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Since the first Pilgrims landed at what is now Provincetown, the Cape Cod region has featured prominently in modern American history and culture. Originally home to the Nauset tribe, the Cape has seen fishing, whaling, agricultural, and logging industries come and go before emerging as a desirable holiday destination for visitors from all over the U.S. and abroad.
Tourists flock to the Cape to relax on beautiful sandy beaches, play golf on pristine courses, and tour historic towns filled with heritage buildings and antique stores. Outdoor activities include kayaking down the longest saltwater river in the U.S., fishing from secluded coves and private boat charters, and hiking through spectacular natural scenery in state parks. With a range of hotels from historic boutiques to modern resorts, the most desirable properties are the ones facing over the region's picturesque bays and beaches. Below is a selection of the best accommodation options in New England's Cape Cod region.
Best Overall: Chatham Bars Inn
Sprawled on a hillside above Aunt Lydia’s Cove, the Chatham Bars Inn sets the standard for style and elegance in the Cape Cod region. The historic building maintains a classic local ambiance, with traditional furnishings and soothing blue and white color schemes. Rooms feature marble bathrooms, large TVs, stereo systems, and private patios with bay views. The large oceanfront pool sits above a private beach and is kitted out with sun lounges and cabanas. A relaxing spa features a pool courtyard, hot tubs, and saunas, and provides aromatherapy massages, facial cleanses and body wraps. In the STARS restaurant, farm-to-table fare is served in an elegant dining room, while the Sacred Cod dishes up quality pub grub, and the Beach House serves local seafood specialties on a scenic wooden terrace.
Best Budget: Masthead Resort
Located in historic Provincetown — on the edge of Cape Cod Bay — the Masthead Resort is the region's best value waterfront property. A range of affordable accommodation options are available, from apartments to waterfront cottages and suites, all of which come clad in classic Cape Cod décor and feature modern conveniences such as cable TV, air conditioning, coffee facilities, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is surrounded by meticulously landscaped gardens and faces onto a spacious private stretch of sand. Beach towels are provided for guests wanting to lounge on the beach boardwalk, and BBQ facilities, lounge chairs, and sun umbrellas make the adjacent lawns the perfect spot for a picnic. Helpful hotel staff are on hand to assist guests in organizing excursions and recommending dining options in the local area.
Best Boutique: Anchor Inn Beach House
Located directly on a beautiful beach in the heart of Provincetown, the Anchor Inn Beach House is a delightful boutique property set within a beautifully restored colonial mansion replete with old-world charm. Rooms exude traditional character, with hardwood floors, carved four-poster beds, and crackling fireplaces; complimentary in-room Irish breakfasts are just the cherry on top of a stay here. Room amenities include air conditioning, TV, a mini-fridge, and a balcony with sea views. Helpful front desk staff provide luggage storage and comprehensive concierge service. The downstairs common area is a relaxing place to curl up on soft overstuffed couches next to the large fireplace, and the wooden veranda fronting the hotel offers expansive views over the bay and MacMillan Pier. The central location means that Whalers Wharf, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants specializing in local seafood dishes are all within easy walking distance.
Best for Families: Red Jacket Beach Resort & Spa
Facing a wide stretch of private beach on the periphery of Yarmouth, the Red Jacket Beach Resort & Spa has a wide range of facilities to keep the whole family happy. Spacious rooms come with traditional décor and beach-inspired furnishings, while the Kids’ Club keeps young ones happy and active with a series of fun outdoor activities in a safe, supervised environment. Parents can relax under the care of professional masseuses in the spa or enjoy a round of golf on the nearby Blue Rock course. Water-based activities include parasailing, kayaking, and jet skiing, while on-site tennis courts, three generous heated pools, and basketball hoops make for enjoyable pastimes. The oceanfront grill delivers tasty seafood and steaks for lunch, and themed buffet dinners are served in the Clipper Ship dining room in the evenings. Casual pub food, along with cold beers, are on offer in the relaxed Elsa Eldridge Pub.
