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Inn By The Sea (Portland, ME), or other NE seaside getaways?

Inn By The Sea (Portland, ME), or other NE seaside getaways?

Old Feb 22, 16, 6:18 pm
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Inn By The Sea (Portland, ME), or other NE seaside getaways?

I've only found passing references to this Virtuoso property from several years ago.

The wife and I are looking to escape the heat and the crowds in early July. Being by the sea in New England looks like a nice option, and this property being a mere 20 minutes from PWM (a direct flight from BWI) makes it very tempting. It's been hard, however, to find reviews from sources other than TA.

If anyone has stayed, I'd love to hear your feedback. Especially interested in the quality of the food, the "vibe" (we prefer more casual, non-stuffy accommodation, which seems to rule out quite a few properties), and whether it's the kind of place that will feel crowded in peak season.

Also interested in alternative suggestions for seaside getaways with cooler summer weather and direct flights from BWI (anywhere on the east coast that Southwest flies would be great).

Thanks!
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Old Feb 22, 16, 7:31 pm
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There is an older thread with a few reports here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...sea-maine.html

You could consider Hidden Pond although not directly seaside.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...me-report.html
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Old Feb 22, 16, 8:32 pm
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Thanks! Hidden Pond looks really interesting, and only a bit further from PWN than IBTS. It seems they have bikes you can take to the beach, which is nice, and it also may feel more secluded (always a plus in peak season).

My only concern would be the woodsy location and mosquitos in July, though I imagine this might be an issue across the whole area.

Would appreciate any more recent reports on either of these!
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Old Feb 22, 16, 9:03 pm
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I have clients visiting in April. I will try to remember to PM you with their thoughts when they get back, if you don't get much of a response from here.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 4:29 am
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For Maine, there is also The White Barn Inn. And the Blair Hill Inn is located on a beautiful lake.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 8:35 am
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Migis Lodge on Lake Sebago. Rustic luxury.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 9:58 am
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pretty unique accommodations (i really enjoyed) >
http://www.castlehillinn.com/newport.../beach-houses/
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ca...1d26e7!6m1!1e1
westernmost oceanfront corner room was #37
requires a car (long drive) for any off property

speedbird001, good to hear feedback for migis

anyone been to weekapaug inn or watch hill inn?
(both include access to ocean house)
http://www.ohmcollection.com/resorts/

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Feb 24, 16 at 11:09 am
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Old Feb 23, 16, 10:40 am
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I haven't stayed here for awhile, but have enjoyed cocktails there.

it is a nice place to be and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. I think it is larger than an "inn", but it is not huge by any stretch. Beach is close (5 minute walk out front)

Portland is a foodie paradise these days - even if you hated the food at the inn - there is plenty to eat in Portland. town is busy that time of year but not a crush of tourists. Think Annapolis but laid back. Really one of my favorite areas to go to

if you are only spending a long weekend you may want to consider staying in town Portland - plenty of great hotels there
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Old Feb 23, 16, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Travel K View Post
I have clients visiting in April. I will try to remember to PM you with their thoughts when they get back, if you don't get much of a response from here.
Sharing those thoughts with the forum will help more folks, you know!
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Old Feb 23, 16, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by Travel K View Post
I have clients visiting in April. I will try to remember to PM you with their thoughts when they get back, if you don't get much of a response from here.
Thanks!

Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
For Maine, there is also The White Barn Inn. And the Blair Hill Inn is located on a beautiful lake.
Thanks Ericka, BHI looks gorgeous but a bit far from the airport for such a short trip. White Barn Inn looks great, too, but probably on the "formal' side of things for our tastes (though I could be wrong here, just going on images from the site/TA).

Originally Posted by speedbird001 View Post
Migis Lodge on Lake Sebago. Rustic luxury.
Hadn't heard of this, thanks!

[QUOTE=Kagehitokiri;26231424]pretty unique accommodations (i really enjoyed) >
http://www.castlehillinn.com/newport.../beach-houses/

Nice, thanks Kage!

Originally Posted by tfred View Post
I haven't stayed here for awhile, but have enjoyed cocktails there.

it is a nice place to be and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. I think it is larger than an "inn", but it is not huge by any stretch. Beach is close (5 minute walk out front)

Portland is a foodie paradise these days - even if you hated the food at the inn - there is plenty to eat in Portland. town is busy that time of year but not a crush of tourists. Think Annapolis but laid back. Really one of my favorite areas to go to

if you are only spending a long weekend you may want to consider staying in town Portland - plenty of great hotels there
Great feedback, thank you! Any great hotels in town in particular that you'd recommend?
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Old Feb 23, 16, 11:44 am
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The Inn By The Sea is in Cape Elizabeth, a short drive to downtown Portland. It's also about 10 minutes also from the spot where we spend our summers.

