on March 28, 2006
Best Things Nearby:Mid-Coast Maine is a vacation wonderland in the summer. There is, foremost, the sea with its rocky shoreline punctuated by beaches and harbours. Tourists flock to the towns that dot the coast and with that kind of clientele, there are many things to explore, see, and buy. Between Belfast and Portland are the picturesque towns of Searsport, Camden, Rockport, Rockland, Thomaston, Wiscasset, and Bath. Each offers a rich and interesting inventory of colonial, Federal and Greek Revival housing and most feature historical principle streets of Victorian brick. In the winter, your shopping and restaurant choices may be somewhat limited, but the architecture, the natural beauty, and the major sites are all still available.For the shopper, there is Freeport which may be a town of retail outlets, but it preserves much of its old charm. Scattered through the other towns is a plethora of art galleries, retail stores, and good restaurants. Other sites that are not to be missed are the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, just south of Rockland, and the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. Augusta, the state capital, is less than an hour from Rockland. Both the state house and the Maine State Museum are interesting visits.
Best Things About the Resort:A resort of this size should be ripe with amenities and activities, and Samoset certainly has it all. The magnificent lobby/gift shop area is the heart of an operation that includes 178 hotel rooms and 72 units of RCI accommodation surrounded by the golf course and facing out over Penobscot Bay. For summer visitors, there are golf and tennis. In the winter, if there is snow, there is cross-country skiing on the grounds, and downhill is available at the nearby 9-run Camden Snowbowl. Inside the hotel building is a health club available to those 14 and over. The health club features a large Cardio Theatre with Stairmasters, treadmills, and all the other machinery available in any modern facility as well as the Icarian Strength Centre with its free weights and a large variety of machines. There are also health classes: yoga, Pilates, aerobics, boot camp, water fitness, and more. Maureen attended a couple of the aerobics classes used by guests and locals and found the atmosphere warm and inviting. It is also possible to arrange for the services of massage therapists. In the health club area there is a 50 foot pool (and hot tub) with scheduled adult times in the early morning and the evening, the day being dedicated to family swimming.The resort features two restaurants in the winter… the Breakwater Café and Marcel’s. Marcel’s is a wonderful experience in a somewhat formal atmosphere (Men are requested to wear jackets). It also features a Sunday brunch and is closed for dinner from Sunday to Tuesday. The Breakwater (lounge and restaurant) featured a jazz pianist on Sunday, a Surf or Turf night on Tuesday, an Italian buffet on Thursday, and an all-you-can-eat fish fry on Friday. Something for everyone in the family at reasonable prices! In the summer, the Breakwater Café adds patio dining and there is also a grill in the golf clubhouse.
Resort Experience:We were assigned a one bedroom unit on the top floor of building 700 (the middle of three RCI buildings). From check-in to departure, the experience was flawless.Sweeping open the curtains that covered the patio doors in the morning, we were met with dazzling sunrises shining over the waters of Penobscot Bay. The unit was compact, but extremely comfortable to the point that I mentioned to my wife that it would be nice if every timeshare experience were like this. Even the casual observer would note that the property was extremely well maintained and that the design of the unit, the choice of colours and fabrics, and the warm pine furniture created an extremely pleasant (and smoke-free) environment. The kitchen was small, but very serviceable, and included a two-burner cook top, microwave, dishwasher, an under-counter refrigerator, a toaster oven, and coffee maker. We found it well-equipped and it included everything we needed for any food preparation and clean-up.The living area, which had patio doors leading to a spacious deck, allowed for soft-seating for four or five, and included a television and VCR (Movies are available at the Health Centre, and DVD players may be available on request). Perhaps the only thing missing was a radio/CD player… you might consider bringing your own, as we did. The bedroom, also with patio doors to the deck, had a king-size bed and enough storage to satisfy us. The WC/bath is tight enough that had Elvis died on that toilet, staff would have been forced to take out a wall. The unit, by the way, does receive a change of linens and towels at mid-week.I have mentioned dinner at Marcel’s as well as the health club… both excellent experiences. There is much more and in your room you will find the usual guest information book, as well as a copy of "The Samozette", a newsletter about the resort for that week. It provides information on local nightlife, the cinema offerings, tide charts, daycare, babysitting, the health club and the RCI meet and greet with wine and cheese.There are no negatives at Samoset… and it is my understanding that should you find one, they will fix it. I plan to return as often as I can. To learn more about the resort, go to Samoset.
Unit Type: 1 Bedroom
Unit Satisfaction: Excellent
Family Friendliness: Excellent
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