I had been to Boston a few times, but never to the New England coast and was excited about a road trip with friends. Our first stop was Kennebunkport, the weekend home of former US President Bush, and a popular town near the beaches. I picked the Port Inn Kennebunk, an Ascend Collection property, based on what promised to be nice rooms at a reasonable price.
Location: The Port Inn is located in Kennebunk on Highway 1, not in Kennebunkport itself. It’s easy to reach from Interstate 95 and a 10 minute drive into Kennebunkport proper. The motel is set back from the highway, into the woods, making it very peaceful. The photo below (courtesy of the Port Inn website) gives you a great idea of how it is situated!
Service/Rewards: The front desk was very friendly and had us checked in quickly. They also provided us with local maps and tips, as well as all the hotel information we needed – they couldn’t have done better.
Housekeeping had done a nice job preparing our rooms and it was all clean, supplies fully stocked and all equipment working.
The restaurant staff kept the small breakfast area clean and the buffet stocked, despite the crowd in the morning.
As part of the Ascend Collection, the Port Inn belongs to Choice Hotels and participates the in Choice Privileges Rewards program. The elite level benefits of the program are pretty slim and there are no amenities or upgrades for Platinum members. The points posted for my stay without issues.
Room: The Port Inn is a renovated two-story motel, with exterior corridors and parking in front. We had upstairs rooms and the renovation was very well done. The room had thick, soft carpets in brown, dark brown wood furniture and a comfortable king-size bed with a high, wooden headboard. There is a single chair, as well as a large desk and office chair appropriate to get some work done.
The room also has a flat-screen TV, coffee/tea facilities and a fridge, as well as a full-length mirror.
The bathroom is split: The sink is in the bedroom – a motel layout I don’t really like. But it was nicely done with brown wood, a stone countertop and baskets holding the hair dryer and amenities.
The shower and toilet are in the bathroom proper with a door. The shower was over a tub, with a curved rod and curtain. The floor tiles were beige and the tub, toilet and shower tiles in white for a clean look. The dark brown furniture was a nice contrast. The towels and toiletries were of very good quality.
The room provided an upscale experience thanks to the quality of furniture, carpets, fixtures and amenities – despite the motel look from the outside!
Restaurant/Amenities: The Port Inn offers a motel-style pool across the parking lot with the US-standard fence around it. The pool is rather small, but there are enough loungers and tables with chairs around it to spend a relaxing afternoon in the sun!
The hotel also offers a guest laundry with washers and dryers. The front desk has detergent available and was happy to exchange coins for use. The equipment was in very good condition and worked well during our stay!
The Port Inn offers a free, hot breakfast as a buffet, including coffee, tea and juice, as well as pastries and fresh fruits. The highlight were the make-your-own waffles that went well with the scrambled eggs and meats. The overall selection and quality was good, but more representative of a mid-scale motel than an upscale hotel. The breakfast room was small and crowded during our visit in the busy season, but some outdoor seating provided relief.
The outdoor parking is free and the property is 100% smoke-free and pet friendly!
Bottomline: The Port Inn is considered an upscale hotel as part of the Ascend Collection. The price of $216/night during high-season was competitive with other offers in the area and the friendly service and nicely renovated rooms justified it. The exterior corridors, fenced pool and basic breakfast are more reminiscent of a budget motel and as a result, I’d call this a midrange hotel. I’d stay here again and recommend to give it a try, as long as you moderate your expectations.