Home Away from Home
Brewster’s Candleberry Inn Offers ‘Enlightening’ Award-Winning Experiences for Guests
When guests exit bustling Route 6A and pull into the driveway of Brewster’s Candleberry Inn, they’re not only escaping the frenetic–often frantic–pace of 21st-century life, they’re entering the personal, real-life “canvas” of innkeepers Angelo Ferraro and Marco DiDomizio.
From the meticulously manicured privet hedges that front the historic home to the various gardens that adorn the property, visitors couldn’t be blamed if they felt like they’ve stumbled into a painting.
One of the innkeepers’ most recent landscaping experiments was to tear out – and replace – the old garden that separates the property’s front and back lawns. Like landscape “painters,” the partners planted “layers” of blue-purple Siberian iris, pink-purple rhododendron, blue and white hydrangeas and electric-yellow goldenrod against a “canvas” of evergreen Italian cypress.
“It really looks like a Monet painting,” notes Ferraro. “We purposely planted this combination of flowers, knowing that they would sing together in some way. It’s really exceeded our expectations this year.”
The same could be said for a stay at the Candleberry Inn, according to the inn’s guests, who helped propel Candleberry to the top of Tripadvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice” ratings for the world’s top bed and breakfasts and inns in 2021. Guest reviews placed the Candleberry Inn as the number three inn in the U.S. and number eight globally.
“I spent a lot of time on the Cape as a child, and driving down 6A is a sentimental journey for me,” says retired nurse and educator Kathie Tritone, who has been staying at the inn – multiple times a year – for the past eight years. “My husband, Jim, always drives, and I get to enjoy the view. We pull into the driveway, past the perfectly manicured privet hedges, and the home and yard are so beautiful every time we visit.
“When we finally realized we weren’t going to have a Cape Cod home of our own, we wanted to find a place where we could go and put all our cares away,” says Tritone. “We walk in the door [at the Candleberry Inn], and it’s all peace and tranquility. It’s very calming. It feels like our second home.”
The “Rational” Road to Brewster
Growing up in the shadow of Manhattan, Ferraro and DiDomizio are no strangers to New York City’s long hours and “always-on” approach to work and career. A graduate of Iona College, DiDomizio is a CPA who was a global financial and operations director for an ad agency in New York City, while Ferraro is a registered architect who most recently specialized in classical design and renovation for wealthy residential clients.
As their careers wore on, though, the partners realized that they had a “next chapter” to their story. Given their combined business and artistic acumen, and their passion for hospitality, the pair began to toy with the idea of innkeeping.
“We both liked what we were doing, and we were successful,” says DiDomizio. “But we also knew that we wanted to do something else. We didn’t see ourselves doing New York City jobs for another five to 10 years, so the question of ‘what’s next’ kept coming up for years.”
During their careers, the partners had become very familiar with Cape Cod, enjoying frequent getaways to the region’s many B&Bs and inns. “We specifically liked to stay in old Victorians to experience the scale and charm of the era and to explore their quirky details,” notes DiDomizio. “Soon, we started to notice how the inns were being run and thought, ‘We might be able to do this.’”
They decided to view a few properties on the Cape, but were “scared away” for one reason or another. Stepping back, Ferraro and DiDomizio re-grouped and decided to join the National Association of Innkeepers as “aspiring innkeepers.”
One weekend, they took part in an intensive “Innkeeping from the Innside” seminar that proved transformative for both. In addition to learning the basics of running an inn, they learned how to value a property, including real estate, home contents and business valuation.
The seminar’s instructor, Carol Edmondson, was also a realtor on Cape Cod with Cape Cod Village Realty, so Ferraro and DiDomizio began working with her to scout potential Cape properties. After six months of searching, the pair found the Candleberry Inn in Fall 2015.
“We wanted a quaint, small-scale colonial building,” says Ferraro. “We knew [the Candleberry Inn] had been operating as an inn since the 1940s, originally named The Welcome House. While the property had several interventions over the years, we saw its potential based on the building’s layout, scale and location. The Candleberry Inn has a rational floor plan, with a logical hierarchy and progression of spaces, which are all essential points to the architect. The individual rooms enjoy much natural light through the original six-over-six hand-blown glass windows. The rooms are well-scaled and balanced and we knew we could create an overall relaxing experience for our guests.”
You might also like:
A Cape couple’s love for their community and each other kept their seaside wedding bright and breezy despite pandemic challenges. Jen…Read More
Things have always seemed to work out just right for Erin Ricciardi and Connor Schmitt. Connor reconnected with his former…Read More