Beachside bliss on Maine’s calming coast
On a relaxing stretch of Maine’s coastline sits a peaceful retreat meant to be a getaway from hectic everyday life and a return to self-care. The Spa at Inn by the Sea opened in 2008 in conjunction with a renovation of its host beach resort and is particularly proud of its super green status. The Spa was built to Silver Leed(R) specifications, and contains no VOC paint or carpeting, and features recycled sheetrock walls, recycled cork floors, and dual flush toilets. The pool is heated with solar panels, and air to air heat exchangers save energy as well as bring constant fresh air into the Spa. It even has seven EV charging stations!
“Our Spa is the perfect, intimate space for rejuvenation,” shares Spa Director Eva St. Pierre. “We have six treatment rooms, including one esthetics room, one couples room with a deep soaking tub, and four single massage rooms. Two outdoor cabanas are available seasonally, with one seasonal outdoor pool. There is also a cardio room for guest workouts, plus two sanctuaries, one for men and one for women, each with steam rooms.
With the Inn by the Sea selected as one of the 500 World’s Best Hotels by Travel + Leisure in 2022, and the Spa itself rated sixth best spa in Maine by US News, and a “10Best” by USA Today, it’s easy to see why this special property is collecting such esteemed accolades.
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Due to its spot on a mile of unspoiled sand beach, the Spa’s signature treatment, the Higgins Beach Signature Sea Waves Massage, has a perfect sense of place. It utilizes a signature blend of essential oils to remind guests of the ocean, with long and relaxing strokes that are synchronized to the sounds of the sea. A surround-sound massage table responds to the build and tumbling of the waves. The massage is available in 60, 75, or 90-minute sessions.
“New guests coming to the hotel enjoy relaxing in the Spa. We send pre-stay letters to encourage booking in advance. Our website, social media platforms, and seasonal email blasts to all guests also have valuable information,” notes St. Pierre. “Most marketing is internal to our in-house guests.”
As far as promotions, the Spa offers seasonal salt scrubs to celebrate the time of year or special events. Two outdoor cabanas are available for al fresco treatments in the Summer months. As a hot spot for travel, different promotions are always being created to attract more clients in the off season.
“Staff are trained to perform a service on a real person by a staff member who has been working here for 10 years. We have meetings two to four times per year to go over things we have done well, things we can improve on, and what physical improvements are going to be made to the Spa space. It is a small team, so we are constantly in touch. I always have providers come with ideas on how to improve services,” says St. Pierre.
“We continually incentivize the staff with challenges like who can upgrade the most, or who can sell the most retail items. Prizes include dinner for two in our ocean view restaurant, gas cards, and gift cards. The hotel also has a staff recognition program that brings food trucks into the hotel for staff appreciation lunches and an annual staff party.”
Revenue and Retail
“Luckily our providers are good at recommending products to our clients! Clients seem to want to purchase a product they have enjoyed during services,” shares St. Pierre. All product lines carried for services are also offered in retail, including Zents body treatments and massage oil, and Phytomer and EmerginC for facials. As a green hotel, many retail products are local crafts or created by local jewelry makers.
With the Spa’s prime location inside a beach resort, guests come to the Inn by the Sea to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate on the coast, so it makes sense that massage is the most popular service, coming from a 75 percent hotel guest clientele. Revenue is composed of 60 percent massage, 30 percent facial, and 10 percent