The Cliff House Maine is shown at night. Credit: Courtesy of Cliff House Maine

A southern Maine resort has been awarded a four-star ranking by Forbes Travel Guide for the first time in its 151-year history.

Cliff House Maine, located on Bald Head Cliff in Cape Neddick, is situated on 70 southern Maine coast acres. The resort features 226 rooms and a cottage as well as three restaurants, a spa and an event center. Guests also have access to a nearby 18-hole semi-private golf course. It was last renovated in 2016 and 2017 and is owned by Rockbridge and Maine hoteliers Marc Dugas and Peter Anastos.

It’s one of two Maine vacation spots to make the 2023 Forbes list. White Barn Inn and its companion restaurant both received five stars by the guide. Overall, 896 properties from around the world were awarded four stars by the guide this year.

Cliff House Maine dates back to 1872 when it was opened as a hotel and farm by Elsie Jane, the wife of Captain Theodore Weare. It was just after the Civil War ended, and a rail stop was being added to nearby York, connecting the area to Boston and beyond.

“Many original details had to be modernized for safety and brought up to code. However, the history is everywhere you look,” said marketing director Maddie Dignam.

Over the last century and a half, the resort has undergone many changes and additions.

“It had to be rebuilt and reconstructed after fires and the army takeover, so though original architecture is likely rare, the history is honored, and we remain on the original footprint,” Dignam said.

Now open all year round, Cliff House was only closed once.

“Cliff House did close its doors in the 1940s as it was overtaken by the US Army as a lookout station during World War II. Other than that, it has been open and operating seasonally since 1872,” Dignam said.

Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated the ownership of the golf course.

Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is the senior editor, features, for the Bangor Daily News and the editor of Bangor Metro magazine. She’s the author of “Classic Diners of Maine,” and five cookbooks including “Easy...