This 19th-century inn, with 26 romantic rooms and four cottages—three of which lie steps from the Kennebunk River—has long been synonymous with coastal New England pampering, and it has helped raise the bar for high-end service not just in these parts, but around the country. Its biggest draw, however, has always been its restaurant, which serves contemporary New England cuisine that has focused on the local and seasonal well before those words became trendy catchalls. Its unrivaled dining room, a nearly two-century-year-old converted barn and hayloft, features a double-height ceiling, original wide-plank pumpkin pine flooring, and a dramatic window that looks onto a lush garden. (The truly inspired can book cooking lessons with chef Derek Bissonnette and help prepare that evening’s menu alongside the rest of the kitchen team.) In 2013, haute hospitality group Grace Hotels took over the management, resulting in the tweaked name and refresh.