May 16 • 2012
Beth Talbot, sales and promotions director for the newly formed Kennebunkport Resort Collection (and very soon bride-to-be herself!), gave us a little insight into this new collaboration and what it means for hosting a wedding in Maine.
L&L: Tell us a little about the history of the KRC. Whose idea was it to collaborate, and how was the collection formed?
KRC: When co-owner Tim Harrington was a child, his family would vacation in Maine and Cape Cod, fun memories of which are mingled with how much work it was for his mother. She liked a clean house, so would spend quite a bit of time tidying up their vacation spots upon arrival and departure. This helped shape the idea of Hidden Pond – a beautiful vacation destination with luxurious amenities coupled with basics, such as housekeeping services. He joined forces with long-time hotelier, Debbie Lennon, who had purchased and was renovating local landmark, the Kennebunkport Inn. Tim is the creative mind, working with local designers such as Louise Hurlbutt (interior) and Ted Carter (exterior) to bring each property to life in its own way, with a unique vibe. Debbie has been working in hotels for 25+ years – she was one of the first General Managers for Sheraton – so has a fantastic grasp on operations and the behind-the-scenes details. The partnership is a perfect marriage of fashion meets function. The goal of the Collection is to create exceptional guest experiences in our classic, New England town – each with distinctive accommodations, thoughtful, luxurious amenities, excellent guest service and ranging in price.
L&L: What specific services do you offer to couples to help them plan their dream wedding in Kennebunkport?
KRC: We have six distinctive event venues within the KRC – ranging from a small, intimate affair in town Kennebunkport, to a dream ocean front wedding, to a weekend destination wedding in the woods at Hidden Pond. With Hidden Pond and The Tides Beach Club, we also offer a property buyout option, which would allow couples and their guests to have the property entirely to themselves. We also offer a catering arm as part of the Collection, Fete Event Catering, featuring custom, gourmet menus and beverage packages. We have a long list of vendors we’ve worked with that we can recommend or, can provide Event Management services if the couple would like us to facilitate. I think what’s really different about us is the variation of venue options and menus we can offer. We truly have something for everyone and our team is sincerely dedicated to ensuring this will be the absolute best day of our clients’ lives. I’m working with our company for the F&B component of my wedding…and I’m a total foodie…and very fussy…so it says a lot!
L&L: Which venues are part of the collection and how do they differ from one another?
The Kennebunkport Inn offers traditional coastal New England accommodations with modern amenities and a prime location in the heart of Dock Square. One Dock, the Inn’s onsite restaurant, showcases fresh Maine seafood and local fare with an inspired twist. Host an intimate wedding ceremony and reception on our patio, where twinkle lights and lanterns create a warm glow, or choose our dining room, which can be configured to accommodate groups of varying sizes. Our onsite team of event planners will ensure every detail is looked after. Steps away from world-class dining, art galleries and shopping, the Kennebunkport Inn is the ideal venue to host your coastal Maine event. Seating Capacity: 60
The Coastal House
The Coastal House offers a premier venue for Maine weddings, conferences, business meetings, and social events. With a superb location minutes from Kennebunkport, Wells, and Ogunquit, the Coastal House has an elegant, classic New England ambiance and offers flexible event space. One of southern Maine’s largest wedding venues, the Coastal House also features state-of-the-art meeting facilities and a team of expert event planners who will ensure your special event is nothing short of spectacular. Seating Capacity: 200
Chase Hill Meetings & Events
Located waterfront on the Kennebunk River, Chase Hill has been hosting events for years, ensuring yours will be flawlessly executed and positively memorable. Natural sunlight and excellent water views create a warm, inviting atmosphere, making it a lovely spot to host smaller, more intimate Kennebunkport weddings. Our staff, facilities and experience will create an exceptional affair. Seating Capacity: 60
The Tides Beach Club
Prominently situated overlooking pristine Goose Rocks Beach, The Tides Beach Club offers a breathtaking setting, chic atmosphere, luxury amenities, and exceptional service—the ultimate choice for your Maine beach wedding. Two Jonathan Adler-designed suites feature ocean views and private decks, and all of our guest rooms offer a spacious yet cozy environment where every detail has been considered. Onsite dining room and vibrant bar feature menus bursting with fruits of the sea and fresh garden vegetables, skillfully prepared in an uncomplicated manner to emphasize the great quality of the food and loving attention of the chef. Seating Capacity: 80
Old Fort Inn & Resort
Tucked a short distance from Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, the Old Fort Inn offers classic New England ambiance, modern elegance, and a private setting. Once a “grand dame” Kennebunkport Resort in the 1800s, the Old Fort Inn’s well-appointed guest rooms are housed in the original stable and carriage house. Enjoy an afternoon cocktail in our “gallery,” featuring plush leather furniture and a stone fireplace—or bask in the sun’s rays on a comfy chaise lounge near our heated pool. Our screened porch is the perfect place to hold your intimate wedding or business meeting. Beautifully landscaped grounds create a lovely, tranquil environment perfectly suited for your special occasion. Seating Capacity: 40
Nestled throughout 60 acres of birch forest and sweet fern, Hidden Pond offers three event venues, with the option of hosting events in one or more locations. In addition, we offer two-bedroom cottages and one-bed bungalows, a lodge, two pools, our Tree Spa, the Sand Bar Grille & Back Porch Bar, nightly bonfires, and much more for overnight guests.
