This Review of the Cliff House near Ogunquit, Maine is from our recent site inspection stay. Visiting Maine? Note that there is currently a 14-day quarantine requirement, unless you have recently tested negative for Covid-19 or are visiting from Vermont or New Hampshire.
The Cliff House Maine Location and Check-in
The Cliff House is located at 591 Shore Road in Cape Neddick, near Ogunquit, Maine. It's about a 1.5 hour drive from Boston, and about a 1 hour drive from Portland, Maine, depending on traffic.
After turning up the drive, we came to a checkpoint, where our temperatures were taken, and we were provided a self-parking pass to put on the windshield.
In front of the lobby itself, one guest checks in while the other guests remain in the car. Currently, under Covid-19, there is self parking only, no valet parking.
The lobby and reception area is well-marked with arrows and footprints indicating the flow of traffic and how far apart to wait, to ensure social distancing. All the front desks were fitted with plexiglass, and all newly issued room keys have been sanitized.
The lobby area near the reception is cozy, with plenty of comfortable seating, a wooden ceiling, and a fireplace.
But pass through the main lobby toward the stairs to take in the gorgeous two-story panoramic windows of the cliffs and Atlantic Ocean. Just outside the doors, the resort's signature Tiller Restaurant offers terrace seating, drinks, and light bites.
TravelSort Clients enjoy these Virtuoso benefits at the Cliff House Maine:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily Continental Breakfast for two guests per bedroom ($60 breakfast credit per day. Gratuities not included)
- Cliff House Maine signature “Sea Bag” tote. (Tote is made in Maine from recycled sails, $145 value)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Oceanfront Room in the Ledges Building
The Cliff House was extensively renovated in 2016, and the new Ledges Building opened in 2018. The ground floor is considered the 3rd floor, and we were on the 5th floor. When there were other guests waiting for the elevator, we simply took the stairs up or down two flights.
Our Oceanfront Room was 475 square feet (44 square meters), and long enough to comfortably accommodate two king size beds. This unusual set up (since most luxury hotel rooms have one king bed or two queen or double beds) worked extremely well, and would be more comfortable for a family than the more standard two queen beds, given the extra width of the beds. The pillowtop mattresses were comfortable, much better than the very firm ones at most Park Hyatts, if not as plush as Four Seasons.
The night stand between the beds had a phone and alarm clock, and the alarm clock had two additional power outlets to charge devices, in addition to the one in the wall.
The bathroom, due to the room's long and narrow shape, was small and not, in our opinion, what a luxury hotel bathroom should be like. There was just one sink, the toilet wasn't in a separate chamber or even an alcove, and there was no soaking tub, only a regular shower, not even a rain shower. While everything was new, it seemed the developers really cut corners here.
In fact, none of the rooms have a soaking tub, and even many of the suites don't. If a tub is crucial, book far enough in advance to secure one of the few specialty suites that have a separate soaking tub.
Bath products are by Red Flower:
On the table by the entrance, there was a bottle of water, glasses, an ice container, and a welcome gift of Maine wildflower seeds. We don't have green thumbs, but it's a thoughtful memento and we may give it to friends who have better luck with plants.
The Virtuoso amenity is a Cliff House signature tote bag made from recycled sails. It's cute, but we have so many bags, we definitely would have preferred a $100 dining credit. For clients who have an AMEX Platinum or Centurion card, we're able to obtain a $100 spa services credit for them.
The best aspect of the Oceanfront Room is the view, visible both from the inside of the room and from the two chairs on the private balcony.
Here's our Cliff House Maine YouTube Video Review:
The Cliff House Outdoor Swimming Pools
The Cliff House has an indoor lap pool, but the real attractions during the summer months are the outdoor salt water pools. The Resort Pool, closest to the lobby and Tiller Restaurant, is free form, with the best ocean views. It is clearly designated as only for adults and teens 13 and older, although we did see a mother with her baby there, whom another guest complained to me about.
Next to the Resort Pool is a hot tub, which is open year round (the outdoor pools, although heated, are typically only open June-early September).
The Family Pool is right across from The Ledges Building, and it was very busy the afternoon we arrived–so much so that we avoided it. Mornings are probably a better time to visit it, when fewer guests were there.
We enjoyed our stay at the Cliff House Maine, especially the dramatic ocean views. Our upgraded Oceanfront Room with two king beds in the Ledges Building was very fresh, as expected, since these rooms just opened in 2018. It's unusual to have two king beds, but certainly more comfortable for a family, given the wider size.
Only the bathroom left us disappointed, particularly for a new room, since it was small, with just one sink, no separate toilet chamber, and no rain shower or soaking tub. This is a major shortcoming with the new rooms, at least for true luxury hotel positioning. We also would like to see a better Virtuoso amenity of either a $100 dining or $100 spa services credit, since in no way do we value the tote bag at $100, much less the purported $145 value the hotel assigns to it.
We were impressed with what the resort has done so far in terms of COVID-19 precautions, acquiring over 50 UV machines to disinfect public areas as well as rooms and suites between guest stays; installing a HEPA filter in each room and suite; and ensuring that all staff wear masks or are behind plexiglass sneeze guards in the reception area when interacting with guests.
The resort welcomes both couples and families, and two separate heated outdoor pools really help in giving each of the groups their space. The family pool was very crowded when we were there, so not all families will necessarily feel comfortable during peak times at that pool. The adults-only resort pool was much calmer and it was easier to social distance there.
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