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PREVIEW: review coming soon This classy New England beach hotel is all about Old Money and new green technologies

Eco


Overall eco rating


PREVIEW: review coming soon, but here's what we know based on preliminary research. Ratings are provisional.

You can tell Inn by the Sea is serious about the environment and their local community.  They have funded significant green upgrades to the 20 year old building and spent millions on the grounds which are now a beacon for wildlife.  The Inn’s work in the community is also dedicated, imaginative and generous.

  • The Inn by The Sea is greening their 20yr old building
  • Heating system modified to run on biofuel
  • Pool now heated by solar panels
  • A recent spa addition achieved LEED Silver for the construction – included extensive use of recycled (sheetrock/plasterboard, metal, flooring) and low VOC (carpet, paint, wall coverings) materials
  • Strong on social aspects - one local project involves working with 3 schools, disadvantaged adults and a Not for Profit organisation to provide clothes, books, blankets and chap sticks to the homeless
  • Gardens certified by National Wildlife Federation for Backyard Habitats
  • Gardens are managed in a chemical free fashion
  • Educate local children about environment and ecology with imaginative Bugs Life events

People

Inn by the Sea’s community work is impressive – it encompasses educational activities, support for local suppliers, fund raising for charities and getting stuck in to community projects with disadvantaged adults.

  • ‘Farm to fork’ dining means work closely with local food producers – common to see names of farms/producers on menus
  • Supports numerous charities – Habitat for Humanity, local Land Trust, Trees for Christmas and childhood hunger charities
  • One local project involves working with 3 schools, disadvantaged adults and a Not for Profit organisation to provide clothes, books, blankets and chap sticks to the homeless
  • Promote green issues at conferences and to children (focussing on triple bottom line of People Planet Profit)

Animals & nature

We don’t know what the Inn’s gardens were like before they spent $2m on a makeover but they are now a model for sustainability and a gem for guests to enjoy.

The Inn also contributes to animal welfare and natural improvement in a variety of ways.

PETA assessment of cruelty free credentials of cleaning products and toiletries to come.

  • Gardens extensively refurbished in 2008 with indigenous species and an eye for habitat creation
  • Gardens include milkweed and nectar gardens to encourage the monarch butterfly and a designated butterfly waystation
  • Gardens certified by National Wildlife Federation for Backyard Habitats
  • Gardens are managed in a chemical free fashion
  • Educate local children about environment and ecology with imaginative Bugs Life events
  • Participate in voluntary efforts to remove invasive species from nearby woodlands
  • Part of an under-utilised seafood programme with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to use lesser known fish in menus
  • Pets are given an extremely warm welcome

Environment & buildings

The Inn has had a multimillion dollar makeover and this has been done with the environment in mind, most obviously the new spa extension has LEED certification but more impressive is the money spent greening the main inn and, in particular, it's energy using systems are now well ahead of the average new building.

  • The Inn by The Sea is greening their 20yr old building
  • Heating system modified to run on biofuel
  • Pool now heated by solar panels
  • Mechanical ventilation was recently adapted to include heat recovery reducing heating bills considerably
  • Lighting is largely CFL with some LED and a few less efficient fittings –  timer control of lighting and good daylight reduce energy use
  • Thermostats are set low for heat and high for cooling
  • Water efficient fittings (low flow taps, aerators on showers, dual flush toilets – the Inn was the first hotel in Maine to have dual flush toilets!)
  • A recent spa addition achieved LEED Silver for the construction – included extensive use of recycled (sheetrock/plasterboard, metal, flooring) and low VOC (carpet, paint, wall coverings) materials
  • Glass, metal, plastic, cardboard recycled - used cooking oil is donated to a local biodiesel producer
  • Food waste is taken to a local pig farm but a large composter is being started in Portland which will collect waste
  • As well as LEED, is a (self-certified) member of Maine’s Green Lodging Environmental Program
  • Pool is salinated rather than chlorinated and cleaning products are Green Seal approved ensuring harmful chemicals are reduced

Reviewed by

Tim Starley-Grainger


Luxury


Overall luxury rating*


PREVIEW: expert review coming soon, but here's a taster. Ratings are provisional.

The scene

Just outside Portland on Maine's southern coast, this is where monied New Englanders get away from it all, beaching, boating and biking on picturesque Cape Elizabeth. Families, pets and weekending couples come here for fresh air, woodland walks and golf

  • Portland, Maine, is just 15 minutes away, with great shopping, restaurants and bars
  • Boston is just two hours away
  • Set in five acres of private grounds and by a three-mile beach
  • Sailing, kayaking, sunbathing, cycling, golfing and a dash of history, via two lighthouses and a smattering of museums

  • Kids and dogs welcome, so if you're allergic to either, look elsewhere

The style

Elegantly casual, in that New England wealthy-but-not-flashy way, this could be the setting for an LL Bean catalogue photoshoot - and, in fact, the outdoor-clothing retailer organises adventure trips here. Striped carpets, woven seagrass chairs, maple furniture, burgundy throw pillows and modern art adorn the 57 rooms and suites, while vintage ports, bourbons and champagnes are served in the lobby bar.

  • An air of comfortable refinement, where Old Money come to relax
  • New England coastal-chic decor

  • Nothing outstanding among its architecture or decor - it's just all quietly, elegantly tasteful

The facilities

Five acres of landscaped grounds, with outdoor swimming pool and boules court, plus three miles of sandy seashore provide plenty of outdoorsy entertainment, while inside, it's all about the organic spa, restaurant and lounge.

  • Plenty of outdoorsy adventures on site and nearby
  • Three-mile-long white-sand beach right behind Inn by the Sea
  • Set in five acres of landscaped grounds and woodlands
  • Spa with treatment rooms and separate men's and women's steam rooms
  • Outdoor swimming pool and boules court
  • Restaurant, bar and lounge
  • Golf courses galore, including access for hotel guests to an exclusive members club

  • No indoor pool

We love

Classy, understated New England elegance

Family- and pet-friendly

15 minutes from Portland, with its numerous culture, shops, bars and restaurants

Rugged Maine coastline and scenery

You might not love

Architecture and interiors could do with more wow factor

Reviewed by

Jill Starley-Grainger


Inn by the Sea

40 Bowery Beach Rd, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107

USA
+1 800 888 4287

Standard room rates from €165

Eco

Luxury*

"Connected by a private boardwalk to sandy, three-mile-long Crescent Beach, this five-acre resort reopened in June 2008 after a multimillion-dollar eco-renovation. The revamped property now has environmentally friendly features like recycled rubber floors, all-organic bath and cleaning products, an indoor-outdoor air exchange system, and a solar-panel-heated swimming pool" Travel and Leisure