We've been going here with family and friends for years. It's a wonderful resort, despite not being anything other than ordinary in terms of accommodations. Said another way, you don't go here because you are looking for a high-end resort, you go here for the location! This is an ideal vacation spot if you want to be right on the beach.
Here's what I think you'll love about this place...
-Location- right on the beach, and minutes from restaurants, Ogonquit, mini-golf, kayaking, biking, Kennebunkport, and the highway (95).
-Accommodations- it's not fancy, but it's clean, housekeeping does a great job (particularly given that this is a beachfront resort with lots of sand coming in and out of the rooms), you have many choices in terms of types of rooms (beachfront, ocean-view, street-view, etc.), so you can adjust according to your budget).
-Hospitality- this is a very friendly bunch! It's a very New England feeling place, almost a throw back in some ways. Their reservation system for example is still very paper based, with limited computer integration....a small, meaningless detail to be sure, but it's kind of nice to take a step back to a simpler time and watch them work this way. You'll be impressed by how low-key and friendly everyone is, my favorite being Toni who has been there forever I think!
-Beach- it's a very fun beach, primarily because it's hard pack sand, with some cool rock environments scattered throughout. Kids love to hunt for snails and such, play bocce, soccer, or any other sport. Adults love games too! The surf is great for boogie boarding, skimming, etc. Yes the water tends to be cold, but this is Maine! The beach is also great for walking, with rows of homes to look at when you're not looking at the surf.
-Pool- there's a great indoor pool and hot-tub in the main building of the resort. It's always a good temperature, clean and a fun place to spend some time when not at the beach.
-Local shops- there's a half dozen small shops on the property, including a throw-back arcade that's a lot of fun with kids. The shops have everything you'll need like newspapers, coffee, beach supply's, essentials, etc., as well as souvenirs, candy and wine!
-Local restaurant - there's a more than adequate restaurant right in the middle of the property, maybe 50 feet from the beach. It has good breakfast, lunch and dinner, including the classic deep-fried seafood you'd expect to get in Maine on vacation! You also get vouchers for free coffee here when you check in which is a nice touch.
-Relaxing- this is just one of those places where you are almost forced to unwind and relax....leave your iPhone at home!
-Proximity- it's very convenient to a lot of other great destinations, like Ogonquit, Kennebunkport, Portland, etc. And there's plenty of restaurants nearby as well, particularly in Ogonquit. There's also a lot of great places to get live lobsters, or cooked lobsters if you want to eat on the beach like we do a lot.
-Ice cream - one of the best ice cream places anywhere in the world is in Wells....it's called ScoopDeck and it's located just South on Route 1....everyone will know where it is. Don't miss this place, it has dozens of creative flavors you'll love! The line gets long but goes fast.
-Value - unless you base your value judgements on how high-end your room is, I think you'll agree with me after going that there's great value here. The rooms are in the $150-$250/night range at peak season, which isn't bad at all given all you get at a great location.
Here's a list of some things you may not like as much, but more meant just as information for you so you are aware:
-Noise - this is a family place, the rooms are on the older side so the insulation isn't great. It's by no means an excessively noisy spot, but don't expect to have total peace and quiet here....it's just not that type of resort. But I'm rather finicky about noise (ask my wife!), and I love it here so that should tell you something. I just go with a different mindset, knowing what to anticipate and accept. I'd try to get a top floor room if you are overly sensitive to noise from above.
-Parking - they are very strict about parking, with designated spots reserved only for guests. Of course this is a great thing if you are a guest, but if you are planning to have friends or even multiple cars just beware. They only allow one parking spot per room, and they do enforce this. There's some other parking options nearby, but nothing too great so plan accordingly. They also have free public parking right at the lobby area of the hotel near the beach, but this fills up fast as you'd imagine. TIP: On the day you check-out, move your car early in the morning to one of these free spots, that way you don't have to find a spot after check out if you plan to hang around the beach.
-Tide - Nothing you can do about this one, but the tides do swallow up the beach each day based on the tide schedule. Not a big deal to us, as we just plan accordingly and hit the pool or head out. But check the tide schedules so you know when high tide occurs and adjust as needed. It's only a couple of hours max each day that the entire beach is underwater, and often occurs early or late enough not to matter....but not always!
-Traffic - just beware that traffic on Route 1, particularly Southbound, can be heavy. It usually moves along, but plan accordingly just in case. There's also some trolley services you can take as well, but they face the same traffic you will.
Hope this is helpful, we love this spot and I think you will too! Just go with the mindset that you are spending time at an older resort, in an awesome location with wonderful people....hard to beat that with your family!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lafayette's Oceanfront Resort is directly on Wells Beach, one of the largest sandy beaches in Maine. We have a complex of nine different buildings, five of which sit right on the beach. Many of our rooms have private balconies with panoramic views of the ocean. We are open year round so you do not need to miss any season. Although summer is certainly the most popular season in Maine, the beauty of this coastal area is enchanting throughout the year. Wells Beach is fun for families. Walk from your room onto the sand to swim, build sand castles, stroll in the surf looking for shells and rocks or just relax and enjoy the feel of the sun on your face while you enjoy the view. The indoor pool and the hot tub with a waterfall are very relaxing after a hot day in the sun. The playground and the arcade will entertain the children after the beach. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Lafayette`s Oceanfront Hotel Wells
- Lafayettes Oceanfront Hotel
- Lafayettes Oceanfront Wells
- Lafayette's Oceanfront Resort Wells, Maine