges Pub, where I
had a first-rate lobster salad I was still thinking about days
We also dined at
the tonier Pilot House, which offered a fine-dining experience and
stellar views but with a relaxed dress code.
The resort is
open mid-May to late October, with MAP and EP meal plans
season tends to draw a combination of empty-nesters and conference
attendees during the week and wedding parties, including families,
on the weekends.
accommodations choice for high-end clients is the six-bedroom Shore
Ledges Cottage, with two private porches and scenic water
high-season rate with cottage was $1,689 and will stay about the
same in 2006.
reporter Felicity Long, send e-mail to [email protected].