A Coastal Getaway in Cape Cod

Those seeking a coastal getaway off the Island, but not so far as to necessitate flying, will find it, along with a classic New England experience at the ocean-front Chatham Bars Inn at Cape Cod.

What opened as a luxury hunting lodge for wealthy Bostonians in 1914 is now a resort and spa with 217 rooms and suites. It was recently completely renovated, but they were careful, happily, not to change any of the turn-of-the-century detailing. It sits on a quarter-mile long private beach just a few minutes’ walk from Chatham, one of the most historic (and prettiest) villages on the Cape.

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Enjoy the suite life. Located directly above The Spa at Chatham Bars Inn, 12 adult-only suites can be booked by those intending to pull out all the stops to a luxurious, relaxing escape. These suites, which have either a king or two queen beds, are appointed with oversized hydrotherapy tubs, saunas, steam showers and fireplaces. Spa Suite guests also have access to an exclusive outdoor relaxation pool with private cabanas and Japanese Zen gardens. Spa therapists come right up to the suites, like room service for massages! Many of the signature treatments are ocean themed. Some of the most enticing include the tides massage, mirroring wave patterns and utilizing smooth sea shells; summer at the shore therapy, using ocean rose foaming body polish made with coastal herbs; and an ocean scrub with mineral salts and warmed algae oil. There’s even a sea captain’s mani-pedi for the guys.

Spa suite

Spa suite. image: chatham bars inn

Celebrate JFK’s 100th birthday in gourmet style. The buzz of the resort this season is the new partnership between local farmer Joshua Schiff, the executive chef Anthony Cole and James Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams of the top-tier restaurants Trade, Porto and Saloniki. Adams will preside over a pop-up of sorts, bringing her expertise in Mediterranean cuisine to influence New England ingredients. Set against Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the pop-up offers a selection of small plates, including hot grilled oysters with nasturtium-garlic butter and scallop crudo with whipped lemon yogurt, melon cukes and turmeric-ginger honey. For a main course in this, JFK’s 100th birthday year, it may be hard to resist what was famously the President’s favorite dinner: roasted chicken. The
modern take here pairs lemon balm roast chicken with basil mashed potatoes and sliced beefsteak tomatoes.

Stir up the perfect cocktail to wash down oysters on the half shell. Cooking classes offered here are more distinctive than the usual pasta 101 and dessert tutorials. Learn how to create an elegant, crowd-pleasing raw bar display and make the ideal cocktails to pair with it all.

Inn from front morning light (2)

Inn from front morning light. image: chatham bars inn

Drive away in a luxury car…for free! Guests of CBI have always been able to take advantage of the Lexus Drive Program. When planning a day trip to the Cape Cod National Seashore or even a quick jaunt into Chatham, guests can get behind the wheel of a Lexus RC 350 F SPORT, a high-performance LS 460 F SPORT or a spacious GX 460 luxury utility vehicle for up to four hours without mileage restrictions. New this year, they can request it be outfitted with the gear and supplies to suit their day, whether it’s a kayak or a picnic lunch.

Break bread with celebs by moonlight. Celebrity chefs from throughout the country, including Kevin Sbraga, Kenny Gilbert (of Top Chef fame), Colin Lynch, Chris Parsons and Sean O’Toole, are at the resort through November. The evening’s featured chef will prepare a seasonally inspired, family-style meal for 60 guests with the ingredients they picked right at the Chatham Bar Inn’s farm. Guests can also choose to experience a full-moon dinner.

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image: chatham bars inn

Sail off into the sunset. Literally. The resort runs a nightly sunset sail around the cape’s coastline. If fishing is the order of the day, CBI offers those excursions as well, along with whale-watching expeditions. The latest boating junkets, though, are the Great White Shark Expeditions, providing guests with the opportunity to shadow scientists with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy conducting research off the coast of Cape Cod. Visitors take a seat aboard the resort’s vessels and watch the research team as they work to identify and tag individual great white sharks, as they prey on the local grey seal. (The proceeds directly benefit shark research.)

christina vercelletto

christina vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is a lifelong south-shore Long Islander. She currently resides in Babylon with her husband, three children, and a morbidly obese calico. A media veteran, Christina has held editorial positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, Woman's Day, and Davler Media. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Redbook, Rachael Ray, Good Housekeeping, FamilyFun, and The Huffington Post. She's been a frequent guest on Today, The View, and Good Morning America.