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“Lovely and cozy retreat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of White Barn Inn

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White Barn Inn
37 Beach Avenue, Kennebunk, Kennebunks, ME 04043   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Kennebunk
Longwood, FL
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Lovely and cozy retreat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2007

We selected this property to celebrate our anniversary.
We love to travel around the world searching for the best restaurants and hotels.

The hotel is just a ten minutes walk to the beach. We were warmly greeted and the staff was nice and friendly showing us the property. The room was a little small but lovely. It was very appropriate taken in the context of a small luxury hotel. We were greeted with a bowl of fresh fruit. The afternoon tea was splendid!

The restaurant was absolutely fantastic. Top quality ingredients, a top chef, a perfect ambiance and responsive staff “forced” us to be repeated guests of the restaurant! It was a fantastic experience.

The spa was recently added and offered a wide variety of treatments. The staff offered us bicycles to explore the area. We took a splendid 10 miles ride around Kennebunkport.

While very friendly, we found the concierge service a little inexperienced, mishandling a tour reservation, having little knowledge of the area and forgetting our wake up call requests.

  • Liked — The restaurant
  • Disliked — Room size
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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184 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, OR
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
206 helpful votes 206 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2007

I read about White Barn Inn in TripAdvisor and booked a stay there. Room was about $350, so a little up-scale but not outrageous. We were shown a room on the third floor of the floor, which looked nice, but a smoker had been in the room, so that didn't worked for us. We were immediately upgraded to a Garden Room, overlooking the pool. Wow! It was gorgeous! A huge picture window looing in the woods, and a front patio for morning sun and reading. The wait staff were the best trained I have seen since the last Relais & Chateau hotel we had stayed in, the Hotel Copernicus in Krakow Poland. From the comfortable bathrooms (we bought one), to afternoon tea, to the free bikes, this was a very impressive stay. I have seen negative reviews, and I urge you to not pay attention. It's the first hotel in a long time we didn't want to leave, and will remember fondly. Go!!!

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Steep stairs to the top floors
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2007

We just got back from a weekend at the White Barn Inn and both my husband and I were a rather disappointed. The food at the restaurant is fabulous and the service at the Inn is great, but the property is small and a little worn. We had a pricey junior sweet which consisted of a small bedroom and a nice adjoining bath with a chair in the corner billed as a sitting area. The gas fireplace and jacuzzi tub were nice but calling the room a junior suite is a stretch. The TV had no pay per view and limited channels. They do not have full service room service but will bring breakfast or dinner to your room if requested (no in-room menus). We were extremely disappointed that we had to get in our car and drive several miles to use a gym at their sister property, the Breakwater Inn (which looks very nice). An Inn of this calibre should have its own fitness facility. The hallways & staircases were narrow and the "living room" was small and unimpressive. The spa services were adequate but overpriced. We will definitely go to the restaurant again but will not be staying at the Inn again. Maybe the Breakwater but not the WBI.

  • Liked — Staff service and attentiveness
  • Disliked — lack of amenities
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2007

We were in need of a weekend out of Boston and thought it would be really nice to go eat at the White Barn since we had heard so many wonderful things about it. So, we decided to rent one of the cottages for two nights and head up there on a Friday night.

Well, we got lost. Make sure you get good directions from the hotel and not from mapblast. We arrived and the gave us the tour of the inn and then put us back in our car to drive down to our cottage. We walked in the cottage as they took care of our bags and she showed us around our place. It wasn't big but it wasn't small. They lit a fire in the fireplace for us and reminded us of our reservations time as they left. We relaxed, kept the fire going, and started to get ready for dinner. Make sure your showers are not too long in the cottage since we ran out of hot water while getting ready for dinner.

We drove up to dinner as the snow was slowly falling and they helped us out of our cars and it was like a scene from a movie. It was so romantic and wonderful. Dinner was unbelievable! Top 2 restaurants we have ever been to. The lobster dish was out of this world and the entire dining experience was the best you could ever ask for.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with the fire going, drinking wine, going to their spa, just really relaxing.

The only reason it is not getting 5 stars is because we paid $800 a night and it was, okay I'll say it, VERY overpriced. It was the middle of winter, we had a few moments where we felt that things should've gone a little differently, and honestly, we would've expected to pay $400 - $500 for that experience but not $800 a night.

So, we were very glad that we went, but we'll be exploring different five star inns along the east coast before we go back there.

  • Liked — The food!
  • Disliked — The price
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2007

Before going to the White Barn Inn, I took a look at all of the reviews on this site and was slightly worried by one review in particular (which starts off with a poor experience in the entryway). I have to say that I certainly agree with that particular reviewer's assessment. But overall, I think my experience falls somewhere in between theirs and the more 'fabulous' experiences of many other reviewers.

Indeed the entryway to the WBI is equipped with an automatic door - something that should be disabled in February. It's quite ridiculous since there's not much room to get out of the way of the sensor for the door once inside. In walking from the tea area to the restaurant/bar, there's almost no way you could avoid setting it off. Aside from that, we were pleasantly greeted by a valet/bellhop who took care of the car and all of the luggage.

