Inn by the Sea
September 1, 2009
Whenever two people find themselves riding a tandem bicycle, the said partners must demonstrate extreme precision, coordination, and balance. Although the two cyclists may possess differing strengths and body structures, when unified they excel in a synchronized fashion. Thus together the duo becomes more than a sum of its parts; it becomes an intricate powerhouse of harmony and equilibrium.
Striving to effortlessly pair tourism in tandem with sustainability, Inn by the Sea (www.innbythesea.com), located on the pristine Crescent Beach, considers every detail of their guests’ stay to be an opportunity for environmental education and equilibrium as exemplified through their over-arching message of “Preserve, protect and inspire”.
Preserve. Eight years ago, Inn by the Sea made the green switch with a simple but trendy vegetation alteration- the gardener ripped out the exotic plants and rehabilitated the assorted gardens with indigenous plants. This significant move reduces the amount of chemicals and water, teaches the guests about native Maine flora, and creates a natural habitat for wildlife. In addition, Sea Glass, the inn’s high-end restaurant, uses fresh produce and seafood from regional farmers and fisherpersons, thus sustaining the local food movement.
Protect. Head Gardener Derrick Daly, one of GLP’s favorite personnel, gave the camera crew a private tour of the outside facilities, including the registered Butterfly Waystation. Hosting the Monarch butterfly, the waystation provides housing and a nectar garden. In addition, Inn by the Sea encourages the growth and spread of the native milkweed plant, which is the only plant where the monarch butterfly can lay its eggs. What’s more, whenever guests choose not to have their sheets and towels washed and changed during their stay, the money from the energy savings goes directly to a village in Mexico to help preserve the Monarch butterflies.
Inspire. Inn by the Sea has been certified, awarded, and recognized as an outstanding luxury hotel. Such accreditations include the National Geographic Traveler’s “The Stay List,” Tripadvisors’s Top Ten Green Hotels worldwide, and a certified Maine Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging. The inn has also set many firsts in Maine in terms of the first carbon neutral hotel, the first spa to be built to LEED’s specifications, and the only hotel in Maine to heat with biofuel.
Finally, my favorite inspirational detail- the vegetable garden, which is really more informative than anything else. As Derrick mentioned, “You wouldn’t believe how many young kids today don’t even realize that a tomato actually grows on a tomato plant.” And it’s true; most kids see the tomato either in the grocery store in a bin or on their plate without any sense of origin or cultivation. Such exhibits are the simplest yet most magnificent points of revelation that provide congruity between the cultivation and the consumption of food.
Unfortunately during Green Living Project’s stay, however, Amoris and I were unable to enjoy the sustainable initiatives at Inn by the Sea in our cottage, which has not been updated to environmentally friendly standards. Therefore, I cannot personally comment on the given room experience. I did not see any recycling bins nor were our toilets dual flush. However, thanks to Rauni Kew, Public Relations and Green Programs Director, and other staff, we girls were able to take a late night visit the spa and enjoy the bamboo towels, dual flush toilets, and a ten headed shower (which I am still pondering over its water efficiency and energy usage.)
Despite the grandeur and comfort that Inn by the Sea offers to affluent guests from across the world, the ability to step across a whisped chemical-free lawn, through the certified bird sanctuary buzzing with vitality, and onto the hot sands of Crescent Beach State Park is incalculable in worth and immeasurable in organic sanctity. This experience alone, one of human equipoise with nature, is the most soul gratifying of all.