If you’re planning a vacation to Maine and are looking for a luxury beachfront resort, be sure to head to Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth. Set on the foot of the sea, it offers spacious, lush multi-room suites with gorgeous views, sea breezes, a pristine beach, delicious food, children’s activities, a full-service spa and an extremely attentive staff. You’ll also be right down the road from a state light house with a museum, and just 20 minutes from Portland.
Inn by the Sea is committed to preserving the natural beauty of their coastal setting. They are the first hotel in Maine to heat with solar panels and biofuel, to be Carbon Neutral and to achieve Silver LEED certification for their space.
We felt right at home as soon as we walked through the door of the resort and remained in a zen state until we left. The lobby is indicative of the rest of decor around the property, comforting yet sophisticated with a palette of deep red, cognac, and charcoal with maple furnishings paired with local artwork. We were instantly charmed by images of boats and the amazing view of the sea.
There is a small restaurant right off the side of the room, and we planted ourselves for an introductory lunch prepared with fresh, local ingredients. It was clear from the start why Inn by the Sea was selected as one of the world’s best hotels by Travel & Leisure. The food, the ambiance, the scenery are swoon-worthy, to say the least, and we knew we were in for a treat.
We were given a Beach Suite, a one-bedroom accommodation with a king bed (and a pull out sofa and blow up mattress for the kids), complete with a fully equipped kitchen, a gas fireplace, flat screen TV, dining area, beautiful bathroom with an oversized tub, iPod docking stations, complimentary WIFI and a selection of gorgeous L’Occitane bath products.
Our room’s decor was impeccable and extremely tasteful, with wicker furnishings that provide just the kind of contemporary coastal attitude and nautical sense we were seeking. Not only were we a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, where fisherman were mooring lobsters, but we were reminded of our proximity to the sea with hints of decor like pictures of lighthouses and ships scattered throughout the suite, as well as a plastic lobster on a deck chair facing the sea.
The cozy deck chairs on the lawn outside our room facing the water was a sight for sore eyes. After a long day out, there is no better way to take in the sunset and we were ready to rest. It’s important to note that the resort also offers two-bedroom suites for bigger families and longer visits.
The food at Inn by the Sea defies description. It included delicious options for my husband and I, who have quite discernible palettes and crave new flavors and sensations, as well as for our kids, who are often picky. Chef Mitch Kaldrovich has created a menu full of unique, creative options for both fish and meat lovers at Sea Glass, with seating both inside and outside on the deck.
The Chef has married Maine ingredients with his Argentine roots and the results are mouth-watering. The menu combines coastal, comfort and health at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lighter options are presented beautifully throughout the day, as is a very reasonably priced children’s menu.
The night we dined at Sea Glass, starters included lobster bisque, salads, roasted mushroom tarte, carpaccio and grilled watermelon salad. The chef sent over a taster called “Amusante Bouche,” a sample of a quinoa dish with mackerel fish that was just sublime. Farm to fork entrees included herb grilled salmon, pan roasted fillet of pollack, rigatoni bolognese (which my kids had at lunch and loved), garden vegan quinoa, handmade kale and ricotta ravioli and for dessert — what else? Lobster gelato!
Inn by the Sea offers a wide choice of activity for adults and kids alike. We spent our first afternoon lounging by the heated pool with the kids, sipping cocktails and mocktails (lemonade). We also made our way down the path to the sandy Crescent Beach for an hour of ocean air. The hotel provides towels and beach chairs and we spent the afternoon riding the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
The resort also offers activities for kids throughout the day including art classes, kid’s yoga classes, tours of the inn’s gardens and eco-systems and a large grass area where kids can play volleyball, soccer and other sports. They offer a bonfire nightly in which they make s’mores, show movies and sometimes feature music.
We took a side trip to Portland Head Light a few miles away. Situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park, at 1000 Shore Road, the popular landmark is owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. They have a museum which contains a number of lighthouse lenses and interpretative displays, all of which are child-friendly and interesting.
I woke up early on our one morning there and went to an adult yoga class on the lawn, which was the perfect way to welcome in the morning. The teacher owns her own studio in Portland and really incorporated the sounds and meaning of being so near the sea into her yoga practice. It was truly “sea inspired” yoga and it was the perfect way to disconnect.
The resort’s spa offers sea-inspired treatments, and I was spoiled with a decadent treatment: a Sea Algae Detoxifying Body Wrap. It was the ultimate way to rejuvenate my skin and take time out for myself. For one hour, I was truly able to let go.
The resort treats their spa like a sanctuary and it truly relaxed my mind. The spa features separate men and women’s sanctuaries, private steam rooms and an experience shower (where water comes at you from all sides). If you can get away with your partner, they have a Suite for Two, which includes and oversized soaking tub and luxurious side-by-side treatment beds. Their products derive from rejuvenating seaweed, marine-based peptides, nutraceutical extracts and pure essential oils.
We can help! If you request availability at Inn by the Sea on Ciao Bambino, one of our Family Vacation Consultants will help ensure your needs are met — this is a free service! Click on the Check Availability button on the Inn by the Sea family-friendly hotel review page in the CB! Hotel Collection to use our service. The request will be sent directly to the hotel for the best available pricing, and one of our Consultants will follow up via email.
Our Family Vacation Planning Service does can also plan comprehensive itineraries if you are looking for a more extensive family vacation in Maine (or anywhere else!). Request assistance on our Connect with a Travel Advisor page.
Editor’s Note: Holly received a media rate to review the Inn by the Sea. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Holly Rosen Fink except where noted.
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