A Safe Harbor


Located in the charming coastal town of Cape Elizabeth, ME, Inn by the Sea serves as a tempting and guilt-free getaway, thanks to its seaside setting and various conservation strategies. Home to the first spa in Maine to be LEED certified, the property underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2008 that introduced the 3,800-square-foot SPA at Inn by the Sea. It features low-VOC paint; recycled studs and sheet rock; bamboo linens and towels; recycled cork floors in the treatment rooms; recycled rubber flooring in the fitness area; and dual-flush toilets. According to spa director Malina Payne, the spa even goes so far as to offer special parking for guests with hybrid cars.

Although the spa’s environmental philosophy certainly works in its favor, it isn’t the reason most guests visit. “Our guests are looking to relax, be pampered, and get away from it all,” says Payne. “Some of our locals will call us on the same day for their appointments because they just found a two-hour gap in their day, and they want to spend it with us. Though they are looking to be pampered and relax, they are often spa savvy and have expectations for high-quality providers, which we easily supply.”

Capitalizing on its seaside location, the spa features an ocean-inspired menu with signature treatments, such as the Sea Waves Massage ($150, 90 minutes), which involves relaxing strokes synchronized to the sounds of the ocean and takes place on a surround sound massage table; the Deep Sea Soother ($215, 90 minutes), which includes a full-body dry brushing and massage as well as an aromatherapy wrap; the Sea Breeze Facial ($175, 90 minutes), which relies on a complex of sea-based repairing enzymes and antioxidants to stren

gthen and repair the skin; and the Sea-Sational Combo ($170, 1 hour 45 minutes), which is a scrub and a full-body massage. Other menu highlights include the Casco Bay Stone Massage ($110, 60 minutes; $135, 90 minutes). It uses locally gathered stones with hydrating laminaria oil in a full-body massage. The Sand Dollar Back Facial ($80, 45 minutes) treats the back, a neglected part of the body, to a sea salt exfoliation, a purifying mud mask, and a full-back massage.

Chosen to facilitate the sea-inspired treatments, Osea, a marine-based vegan line, proved an ideal choice. “We wanted to complement what we are—a small inn on the coast of Maine,” says Payne. “It made sense to find a marine-based esthetics line. I also wanted a line that was not offered within 50 miles, as exclusivity was a factor.” The spa also capitalizes on its location with lobster and starfish ornaments that hang on the doorknobs outside the treatment rooms to signify when they are occupied.

With two full-time and 16 part-time staff members, the spa is able to accommodate 46 60-minute treatments a day. Because the property is a dog-friendly retreat, four-footed spa-goers are also welcome to indulge in a massage or two. In addition to satisfying the Inn’s guests, Payne is interested in attracting more locals to the spa. According to her, it is her greatest challenge, as many aren’t even aware that the spa is open to the public. She also hopes to increase the spa’s retail space. In the meantime, she and her staff are focused on welcoming all who visit and making them feel right at home. 


Owner: The Olympia Companies

Opened: June 2008


80% female

20% male


3,800 square feet;

6 treatment rooms

OFFERINGS: aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, eyelash and brow tinting, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, massage, prenatal services, reflexology, waxing, yoga

SIGNATURE SERVICE: Deep Sea Soother ($215, 90 minutes), Sea Breeze Facial ($175, 90 minutes), Sea Waves Massage ($150, 90 minutes), and Sea-Sational Combo ($170, 1 hour 45 minutes)

MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING: Deep Sea Soother ($215, 90 minutes)


Bombshell, Osea, Prima Fleur, TARA Spa Therapy


Bosu Ball, Cypress, Hoist, Kashwére, Living Earth Crafts, Precor, Springer, Miller, Zendals


TFH Architects (Portland, ME)


Moncur Design Associates


Deborah Evans & Associates (Austin, TX), Robin Evans (Tucson, AZ)