Mrs. Barbara Bush and other family members use the Cliff House Inn and Spa, as did I. A three-day visit to the seaside inn and spa gave me a needed rest, a signature facial by Tracy and a good story, too, about meeting both former Presidents H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush at Perkins Cove, near the resort and spa.
ďItís the first oceanside spa in New England,Ē says Kathryn Weare, the proud fourth generation owner and innkeeper. Wraps, snaps, flaps, blueberry, raspberry, facials, pedicures, two-story fitness center, and a pebbled outdoor Labyrinth modeled on the famed Chartes Cathedral's circular maze complete the spa experience. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliff House Resort and Spa is only a few miles from Ogunquit's shops, Cliff Walk, restaurants and beaches and only an hour north of Boston.
It's on 70 seventy acres of oceanfront, above Bald Head Cliff. Every room has a balcony with an ocean view. The Spa building opened just a few years ago, in a contemporary yellow building with a two-story fitness center and pool. The Cliff House Resort & Spa is a family owned business, welcoming guests since 1872.
The Spa features a vast menu of treatments from body, facial, and wraps as well as a pedi-mani section. In its 20,000 square feet, state-of-the-art spa, The Spa building, perched atop Bald Head Cliff on the site of the original 1870ís hotel, houses a 75- foot indoor lap pool; outdoor pool with vanishing edge; outdoor whirlpool; fitness mezzanine with exercise and weight training equipment; treatment rooms for massage, body and skin care and locker rooms with steam, sauna and showers. The multi-million dollar facility has 32 guest rooms with king size bed, gas-fired woodstove, wet bar with refrigerator and balcony overlooking the ocean. The Spa Quiet Room with plush chairs, fireplace and views offers a place for peaceful contemplation of the rocky coast. Specially designed guest rooms, a ramped indoor pool and elevators serve handicapped guests.
In the treatment room, donít be shy about requesting your favorite music: New Age, Jazz, or Classical. The Cliff House Spa offers body treatments with natural, local plants. I chose a blueberry body wrap, blueberry facial and sea salt exfoliating treatments. Try the fabulous facialist Tracy, and my dynamic masseuse, Dan. The Spa building includes a full-size swimming pool, Jacuzzi, lift and a ramp for handicapped folk and also for wheelchairs; the outside Jacuzzi also has a ramp and a lift for handicapped folk. This resort is fully handicapped-accessible.
My favorite Spa treatments include a 90-minute hot stone massage, blueberry and seaweed wrap, and a 50-minute Signature Spa Treatment Ė a Maine Wild Rose Body Wrap, a Stone Massage with heated rocks from Bald Head Cliff, or a facial enhanced with Wild Maine Blueberries.
The oceanside Cliff House Inn dining room serves superb food in an elegant setting. Itís a favorite with inn guests, local people and visitors because the food is as spectacular as the view. Baked stuffed Maine lobster, boiled lobster, filet mignon (I had it -- delicious!), Romaine salad, and blueberry pie made from Maine blueberries are all cooked to a Julia Child-perfection. Food is an important historical link for The Cliff House, which is just printing the third edition cookbook, which offers classic and contemporary recipes.
An outdoor activity area offers the Jacuzzi, swimming pool, tables, lounge chairs, boccie ball, croquet, volleyball and horseshoes and cliffside walking paths. A covered connector allowed us to walk from the spa building, to the new check-in lobby and to the main building and restaurant
For more information on treatments and lodging packages 207-361-1000, firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cliffhousemaine.com. The Cliff House Resort & Spa. Shore Road, PO Box 2274, Ogunquit, ME 03907. tel: 207-361-1000, for dining reservations, call the direct line at 207-361-6206.
The food is divine; a five-star menu, cooked to perfection. I had lobster one day, lobster with pasta another, to die for! blueberry pie cooked with Maine in-season blueberries and served with ice cream. Yum.A four-day package this summer includes two full dinners, breakfast daily for two and a blueberry pedicure.
For reservations and more information, contact The Cliff House Resort and Spa, Bald Head Cliff, Shore Road, Ogunquit, York, ME 03909, (207) 361-1000. www.cliffhousemaine.com.