A Modern Maine Hideaway With Picture-Perfect Views

At The Viewpoint in York, Maine, the name really does say it all. Every room at this peaceful oceanside boutique hotel has a front-row view of Nubble Lighthouse, one of the world’s most iconic beacons. Though summer is the high season here, people travel to this part of southern Maine year-round to snap pics in front of it. There’s even a photo of the landmark hurtling through space aboard Voyager 1, one of 116 images of life on Earth on the Golden Record. 

I stayed here in one of the seven new shoreside rooms, and got to wake up to it every single day. Designed by NYC-based CR Design using passive design principles, these rooms are carved into the Maine coastline using poured concrete to mimic the rocky shores below. They also feature Maine’s first-ever commercial grass roof, which not only hides the structure seamlessly but also absorbs rainwater and provides energy-efficient insulation to regulate temperature.

In contrast to the eleven beach cottage chic boutique suites that sit behind them on the hilltop, the king-sized shoreside rooms are sleek and sexy (almost like something out of a Bond movie), with tech features like electric fireplaces and Samsung Frame TVs and decor that bring the outdoors in. There are custom woven headboards fitted with planters and a different bedside chrome bird lamp in each room, a nod to the 20+ avian species living on the property. 

Of course, nothing makes you feel more connected with your surroundings than the view, which you can soak up on the private patio or from practically anywhere in the room. Even from the glass-walled bathroom, which features an elaborate Kohler spa shower and a vanity mirror that perfectly frames the lighthouse in your reflection when you’re freshening up. Though foot traffic is sparse outside the rooms, there are remote-controlled privacy shades that cover the bathroom wall and the floor-to-ceiling windows from any unwanted attention. 

The views, however, are only half the story. Husband-wife owners Joe Lipton and Michelle are lifelong York residents, live right on Nubble Point, and are at the heart of the hotel (and often seen on-site working on it). They make you feel like you’re a part of something, especially when you pop into one of their other local establishments, like Stones Throw, a popular restaurant and hotel on nearby Long Sands Beach, and The Nevada, a newly revived historic beachfront motel a few doors down. They’re putting York, once a bustling final stop on the now-defunct 19th-century trolley from Boston to Maine, back on the map. 

Top Takeaways

Location: York, Maine

The Vibe: A modern Maine getaway you won’t find anywhere else on the coast. 

Rating: Three-star

Food + Drink: A Little Auk is the hotel’s new all-outdoor bar and restaurant, serving up shared plates (think sliders, daily boards, and all manner of fishy things) plus local beer, wine, and craft cocktails (there are two types of  Manhattans dedicated to each of the owners), all out of a 1969 Airstream Joe renovated himself. The restaurant has fire pits for when nights turn chilly and is closed to the public on Saturdays to give guests privacy, which is a nice touch. For a larger meal, sister property Stone’s Throw is within biking distance and has a menu that goes way beyond clam chowder, with Asian-inspired influences and flavors that leave you feeling satisfied but not bloated. It’s not what you’d expect in a town like this, and that’s a good thing. 

Amenities: A heated saltwater pool overlooking the water and lighthouse; beach club service with a private shuttle to and from nearby Long Sands Beach; free bicycle rental; a fitness studio with Peloton treadmill, Peloton bike, Hydro Rower, free weights, and tension bands; on-site yoga classes during the summer; and a spa with sauna and cold plunge opening this summer.

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The location, and not just for the eye candy outside your window. You’re near four beautiful public beaches, a rarity in Maine, as well as cute historic towns like Ogunquit, Kittery, and Portsmouth that are worth a coastal road trip year-round. York, as seen through Joe and Michelle’s eyes, is a particular treat, even if you’ve already been there. Heads up: It gets busy here in the summer, so consider planning a trip off-season. 

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs?: A scenic walk along Marginal Way, then lobster, steamers, and rum punch overlooking the boats at Barnacle Billy’s in Ogunquit, an old favorite of the Bushes. Also in Ogunquit: North Union for dinner with a great wine list in a cozy vintage 1927 home. Closer to the hotel on Short Sands Beach: The Goldenrod for homemade ice cream and saltwater taffy—and brunch if you’re feeling the old-school vibes. York is also home to Stonewall Kitchen, which has a store and cafe serving breakfast and lunch just off I-95. 

Rooms: 7 shoreside rooms sized for couples and solo travelers; 10 suites ranging from one to two bedrooms, each with a mini-kitchen, living room, a private entrance, and patio.

Pricing: Rooms from $300/night

Closest Airport: Boston Logan (BOS) or Portland International Jetport (PWM)

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