I didn’t just have the pleasure of dining at Sea Glass Restaurant, I also had the privilege of staying at the hotel. Though this is primarily a food blog, this hotel was really a little slice of awesome, and deserves to be written about.
Inn by the Sea is a beautiful full service hotel located about 15 minutes from Portland, Maine, one of the best dining cities in America. It is located in Cape Elizabeth on Crescent Beach.
This isn’t the hard, pebbly beach that is so often found on the East Coast. The sand is powder fine and the beach itself is pristine. It’s worth checking into the hotel just to be guaranteed the chance to walk down this undisturbed strip of beach.
The hotel went though a multi million dollar renovation in 2008, and since became Maine’s first Carbon Neutral Hotel. It is also LEED certified and works with the Gulf of Maine research Institute to serve only sustainable seafood at its restaurant. All of its toilets are dual flush (so you use less water when you only urinate), all the cleaning products are OASIS Green Seal Certified, and even the cooking oil is recycled to fuel cars. This is not your usual hotel, pumping out tons of waste and giving nothing back. Uneaten food is donated to a local pig farm, and there is an ongoing project in conjunction with the Maine Department of Conservation to restore a habitat for the endangered New England Cottontail Rabbit.
By summer 2012, there should be a 2 acres on Crescent beach planted with indigenous flora like raspberry and blueberry bushes to encourage the propagation of the New England Cottontail Rabbit. When you come here, you aren’t just spending money to take a relaxing vacation. You are spending money on a place that believes in preserving the environment, supporting local farms, and ensuring that native animals stay alive and well.
That’s all fine and dandy, but if the hotel is like staying in a tent, you might as well just camp out.
If this is a tent, it’s like one in Troop Beverly Hills.
The hotel is an oasis of calm and elegance, truly a 5 star property. The public spaces are bright and large, with sunlight pouring in through the huge glass windows that look onto the sea. There is a small lounge (shown here with the ample morning coffee/tea setup) where you can eat or indulge in one of the incredible S’mores martinis – absolutely a grown up Yoo-Hoo if I ever had one! Animals are welcome to dine with you there or al fresco – in fact, the whole hotel is incredibly pet friendly. On the last day of the summer season, before the pool closes, all the dogs in town are invited to come have a romp in the pool before it is drained. The hotel rooms, however, are cleaned with a fine tooth comb – this allergy ridden Jewess had no problem with any pet dander in my room.
And the rooms there are incredible. There are new beach front suites that are being constructed, and I will let the pictures of the duplex spa suite speak for itself:
The breathtaking view from the balcony.
The linens are crisp and luxurious,
and all the bath products are L’Occitaine.
The incredible shower.
Turn down comes with chocolate chip cookies, and check in comes with these delightful chocolate dipped marshmallows.
They really want you to be fatties here.
I already wrote about the delicious dinner at Sea Glass, but the restaurant also serves a phenomenal breakfast…
including omelette with seasonal vegetables, fantastic corned beef hash with organic eggs, and some of the best English muffins on the planet, home-baked and tender crumbed.
offering luxurious treatments in its jewel box of a spa, small but exquisitely appointed. There are separate men’s and women’s areas with showers, locker rooms, steam rooms, and a fabulous Kohler shower with many different heads to give a shower experience like none other.
Even if you don’t have a treatment booked here, come relax in the sanctuary. This quite room is appointed with magazines, plush chairs, and refreshments, perfect for grabbing a quiet moment to yourself.
The treatments here are excellent, with enough personal attention to ensure that your masseuse is not giving you some standard treatment, but really listening to what you want and making sure you end your treatment relaxed and rejuvenated.
The whole hotel is about grabbing a moment to yourself. It is truly so luxurious that it’s hard to believe how at home you feel, thanks in large part to the staff. Not at all pretentious or hoity-toity, every person we ment, from bellman to server, was not only kind and helpful, but genuinely interested in making our stay interesting. Everyone wanted to take pictures for us to commemorate our trip, suggested restaurants where we should dine, and had something to say about the rest of our itinerary. No request was too small, no detail was overlooked. This isn’t a place for someone who wants to feel lost in the shuffle, it’s the place for someone who wants to feel valued and part of they Inn by the Sea family.
This hotel is as luxe as any Park Hyatt, as personal as staying at an old friend’s house, and as romantic as you could possibly imagine. From the sumptuous bedrooms to the outstanding service to the fact that the Inn really cares about protecting the environment, this is a hotel that I plan to stay at again and again.
Like I said…a litte slice of awesome.
*Disclaimer: I received a press rate to stay at this hotel. I was not required to post about it, received no compensation, and the opinions are my own and, I feel, unbiased.*