New pool, spa, restaurant, and other renovations at Maine’s oceanfront Samoset Resort notch up its luxury status


The truly oceanfront Samost Resort edges Penobscot Bay, with views to Vinalhaven and North Haven islands as well as out to the adjacent Rockland, Maine, breakwater. Hilary Nangle photo. If you haven’t been to Maine’s Samoset Resort in a while, you’ll be amazed at the changes. I toured the oceanfront resort in Rockport, overlooking Penobscot Bay and adjacent to the Rockland Breakwater, with general manager Connie Russell, who showed off the recent improvements. He has a right to be proud. Many accommodations use the word resort, but few live up to it. The Samoset does.

Among the changes since my last visit:

It would be easy to spend the day at the Samoset Resort's pool, enjoying a light lunch at the Splash Bar and perhaps playing games on the adjacent lawn. Hilary Nangle photo. • a new zero-entry pool: Dive in and savor the views of windjammers sailing by the Breakwater Light and golfers on the course; warm up on a chilly or foggy day in the large hot tub; have lunch at the Splash Pool Bar.

What you can't see in this photo is the hot tub on the oceanfront deck of the Flume Cottage. Courtesy photo.

• the Flume Cottage, built on ledges at the ocean’s edge and with a hot tub on its oceanfront deck, plus three other one- and two-bedroom  guest cottages clustered near the shorefront and on the golf course, all with spectacular views.

Savor Mediterranen flavors at the Samoset Resort's new La Bella Vita restaurant and adjacent Enoteca antipasti bar. Hilary Nangle photo La Bella Vita Restaurant, the new Mediterranean-themed dining area (replacing Marcel’s) is both casual and chic, it  flows both internally and externally, with tables inside overlooking the deck, which in turn overlooks the golf course and ocean. For a special occasion, consider the glass-walled wine room. A daily happy hour features discounted drinks and tapas specials.
Wonderful pizzas emerge from tthe wood-fired over at La Bella Vita and Enoteca at the Samoset, in Rockport, Maine. Hilary Nangle photo.

Enoteca Wine Bar &Lounge, flows from the dining room indoors and patio outdoors. Grab a seat at the bar to watch chefs prepare antipasti platters or tend pizzas in the brick oven.  (Hint: The Umbria piza, with wild mushrooms, asiago cream, truffle oil, and arugula  is scrumptious; $11).

The Spa at the Samoset, offering facials, massages, body treatments, and salon services as well as a small lounge and outdoor patio area.

What you can't see in this photo are a windowed nook and a deck, both with prize-worthy views over the golf course to the Atlantic. Courtesy photo. renovated lobby, with new deck (views!) and windowed nook. The main stairway has been moved back to its original location, making the space far more guest friendly.

updated room decor: One of the best parts of the Samoset is that all the rooms are quite spacious and have at least ocean glimpses if not jaw-dropping views. Updating the decor is ongoing, but if you prefer a more modern look, ask for one of the rooms that’s received a facelift (personally, I prefer the traditional decor).

From the Samoset's deck, you can look out over the golf course to boats sailing in Penobscot Bay. Hilary Nangle photo.Other signature Samoset facilities and programs include the oceanfront 18-hole golf course (Not a golfer? The pro shop offers a 45-minute narrated cart tour that covers the resort’s history and highlights signature holes); the health club with indoor pool; lawn equipped with croquet, shuffleboard, volleyball, tetherball, etc; and summer children’s programs.

As always, the best deals are the packages.