Haute Escape: Inn by the Sea – Romance and Tranquility on Maine’s Coast

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.
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. 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 that are 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.
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.  Animals are welcome to dine with you there or al fresco – in fact, the whole hotel is incredibly pet friendly.
There are new beach front suites that are being constructed, and the spa suites are the very essence of relaxation, with their duplex layouts, L’Occitaine bath products, and sea view balconies.
The restaurant, Sea Glass, 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.
The hotel extends the first rate experience with its day spa, 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 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. No request is too small, no detail is overlooked.
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 warrants multiple stays.
*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.*
For more of Sarah’s travel and dining experiences, head to Fritos and Foie Gras