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The Samoset Resort: A Historic Coastal Resort in Rockport, Maine

Perched on 230 waterfront acres overlooking Penobscot Bay, the Samoset Resort is a Maine vacation resort with a rich history that dates back to 1889. Located in the tranquil town of Rockport, Maine just south of Camden, the Samoset has played host to families, celebrities and politicians alike with the signature hospitality that has made us one of New England’s premier luxury resorts.

From the moment you arrive at the Samoset, you will enjoy warm, intuitive service along with elegant accommodations, oceanside dining, an 18-hole championship golf course and a seemingly endless variety of activities. Soak up the sun from our spectacular 200,000-gallon “zero entry” pool and multi-tiered deck. Indulge in a little personalized pampering at our seaside Spa and salon. Families planning a vacation in Maine will love the tennis, basketball, disc golf and lawn games at our Ultimate Backyard which supplies an endless amount of activities to keep the kids busy.

With over 20,000 square feet of sophisticated event space, the Samoset Resort is also the perfect address for your next conference, executive retreat or special event. Our professional event planners will work with you to create a personalized event experience down to the last detail.

The Samoset was first opened as the Bay Point Resort on July 4, 1889. Built and operated by Francis Cobb II, a well-known entrepreneur of the day, the Bay Point was sold in 1902 to the Ricker family, owners and operators of the Poland Springs House and Poland Spring Water. Hiram Ricker renamed the resort “The Samoset,” after the Pemaquid Chief who was among the first people to greet the Mayflower Pilgrims. He also embellished the distinctive L-shaped building with turrets, porches, and wooden latticework that quickly established the Samoset as the grand resort of coastal Maine.

In 1911, the Maine Central Railroad acquired the Samoset. This was the golden age for luxury resorts, when railroads flourished and steamboats regularly transported wealthy summer visitors for extended stays at the Samoset. A seasonal Maine resort, the Samoset staff (over 200) would sign up for winter work at an elegant Florida resort, and return to Maine during the summer months.

The Great Depression and automobile competition brought hard times to the Maine Central Railroad, and all of Maine’s luxury resorts. In 1941, the Samoset was sold for only $25,000, and then sold again in 1946. After struggling for years to stay open, the resort’s doors were closed in 1969. It marked the end of an era. Weeds began to overtake the once grand resort, and on October 13, 1972, the Samoset was destroyed by a fire.

A Connecticut developer had the vision to build a new Samoset Resort, financed by Builders Investment Group (BIG) of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and architectural design by Stephen Kent Biggs, AIA, LRAIA, RIBA. The new Samoset opened its doors on September 9, 1974, constructed almost entirely from the beautiful old timbers of a deserted granary, which was once a Portland, Maine landmark.

On January 28, 1999, the resort was purchased by Samorock, LLC, an affiliate of Ocean Properties Hotels and Resorts & Affiliates of Portsmouth, New Hampshire—one of the largest independent resort operators in the nation. Today, the Samoset Resort is once again an award-winning year-round resort and conference center. We have been honored with the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award, ranked among the best golf resorts in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler, and named one of the best family vacation destinations in the world by Travel + Leisure. The Samoset Resort is also a certified “Environmental Leader” for our commitment to eco-friendly practices including water conservation, composting, and resort-wide recycling programs. Samoset Resort is also part of Opal Collection, an exclusive ensemble of luxury resorts and hotels.