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Welcome to Maris'

Little House of Essex

Essex, Connecticut

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The Little House of Essex is a chic, one-bedroom cottage filled with all of the modern comforts. Situated just a short three-minute drive from the center of Essex Village, the cottage features vaulted ceilings, heated bathroom floors, and an elegant, wall mounted fireplace with adjustable flame colors to suit your mood.


The space is both calming and luxurious, marked by a serene grey and white palette and a sophisticated design that is carried throughout. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to escape to one of those small-picturesque towns featured in a classic Hallmark movie, now is your chance.



Grab your morning cup of joe from the fully-stocked coffee bar, and get cozy on the plush couch (which doubles as a queen sofa bed) or outside on the spacious patio while taking in the view of the backyard garden.


Enjoy cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the well-equipped kitchen or grill out on the patio — whatever your preference, be sure to leave room for s’mores out by the firepit!

1 Bedroom

1 Bathroom



Indoor Fireplace

Heated Floors


Board Games


Keurig Coffee Maker


BBQ Grill (Gas)

Coffee on the House

Dishes and Silverware

Cooking Basics and Spices

A/C and Heat

Dedicated Workspace

Free Parking



Meet Maris LeBlanc and JR Amantea, your hosts at the Little House of Essex — a chic cottage near the Connecticut River in the most quintessential of quintessential New England towns.

Maris has spent her career in real estate — mostly brokering luxury, waterfront homes along the Connecticut Shoreline. When she met her now husband, JR, he was living in New York working in finance, but his real passion lay in curating and managing classic and exotic cars.

Maris encouraged JR to go all in on his passion; and, soon after, he left New York, moved to Essex, Connecticut and started GT Motor Cars — a boutique vintage and exotic car dealership, and collection management company.


It was here in Essex where Maris and JR bought a beautiful, ranch-style home, which included a shed-like structure behind it. While JR had hoped to transform this shed-like structure into the ultimate man cave, Maris had bigger ambitions. Hear the wonderful story behind the building of the Little House of Essex on the Behind the Stays Podcast.

Explore the


Among “The 100 Best Small Towns in America,” the town of Essex is a colonial seaport town steeped in rich history and surrounded on three sides by the Connecticut River.


Take a leisurely walk down Main Street and pop by charming boutique shops, waterfront restaurants, and America’s oldest inn, the Griswold Inn -- welcoming travelers since 1776. Or, head over to Harvey’s Beach in Old Saybrook for fishing, boating, or swimming (just a ten-minute drive from the Little House of Essex).


During the summer months, be sure to catch “Thursday’s on the Dock,” a free, outdoor concert series put on by the Connecticut River Museum.

Whatever the season, this town offers no shortage of things to see or do. It’s no wonder Essex has been dubbed “The Perfect Small American Town” and served as the picture-perfect backdrop for many a holiday Hallmark movie.



Good food and drink abound in and around this town with a number of options for grabbing a quick bite, leisurely meal, or a casual pint. Enjoy scenic views of the Connecticut shoreline from a number of these local eateries with an atmosphere that is sure to delight.

Carlson's Landing

A culinary experience overlooking the Connecticut River at the historic Essex Boat Works. Offering an elevated yacht club experience to the dining public, this spectacular new restaurant boasts dazzling interiors by Lawrence Hamre Designs and original undersea artwork by renowned local artist Melissa Barbieri.

La Marea

Savor the authentic tastes of Italy when you dine at La Marea.  Located on the shoreline of CT in Old Saybrook, this family-owned Italian restaurant prepares northern and southern Italian cuisine using a mix of the finest imports from Italy as well as fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Otto Pizza

Cozy up in front of the fire and enjoy the best wood fired oven pizza you have ever had. Drink from a carefully curated list of local craft beer on tap or a handpicked selection of wines and cocktails (the margaritas are to die for). 

The Griswold Inn

One of the oldest continuously operated inns in the country, The Griswold Inn opened for business in 1776. This quintessential New England dining experience offers great food and a warm atmosphere with friendly and polite service. Expect a diverse menu that includes healthy options (seared salmon) and good old fashioned comfort food that goes perfect with the cozy historic atmosphere alike.

Places to


Worried your exercise routine might take a hit while you're traveling?  Think again. Run along beautiful, wooded trails nearby,  walk to the shoreline and soak in an Insta-worthy sunset, or get that HIIT class in!

Maris's property is a perfect slice of New England splendor! The well appointed cottage was modern and comfortable; perfect as a place to explore Essex from as well as being a lovely, calming place to spend a rainy day. The cottage is very close to Essex and a quick drive to the many other wonderful towns along the coast and Connecticut River. Maris was very responsive when we needed extra supplies but maintained our privacy. We are so glad we booked this cottage and you will be as well!

Rebecca Rebecca

My wife and I are digital nomads that travel to new Airbnbs every couple of weeks. The Little House of Essex is nothing short of magical. The place is impeccably clean, and, while small, is designed so optimally that it feels much larger than it is.

The kitchen has everything you need to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the outdoor space is comfortable and calming. We're really picky when it comes to mattresses and both of us slept like babies in the queen bed! The huge TV makes Netflix-binging all too easy and the heated floors in the bathroom make you feel like you're in a luxurious spa.

The town of Essex just might be the most quintessential of quintessential New England towns we've ever visited and it's just a 10-minute walk from Maris' house. Most importantly, though, was Maris and JR's hospitality. They were responsive, respectful, helpful, and welcoming! Their recommendations were all fantastic and we sincerely hope we're able to make it back here one day soon. We can't recommend Maris, JR, and the Little House of Essex enough.

Zach-Airbnb-Headshot Zach

We had a great long weekend at the Little House. Maris has spared no expense to make the house comfortable and welcoming—from the thoughtful design details, the well equipped kitchen, a generous welcome basket and beautiful location…Maris is definitely a super host! The house is a perfect 30 minute stroll to town along beautiful tree lined streets. The back garden is a lovely spot for coffee in the morning or drinks in the evening.

Susan Susan

I booked this AirBnb for my parents for a weekend getaway and they absolutely loved it! In my mom's words, "Beautifully decorated, cozy cottage. Everything you could want or need. Feels brand new, light, bright and airy. Maris is a wonderful host. Would definitely stay again!!" Maris is truly a gem!

Mikaila Mikaila
HubSpot Video

Little House of Essex

Available for Booking Starting:
September 7, 2022

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