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How a luxury stay at Cape Cod's boutique Chatham Inn is just the tonic

por Cerys Parmley (2020-10-26)

Never before has a vacation felt so vital.
And never before has it been such a pain to organize, what with travel restrictions, state hotspot lists and quarantine rules to contend with.

Fortunately, Massachusetts has made life easier in this respect. It has and continues to be very much open for business. 

And what with the fall upon us there is no better time to go.

For my much needed escape from New York, I chose - a federal-style, 18-room Relais & Châteaux property in Chatham that was built in the early 1800s and thoroughly renovated in 2019.

Year after year it ranks among the best hotels in the North East and repeatedly in America's top 20 most romantic.

This is down to the staff's warmth, the wide-plank wood floor rooms with crisp white Matouk lines, two-person tubs and roaring fires - and renowned chef Issac Olivo heading up what has now become Cape Cod's most celebrated fine dining restaurants, The Cuvee at Chatham Inn. 

Located at the eastern edge of Chatham's charming Main Street, Chatham Inn is within easy walking distance of Lighthouse Beach, shopping, art galleries, museums and theaters and more.

This quintessential New England village, with some of the oldest properties on the Cape is the ideal location from which to explore all of Cape Cod and the islands

Each of the 18 guest rooms and suites have been newly renovated, blending the soul of our historic property with modern luxuries and amenities.

All rooms feature marble and onyx bathrooms, modern furnishings, and beautiful original artwork

The two-person tub in front of the fire with an expertly mixed cocktail from the bar makes for the perfect treat before dinner 

A short walk from the hotel and guests will find stunning picture postcard views of the harbor

A stay here, as one guest pointed out, leaves you with the same feeling you get when you finish a bowl of New England's finest clam chowder: Nourished and glowing.

The Inn's chic, understated style has made it a firm favorite with discerning celebrities and well-heeled city slickers looking for some good old New England hospitality.

Little touches like the champagne and cranberry cocktail on arrival, staff greeting you by name, an SUV for guests to tour the Cape, beach towels and chairs, 120-bottle wine list and a breakfast that's included in the price, except it's no ordinary breakfast: Made-to-order items like crab cakes benedict and a vegetable-packed egg white frittata, as well as coffee, juice and other breakfast favorites, are all on the menu and to be enjoyed on the terrace out front. 

Apart from Chatham's obvious charm with its Main Street full of independent shops and restaurants - including the world's largest rubber duck gift store - you are also just a ten minute walk to Chatham Lighthouse Beach.

Chatham lighthouse - the scene of what is still considered the most accomplished small-boat rescue in the history of the U.S.

Coast Guard  after an oil tanker broke in two in turbulent seas in the winter of 1952 - and four junior rescuers, against all odds went out and saved 33 men stranded at sea

Hollywood: Casey Affleck and Chris Pine starred in the 2016 movie adaption of the story

It was here where they filmed the 2016 Casey Affleck and Chris Pine hit The Finest Hours - the true story of a spectacular rescue off the coast of Massachusetts in the winter of 1952, after an oil tanker broke in two in turbulent seas.

A rescue crew of four battled 60-foot waves to courageously save 33 men stranded at sea in treacherous conditions.

It is still considered the most accomplished small-boat rescue in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard and you can learn all about it at the family-friendly museum. 

Using the Inn's courtesy SUV we explored the beaches and ponds along the headland, jumping out for a quick dip here, a coffee there and click to read buy some Cape Cod rock salt from one of the honesty boxes outside a beautifully designed Chatham home.

This New England escape gave us everything we had been craving over the last eight months: Adventure, fresh local food and drinks INSIDE New England's warm and friendly establishments and a true sense of escape.

Once we had explored Cape Cod by on foot and in car we branched out and day tripped to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket - both just short drives and ferry ride from Chatham.

And at the end of each long, busy day, the thought of returning to the warmth of the Inn with that huge bath tub and fire was the icing on the cake. 

For a true New England experience in chic, luxurious accommodation where you really can forget the misery of this pandemic - you will be hard pressed to find a better option than Chatham Inn.

Enjoy a romantic evening of extraordinary Cape Cod fine dining, fireside in the elegant dining room year round.

The culinary team presents 3 and 4-course menu options, as well as Chef Issac's Tasting Menu, that are a modern, globally inspired and locally acquired representation of Cape Cod cuisine

Executive Chef Isaac Olivo is a graduate of the famed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

His career has included the Michelin 3-star Jean-Georges and the Forbes 5-star Peninsula in New York City, before becoming the Executive Chef at the renowned Mayflower Inn Relais & Châteaux

A sample menu that shows the variety on offer at Chatham Inn

Award winning: The luxurious inn won the prestigious Relais & Chateaux award in 2019,  is the only Forbes 4-star boutique hotel on Cape Cod and is rated among top 20 most romantic hotels in the United States