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History of Inn by the Sea

October 1, 2023

Guests enjoy elegant hospitality and spectacular ocean views at Inn by The Sea, perched above sandy Crescent Beach, in the charming coastal town of Cape Elizabeth. Inn by The Sea is located on the site of the former Crescent Beach Inn, but the site has welcomed visitors to the Maine coast for a century.

The seaside Inn by the Sea has been a hospitality destination dating back to the early 1900's with a simple building near the shore and later cottages named Green Gables. In the 1930's the Johnson family owned and operated small cottages and a popular Inn for over thirty years. The Inn's name was changed to Crescent Beach Inn, and in 1964 was sold and winterized.

Jan and Dave Weigel purchased Crescent Beach Inn in the 1970's and operated it as beloved inn and restaurant until it was sold to Maine native and developer, Pritam Singh, in early 1980. Singh razed the Crescent Beach Inn- burning it to the ground in the summer of 1985. He replaced the old inn with new construction and 44 hi end, cottage style suites in three buildings. The main house had the Audubon Room dining room, two function rooms and one bedroom suites. The two outer buildings housed two bedroom suite accommodations. The new Inn by the Sea was designed as a classic New England “shingled” resort with a coastal residential vibe. The all-suite Inn had breathtaking views of the Atlantic from the lobby, dining room and most of the one- or two-bedroom accommodations. The seaside lawn over looked Crescent Beach, the outdoor pool and the boardwalk to the beach.

Innkeeper Maureen McQuade purchased Inn by the Sea with partners Larry and Kevin Mahaney in 1993. The Inn is currently operated by Olympia Hospitality.

The original 44 all suite, 3 building, Inn by the Sea looked very much like the Inn of today, although the property has grown to have 62 rooms and one- and two-bedroom suites. On the grounds guests enjoy an outdoor heated swimming pool, a private boardwalk to a mile of sandy beach, an intimate SPA with sea inspired services and captivating cuisine in the ocean view dining room, Sea Glass. An expanded outdoor deck, firepit and cozy fireplace lounge afford guests a place to enjoy craft cocktails with small plates and Atlantic views.

Inn by the Sea has welcomed generations of family and friends to Cape Elizabeth, year-round, to experience quintessential Maine vacations that create lasting memories. “Our challenge in planning changes is to make sure we meet expectations for modern, elegant accommodations while preserving the Inn’s relaxed coastal charm,” stated the Inn’s Managing Director, Michael Briggs. “Construction details as well as visitor needs are always considered in creating an experience that is unique to Cape Elizabeth and the Inn. Changes are shaped by consideration for our beach location, the coastal environment, community and paired with our goal for an unparalleled level of comfort and service for guests."

In 2007: The Inn closed for the winter and the main house went through a complete renovation including all new décor, the addition of a LEED Silver certified SPA, expanded outdoor deck, a new fireplace lounge and the addition of traditional rooms. The Inn reopened in time for the summer season. 70% of construction waste was recycled while many green design features were added to the Inn such as solar panels, air to air heat exchangers, recycled sheet rock walls , recycled flooring & dual flush toilets etc. (Moncur Design)

In 2012: The original Beach cottage building was replaced with new construction featuring one- and two-bedroom, cottage style Beach suites. (Moncur Design)

In 2017: The Cottage building was replaced with all new construction featuring two bedroom, cottage style, Cove and Beach Suites. (Natalie Sheedy Design)

In 2018: The Beach suites were completely renovated over the winter and reopened in time for the summer season. (Natalie Sheedy Design)

In 2021: The main Inn had a refresh for the garden & loft suits.

In 2021: Two outdoor cabanas were erected on the side lawn.

In 2022: A Garden Suite was added to the main house, bringing the Inn's total accommodations to 62 rooms and suites.

In 2023: The casual outdoor CBK (Crescent Beach Kitchen) opened serving simple seasonal fare al fresco during summer's high season.

(Image: Inn by the Sea on the ocean side in 1993)

FMI: Rauni Kew, PR Manager Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth, MAINE 04107. 207.799.3134