Getting in with the Inn Crowd: Enjoying a Taste of Off-Season Flavor in Cape Cod
The colder seasons may not be the time of year you would think about making a trip to Cape Cod, but they should be. An easy drive from the major metropolitan areas nearby, Cape Cod and the surrounding area is a great, calm respite from the hustle-bustle happening around the holidays. With its late-into-the season foliage and quaint small towns with unique shops dotting the quintessential New England coastline, the Cape is the perfect destination for quiet, stress-free fall and winter getaways.
A historic lighthouse, downtown streets with family-owned shops and restaurants, beaches with resident seals, and even local cranberry bogs, Chatham has the kind of charm you’d expect from a small beach-side town first settled in the 1600s, especially in the sleepy off-season months.
When in Chatham, book a room at the enchanting Chatham Bars Inn, built in 1914 as a semi-private hunting lodge for wealthy vacationers from Boston. Although the property recently celebrated their 100 year anniversary, everything has been renovated to perfection in recent years, bringing all of the modern luxuries to a property that still boasts old-world charm. The resort has a private quarter-mile beach where guests can enjoy clam bakes in the sand, sailing, a game of tennis, whale-watching excursions, or some time with family and friends in a cabana by the beach-side heated pool (weather permitting). In the mood for a round of golf? Hit the links on the hotel’s 9-hole golf course. Despite being set on 25 sprawling manicured acres, Chatham Bars Inn has a quiet, intimate feeling, perfect for romantic vacations for two. Choose from accommodations in the Historic Main Inn, the Cottage Rooms and Suites, or my personal favorite the 12, adults-only Spa Suites, which feature a luxurious jacuzzi tub, an elegant fireplace, and an in-room steam and sauna! Plus, guests of the Spa Suites will get access to the spa’s private adults-only relaxation pool and Japanese Zen Gardens where in warmer months the spa offers outdoor treatments. All of the rooms at Chatham Bars Inn include comfy sink-into-the-sheets beds, L’Occitane amenities, and Nespresso coffeemakers.
For guests seeking more than a cup of espresso in their room, stop by one of the hotel’s dining options. For a fine-dining seasonal menu reserve a table at STARS. Here, enjoy an evening glass of wine or a morning cup of coffee while overlooking panoramic ocean views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. For dinner you can’t go wrong with the pan roasted scallops with a brown butter and pancetta emulsion and in the morning the brioche French toast is a must, stuffed with vanilla roasted apples and mascarpone cheese, this is a sweet treat that’s worth the indulgence! For lunch or a late-night drink, stop by The Sacred Cod. This casual option offers up classic pub fare and a true taste of the Cape, the clam chowder is perfection! The hotel’s restaurants get their local, in-season produce and dairy products from Chatham Bars’ nearby 8-acre farm.
Offering luxury treatments in well-appointed treatment rooms, The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn is the perfect place for some rest and relaxation after wining and dining at the Main Inn. The 60-minute Tides Massage ($145) mimics the movements of the tides. Just as waves carry things out to sea, your therapist’s fluid, deepening strokes will carry away all of your stress. The massage uses hot stones and shells to really relax tension and any knots you may have. When visiting in the cooler months, the 90-minute Antioxidant Vitamin C Facial ($200) is a perfect pick! The facial infuses your skin with antioxidants, botanical extracts, and vitamin C to help squash the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation.
After relaxing in Chatham, head over the bridge just outside the Cape for some truly historic flavor in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Visit The Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock and stop for a burger at KKatie’s Burger Bar – where the Hell Burger is to-die-for! When it comes time to rest your head, look no further than Mirbeau Inn & Spa’s newest location at The Pinehills. The renowned property from Skaneateles, New York, made a second home for itself at The Pinehills – bringing all the charm of a French countryside chateau to Plymouth, Massachusetts. The property, much like its New York counterpart, found design inspiration in the paintings of Claude Monet and this French infusion is found in each nook and cranny. The Inn features a Manor House, Guest House, and Family Chapel, which has been redesigned as the site of the Henri-Marie restaurant, all surrounded by gardens, tall pine trees, and the Rees Jones golf course. In the Manor House there are 16 guest rooms including the two Turret Suites for a special experience and the Guest House, connected by a timber-framed covered bridge, features 34 guest rooms with warm fireplaces, soaking tubs, and views of the Monet ponds and gardens. What’s more, the Guest House was built over the 14,000-square-foot spa, the star of the property, giving guests easy access by elevator.
With its 14 treatment rooms and extensive spa menu perfect for both relaxing solo and romantic couple’s and rejuvenating bff treatments, Spa Mirbeau is really the highlight of a trip to the Inn. Come with your honey for a fireside couple’s massage or stop by for a truly unbelievable Anti-Aging Firming Facial using fantastic products by BABOR that will leave you looking and feeling years younger. Want to break a sweat? Head over to the fitness center for a complimentary exercise or yoga class! In addition to its spa menu and complimentary fitness classes, Spa Mirbeau boasts a co-ed relaxation room dreams are made of, with a large Resting Area featuring comfortable chaise lounges made for napping by the fireplace and a heated foot massage pool. Here guests can access the Aqua Terrace, where the year-round outdoor hot plunge whirlpool and natural rock waterfalls create the perfect setting for a glass of wine and healthy light fare and smoothies.
If you are searching for more than spa-inspired tapas and salads, stop by The Bistro & Wine Bar adjacent to the lobby for Mirbeau’s famed crepes in the morning or a casual bite to eat and a 20’s or 30’s inspired cocktail or wine flight in the evening. Executive Chef Stephen Coe created a menu of comfort foods and salads to satisfy everyone. Overlook the ponds and gardens or sit by one of the fireplaces to enjoy some quality time with your loved one. Chef Coe takes his menu to a new level at Henri-Marie, where guests can dine al fresco in the warmer months, and enjoy a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings. While in the area you must stop at Solstice, where a seasonal, frequently changing menu and superb service offer up a memorable date night. The slow-roasted pork buns are packed with flavor and the free range Giannone chicken “under a brick” with its pancetta herb jus makes my mouth-water just thinking about it again – and remember, don’t skip dessert!
From seasonal menus and rejuvenating spa experiences to historical sites and charming accommodations – Cape Cod and its neighboring towns are a must-visit this season!