Once inside, we were told that our room wasn't ready yet, even though we showed up at about 4 pm and check-in was at 3. For the amount of money spent staying here, and with the high rank of the hotel, this just shouldn't happen. The main reason that this was a pain was that we had large jackets and some small items with us that weren't taken to the room. We were told we could wait in the tea room, which was very nice, but we had to lug these items with us, put them on the only empty chair around, and stand for a while before someone (a guest) was kind enough to scoot over to share a couch. The tea service consisted of sandwiches, cookies, and scones, all of which were good. The brandy was excellent as well. I didn't try the port. All of these items were complimentary.

We stayed in one of the garden suites. I didn't have any major issues with the suite, which included a queen-sized bed and another small sitting room. The plasma TV was nice, and unlike other reviewers', ours was easily viewable from bed. However, there are indeed two remotes, and while neither gave me trouble, there really should be a universal remote. The cable/satellite service on the TV was terrible. There were barely any channels and the ones that came in did so poorly.

The single person bathtub was nice, and the jacuzzi jets worked fine. The many controls on the bathroom wall were a bit convoluted. One of them turned heat on and off in the room, which was provided by an obnoxiously loud fan. So, to keep the bathroom at a reasonable temperature, one had to deal with noise. Without the loud fan, the bathroom was too cold. Heat in the main room was controlled by a thermostat and posed no problems. The gas fireplace was a nice touch, although it provided only minimal heat (this is normal for gas fireplaces).

The bathrobes, slippers, small flower ensemble, and fruit bowl provided in the room upon arrival were also very nice. The robes were especially comfortable.

The staff of the Inn were very accomodating, and usually addressed us by name. Sometimes their interactions with us seemed a little contrived, though.

Our package included dinner. We had cocktails (an additional charge, as it should be) and the four course meal. The lobster dish was fantastic (both my girlfriend and I had this) and we found the rest of the food to be superior. Presentation was excellent and so was the taste. Dinner also included a complimentary (albeit small) appetizer and both pre- and post- desserts. These were nice touches. After dinner tea was an additional charge (which it SHOULD NOT be). Also, an 18% gratuity was tacked on as another reviewer mentioned. I agree that this is ridiculous.

We ended dinner at 8 PM, and since it was Sunday night, there wouldn't be much to do. We asked the staff if they had any movies (since the room included a DVD player), and we were provided with an adequate selection. It's a good thing, too, because we really weren't looking forward to watching fuzzy looking cable tv.

By the time the movie ended and the food had settled, we were off to dream-land. The bed was very comfortable and we had no problem sleeping very soundly.

In the morning, we had the 'continental' breakfast. The cold quiche was average. Hot breakfasts were available at an extra cost. Cereals were available, and so were a variety of pastries along with some yogurt. By this point, I was pretty surprised that you could get coffee and juice for free. But for a continental breakfast, it was what it was - there's nothing spectacular or terrible about it.

When we left (we stayed one night - I definitely think two nights would be overdoing it) we were seen off by the staff. Again the car and the bags were taken care of.

This review has been long, but I feel it 'puts it all on the table' with respect to the other reviews on this site, some of which praise the hotel endlessly and some of which are very critical. Overall I feel that this place doesn't live up to it's five star rating. It's also far overpriced for the experience. We spent, all told, about $750 on the entire event. For $485 at the Harraseeket Inn (Freeport) one can buy the perfect gift package. With this you can get a King-sized bed, two person jacuzzi tub, fire-place, bouquet of roses (which can be taken home), and fruit and cheese platter included in the room. You also get a full dinner (as many courses as you want) at their four star restaurant (which SHOULD be five stars). At that dinner, you can drink all the coffee or tea you want for free, and TIP IS INCLUDED! Also, you receive breakfast the next day, and both hot and cold food (there's a million choices) are included. They also throw in a $50 certificate to LL Bean.

If I hadn't had such an amazing experience at the Harraseeket, I probably would have been more impressed with the White Barn Inn. But when it comes down to it, a 5 star place like the WBI should not pale at all in comparison to a 4 star hotel. If I were in charge, I'd swap the ratings between the two places.

Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Englander in Bermuda
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2007

We had heard wonderful things about the White Barn, and having traveled all over the world ourselves, and having stayed and eaten at expensive international hotels and small independent B&Bs, we were looking for a place in New England near our home. A place that, while expensive, would be fine with us if the quality was worth it. We were to experience this 5 diamond resort - the only one north of New York and couldn't wait.

