Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The grandest of the classic Cape Cod hotels, and by far the best, the Chatham Bars was built in 1914 by a Boston stockbroker. In 2006, another Boston mogul, Richard Cohen (formerly Mr. Paula Zahn), bought it for $166 million and spent another $30 million on renovations and an expansion. With 18 room types to choose fromthere are 40 rooms in the main inn, and an additional 176 in the surrounding cottagesmaking a reservation can feel like choosing a college. Rooms in the main inn, Cranberry Cottage, and Privet Cottage were renovated in 2009. Each room has a Bose Wave radio, plasma TV, espresso machine, and a new bed enveloped in Frette linens; the best one of all is the two-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot Presidential Suite, with a deck overlooking the ocean. For privacy and direct access to the quarter-mile hotel beach, book a room in one of the cottages along the water; ocean-facing rooms in the main house have the best views. Avoid the rooms in the Beach House—they're above a restaurant and bar that can get noisy. The Chatham Bars is a ten-minute walk from Chatham's quaint downtown and 20 minutes from picturesque Chatham Light—but with a private beach, poolside minibar-equipped cabanas, a wide veranda overlooking Pleasant Bay, a 52-foot Viking yacht for deep-sea fishing, and on-site spa treatments, you'll find plenty to do right here. There are also children's programs during the summer—including etiquette classes!—and an adjacent nine-hole public golf course. (Many of these services cost extra, on top of the $9 daily resort fee.) The dining options, all overseen by chef Anthony Cole, are equally diverse: seafood-centric formal dining, comfort food in the tavern, tapas-style snacks from the Veranda, or a clambake and a drink on the beach at the Beach House Grill. At peak season, a staff of 460 employees is on hand to make sure your stay is flawless—they'll hover but not intrude.
The Veranda and Beach House Grill close in the winter, but the inn stays open year-round.