The Chatham Bars Inn: A Gem in All Seasons

above: Everyone feels at home at the Chatham Bars Inn.

Photographs: courtesy of Chatham Bars inn

If Wes Anderson attempted to capture classic New England, with its shingled cottages, wild beaches and bracing ocean breezes, he’d film at Chatham Bars Inn. The Inn opened its doors in 1914 as a hunting lodge for discerning Bostonians. Even then, it appealed to the luxury market, offering swanky new amenities such as saltwater baths and steam heat. Over a century and many renovations later, Chatham Bars Inn is still the place to stay on Cape Cod. Returning guests may say it is the Cape.

The stunning coastline.

From Henry Ford to Bruno Mars, this little dot on the map where the Mayflower first landed has seen its share of the rich and fabulous. Today, guests make the journey to the edge of the eastern seaboard for many reasons: a classic summer vacation, a weekend of sport fishing on one of the Inn’s boats, whale watching, daytrips to Nantucket, a recent Robert Burns’ supper or for upcoming Wellness Weekends in partnership with Canyon Ranch.

A vacation on the Cape has been a summer rite of passage for generations. But we could argue that Chatham Bars Inn is a year-round destination. From January through March, the Inn invites travelers to “activate their winter” with wine tasting and mixology classes, iPhone photography, astronomy, line dancing and an art series.

A homey vibe welcomes guests.

There’s a room to suit every vacationer, from multigenerational families to romance-seeking couples. Book a suite or two in an Ocean View cottage and load in all the grandkids. Heck, bring the dog—the hotel is pet-friendly. The suites have separate bedrooms with sofa beds in the living room. Families looking for even more space can rent the stand-alone Kettledrum House, which sleeps ten.

Want to leave the kids behind? Book one of the twelve spa suites (conveniently located just above the spa). Each has a private in-room wood sauna, oversized hydrotherapy tub, steam shower and cozy fireplace. Indulge in spa treatments ranging from CBD massages to oxygen facials. No children are allowed, so it’s not your fault the kids had to stay home.

Have a meal fit for, well, a star at the Inn’s STARS restaurant— Provincetown scallops with sunchoke risotto, pancetta and aged balsamico.

The Inn is only a ten-minute walk from downtown Chatham. But why walk if you can borrow one of the classic bikes with wicker baskets for hauling swag bought at the famous Black Dog t-shirt shop in town? And, thanks to a new partnership, guests also have access to Lexus vehicles, which are on loan for a few hours so you sightsee or book for over-sand excursions.

You’ll want to stay on the property for dinner. The award-winning STARS restaurant has the only ocean view of any eatery in Chatham. It’s the definition of classic New England, with Norman Rockwell’s “Spirit of America” hanging over the fireplace. The menu keeps it local with Cape Cod oysters, American Waygu and produce from the Inn’s farm. In summertime, the Beachhouse Grill is the place to be. Chilled lobster rolls and refreshing cocktails are a must. Guests can also book a clambake on the private beach. And if your crew has a lucky day of fishing on one of the Inn’s boats, bring in the catch and the chef will prepare it for your dinner.

The Inn’s fleet of cars lets guests cruise around in luxury.

Chatham Bars Inn recently received the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award, reserved for the most luxurious properties worldwide—only 360 hotels boast this accomplishment.

If you’re looking for a winter escape, the room rates are tempting, starting at $356 per night in the Main Inn and running to just over $1,000 per night for the Presidential Suite. Starting rates will climb by the July 4th weekend to $1,200 per night. Be sure to check out the events calendar for upcoming art series, line dancing and mixology classes.

Well-appointed New England luxury is a hallmark of the Inn.

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