Imagine it’s 1970. Now, imagine a professor from California on sabbatical driving his trusty Land Rover around the world—six different continents to be exact. Covering the exterior of the car is an array of stickers, a fond memento from the latest escape to India or Australia. One sticker, that has now become the motto of many travelers, catches your eye: “Not all those who wander are lost.”
The legend of this “wanderer” and his Land Rover is no made-up fable but kismet. Mark Cotto, the lead designer of The Wanderer Cottages, discovered the car at Motorland in Arundel when looking for a themed vehicle to place in the front of the property. When he learned the story of its previous owner, bringing the Rover back to the cottages felt fated. Now painted in authentic-to-the-period off white, the wagon is an Instagram-worthy backdrop that greets guests upon entrance.
The cottages themselves—available in both a studio and one-bedroom option—feel like a second home near the beach. The rooms have a similar layout that includes a wet bar, vanity, and sensory natural materials like rattan, jute, and bamboo. Laden with New England nostalgia, vintage surf photography, and sea glass, the space feels at once comfortable and lived in. All of the little details were inspired by things you might see in a surfer or wanderer’s car, Mark tells me. These are the moments in design that are unique to each room, so every stay will feel special—a true manifestation of an explorer’s room. Things you might not see in such a car are ultrasoft Frette linens, Cuddledown bedding, and Grown Alchemist shower products. At its core, the cottages are lavish accommodations layered with delightfully subtle moments of surf and travel decor.
Though it would be easy to never leave the landscaped grounds with its fire pits and pool, this stay is perfect for those who have a thirst for exploration. The proximity to Kennebunk’s beaches, Gooch’s and Parsons, makes for an easy bike ride. Hiking trails, shopping, and excellent dining are close to the property as well. Nearby Batson River Brewery & Distillery, with its hearty food and superb cocktails, is not to be missed. For those who find a kindred spirit in “the wanderer,” these cottages welcome you with open arms.