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201203hsp_007 After just one visit to Nantucket, Darren Sukonick and Matthew Sapera fell in love with the island’s seafaring history, quiet windswept beauty, and pure architectural forms. So much so that they decided to draw upon their home design talents—both are designers for Matthew Sapera Fine Homes in Toronto—and build a getaway home for themselves. Read more…

Holiday Getaways

Ringing in the holidays with a festive Cape Cod mini-vacation has a bonus: you can find great accommodations without breaking the bank. Here are a few standout deals from some of our region’s finest establishments. Whether you’re looking for a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner without setting foot in the kitchen or a Christmas shopping respite, the perfect destination to spend this season is within reach.

DAN’L WEBSTER INN & SPA  Sandwich From Dec. 2-4, ride the Cape Cod Central Railroad’s North Pole Express (see page 37) and return to a cozy night at the inn. Package includes a 15 percent room discount, a breakfast voucher, two tickets to the North Pole Express, a welcome gift, and $100 in coupons. Package starts at $243. The Yuletide Gardens Aglow package, which is available Nov. 26-Dec. 17, includes one night’s accommodations, breakfast, and tickets to Heritage Museum and Garden’s “Gardens Aglow” display of colorful holiday lights. Prices start at $222. Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa – 149 Main St., Sandwich. 800-444-3566,

CAPE CODDER RESORT & SPA  Hyannis Feel the glow of the holidays with 100,000-plus lights, Santa’s workshop, and costumed carolers at the Cape Cod Enchanted Village in the Cape Codder’s courtyard. Enchanted Village packages start from $119 ($169 Friday or Saturday) and include one night in a deluxe room and $100 in dining, lodging, and shopping certificates. Visitors can also take a magical ride on the North Pole Express departing from Sandwich, with train tickets and discounts for lodging, meals, and spa services, starting at $233. Cape Codder Resort & Spa – 1225 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis. 888-297-2200,

THE COONAMESSETT INN  Falmouth Relax in the inn’s cheery décor featuring an exquisite poinsettia tree, gingerbread houses, and an assortment of holiday greens, with a dining and lodging package. The $130 package includes one night’s accommodation, breakfast, and dinner for two in the dining room warmed by the crackling fire. Seasonal menu specials include New England traditions like pot roast, plus such year-round favorites as fresh seafood and steaks. The Coonamessett Inn – 311 Gifford St., Falmouth. 508-548-2300,

THE ORLEANS INN   Orleans Savor the season in a gracious sea captain’s home overlooking Nauset Harbor. The Thanksgiving Weekend Away package, available Nov. 24-26, starts with a bottle of Truro Vineyards wine in your waterfront guest suite, two nights’ stay, Thanksgiving dinner for two, and breakfast each morning. The Seaside Winter Holiday Es-CAPE, available Nov. 26-Dec. 31, includes two nights’ stay in a waterfront guest suite, $100 dining credit to the Orleans Inn Waterfront Restaurant (weekends), and breakfast. Each package is $650. The Orleans Waterfront Inn – 3 Old County Rd., Orleans. 800-863-3039,

THE CENTERBOARD GUEST HOUSE  Nantucket Escape to the island for a three-night Thanksgiving getaway at a charming bed and breakfast. The package, which is offered Nov. 23-27, includes welcome wine and cheese, breakfast and afternoon tea, and Thanksgiving dinner at award-winning Oran Mor Bistro and Bar (alcohol not included). From $585 for two in a queen-bedded room with private bathroom. Centerboard Inn – 8 Chester Street, Nantucket. 877-228-2811, –Susan Spencer

The House That Heals

On Cuttyhunk Island, you won’t find any board meetings or traffic jams, no deadlines to meet or expectations to beat. Cuttyhunk visitors have known for a long time what the rest of us are just figuring out—vacations, stay-cations, and day-cations are vital to a long and healthy life. Cape Cod Life

The Avalon, Cuttyhunk’s inn, was built in grandeur in 1909 by wool magnate William M. Wood as a summer home for his family. Wood knew the value and the benefits of vacation time. Soon after its completion, the Avalon was at the disposal of Wood’s wool mill executives; guests could stay for two weeks and enjoy numerous land and sea sports. At the end of World War I, the house extended a welcome to disabled WWI allied officers in need of a convalescent home and rehabilitation with promises of “invigorating sea air and seashore sports such as swimming, sailing, and fishing combined to facilitate convalescence.”

In 1957, entertainment executive David Baumgarten purchased the Avalon and continued to operate it as an inn. Since his death in 1994, the house has become jointly owned by the Baumgarten family and a nonprofit foundation, which seeks to preserve the Avalon and dedicate it to the needs of the island of Cuttyhunk.

The Avalon uses the revenue from guest rentals to preserve the house and expand its medical and cultural enrichment activities. The owner’s commitment to have the Avalon continue to serve Cuttyhunk and its visitors is strong and ongoing.

