A Little Bit of Magic
There’s something truly magical about the Maine seacoast. The beautiful beaches. Cozy little seaside towns. And quiet, coastal getaways like The Dunes on the Waterfront.
One of Maine’s original cottage colonies, The Dunes is an award-winning hotel located a short walk from the quaint, historic seaside hamlet of Ogunquit. Visiting with us is a little like stepping back into a bygone era when things were simpler, more carefree and light-years removed from the vagaries of modern life. Think of us as a summer escape for families and couples – with lawn games, a heated swimming pool, and a convivial atmosphere that brings families, friends, and strangers together.
Situated just across the tidal river from Ogunquit Beach, among the sand dunes we’re named after, The Dunes has been described as a vintage postcard come to life – where 12 secluded acres of rolling lawns, vintage whitewashed cottages, spectacular ocean views, and beautifully landscaped gardens are nestled just a few dunes, a tidal river and a mere 300 feet from Ogunquit Beach.
Somehow it has managed to remain just the way our family intended when they opened their first cottage here over 80 years ago. You’ll notice that most of our land is undeveloped and our accommodations are spaced comfortably apart. It was deliberately designed that way, to give you lots of space when you just want to tune out and relax.
Inside our cozy seaside cottages, you’ll find modern kitchens and bathrooms as well as convenient hotel amenities like free Wifi — things you might not expect in such vintage lodgings. With options ranging from double-occupancy guest rooms to waterfront cottages that can sleep six, our Ogunquit hotel is suited to romantic weekend getaways and family vacations alike.
When you need a break from the beach, you can simply stroll over to downtown Ogunquit – a picture-book perfect coastal village filled with unique shopping, imaginative dining spots, and a progressive cultural and arts scene that rivals many big cities.
So whether your idea of fun is traversing the tidal river by boat or by foot (depending on the tide)… crossing the dunes and heading out for some sand, sun, and sea … letting the breakers tickle your feet as you stroll along one of Maine’s most majestic shorelines … catching the trolley to the quaint shops, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants that line Main Street and Perkins Cove … or simply curling up with a good book in one of our Adirondack chairs … we’re here to help you capture a little bit of what we like to call Maine Magic.
For three generations, we have worked hard to create, nurture, and maintain the historic property that has become so much a part of our family’s legacy. It has taken over 80 years for The Dunes to fully develop into what it is today – one of Maine’s oldest and preeminent cottage resorts. We continually strive to carefully retain the original charm of our buildings even as we’ve added more modern comfort and conveniences. Because when all is said and done, The Dunes experience is really about a return to an earlier, simpler time … about being a living, breathing part of our area’s ongoing history. It’s a history we’re eager to share with you below.
- The Dunes on the Waterfront originated with 12 acres of riverfront pastureland purchased by Russell and Beatrice Weare Perkins in 1935.
- Four cottages were built initially, and the first guests were welcomed in the summer of 1936.
- Visitors would often arrive at the old Wells Railroad Station with their trunks and be shuttled by taxi to The Dunes, where the cottages were rented for the entire season.
- Additional cottages were added throughout the 1930s and ’40s, and Russell and Beatrice joined their guests as in-season residents for many years, managing the property from an office in their summer cottage.
- Ongoing remodeling and reconfiguring led to the division and renumbering of many cottages, and two of the current buildings were actually moved to the property from alternate Ogunquit locations in the 1950s.
- Richard, the son of Russell and Beatrice, built a house on the property in 1966 with his wife, Cynthia, and they managed the property together until his death in 1977 when she took over.
- Aaron Perkins, Richard’s son, and his wife Cindy became the third-generation of the Perkins family to run the resort in 2000.
- After building a new laundry and maintenance building in 1993, Aaron built the current office on the site of the original storage barn.
- Aaron and Cindy still own and manage the property today.
We’d like to give a warm thank-you to the organizations and lifestyle magazines who’ve recognized our commitment to providing the best hospitality possible in Ogunquit.
We’re located at 518 Maine St. on Ogunquit’s tidal river, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and an uncrowded middle section of Ogunquit Beach. Just .75 miles from downtown and Perkins Cove, we’re within easy walking distance of fine shops and restaurants frequented by locals and visitors alike. You’ll see our sign on Route 1 at the end of our driveway, which leads away from the bustle of the road onto 12 acres of seaside greenery. Map & Directions »