Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: Living the life of luxury on the Cape & Islands
The good life comes simply on Cape Cod. A barefoot walk on the morning beach is all you really need to savor its charms. Still, you may never find a more spectacular backdrop for unwinding at a spa, chartering a private sail, or sampling an haute twist on the catch of the day. If the ocean views and bay breezes awaken your champagne tastes, here’s just a sampling of ways to indulge.
There’s much to spoil you on the Upper Cape, starting with plush accommodations and a luscious breakfast at the Palmer House Inn in Falmouth. Bill and Pat O’Connell’s B&B is nearly as well known for breakfast, featuring homemade offerings seasoned with fresh herbs from the on-site garden, as it is for offering exceptional accommodations.
If a day of rain precludes a day at the beach, spend it at a spa. In Sandwich, the suite of services at the Dan’l Webster Inn and Spa’s Beach Plum Spa includes the incredibly decadent crushed-pearl scrub and body wrap. Or head down to Falmouth for a hot stone massage at Bellezza Day Spa that is absolute bliss.
Come dinnertime, there’s no need to come down from the clouds. You’ll find heaven at Mashpee Commons at Bleu, chef Frederic Feufeu’s pitch-perfect French bistro. Or consider taking in the water views and fresh seafood at the Landfall Restaurant, a decades-old local institution in Woods Hole. Come bedtime, choose to sleep with a clear conscience at the Belfry Inn & Bistro, another of the Upper Cape’s fine inns. The elegant abbey guest rooms are housed in a renovated 1902 church. If you reserve the “Tuesday” room, crowned by a stunning, stained-glass compass window, the view inside your room will (almost) compete with the scenery.
Hyannis Port seduced the Kennedys, but much of the Mid Cape could have just as easily tempted American royalty. The stretch of historic Route 6A through Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Dennis is undoubtedly one of the Cape’s prettiest drives.
On the Barnstable end, the Ashley Manor inn blends country style with modern sensibilities. Book the signature Ashley suite and ease into your day with a massage on the private patio. Head for Dennis for dinner at the Red Pheasant Inn, a favorite fine-dining bistro housed in a 200-year-old barn overlooking an ever-blooming garden, featuring Chef/Owner William Atwood’s simple yet luscious cuisine.
Compared to the quiet of the north side, lively Hyannis may feel like another world. Here the Naked Oyster wins over locavores, those dedicated to consuming locally available food, offering upscale dining, a raw bar, and cocktails in a sophisticated space.
Hyannis is often considered the recreational capital of Cape Cod, so take advantage while you’re here. The luncheon or dinner train on the Cape Cod Central Railroad is a unique blend of upscale dining and scenic tour, offering views of dunes, cranberry bogs, and salt marshes. If you’re feeling adventurous, Skydive Cape Cod, based at the airport in nearby Marstons Mills, offers tandem parachuting from two miles above the Cape. The once-in-a-lifetime views from Falmouth to Provincetown are nearly as breath-taking as the gentle descent to earth.
Historic inns are one of the Cape’s great pleasures, but for an altogether different experience, check out the oceanfront resorts of the Lower Cape, equally enticing for their breadth of amenities. At Ocean Edge Resort & Club in Brewster, well-heeled travelers will enjoy rooms at this former private estate overlooking Cape Cod Bay and boasting a brand-new Nicklaus Design golf course.
The five-star Chatham Bars Inn’s recently added spa features both indoor and outdoor spaces. The cabanas outside are set in a tranquil Japanese garden, perfectly positioned to make the most of the sound of surf drifting in from the nearby ocean.
When seeking sustenance, head to the spectacular poolside Outer Bar & Grille at Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham, certainly one of the Lower Cape’s most coveted spots. At twenty-eight Atlantic, the resort’s fine dining restaurant, stunning views of Pleasant Bay pair perfectly with the elegant New American cuisine.
Foodies will find much else to love in this part of the Cape. Chillingsworth in Brewster has long claimed well-earned fame as one of the Cape’s most romantic restaurants, and Abba in nearby Orleans is a must-try for Chef Erez Pinhas’ pan-Mediterranean and Thai-touched cuisine.
Those with an appetite for a day at sea can charter a private couples’ cruise on Nantucket Sound out of Harwich Port’s Saquatucket Harbor with Cape Sail. And for those hoping to snag their own fresh seafood, have Captain Mort Terry take you out on the Fishtale where striped bass is frequently the catch of the day.
The Outer Cape, perhaps most well known for its world-class beaches, is ideal for a romantic escape with loads of historic inns and posh restaurants. The Whalewalk Inn and Spa in Eastham is just one of these many noteworthy accommodations, poised between the area’s bay beaches and the southern tip of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
It’s a long way to Provincetown, so if considering cocktails once there, consider taking a private car. Or maybe just do it for the decadent fun of it. Kon Limousine Service and Carriage House Limousine are two top services. Once you’re there, you’ll find no shortage of stylish bed and breakfasts, galleries, shops, and eateries along Commercial Street.
If waking up to ocean views beneath a wooden domed ceiling sounds like your idea of a good time, choose one of the tower suites at the Land’s End Inn. Or bask poolside at the Brass Key Guesthouse, widely loved for its impeccable service and chic spaces. The Red Inn & Restaurant is another favorite among both locals and visitor, particularly for its fine-dining restaurant that succeeds as much for its fresh seafood as the remarkable harbor-front vista. While in Provincetown, Art’s Dune Tours are a definite must-do. Opt for a private sunset escort over the rolling Province Lands dunes out to gorgeous Race Point to add a romantic flavor to your Outer Cape adventure.
The islands are known globally as the ultimate in luxurious vacation destinations. On Nantucket, if you stay in the White Elephant’s exclusive loft, a three-bedroom sanctuary overlooking the harbor, you may never want to leave your room, except, perhaps, to visit the hotel spa for the Pineapple Crush body treatment.
Martha’s Vineyard’s Harbor View Hotel & Resort in Edgartown is one of the island’s best spots for soaking up both the scenery and the indulgent pampering. The resort’s airy Water Street restaurant sources its produce, poultry, and meats from island farms, while convivial Henry’s, the hotel’s bar, could easily feel like a home away from home, that is if home includes sweeping harbor views. Also in Edgartown, the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on South Beach offers guests a range of diversions from the classic, such as a tennis club and private beach, to the unconventional—notably, a giant outdoor chess set with six-foot tall teak pieces.
Wherever you land on the Cape and Islands, you don’t need a special occasion to seek out the luxe life; the salt air and unsurpassed beauty are reason enough to celebrate.Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories