Getting Away to the Inn by the Sea

Relaxing with nature in Cape Elizabeth Maine

We love traveling in the off season, when we have the place to ourselves, time is spent getting to know places and people, and the only restaurants open are the ones that the locals eat at. We recently had a weekend getaway to Cape Elizabeth Maine in the dead of winter as the guests of Inn by the Sea. In the summer, Cape Elizabeth’s Crescent Beach is overflowing with the people of Portland looking to get in touch with their inner mermaid. But in the winter, there was room to roam, play in the snow, and just enjoy the peace and quiet you expect in Maine.

With a name like “Inn by the Sea”, we expected a quaint country inn. Instead we found a modern, upscale hotel, with a fine restaurant and full-service spa. The original Inn had been quaint trending toward rustic, but years of renovation and expansion has left only the name.

The transformation of Inn by the Sea into Maine’s premier luxury beach destination was completed in 2009 after a massive multi-million dollar makeover. The renovation has seamlessly wed contemporary amenities with traditional coastal charm to create an atmosphere of upscale elegance throughout the property.

We stayed in a traditional guest room, with a fireplace at the foot of the bed and an oversize shower in the bathroom. The inn features two-level spa suites, multi-room cottages, and garden suites that walk out into a landscape featuring indigenous plants.

Many of the 57 rooms and suites feature deluxe bathrooms with oversized showers and tubs, flat screen TV’s, ipod docking stations, plush bathrobes and luxurious bedding. Guest rooms surround visitors with warmth in a palette of deep red, cognac and charcoal, maple furnishings and nautical or locally inspired artwork.

Set in a location of unspoiled beauty above sandy Crescent Beach the fully renovated Inn redefines coastal eco- luxury with a combination of modern and environmentally friendly design features.

During the renovations, the Inn worked with a LEED consultant on the spa addition, used recycled rubber for the cardio room floor, low VOC paint, sealants and wall coverings and recycled sheet rock. The seasonal salinated pool is heated with solar panels, and an air to air heat exchanger saves energy.

That eco-sensitivity is perfect for their location – just a stroll across a boardwalk through a nature preserve and dunes to Crescent Beach. The 243-acre state park with hiking trails and picnic areas provide year-around contact with nature.

After exploring the park and beach, the spa at Inn by the Sea offers quests a tranquil retreat with indulgent pampering in two serenity rooms, one for men and one for women, surrounded by six treatment areas with an array of services from massage to facials. Linda enjoyed the Inn’s signature Sea Waves Massage, complimented with surround sound of soothing surf. They even have kid approved spa treatments for teens and doggie massage for VIP’s (very important pets) on the menu. Yes, that’s pets. Pets are welcome on the property and can even join their humans for a meal in the Inn’s Fireplace Lounge.

Sea Glass, the inn’s restaurant, serves up Maine fare with an international flare under the direction of executive Chef Mitch Kaldrovich. Celebrating all things Maine, Kaldrovich creates weekly menus with the freshest produce available from the sea and local farms. Complimented by panoramic ocean views and new décor the chef’s signature dishes of seasonal game or fresh seafood paella are paired with an extensive wine selection on view in the new wine cove.

Of course there’s breakfast, also served with a gourmet chef’s flair, to fuel the engines for another day of exploring Maine.

If you want to visit Inn by the Sea, find them online at www.innbythesea.com. They’re about 7 miles from Portland on Route 77.

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