Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: First Resort
The Cape and Islands are brimming with full-service resorts just begging to be explored on your next visit. Whether you prefer the quiet of Cape Cod Bay or the surf of Nantucket Sound, there’s a vacation getaway spot that offers everything for the perfect summer stay. With amenities such as therapeutic spas, decadent restaurants, tennis clinics, golf, sailing lessons and loads of fun-filled activities for the kids, these resorts have something for the young family with toddlers or the retired couple looking for relaxation. From historic manses with trendy interiors to classic seaside style, these bayside and oceanfront resorts aim to please with fun activities for everyone in the family.
Situated on a spit of land in Pleasant Bay in Chatham, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club’s lush 27-acre landscape is reminiscent of a tropical island getaway with exotic flora intermingled with shingle-style cottages. Completed in 2010, the renovations to the 60-year-old resort have rendered it an impeccable yet casual seaside property. On site is the Cape’s only four-star restaurant, twenty-eight Atlantic, with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the blue of the bay. “We wanted to offer a dining experience that parallels the luxury of the Wequassett, while appealing to all ages and tastes,” says Executive Chef James Hackney. Other dining options include: Thoreau’s, Outer Bar & Grille, LiBAYtion and the Pleasant Bay Terrace, making it the perfect spot for the gourmand on holiday. Wequassett also offers championship golf, tennis, and boat rentals from its private dock, and relaxation and lap pools. A new children’s center has indoor and outdoor fun for kids—complete with pirate ship and splash pool. Many of the guest rooms have private patios with fire pits.
Built as a summer residence in 1890 for Samuel Mayo Nickerson and his wife Matilda, Fieldstone Hall as it was called back then, was the Cape’s most elegant private manor house. A 1906 fire devastated the manse and it was rebuilt with an eclectic mix of Renaissance and Gothic Revival elements. Today the elegant house—some say it’s haunted—is the anchor for the 429-acre Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, which boasts an award-winning 18-hole golf course, an indoor and several outdoor swimming pools, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, and a fitness center and spa, as well as the private Bay Pines Beach. The Cape Cod Rail Trail bikeway runs right through the resort. There’s an extensive list of activities for children of all ages from toddler story time, to kids’ night out, to family movie night.
One of the most innovative and dynamic resort amenities for families with small children is at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa, located in Hyannis. Kids will go gaga over the indoor wave pool. Waterfalls, a pirate ship, planks, and rolling waves will have your kids begging to stay. Nightly bonfires and outdoor movies are also a sure-fire hit. Arts and crafts, field games, and face painting are also great ways to ensure the young ones have a memorable visit. For parents, the resort’s new heated outdoor pool and waterfall lights up with a kaleidoscope of color. The hotel’s Beach Plum Spa & Med-Spa is top notch, offering organic facials, full-body massages, cranberry spice scrubs, Dead Sea wraps, and peppermint pedicures, to name a few. For a big bang for your buck check out the resort’s family vacation packages as well as their Cape Codder Residence Club.
Located on Old Silver Beach, Sea Crest Beach Hotel, a long-time Falmouth mainstay, was purchased by a new group in 2010 and received a stunning makeover. Saline pools, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, basketball, volleyball, putting green, horseshoe pit, fitness center, windsurfing lessons, and—for your inner child—a video arcade are all on site. The resort also offers several dining options and many of the newly renovated guest rooms overlook the private beach. A short distance from the Bourne Bridge, the mod interiors and soothing sound of the surf are sure to please the most discerning traveler.
The Brass Key Guesthouse in Provincetown is just a minute's walk from the action on Commercial Street while providing the romantic intimacy of a secluded resort setting. A unique haven of nine historically restored buildings enclosing a terraced courtyard, infinity edge pool and large in-ground spa, the beautifully landscaped private enclave is unlike any other hotel in Provincetown. You can choose to sun yourself on the private rooftop water-view deck or lounge poolside with a cocktail. Enjoy on-site spa treatments or meet up with friends at the Shipwreck Lounge for a cocktail before taking a short walk to all the nightlife, restaurants, shops, art galleries and Provincetown bars.
The stately 140 year old sea captain’s mansion that is now the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa in Provincetown is a four-diamond, four-star full service location perfect for a romantic escape or special event. Located in the heart of Provincetown, Cape Cod’s farthest point, this beauty pampers and pleases its adult guests with fastidious attention to luxury details. Forty spacious rooms feature fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and courtyard views with suites available. The tranquil Shui Spa features elegant treatment rooms set in a relaxing understated meditative environment where you can prepare for a special occasion or simply re-charge with a soothing massage or body treatment. An award winning wine list inspires the new menu at The Pointe Restaurant, where fine dining is punctuated by a stylish atmosphere.
Set in another time, Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is one of the island’s most pristine villages, and the Winnetu Oceanside Resort is the place to experience it all. Overlooking South Beach, this is the perfect vacation destination for families with small children or couples looking for a romantic getaway. Frolicking in the waves, playing tennis and riding in an antique fire truck are just a few of the activities offered for the family. The property’s online concierge is filled with suggestions for “must-do” activities such as a clambake, a day-trip to Nantucket, Cape Pogue Lighthouse tour, tennis lessons, or a sunset sail. The Winnetu has two heated pools, a fitness center, and putting green all located right on one of Martha’s Vineyard’s prettiest beaches.
For a truly adventurous vacation, Red Jacket Beach Resort in South Yarmouth may be the place for you. The award-winning hotel offers rentals for parasailing, jet skiing and kayaking. The offerings are seemingly limitless at this traditional family resort situated right on Nantucket Sound. There are loads of kid’s activities such as the “dive-in” movie and barbecue, Wii tournaments and hermit crab races. Golf and tennis clinics are also available, and their spa offers all kinds of decadent treatments.
Located on Shore Road, overlooking the Atlantic, Chatham Bars Inn has been the epitome of luxury and relaxation since opening its doors nearly 100 years ago. First conceived as a hunting lodge by banker Charles Hardy in 1914, the fully contained resort, which included the main hotel and nine cottages, offered the latest in “modern amenities”—long distance telephones, electric lights, steam heat and private baths in every room. In 2007, the inn underwent a $14M renovation and today boasts a luxurious spa, state-of-the art fitness center, and well-appointed guest rooms. Its extensive amenities include a private beach, heated pool and Jacuzzi, boat tours of Chatham Harbor, croquet, horseshoes, volleyball, and bocce. The inn also has an award-winning children’s program. Many of the suites have fireplaces for the ultimate in cozy luxury. The inn’s grand sitting room, with a massive working fireplace, is the perfect place to sip an iced tea and play a game of chess.
When Patti Page sang about ‘old Cape Cod’, she must have had the Lighthouse Inn fixed in her memory. The Lighthouse Inn overlooks Nantucket Sound in West Dennis, offering guests all the nostalgia and atmosphere of a bygone era. The inn has been owned and operated by the Stone family since 1938, the year of the great hurricane. The 68-room inn offers a saltwater swimming pool, tennis courts, a private beach, cozy cottages, and a full-service restaurant, which serves everything from a buffet breakfast to ‘catch-of-the-day’ lunches and dinners. The décor of the main inn has an inviting old school feel with wood-paneled walls, nautical paintings and antiques. Director of Sales Cyndi Williams explains that the kids’ program, which runs through July and August, offers daily supervised activities for children three years and older. There’s also family entertainment and a kids’ meal each evening at the inn.