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Staying at the Samoset Resort in Winter: a Snowy Luxury Experience in Rockland, Maine

Staying at the Samoset Resort in Winter: a Snowy Luxury Experience in Rockland, Maine

The Samoset Resort in Rockport is the perfect place to experience winter in Maine. From warm and welcoming rooms to s’mores in the grand lobby, it’s the kind of winter getaway we look for. And since we called ahead, we even woke up to a fresh dusting of snow one day (that was nature, I guess). Having a beautiful resort to come back to each day really made the wintery Maine days much more bearable.

We’re sharing the scoop on staying at the Samoset Resort in the hotel portion of the property, as there is also a condo element to it. During the winter months the Samoset Resort is more limited, so this is what you can expect if you’re coming to MidCoast Maine in the off-season.

If you have any questions or additional thoughts, please leave a comment below or send us a note. We’re always happy to share more and to help you plan travels!

The Samoset Resort in winter is one of the best Maine experiences you can have in the cold. From beautiful accommodations to easy access to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, this resort hotel is a unique and wonderful choice in MidCoast Maine.

Staying at Samoset Resort, MidCoast Maine

The Samoset Resort as it stands is very different from how it was originally built. Constructed in 1889 (the same as the Ponce DeLeon Hotel in St Augustine) the Samoset was a destination for wealthy New Englanders. It grew over the years, including adding a golf course and conference center, and then burned down in 1974. It was rebuilt as we see it today, and the lobby was reconstructed using reclaimed wood from around Maine. It’s beautiful.

When you’re booking a stay at the Samoset Resort you’re either in the hotel portion or the condo portion of the property. During the winter, the hotel section and the restaurants are only open for weekend stays. The condo portion can be booked based on availability, but if you’re coming to the Samoset during the days when the main hotel portion is closed, you won’t have access to the regular amenities, including the indoor pool.

Taylor Family on Snowy Deck at Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 2

What Are the Accommodation Options at the Samoset?

The Samoset Resort offers a variety of hotel room types to accommodate the needs and preferences of its guests. These room types include standard rooms, family rooms, suites, and cottages. The family rooms are pretty cool with a king and bunk beds, but any of them will do for a stay, especially during winter when things are extra quiet in MidCoast Maine.

In your room you’ll find Keurig coffee makers, desk space (some room types with tables) and bathrobes to lounge around in.

It’s funny, because I knew there was something wonderful about staying at the Samoset Resort in winter and something was familiar about it… It’s part of the Opal Collection of resorts, just like the Laureate Hotel in Key West, which we LOVE LOVE LOVE. The brand is consistent, for sure.

King Room at Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Top Pick for Families: Connecting Rooms

We hardly ever get connecting rooms. I can think of one other time, and it was at Zion National Park at a hotel in Springdale, Utah. And then we had a sort of suite/connecting situation at the BW Plus Island Palms Resort Hotel in San Diego, but that’s it. I love how the connecting rooms at the Samoset Resort are set up.

We had a King room and a Two Queen room, connected by a vestibule/hallway. There was access to the central area by key card from the main hotel hallway, and then each room connected to the vestibule had keyed entry. There was plenty of space and privacy for us and the kids. It was awesome. Each morning we woke up to a view of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, and one morning we even had the perfect dusting of fresh snow, which the kids took full advantage of while still in their pajamas. Staying at the Samoset Resort in winter was dreamy for our family.

Two Queen Room at Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

One of the bonuses of the two-queen room the kids were in was the kitchenette. With a small fridge and freezer, as well as glassware and a microwave it was ideal for prepping simple snacks and having friends stop by for wine in the afternoon. The other wonderful feature in the two-queen room was the deep soaking tub. Beautiful bathroom!

Each of our connecting rooms also had its own deck with an unobstructed view. Really, staying at the Samoset Resort in winter was so very relaxing and enjoyable.