The restaurant (Seaglass) and its small bar are both fine, but in season service does slow down because of the volume. It's more formal than the hipster joints in town, but it is by no means stuffy. Jordan's Farm off of Spurwink Road has a fun locavore restaurant in season, plus there are several reliable standbys in the area (Good Table, Rudy's)

Maine is of course one of the best places on earth, so it's hard to go wrong with a top property anywhere in the state.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Sharing those thoughts with the forum will help more folks, you know!
True. Will do.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 6:39 am
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For these types of getaways, does renting a small cottage seem like the way to go, so that it might be easier to eat and drink more leisurely (i.e. sipping on local brew while grilling fresh seafood)? Keenly interested in what you come up with LM!
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Old Jul 5, 16, 1:04 pm
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We returned from a long holiday weekend at Inn By The Sea yesterday, so I thought I'd update this thread with some thoughts on the property.

In short: we had a great, relaxing stay. The property suited our needs perfectly, though it won’t suit everyone. Hopefully this review can help you decide if it’s right for you.

We chose Inn By The Sea because we wanted to escape the heat and go to a New England beach for the long 4th of July weekend, but didn’t want:
  1. Stuffy old-school properties where I’d feel out of place in flip flips, or
  2. To pay the $1k+ per night for small rooms that some of the more prominent luxury properties were asking for the holiday

IBTS seemed like a solid choice at $689 for a two-floor suite that included an ocean-facing balcony. The fact that it was only a 20-minute drive from PWM airport (a short hour-long hop from BWI) sealed the deal.

We booked with pricesquire, and got Virtuoso amenities which included full breakfast (including room service but not including gratuity), upgrade on availability (not offered or desired), late checkout (offered but not used), and a $100 spa credit.

First, the pros:

Location: The property is located just 100 yards or so from Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth, ME. It’s an easy 20-minute drive from Portland (an excellent small food and beer city), and an even shorter drive to many great hikes and other activities. For example, we borrowed bikes from the hotel and rode to the iconic Portland Head Light, which took us about 35 minutes each way.

The Beach: Crescent Beach is a low-key, clean, uncrowded beach that had few locals when we were there, despite the holiday weekend. It took us about 30 minutes to walk the entire length of the beach, so a couple laps made for a lovely afternoon/evening stroll.

The Suite: We stayed in a Spa Suite, which is a two-level suite. Downstairs is a living room, kitchenette and a balcony, and upstairs is the bedroom and (very large) bathroom. The kitchenette made it easy to self-cater, which we loved doing after we found The Cheese Iron, a superb specialty foods store about 15 minutes away. This made the stay feel much more casual and relaxed than dining at the hotel restaurant; almost like renting a nice beach condo rather than staying at a hotel.

I highly recommend this room type, as it’s the only kind with second floor balconies that overlook the ocean. The garden suite porches open directly into the property grounds, so they lose privacy, while the beach suites, while on the beach, are also subject to passerby being able to see you.









Small touches: There’s a fire-pit by the pool area where the hotel sets up ingredients for s’mores every evening. Each night with turndown, housekeeping left cookies (a different variety every time). These small touches made the place feel warmer and more welcoming.

Privacy: Despite the holiday weekend and a wedding being held at the property, it never felt crowded. In fact, we rarely encountered other guests, though much of that has to do with the fact that we entered through a side entrance that was closer to our room, took breakfast via room service, didn’t use the pool and on the whole kept to ourselves

And the cons:

Service: The service here is not what I’d call five-star. Many of the staff are kids home for summer break, and this isn’t an “anticipate your needs” level of service. In general, when you ask for something, you’ll get it, but certainly, nobody is going to appear out of thin air with whatever you were just about to ask for, as it seems happens in many of the properties reviewed here. For us, it just felt very, very laid back (and unobtrusive), and we really liked it. For some, though, this will be a weak point.

Decor: There wasn’t anything particularly special about the decor of the rooms, or the hotel in general. The hallway carpeting is less-than-appealing, and none of the trappings really scream “luxury.”

Pool: I wouldn’t come here expecting to find an impressive pool. It’s pretty small, and was full of kids the entire weekend. However, it did do a nice job of keeping all of the kids on the property occupied, so the fact that the property is very family- (and pet-) friendly didn’t translate to a loud or hectic atmosphere at all.

You need a car here: Not sure if this is a con or not, but I’ll put it here anyway: don’t come here expecting to spend your entire stay on property. There just isn’t enough to do. The best of the area (hiking, eating, etc..) requires driving. Parking is free.

One other note: we did a kayaking trip to Fort Gorges with Portland Paddle, and had a fantastic time. Great workout on a windy day, and getting to climb around an abandoned fort was a cool experience.
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Old Jul 5, 16, 2:12 pm
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Thank you, LM225. That is great detail. My clients stayed in April and liked it, but didn't give me enough feedback to post.
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