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Reviewed 10 September 2012

This is the letter I sent the owner and manager after I got home:

To the Owner and General Manager:

I stayed at your resort over Labor Day for a 5 night stay. I would not return although there are some nice things I experienced there and I will list those along with the reasons I would not return. I also will not recommend your property as a place to stay.

I am a big fan of Kennebunkport and come every summer – sometimes going to Ogunquit. I love the area and come to relax and enjoy like most. I somewhat achieved that on this trip, but not fully due to what I perceive as a lack of attentive care. Your “resort” seems to rest on its laurels and truly needs a bit of TLC for visitors.

ROOM:
We were in a corner, 1st floor room in the adjacent building (#151).
- The floodlight you have right outside the window did not allow us to open the window or shade in the evening for fresh air. That is part of the appeal of going to Maine in the summer- to get out of the Washington, DC summer heat. VERY disappointing not to be able to open the window. No one can sleep well with that floodlight going right into your room. That window crank is in bad need of WD40. When I shut or opened it during the day, it is so loud, I felt I was disturbing the peace.
- On my first night, after a long day of travel, I got into bed and it was filled with sand. How disappointing to realize that housekeeping had made the bed but not changed the sheets. Interesting as I wonder what kind of management is there that staff feel they can cut corners like that. Next day we asked for a change but damage was done.

- On our first morning, both of us showered. There was a dirty ring around the bottom of the bathtub and the bottom of the bathtub was slippery- that type of slippery that occurs when the tub hasn’t been well cleaned in a long time. It was disgusting. I thought I might get some kind of fungus. We asked for it to be scrubbed but honestly, it felt the same every single day after our request. Just gross.
- I called and left a message in the manager’s voice mail. You think if a customer calls the manager, they are upset enough. There was no return call, no note – not a single response. What does that tell your customer? Dirty housekeeping enough to make us want to leave and no response from the manager. Lacking customer service or care – we will never know.
- Being on the first floor also was tough because we had to keep our curtains drawn a lot since we were right by the shuffleboard. People were right by our window a lot. It felt like we were goldfish.
- The ceiling must be made of paper as we could hear the walking around of the guests who stayed in the room over us every day. It sounded like heavy clumping around of a 300 lb. man. We could also hear their baby. It woke us up every morning. I was surprised at the sound travel from above.

FRONT DESK & STAFF
-The staff were all friendly but seemed to be sorely lacking in details about the property and offerings. On several occasions we called the front desk with questions – regarding activities and they said they didn’t know and would have to call back. We also ate dinner in the dining room one night and I picked my dinner after we had menus and drinks and that is when the waitress said the restaurant was out of the filet mignon. (Not before she gave us the menus but after we ordered!)
-On Sunday night, we went into your bar and sat at the bar. You had a wedding going and the bar had @ 15 people in there. There were two men behind the bar. NEITHER acknowledged our presence to say hello/welcome and they would be with us shortly. We saw they were busy and understand that but they did not even look at us. After @ 5 minutes we got up. When we got up to leave, one came to us and said they were busy and it would be a bit before they could get to us. By then we were turned off by the total lack of customer awareness and had decided to leave. You lost the income for us to drink and dinner and your staff sort of sealed the deal on us deciding not to come back. Hospitality training is much needed.
-The two times we went to have dinner at your outdoor seating and were very much looking forward to having dinner outside in the fresh air, it was closed. No notice given to customers that it would be closed. The first time I asked someone at the front desk about why it was closed and she said there was an event held there during the day and they just didn’t open it back up. We never got to eat outside and both times spent our money elsewhere.
-Kayaking- We kayaked on Sunday. You had two very nice, but young men in the boat/bike rental place and they got us on the way. We kayaked to the right to the golf course area. What SHOULD have happened and did not, is we should have been clearly told of time for high tide and the force of it as well as the likelihood of some rip tides and force in the narrow sections of the “inlet.” We got caught @ 1pm on the way back and went into a panic due to the riptide we got stuck in. We paddled to the side and somehow, after @ 10 mins of frantic paddling, made it out and worked incredibly hard to go against tide to get back. That was unnecessary panic on vacation and potentially dangerous but what makes matters worse and makes me angry is the following:
oWhen we told the two young men what had happened, they were well aware of the issues and told us how they had to help people when they went on guided tours and sometimes get out of boats and walk them over land as some don’t have the strength. They knew that it was an issue, but neglected to mention it to us when we went out. When there is an obvious area that can cause problems, I strongly suggest you train your staff to give guests a heads up. Not all of us have kayaked before. Not all of us have the strength to fight ocean high tide. We might have gone another time of day had we been told. Neglectful not to tell. Some training is in order.
oThe second issue is that we went on the Monday morning walk with Barbara and while she was a super open person, we did tell her of our kayak issue since she is head of that department. We mentioned that it could be helpful to future guests as it was very challenging and somewhat panic mode for us. She actually did not respond at all to the comments and kept talking about her family story she had been sharing with us. We were both quite shocked that she didn’t acknowledge what we had said or commented. When we got back to the hotel, we talked about her lack of comment or concern and thought it fit in nicely with the other lack of response and care from all of the above items I am communicating to you now.

