My friend and I (late 40's) chose this resort for our annual "girls only" fall getaway.
Location: A fantastic location within walking distance of the Marginal Way (one of the paths literally abuts the property) and the restaurants and shops in town. It was about a 1/2 mile to the beach via the foot bridge, a nice walk, but it might be a bit of a hike with beach chairs, cooler, kids in tow or for those with limited mobility. it was ideal for us, part of our getaways are about our long walk and talks (a habit started on our paper route when we were 10 years old;-) So we always look for a "walking resort" this one fits the bill. We parked and never needed the car again. In the summer (and probably fall weekends too) Ogunquit runs a trolley from many major resorts to both the beach and Perkins Cove if you choose not to walk. The building we stayed in is literally perched above the ocean on the seawall. It's a pretty view, but not a place you can access to swim. Buildings cannot be built this close to the water any more in Maine, so its a treat to be so close to the sea!
Theme and Common Areas: This large motel has several wings arrayed around gorgeous gardens and a nice pool (we didn't try it in Sept;-) It is set back off of the road with a neat looking old stone wall that the staff tells us is original to the old estate. One of the main buildings serves as the office and lunch area. We did so much walking we didn't try out any exercise areas or other amenities. it has the feel of a white seaside resort, and the flowers dress up a fairly large central parking area.
Room: We had an ocean view room with balcony on the upper level (#31). One thing that surprises people about this part of NE is that many very nice "resorts" are essentially motels, with exterior access rooms. They have fairly nondescript interiors that look like any hotel room. People come from far away and pay in season rates in the $250- 350 per night range(with multi nights often required) and expect more, but for this part of Maine, this is pretty standard and this property was competitively priced. Our off season rate was 1/2 that and we were able to book several days before for a single night on a Monday night. We found when we arrived that the clientele was elderly. Most other guests were in the 60's -70's, so the property was very quiet with the exception of the doors stick a bit so you do hear a good bang when your neighbors close theirs and you can hear the suitcases rolling and foot steps on the wooden walkway that connects the rooms. This was not a problem for us during our stay as the clientele was mostly tucked in by 10 Am and we were up ourselves around 7 when the first footsteps were heard. I would enquire about the clientele before booking a summer room here. If a lot of families were staying in these rooms I think I would want to be forewarned about that!
The room itself was quite large by typical standards and in comparison to other Ogunquit places we've stayed. There were two firm and very comfortable queen beds, with room for two wing chairs facing the picture window and balcony. It's so nice to be able to sit and enjoy the view and not have to perch on the bed!
The bath is split, with a vanity and sink outside in the closet area and a separate toilet and shower area. Nice toiletries were provided and everything was sparkly clean and well maintained.
There was a TV (never turned it on) free in room wifi (just get the pass word from the front desk) and a mini fridge and nice clock radio. The room was well lit, though the toilet compartment switch is by the front door and awkward to locate (nit pick;-) There is a louvered window in the front door, and management has kindly put a shade there, very nice for keeping afternoon sun and room darkening!
Service: Wonderful service here! Well staffed and the front desk gladly made a dinner reservation for us. Newspapers are provided at breakfast and the buffet line was well staffed and kept tidy.
Included breakfast: A very nice standard continental breakfast with muffins, English muffins, toast, bagels, cereal, yogurt, two juices, whole bananas and sliced oranges. I prefer more cut fruit (nit pick;-) We found the water for tea was lukewarm, not hot, but there were several offerings of herbal, and regular, which we like.
Activities Nearby: What's not to do in Ogunquit?? It's all about the beach, which is the most beautiful undeveloped strip of sand in Southern Maine (houses are not built right on the sand, so there are dunes and natural areas on this stretch of beach...notice the difference when you walk the beach and get to Wells! I was delighted at how much bird life there was right out our window, literally more than a dozen species if you take the time to look!
If natures not your thing, the shopping is great. No "chain stores" here (well maybe one or two) so there are plenty of unique artsy shops, with a few of the typical beach tee shirt shops in between.
Also Ogunquit has a excellent reputation for dining. Living nearby, I've sampled a few places and you can find a really good meal here pretty easily, we went to MC's in Perkins Cove this trip- excellent as always! Maine has some creative restaurants with excellent chefs using local ingredients; it's one of the delightful things about Maine places that are either "beachy" or somewhat rural- the dining is always a pleasant surprise compared to other "beachy or rural locales!
We would gladly return to Sparhawk in the off season. It's superbly located, quiet, comfortable and very reasonably priced. I like my summers with a little less bustle than Ogunquit offers generally, (spending them a good 3 hours north of Ogunquit!) so I'm not sure if a multi day summer stay would be for me, but if you like to be close to the action, this place would be great!
The end of the walk way might be quieter, fewer people passing, top level, no one above you.
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