What an absolute disappointment and I can't stress that enough! We spent $1000 on the "Romantic Getaway Package" which included a prix fix meal and room, and I can say it wasn't worth even $350. We got a bad feeling upon arrival when we entered the concierge. We stood in a poorly appointed entranceway that had an automatic door that kept opening and gusting in cold weather while we waited for the manager to get off the phone. After standing there for some time, a pleasant woman came up to assist us. She gave us a brief tour, was pleasant enough, but clearly between them both, by their management of check in and their dress, we knew we weren't in a 5 diamond resort. I tried to secure an appointment with the spa and there was nothing available. We then went to the tea room, had tea and a glass of scotch. Feeling hungry since dinner was hours away, we asked the waitress if we could get some food other than the tea sandwiches. She came back 15 minutes later and said it was fine, the chef would make my fruit plate. It turned out her English wasn't good and so she misunderstood "food" for "fruit". Once discovered, she said "sorry" and embarassingly, just disappeared.

Now, on to the restaurant. The ambiance was nice, the menu sounded fantastic, but when the food arrived it was average at best. While the waiter was pleasant and knowledgeable, he couldn't make up for the disappointing food. Salty cream sauces, olive oil for bread which was low quality with no flavor and bread that was hard and close to stale. A beautiful piece of monkfish was smothered in a sauce that took its flavor away and surprisingly was so similar to my lobster sauce it was a shame. The hare ravioli starter was too gamey. Wine was expensive but decent and the chocolate cake dessert was lame. The vermont cheese tray was the best thing the restaurant had to offer. My husband, who's been a sous chef was extremely dissappointed, with his meal, but nothing could've prepared us for the further insult of paying too much for an average meal with the tacked on gratuity. When the bill came for our extra items, the staff had the gaul to include an automatic 18% gratuity on the entire food bill for just the two of us. I've never heard anything like this! I've heard of tacking on gratuities for large parties, but to do so for a party of two is insulting. Of course a tip would come, but to assume and enforce one is terrible, particularly when the food was so average. Equally shameful, was adding the simple costs of coffee to the bill from the prix fix meal, helping the bill soar.

Second, the room - which worked out to cost over $500 did not measure up. While the layout was nice, in a country setting, wood house complete with fireplace and large bed, the touches typically present in an expensive room simply were absent. The flat screen t.v. was placed on the wall so that it was difficult to watch as it was completely obstructed by the bed post and you couldn't place chairs in front of it so you had to lay uncomfortably half off the bed to view. The whole entertainment unit controls were antideluvian - three different remotes, one that didn't have live batteries and overall, unneccessarily confusing. The staff had to actually give a tutorial on how to work the combination which, only led us to take 15 minutes to get everything working - including spinning batteries, swithing them up to get power. Why the hotel couldn't do something simple like buying a universal remote makes one shake their head. Also, why they couldn't mount the t.v. in a place that could be viewed is a bit mind boggling. The bathroom was nice and had a great shower although the whirlpool bathtub was what was most inviting. Sadly, once sitting in the tub, it was discovered that the jets didn't work - and who wants to call maintenance when you're laying in a hot tub only to be told they don't work and either 1) wait to get them fixed or 2) move to another room. To be safe, we called the desk to see if we were operating it correctly, which we were, but they didn't work. For the price of money laid out for this junior suit, it was unacceptable. We forgot our shoe polish & toothpaste and there was nothing there.

We mentioned our dissatisfaction to the manager upon our checking out the next morning. Again, waiting in the entrance way with the door continually opening and shutting and blasting us with cold air and nowhere convenient to sit while the manager was on the phone endlessly. It was so bad we decided to skip the included breakfast entirely. While the manager apologized and asked what our concerns were, there was no discussion of compensation, requests to come back, nothing but a couple bottles of water to send us on our way. It appeared he wanted to get us out of there before other guests came in and heard.

So, we left and stopped at the Maine Diner down the road. And finally, had some good food.

Stayed December 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach, FL
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2006

We usually stay at 5 Star Hotels, and the Inn was somewhere between that and a B&B. It was nice to have a small facility homey atmosphere, combined with many of the amenities that we're used to at a 5 Star Hotel. It was a truly enjoyable experience, and we look forward to our return visit next year.

  • Liked — Very homey Inn with 5 Star Hotel amenities
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about White Barn Inn

Address: 37 Beach Avenue, Kennebunk, Kennebunks, ME 04043
Location: United States > Maine > Kennebunks > Kennebunk
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Kennebunk
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kennebunkport--jewel in the crown of the Maine Coastline, perfect for your own ideal stay. The White Barn Inn (a member of the prestigious Relais et Chateaux) offers sumptuous guestrooms that boast true luxury and comfort. Surrender to our full spa experiences… energize and beautify as our Spa Director creates your personal revitalization. And experience the only AAA 5-Diamond, Forbes 5-Star restaurant north of New York City. Your stay includes complimentary continental breakfast daily. The setting is unique, encompassing two restored barns from the 1820’s. Here savor the rich flavors of New England and coastal Maine. Your White Barn Inn experience will bring everlasting, fine memories. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Barn Hotel Kennebunk
The White Barn Inn Kennebunkport Me
Maine White Barn Inn
White Barn Inn Kennebunk, Maine

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