I mentioned I would communicate the things that we enjoyed also. They included the lovely view out back, the live music at dinner and Monday night on the porch. The location was nice. It was nice to have the sailboat, bikes and kayaks on site. The food we ate in the dining room was good and the gentleman who managed the room and was wait staff sang and he was fun and great. None of this outweighed the bad and I will enjoy the town in another establishment.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank 0beachbum0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean Ginn M, Owner at Nonantum Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2012

Here is a copy of the response I sent to this particular guest the day they sent this e-mail to me:
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent stay. I am so sorry we were unable to supply you with the type of vacation you were looking for.
As you can imagine I spent today asking many different people for their version of what happened while you were here. Not surprisingly the stories I heard were very different from the one you shared.
I see little point in disagreeing with you on a point by point basis but I do want to assure you that our employees love this hotel (and so do I) and that we take very seriously any complaints from any customers. We work hard each day to insure that all our guests needs are met. Yes, sometimes we make mistakes but I can assure you they are just that – mistakes.
Some people like chocolate and some vanilla. That is why there are choices. Clearly you would be happier at another property. Fortunately there are many in this beautiful little town and I hope that you are able to enjoy their brand of hospitality more than you did ours.
Again, my apologies that you had such an unhappy stay here.
Respectfully,
Jean Ginn Marvin
Maine Innkeeper of the Year

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

We had a beautiful corner room with water view. Very comfortable room though the bathroom and showers could use a bit of improvement.
Breakfast and dinner at the hotel restaurant was pleasant.
it is surprising to see that there is no outside waterfront bar for a drink in the evening.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank diaden2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean Ginn M, Owner at Nonantum Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2012

It sounds like you had a delightful visit to The Nonantum! The corner rooms are especially nice as you can see the water from two directions.
I really like your idea for an outdoor bar area in the evening. We will have to put that on our list of suggestions for next season and see if we can find a spot! We do many outdoor cocktail receptions for wedding and people always love the breathtaking vistas from our back lawn and the sunsets are amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
Sincerely Yours,
Jean Ginn Marvin
Maine Innkeeper of the Year

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

We have been coming to the Kennebunkport area for 10 years now and this was our first stay at the Nonantum Resort. Considering the location of the resort, the amenities, price, quality of services, friendliness, and great breakfast each morning, the Nonantum is hard to beat. The staff is very friendly and we felt right at home - we will return.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Drosy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean Ginn M, Owner at Nonantum Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2012

How lovely to hear that as someone who has been to Kennebunkport several times you find the Nonantum "hard to beat"! Of course I agree with your assesment!
We are blessed with an ideal location. Many of our guests love being able to walk downtown and visit the many cute shops, restaurants and bars. You can also walk to the beach and many of our guests make that a daily ritual while they are visiting. Our staff works very hard each day to insure that all of our guests needs are being met. It isn't easy to make everyones vacation perfect, but we do our very best!
Thank you so much for your thoughtful remarks. We look forward to your next visit!
Best Wishes,
Jean Ginn Marvin
Maine Innkeeper of the Year

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Reviewed 7 September 2012

Visited on labor day for three nights and our family of five had a great time. Hotel accommodations were surprisingly comfortable and charming. Our room was in the main hotel (I should've requested a water view) and the entrance is sketchy. Old and outdated but they have obviously upgraded the rooms to start, well done. The hotel staff were accommodating and sincere, from check-in to check-out. Full breakfast is included which was a cost saver, eggs are over done though. Would definitely stay again if traveling with kids.

Room Tip: Ask for water view
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Tracey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean Ginn M, Owner at Nonantum Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2012

Hello Tracey:
Thank you very much for your very nice review! We are in a constant state of renovation in this 129 year old building. (We are closed from Mid Dec-Mid April so we save the really big projects for winter!) I do not know how hotels that are open all year can keep up with their updating!
Now that it is September and the kids have gone back to school, we have kind of switched from family time to empty nester time. Nearly all of our during the week guests are couples enjoying a romantic getaway - although there are plenty of girlfriend getaways and families with pre schoolers too!
I hope you are having a wonderful fall!
Warm Regards,
Jean Ginn Marvin
Maine Innkeeper of the Year

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Reviewed 6 September 2012 via mobile

We've been here at least four times and it is our favorite vacation spot in Maine.
The place is very clean, the staff is wonderful, and we will definitely go back again.
Try it once and tell us your thoughts.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Bob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jean Ginn M, Owner at Nonantum Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2012

Hi Bob:
We so appreciate your continued patronage! Many of our guests come back over and over again and it gets so we consider them part of the family! We are also happy to hear that you are enjoying our yummy breakfasts! As the calendar turns to fall we will have several new specials on our buffet - you may want to plan a fall visit to check these new treats out!
We are also delighted to hear that you noticed the hard work of our Housekeeping staff! Keeping a property this size sparkling clean is no easy task!
Thank you for taking time to write!
Jean Ginn Marvin
Maine Innkeeper of the Year

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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