Innkeeper Jean Ginn Marvin’s father bought The Nonantum and hoped she’d help out. Now her daughter works there too. Photo by Russell Caron Photography

As innkeeper of The Nonantum in Kennebunkport, Jean Ginn Marvin leads a team that takes holidays – especially Christmas – very seriously.

“Until you live it, you can’t really imagine,” Marvin said, describing how the inn hosts holiday events for 20 days straight.

There’s the ever-popular two-night Fire & Ice signature event of the Kennebunks Christmas Prelude. And this year, when Santa arrives in the Kennebunks via lobster boat, he’ll be docking at The Nonantum.

“We will have reindeer games for families and a bar for grown-ups called Making Spirits Bright,” said Marvin, 63, of Scarborough. “That’s after the breakfast with elves, but before the Tuba Christmas concert, but before we host master chefs for a multi-course dinner.”

Her father had bought The Nonantum as an investment a quarter century ago and hoped she’d help. She was raising three children – Adam, Parker and Colby – and representing Cape Elizabeth as a legislator in Augusta on the appropriations committee. So she declined.

“But when the Legislature wound down in the summer, I went down to The Nonantum to help,” Marvin said. “And in about five minutes I realized that was what I was supposed to do. This is way more fun than fighting about money in the middle of the night.”

All three of her children, now grown, have worked at The Nonantum over the years. Her daughter Colby met her husband, Andrew Bracy, when they worked at the inn as teens. Now the mother of a toddler and newborn, Colby Bracy is The Nonantum’s director of human resources and philanthropy.

Last year, the Maine State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management named The Nonantum, a 109-room inn on the Kennebunk River in its 136th season, among the best places to work in Maine.


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