For the past 140 years the Cliff House Resort & Spa in Ogunquit Maine has been welcoming guests. The resort, perched on Bald Head Cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has been in the Weare family since 1872. Elsie Jane Weare bought the land in 1866, her brother Captain Charles Weare designed and built Cliff House using wood from the family’s lots that was milled in their sawmill in Ogunquit.
Elsie opened the resort in 1872, she served guests three meals a day made with produce from her nearby farm, rooms were clean and simple, there was plenty of fresh air, welcoming hospitality, good food and a prime location. She raised seven children here while running the other family businesses and caring for her invalid husband. She knew the timing was right for opening a hotel as the Boston and Maine Railroad was adding a loop to nearby York and that would bring paying guests to the seaside; the Biddles from Philadelphia, the Havermeyers of New York and the Cabots and the Lodges from Boston were regular guests at the Cliff House. The cream of society came here to enjoy the sea air, the beautifully landscaped lawns and flower beds, and panoramic ocean views.
Today, the fourth generation of the family, Kathryn Weare owns and oversees the resort. Under her direction Cliff House has expanded to a multi-faceted resort with state-of-the-art dining rooms, a world class spa and a conference center, and recently underwent one of the largest solar thermal projects in the state. The installation consists of 2100 tubes and 70 collectors that control the solar energy and provide 30% of the heat and hot water for the spa building, saving 11,000 gallons of propane gas each year and reducing 140,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
To celebrate this benchmark 140th season the dining room is offering a Lobster Tasting for Two; a five course dinner of lobster delicacies and a bottle of wine for $140. Sip a blueberry scented Prosecco cocktail at $14, and 10% of the cost goes to benefit breast cancer research.
Guests can treat themselves to the $140 Celebration Spa Treatment: a back massage, aromatic sea salt body buff, a Swiss shower and a hydrating lotion rub.
Elsie Jane Weare, a frugal Yankee businesswoman would have been proud of what her family has accomplished at the Cliff House Resort & Spa.