If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway this holiday season, head to the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod. Although Cape Cod is known as a summer destination, the beauty of its snow-covered sand dunes in the off-season is truly spectacular. And a stay at this impeccable seaside resort with panoramic ocean views and gracious hospitality will surely rejuvenate your spirit and ready you for the coming year.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Chatham Bars Inn has undergone a $100 million renovation, which has elevated the resort to a world-class destination while retaining all of the turn-of-the-last-century grandeur and charm. Built in 1914 on land known as the Squire Sears Farm by a descendant of the Sears family, Boston banker Charles Ashley Hardy, the Chatham Bars Inn was built as a hunting lodge for well-heeled New Englanders to come and enjoy fox and duck hunting.
Today, the inn is a full-service resort with 217 beautifully decorated rooms and suites, endless recreational options, exceptional dining, and an exclusive spa. It truly is the perfect space to relax and unwind during the hectic Christmas season. Classical trim details, coffered ceilings, decorative archways, a columned veranda, and original leaded-glass interior windows retain the architectural heritage of the main inn’s guest suites and common rooms. Curl up by the fire in the great room, reminiscent of a wonderful grand hall found in historic estate houses with intimate seating areas of club chairs and cushy sofas, chess and backgammon tables, and a wood-paneled library adjacent to the space. French doors open onto views of the quarter-mile private beach, Chatham Harbor, Turn Island (a small barrier beach), and the Atlantic beyond.
The inn’s newer buildings are equally impressive, such as the spa and spa suites that offer luxurious comforts with whirlpool tubs, steam showers, dry saunas, fireplaces, and the coziest beds with crisp white cotton bedding. Last year, the spa was awarded the distinction of a Forbes Four-Star property and is the only Forbes Four-Star spa in Massachusetts. A serene environment, the spa’s Zen-like atmosphere relaxes and rejuvenates. Unwind with a massage, a signature facial, or a host of other skin treatments. Try a seasonal therapy treatment such as the Winter Wind, a gentle conditioning body polish using the inviting sweetness and warmth of vanilla and cardamom and finished with a luxurious shea butter massage. (In-season, the spa also offers services in its outdoor cabanas, which are located in the Japanese garden around the relaxation pool.)
The dining is elegant and romantic (during my dining experience there was a proposal of marriage at a nearby table), and the waitstaff are attentive to your every desire. Under the direction of chef Anthony Cole, the acclaimed STARS Restaurant offers the freshest seafood, mouthwatering steaks, and creative desserts.
The inn recently purchased an eight-acre farm in Brewster and is growing its own produce using organic methods under the care of farmer Josh Schiff, who nurtures every tomato vine and butter lettuce crop to foster the tastiest veggies for chef Cole’s dishes. The menu changes seasonally during the year to reflect the latest produce available.
To start your evening, order a signature cosmo or a glass of bubbly, and order the lobster Newburg cre?pe with celeric truffle sauce, saute?ed chanterelles, and vanilla Chantilly cre?me, or a jumbo lump crab cake with celery salad, Old Bay powder, and Tabasco vinaigrette. For a main dish, tuck into a custom-cut Midwestern beef of your choosing; a cart comes to the table and the chef cuts the meat to your specifications. Savory sauces are also in the offering, such as roasted blue cheese butter, citrus beurre blanc, and Chatham Bars Inn’s own signature steak sauce. And, of course, two-pound lobsters are on the menu, along with blackened swordfish and focaccia-crusted cod. The wine list is equally impressive, with some of the finest vineyards around the world represented.
Just a short stroll from the inn is Chatham, one of the most historic and picturesque villages on Cape Cod. Take a winter walk to see the Christmas lights twinkle amid the shops dressed in their finest seasonal de?cor. Or simply take a walk along the shoreline and drink in the beauty and wonderment of this truly magical place. chathambarsinn.com
SEASONAL EVENTS AT THE INN
Chatham Stroll, December 12
Downtown Chatham’s Main Street will be aglow on December 12 during the community’s traditional tree-lighting ceremony, complete with bell ringers. Guests of Chatham Bars Inn would be remiss to skip this time-honored tradition, and special activities will abound that weekend at the resort.
Gingerbread House Workshop, December 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20
Leave the architecture to the Chatham Bars Inn culinary team, who will present guests with freshly baked and constructed gingerbread houses, primed for their creative touch. Colorful frosting and a wealth of eye-pleasing candies will be at the ready.
Christmas Grand Buffet, December 25
Executive chef Anthony Cole will present a feast of traditional Christmas fare at STARS Restaurant via a lavish buffet. Inspired by Chatham Bars Inn’s eight-acre farm, it will showcase the best of Cape fare and more. In The Sacred Cod, a prix-fixe menu and “Turkeys to Go” will be available for holiday revelers.
Snow BBQ, December 26
A play on the popular “Christmas in July” trend, Chatham Bars Inn is turning the tables and bringing patrons to the Beach House for its Third Annual (Snowy) Beach BBQ.
New Year’s Eve Gala, December 31
Chatham Bars Inn will bid a stylish farewell to its 100th anniversary as guests ring in 2015. The evening will include dining, dancing, and superb entertainment.