Taylor Family in Bathrobes with snow at Samoset Resort Rockland Maine 3

Wintertime Check in / Check Out at the Samoset Resort

The Samoset Resort is open with limited availability during the winter months, so most people will all be arriving on the same day and departing on the same day. They are pros here though and it’s pretty seamless. On arrival days when the hotel has been closed for a few days prior, rooms tend to be ready plenty early, even though check in isn’t until the afternoon.

Once you’re checked in, everyone actually gets a key bracelet to wear, just like at the Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys. This is needed for accessing your room, exterior entrances, the fitness center and the indoor pool.

Check out is a breeze, and you can either stop by the desk, call from your room or just depart. I love how non-contact hotel stays have become!

Lobby of Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 2

Samoset Resort Amenities in Winter

Because the wintertime experience at the Samoset Resort is different from visiting in the summer, the offerings are a bit different. Don’t worry, you still get to have the luxe experience in the winter (and more so even), but there are some changes.

Sunset on Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse in Harbor from Samoset Resort at Rockland Maine 1

Winter Programming at the Resort

I’m such a sucker for special activities when we’re at a hotel. At Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite it’s the BBQ. In Disney World at Christmas it’s the special holiday menus… and at the Samoset Resort in winter it’s the nightly s’mores and board games in the rustic lobby. Other elements, like movie and such make it special too, but I love the indoor-s’moring.

The BIG fancy thing that happens at the Samoset Resort in the winter is the Glacier Ice Bar. Open for just a few weekends each winter, the outdoor bar made wholly out of ice is set up and guest can reserve their times to enjoy cocktails in the cold. Warm drinks, drinks served in ice and just beautiful cocktails make it a unique way to celebrate winter at the Samoset Resort.

Taylor Family Roasting Marshmallow in lobby at Samoset Resort Rockland Maine 1

Pools at the Samoset in Winter

Normally the Samoset Resort has a big beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub, and then also an indoor pool and hot tub. During the winter, the Samoset Resort closes the outdoor pools due to the temperatures in MidCoast Maine being below freezing for most of the winter, and even sometimes dropping below zero (Fahrenheit). But not to worry, because the indoor pool is wonderful.

When you’re at the Samoset Resort in winter, the atrium pool is a balmy warm space with lots of light and lounge chairs. The hot tub is located here too, so you can relax in one place without having to brave the cold. There are locker rooms here as well, so you also don’t have to tromp around the Samoset in your wet shorts.

Taylor Family at Indoor Pool of Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Fitness Center and Spa

The fitness center at the Samoset is basically a complete gym. There is a fitness studio, tons of cardio equipment, machine and free weights, and enough space for plenty of guests to get a workout. Although the resort is large, if you’re staying in the hotel portion you’ll be able to access the fitness center anytime without having to go through the chilly outdoors.

There is also a full service spa on property at the Samoset, located in the main building below the lobby. From massage to Maine-themed facials and treatments, they’ve got it all. Next time we WILL have a spa day.

Fitness Center of Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Dining at the Samoset Resort

During the off-season, there is one primary dining option. Winter at the Samoset Resort means coziness, and the lounge spaces at la Bella Vita (the restaurant) and the Enoteca (the wine bar) are super cozy with fires blazing and wine flowing.

La Bella Vita is where you’ll find all the dining during the winter months. We’ve enjoyed brunch out on their patio during the summer, but when it’s snowy that’s just not an option. If you’re there for dinner, the seafood stew is amazing.

Seafood Stew Dinner at Bella Vita at Samoset Resort Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Stores on Site at the Samoset

There is a store in the main lobby that’s open during the winter. Here you’ll find basic needs as well as all kinds of Samoset Resort items, from sweatshirts to spa products. It’s open when the hotel is open to guests (but not 24 hours), so just in case you don’t want to head back into Rockland for whatever you need, you should be able to get small accouterments here.

Lobby of Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Where is the Samoset Resort Located?

I always refer to the Samoset Resort as being located in Rockland, Maine, but it’s actually in Rockport. Rockland is the bigger of the two towns and the Samoset is between the two. It’s also very near Camden, which is one of the most picturesque towns in MidCoast Maine.