Created in collaboration with famed chef and James Beard Award-winner Ken Oringer, Earth focuses on “farm to fork” freshness, with a menu that features organic vegetables and herbs from two onsite gardens, and the freshest local seafood and meats. Earth’s décor brings the outside in, with a soothing rustic palette, walls dotted with “pickles” of tree trunk, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, and open-air patio overlooking gardens and pond. Earth is the perfect location for your Maine destination wedding. Seating Capacity: 80
THE EVENT BARN
Across from Earth is the Event Barn, a 1,400-sq-ft facility featuring a soaring ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the forest floor. A short walk to the Balsams, Serenity Pool, and Tree Spa, the Event Barn is at the hub of Hidden Pond’s activity, and is the perfect location to accommodate your special event. Mercedes Benz chose Hidden Pond’s Event Barn to host press members for the launch of their 2012 C Class in 2011. Seating Capacity: 80 / Cocktails: 100
The largest of two onsite organic gardens at Hidden Pond, the Farm is a breathtaking spot in which to celebrate your special day. Ornamental grasses, colorful flowers, and rustic buildings create perfect photo opportunities. Weddings at the Farm may be tented. Seating Capacity: 200, for tented events
L&L: Do any of the venues offer rehearsal dinner space? Or overnight accommodations for guests?
KRC: Yes; all offer rehearsal dinner space. The Kennebunkport Inn, Old Fort Inn, The Tides Beach Club and Hidden Pond also offer overnight accommodations. Depending on the time of year and availability, room blocks and a possible block discount may be available.
L&L: Is it possible for couples to arrange a time to tour the venues to see which might best fit their needs?
KRC: Of course…they should reach out to Colleen Geary, our Events Manager. She can be reached at 207-641-8300.
L&L: Can you explain the catering process. Are there particular menus that couples choose from, or can couples request particular items?
KRC: Both…each venue offers its own, distinct menu, as each has a different personality if you will. Chefs at each property will work with the bride and groom to design their perfect menu, building off a base list of offerings. Fete Event Catering has a la carte and packages created, which clients can peruse and choose from as well. So, per venue menus will be available, as will Fete Event Catering menus.
L&L: If couples are curious to learn more, do you have a website or any printed materials that they can look through?
KRC: For more info online, they can visit http://kennebunkportresortcollection.com/weddings.html. This will link them to Fete Event Catering’s website, the Kennebunkport Resort Collection website – where they can explore all our properties – and to the event venue options.
L&L: Off topic, what “must-see” places and eateries do you suggest folks from out of town check out while visiting New England?
KRC: We list a lot of our favorites on our new website, Destination Kennebunkport… if someone is visiting, don’t miss:
Burger at the Ramp
Dinner at Earth – ANY of their pastas or pizzas
The Wine List at Hurricane
Cocktails and a Small Plate at One Dock
Organic and vegetarian fare at Bandaloop
Carnitas nachos at Pedro’s
Lunch at The Tides Beach Club – lobby roll or fried clam roll!
L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into the KRC. If readers want to get in touch with you to inquire about your availability, what is the best way for them to reach you?
We would like to offer your readers a free night’s stay, the evening of their wedding, at their chosen property. If they host their event at Chase Hill or the Coastal House, this would include a stay at either the Old Fort Inn, Kennebunkport Inn or the Grand Hotel. Minimum stays apply.
Wow! Thanks so much, Beth, and the KRC!