In the mid 1990’s, Linda and Gary Dower noticed that most American hotels had very little to do with “hospitality,” and were simply convenient and predictable places for travelers to sleep at night as they passed through. Americans are fantastic mass producers, and new hotel brands were created to mass-produce hotel rooms near the new Interstate Highway System. These hotels were not created to be hospitality destinations. In America, other than in major cities, destination hotels tended to be located at beautiful geographic areas, such as the Rocky Mountains, Miami Beach and the Grand Canyon, and were long distances away from where most people lived.
At the same time, Mr. and Mrs. Dower recognized that there were important changes occurring in the economic, demographic and social profile of the country and that these changes were powerful forces all pushing in one direction. The industrial economy was making way for the service economy. Single, long vacation periods were being given up for multiple, short get-a-ways. New information technologies were changing the way we worked and relaxed, and we could now focus our efforts and “run” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new ability to have instant, inexpensive, worldwide communication was wonderful for handling family and business responsibilities, but it also exposed us to being instantly and constantly available to everyone else’s issues and problems.
All of these changes created new capabilities and dramatic increases in productivity, but also exposed a harsh reality: human beings are not built to handle the new, frantic pace of life for extended periods.
Linda and Gary recognized that to stay at their best and really enjoy the new lifestyle that was available, they needed a place where they could “get-a-way” from the crazy pace of modern life every once and a while, to enjoy “classic comforts” and have a moment to reconnect and regroup. By stepping away, they found they could better reflect on where life was pushing them and how they were doing. They knew that these short respites had become necessary for them to take advantage of the accelerating pace of modern life. Unfortunately, they found that all of the “get-a way” destinations were a long distance from their home, in the small Village of Skaneateles, N.Y., and long distances made short visits impossible.
So, Mr. and Mrs. Dower decided to create the special get-a-way destination that they needed in their own life: a place designed from the customer’s perspective; a place of gracious hospitality, where guests enjoyed classic comforts and were truly cared for; a place where guests could let go and totally relax; and importantly, a place that was close to home.
The first Mirbeau Inn & Spa opened in the year of 2000 in the small Village of Skaneateles, in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Mirbeau, loosely translated as “reflected beauty,” is inspired in part by the soft light, warm colors and introspective character found in the paintings of renowned French Impressionist, Claude Monet.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa is residential in character, artistically designed, small, warm and cozy feeling with fireplaces in all of the rooms. A soothing, 15,000 sq.ft. Spa Mirbeau is the emotional heart of the property. A unique Bistro & Wine Bar is there for romantic dinners and fun social gatherings. A new concept in hospitality, the architecture and interior designs are very different from anything expected and give guests a feeling of being far, far away, even though they are only a short drive from home. In the summer of 2014, the second Mirbeau Inn & Spa opened in Plymouth, MA, in the Boston-South Shore area. Both Mirbeau properties have become wonderful and important resources for the residents of their communities and the surrounding regional area, and both properties have achieved great success, with local, national and international accolades and awards.
Building upon the proven success of the Mirbeau concept, Mr. and Mrs. Dower and their family recognized that by taking the core elements of the Mirbeau brand, including the Spa, with its relaxing and healing ambiance, hot massage pool, and exercise and wellness programs, along with the classic comforts of the Bistro & Wine Bar, they could create a wonderful “day resort.” The new Spa Mirbeau day resort concept provides a location for guests to get-a-way, relax and enjoy the Mirbeau sense of sanctuary and peace for a few hours or for the entire day and then return home. The first Spa Mirbeau opened in 2017 in the super regional Crossgates Mall just outside of Albany, NY and has become the dominant day spa in the Capital District.
The Mirbeau Companies is a family owned and operated organization focused on growing the Mirbeau brand into selected regional markets in the northeastern part of the country.