Your childhood treehouse dreams come to life at Hidden Pond, a woodsy getaway in Kennebunk, Maine, where you can revisit your youth by staying in one of their soon-to-be-finished “treetop” lodges.
“Treetop” is in quotations because these cabins are not actually built into the evergreens (which would be a nightmare for plumbing). Instead, the luxury lodges are being constructed on ledges within the hotel’s 66-acre forest property, partially suspended in the air via posts to simulate treehouse living.
“They’ll feel like treehouses in the way you get up into them, and then they’re also designed completely to bring the outdoors inside so that it basically feels like you’re sleeping out in the forest,” said Tim Harrington, partner and creative director of Hidden Ponds’ parent company, EOS Regional Resorts.
Atlantic Holdings art director Krista Stokes said the hotel is building 10 lodges in total, each designed “for the guest to get maximum viewing of the woods.”
Central to this immersion is the inclusion of a fully screened, open-air sleeping porch, situated off the bedroom and featuring a full-size daybed amid panoramic views of the surrounding forest.
“I think what you're going to find is that most people will sleep outside on their sleeping porch,” Harrington said. “And I think that's something that's going to be a completely unique experience.”
As for the lodges themselves, Stokes said the hotel designed them to reflect the woods in which they are being built.
“The beauty is almost in the restraint,'' Stokes said, “and we are letting the outside be the star.”
Examples of this design philosophy include dark-stained shiplap walls, canopies made from fallen branches, metal chandeliers that evoke the shape of pine cones, outdoor showers, and vanities carved from a single slab of Maine wood with its bark still preserved.
Harrington said guests at Hidden Pond can enjoy a wide variety of luxury amenities at this “Ritz-Carlton of adult summer camps,” including watercolor classes, yoga, a classic “farm-to-fork” restaurant, and access to an 800-square-foot organic garden with flowers you can take back to your room.
However, Harrington said these offerings pale in comparison to the experience of being fully immersed in the rich environment of Coastal Maine.
“I think of a June morning and you’re smelling wood smoke and the fog’s just lifting and I just absolutely love that,” Harrington said. “It’s like you’ve — been transported somewhere completely different.”
Each lodge is composed of two units — a traditional studio and a more spacious suite — but the entire cabin can be rented as a single, two-bedroom space to accommodate up to five people.
While Hidden Pond opens in May for the summer season, the hotel anticipates the lodges will be ready for guests by early June, with nightly rates starting at $809 for the entire cabin, $609 for the suite, and $409 for the studio.