Transportation To and From PWM to the Samoset

The closest airport to the Samoset Resort is the Bangor International Airport (BGR). It’s about an hour and a half from Rockland, and it’s an easy drive. If you’re coming to the Samoset Resort in winter, you’ll find that as long as you’re not the first one on the road in the morning, the Maine Department of Transportation keeps the roads fairly clear. The main roads between the Samoset and Portland are Highway 1 and I-95, so these are both well traveled year round.

You can also fly into the Portland International Jetport (PWM) from several cities in the Northeast, including NYC, DC and Philadelphia. Portland is a little further than Bangor at just under two hours’ drive away, but there are more direct flight options to PWM, so it may be worth it.

Taylor Family with Moose in Portland Maine Airport 1

Can I Walk from the Samoset to Downtown Rockland?

In the summer, I would say that walking into Rockland from the resort is doable, although it may take a little time. It’s about a 30 minute walk from the resort to the start of town. If you’re at the Samoset Resort in winter, keep in mind that the path to town is along the street and you DON’T want to get splashed by snow on the side of the road.

You CAN easily walk from the Samoset Resort to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse though! Located just off property, the breakwater pathway is just under a mile from the edge of the Samoset to the lighthouse. In winter, the wind is cold, but it’s still a beautiful walk. The granite pathway is a rough one, so dress warmly and watch where you walk!

Taylor Family at Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Maine 3

Parking Details at the Samoset Resort

Parking is complimentary (included in your resort fee) at the Samoset if you want to park yourself. There is also a valet for an additional fee. In the winter, the resort is less busy, so self parking is easy.

Taylor Family at Samoset Resort Rockport Rockland Midcoast Maine 1

Ten Fun Things to do near the Samoset Resort

We love spending time in the Rockland, Maine area. Some of our best friends live here so we try to visit whenever we can, which means we’ve found lots of wonderful things to do in Rockland.

  1. Take a walk along the Rockland Breakwater, a 4,300-foot-long granite causeway that leads to the lighthouse you can see from the resort.
  2. Explore the Farnsworth Art Museum, which features a collection of American art with a focus on Maine artists.
  3. Visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum to learn about the history of lighthouses in Maine and the role they played in maritime navigation.
  4. Visit the Owls Head Transportation Museum, which showcases a collection of antique cars, planes, and other vehicles.
  5. Take a day trip to nearby Port Clyde, a picturesque little town known for its kayaking, the Marshall Point Lighthouse (Forrest Gump Lighthouse) and beautiful scenery.
  6. Head to the Camden Snow Bowl for sledding and skiing; get snow gear rentals from Maine Sport.
  7. Visit the Rockland Wharf area including the Coastal Children’s Museum and several massage and wellness studios (my BFF has her studio here!)
  8. Explore the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.
  9. Take a scenic drive along the Rockland Harbor Trail, which offers stunning views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding coastline.
  10. Do a day trip up to Acadia National Park (2 hour drive) and Bar Harbor

BONUS:  Go on a puffin safari or lobster boat tour to learn about the local lobster fishing industry and sample some fresh Maine lobster. *this is a summertime activity*

Rob Taylor with Bird Paintings at the Farnsworth Art Museum Rockland Midcoast Maine 2

You really will love staying at the Samoset Resort in winter. It’s such a beautiful and relaxing property, and it’s great for families visiting MidCoast Maine for a quiet winter escape. In summer, things are a bit different, including a bit busier, so the experience is different. Still wonderful, but maybe not as peaceful all the time.

If you have any questions or comments about visiting Maine in winter or the Samoset Resort, please leave a note below or send us a message. We’re always happy to share more and to help you plan travels!

The Samoset Resort in winter is one of the best Maine experiences you can have in the cold. From beautiful accommodations to easy access to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, this resort hotel is a unique and wonderful choice in MidCoast Maine.