If you are looking for an ultra-luxurious respite paired with an exceptional dining experience, head to Chatham Inn, Relais & Châteaux, during Cape Cod’s off-season. Situated on Main Street, Chatham Inn is the oldest continuously operating inn on Cape Cod.
The property was built in 1830 by Gideon and Reliance Small, who came to the Cape from England. Over its history, it has served as the seasonal headquarters for the Norfolk Hunting Club and hosted countless travelers to this sandy playground by the sea. In 1936 it was owned by the Chandler family, who introduced dining to its offerings—including a 50-cent breakfast and dinner for a little over a dollar.
After changing hands a few times throughout the years, the inn was purchased by Jeff and Kayla Ippoliti, who had a vision of transforming the quaint accommodations into a Relais & Châteaux property. The 18-room luxury boutique hotel is a mix of modern décor and amenities while celebrating the soul and charm of the historic building.
Awash in warm, soothing neutral tones, guest rooms offer cozy Matouk down comforters and linens, and marble and onyx bathrooms, some with two-person soaking tubs. Historic touches pay homage to the inn’s past and maintain its charm with wood-burning fireplaces and the original wide-plank wood floors. Since this new inception, the inn has won a cascade of prestigious awards, including top 20 hotels for service and romance as well as the number one hotel on Cape Cod.
Maitre de Maison Lyn Francis is ready to ensure each guest’s experience is unforgettable and will offer the perfect suggestions for exploring the Cape during the winter months, whether it is heading to Chatham Light, strolling to the shops on Main Street, or taking a walk on Hardings Beach for winter seal sightings.
On my first day, I chose the latter: a walk from the inn to the lighthouse and beach, passing pristine 18th- and 19th-century clapboard houses along the way. The serene winter beauty is truly breathtaking if a bit nippy. Be sure to bring your warmest gear for long beach walks.
Chatham Inn also houses one of the most lauded restaurants on Cape Cod, Cuvée at Chatham Inn, whose globally inspired dining revolves around beautifully presented locally sourced fare. Some favorite dishes on the menu are prosciutto-crusted halibut, butter-poached Chatham lobster and scallops, and house-made truffle parmesan tagliatelle. The culinary team presents 3- and 4-course menu options, as well as chef Isaac’s Tasting Menu.
Cuvée is helmed by chef Isaac Olivo, a graduate of the famed Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, whose background includes stints in the kitchens of the 3-Michelin Star Jean-Georges and the Forbes 5-star Peninsula Hotel in New York City. The dining experience is unforgettable and not like any other on Cape Cod. The attentiveness of the staff is on par with those of the finest country hotels throughout Europe. And the table settings rival the same, with Villeroy & Boch china, Schott Zwiesel crystal, and Frette linens.
A stay at the inn will chase away any winter blues and satiate any desire for a luxurious, cozy New England getaway.