Best for Romance: The Mansion at Oceans Edge Resort & Golf Club
Set in the quaint historic town of Brewster, The Mansion at Oceans Edge Resort & Golf Club is a magnificent property set in beautiful gardens that face over the private Bay Pines Beach. Traditional, richly-furnished rooms come with coffee machines, comfortable beds, and private patios or balconies. Guests can pamper themselves at the spa — which has a fresh, modern feel — with a full range of rejuvenating and massage therapies. Alternatively, guests can enjoy an afternoon on the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course or take advantage of the wide range of activities on offer, from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to tennis, biking, or simply strolling through the meticulously landscaped resort grounds. A range of relaxed dining options are available, so guests can snack on light bites poolside, enjoy an intimate dinner on ocean view terraces, or share a drink in the inviting, friendly atmosphere of the Roscommon Room.
Best for Luxury: Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
Set atop a hill overlooking the tranquil waters of Pleasant Bay, the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club is a modern hotel built around a historic heart. Traditional wooden buildings, dating from as early as 1740, contain tastefully designed rooms with soft textiles, fireplaces, and subtle beige and blue color schemes. Private patios or decks overlook nearby waters, with some featuring outdoor jacuzzis or fireplaces. The main pool terrace is stunningly situated, with views over the bays, shaded cabanas, and firepits to ward off the evening chill. There is also a secluded adult-only lap pool with an adjacent hot tub, as well as a children's water park.
At Wequassett, guests can choose from a variety of dining experiences, including critically-acclaimed new American cuisine under elegant glass chandeliers at Twenty-Eight Atlantic to grill dishes on the casual alfresco terrace. Bars include a beachfront location perfect for sunset libations, and a richly-decorated club lounge with deep leather couches and a roaring fireplace.
Best for Singles: Sea Crest Beach Hotel
For visitors looking for a fun, social atmosphere, friendly and welcoming staff, and an enviable beachfront location, the Sea Crest Beach Hotel delivers. Facilities include an indoor pool with nearby hot tub, a large outdoor pool in a sunny courtyard, and a wave machine pool that's fun for kids of all ages. Onsite you'll also find a spa and fitness center for guests with a wellness and R&R-focused vacation in mind. Beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas are provided for guests looking to lounge poolside on the private beach. Guest rooms come with simple, homey décor and an extensive list of amenities such as Keurig coffee maker, mini-fridge, and flat-screen TV. Red’s Restaurant has a rotating roster of delicious and great-value specials, while the lively outside bar provides cool drinks, beautiful views, and regular live music.
Best for Business: Hyannis Harbour Hotel
Overlooking the impressive marina in the bustling town of Hyannis and just 15 minutes from Cape Cod Airport, the Hyannis Harbour Hotel is perfectly situated to cater to business travelers. Professional and helpful staff can arrange a variety of events and functions, accommodating up to 150 attendees thanks to a range of event spaces, flexible venue layouts, and high-tech audio-visual equipment. A dedicated business center, printing and fax facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi are also provided. Spacious, newly-renovated guest rooms come with writing desks, large comfortable beds, and modern furnishings. The hotel also features a modern, well-equipped fitness center, a circular pool on an ocean view terrace with sun chairs and a fire pit, and the Bluewater Grill restaurant which serves local seafood specialties on a scenic alfresco terrace.
Best View: The Wauwinet Nantucket
Set on a narrow bit of land right on Nantucket Island, the Wauwinet Nantucket affords guests a stunning vista of calm bays, surging seas, and wild windswept dunes. The historic inn plants its roots among flower-filled gardens that overlook pristine sands, with a boardwalk providing easy access to the soft beach. Guests can wake up to golden sunrise views over the Atlantic through the windows of spacious, traditionally furnished rooms, and then catch the sun set over the bay while relaxing on the sun beds and lounges out on the hotel lawn. Here, it's all about enjoying a high standard of old-fashioned service, from pre-arrival concierge to little touches such as the daily newspaper, regular shuttles to the nearby town, and complimentary cheese and port pairings in the afternoons. The award-winning TOPPERS offers a varied menu based on seasonal local produce in a sophisticated dining room and on a shaded alfresco terrace.