The Avalon has offered rooms free to local doctors and experts who come to speak to the islanders about various such topics as tick prevention. In addition, for over 10 years through the generous invitation of the Marilyn Snow House Foundation Inc., physicians have enjoyed summer residence opportunities at the Avalon. These visiting doctors are available to residents, visitors, and boaters to help with urgent or emergency medical needs.

For over 100 years, guests who vacation at the Avalon enjoy the slower pace of the past and leave the island as firm believers in the restorative power of vacationing.

THE AVALON Cuttyhunk

Nantucket’s Finer Union

Cape Cod Life When you meet innkeeper Ken Withrow at his highly regarded bed and breakfast, Nantucket’s Union Street Inn, it is obvious that this is a guy who loves his job—which is probably the reason why Union Street is a perennial award-winner in travel and lifestyle magazines from coast to coast.

On a warm June morning, Ken welcomes guests to Union Street’s outdoor dining patio nestled beneath a green hillside of ivy and sheltering trees in one of the island’s elegant neighborhoods right off Main Street. While guests start off their day with heaping plates of pancakes bursting with blueberries or fresh salmon cool with cucumbers on fresh bagels (Union Street is the only B&B to offer complete gourmet breakfasts on Nantucket) Ken walks from table to table.

“What would you like to do today,” this urbane, former Manhattanite says to guests who look rested and happy having slept in one of Union Street’s 12 rooms in this painstakingly restored 1770s antique residence. Each room here is a masterpiece of carefully selected furnishings and amenities, ultra-comfortable beds beside fireplaces piled high with Frette linens, baths gleaming with imported Italian marble. Read more…

For Festive Gatherings

The Beachmoor Inn & Restaurant

11 Buttermilk Way, Buzzards Bay

Life December 2010 Besides its picturesque sunset views from a wonderful waterfront dining room, The Beachmoor Inn & Restaurant in Buzzards Bay has another especially attractive feature for party planners: its locale is easily accessible from both on and off Cape. But that’s just the starting point for this 150-capacity destination: the inn’s holiday menu includes specialties like herb-crusted sirloin roast with creamy horseradish chive sauce, seven-fish stew, maple mustard glazed turkey, and delectable desserts including apple cranberry crisp and chocolate bread pudding. Even if you have no plans for a celebration of your own, swing by the inn on the Sunday after Thanksgiving for a Christmas Tea and a wreath-making workshop led by experts from Ivies Flowers in Falmouth.

Coonamessett Inn

311 Gifford Street, Falmouth

Past the decorations like a poinsettia-adorned Christmas tree and an oversized gingerbread house in the lobby, the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth has three rooms on its grounds to suit functions of any size, from the intimate Mermaid Room to the Cape Cod Room, a perfect spot for huge company gatherings. Parties can be tailored with different budgets in mind, from an elaborate company dinner with prime rib to an afternoon cocktail party with a raw bar and chocolate fountain. Make your reservations for Christmas Eve dinner at the inn, an often sold-out, a la carte meal with seatings beginning at 4 p.m.

Chatham Bars Inn

297 Shore Road, Chatham

Life December 2010 Overnight guests at Chatham Bars Inn wake up to a surprise the day after Thanksgiving: The inn is a winter wonderland, transformed by Christmas decorations lining the halls and strung across all of its 25 acres. It’s a festive backdrop for a holiday function, which organizers can choose to hold in one of the inn’s private dining rooms or in its Monomoy Ballroom, which holds up to 200 people. In addition to its year-round menu, the kitchen staff marks the start of the holiday season by rolling out a selection of creative seafood dishes—many of which are made with catches pulled from the ocean just outside. Before checkout, make sure to snap a photo in the resort 15-foot tall Santa’s chair.

The Red Inn

15 Commercial Street, Provincetown

Life December 2010 There’s a certain getting-away-from-it-all appeal to visiting Provincetown in winter, but make no mistake: The Red Inn is alive all the way through Holly Folly Weekend. Located on Commercial Street, the inn is festively dressed in white lights and wreaths and fully equipped for holiday get-togethers. Special events are held in the inn’s main dining area, and the kitchen staff serves a menu ranging from simple hors d’oeuvres to extravagant dinners. On Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the inn dishes out elegant four-course prix fixe meals. Stay a while in one of the Red Inn’s eight waterfront guest rooms that look out over Provincetown Harbor. And while the inn is closed from December 12-29, it opens for a five-night stretch just in time for New Year’s.

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Twenty-eight Atlantic
On Pleasant Bay

Whether it’s a low-key cocktail hour with a sushi bar and carving stations or a sit-down dinner, every holiday function at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club on Pleasant Bay’s waterfront is customized down to the last detail. While most merrymakers gather in the resort’s Twenty-eight Atlantic restaurant, folks booking larger holiday functions should consider the resort’s 200-person event room, The Pavilion. Bill Brodsky, chef at Twenty-eight Atlantic, creates several signature dishes including a combination plate of filet mignon and de-shelled lobster tail, which has proven especially popular around the holidays. On request, the resort can arrange transportation, and if you want to stay a little longer, guest room packages are available.