Where Did All the Kennebunk Beach Hotels Go?

When Bev and I purchased the Captain Lord Mansion 34 years ago, there still were several old hotels located on Kennebunk Beach.  The most prominent of the remaining hotels still operating in the late 1970’s was the Narragansett Hotel.  The rooms were quite small and most baths were located down the hall!  However, it was ocean-view lodging; but the travelers expectations were changing and the hotel fell on hard times.  When it was purchased for conversion to condominiums, the building was gutted to the studs.  I’ll never forget driving along the beach looking through the gaping holes; it was just a skeleton.  In due time and many dollars later, that old hotel was transformed into deluxe condo units with terrific ocean views.  Fortunately, the architect retained the “shingle style” of the original building.  It looks much the same today as it did in the “old days”!  Additionally, there was a second old hotel located in the middle of the beach called the Sea Spray Inn & Motel; the inn was torn down in the early 1980’s and replaced by a private home.  The motel section was located behind the inn and was converted to condo units.  Today, the Beach House (The Sundial), a smaller old hotel which is located on “Middle Beach” is the last commercial hotel actually located on the beach.  However, it has a modest number of rooms.  Thus, your visit to Kennebunk Beach will most likely consist of a walk along the sand rather than staying at an oceanfront hotel!