Chatham Bars Inn
What We Love
- The classic New England look and feel
- A quarter mile of private beach
- A family-friendly atmosphere that also makes room for romance
- Just a few minutes from Main Street in Chatham, with free rides in one of the hotel’s Range Rovers
What To Know
- A resort fee of $10 per night plus tax from September 1 through June 12 and $22 (plus tax) from June 13 through August 31 will be collected by Chatham Bars Inn upon checkout
- The waterfront facilities, including the Beach House Grill, are closed during winter months; they reopen Memorial Day weekend
- Reservations are recommended for Stars
- Book spa appointments in advance; weekends get particularly busy
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The main inn has an expansive patio and several comfortable common areas outfitted in a variety of styles. Large Joel Meyerowitz photos of the beach hang in the main hallway, while the opposite wall holds a charming 19th-century map of the area’s ghosts. The inn is also home to a top-notch indoor and outdoor spa that features Balinese-style landscaping and a wide range of treatments.
Bed and Bath
The 271 guestrooms are split between the historic main inn and 26 cottages scattered over 25 oceanfront acres. Deluxe Cottage Rooms and Suites are done in subdued beach-themed tones and feature L’Occitane bath products, Bose Wave radios and flat-screen TVs. Some even have fireplaces, to complete the New England fantasy.
Inn activities include tennis, golf, fishing and guided beach walks. When mealtime comes, there are four restaurants to choose from. The main dining room serves a selection of fresh-caught items, including two-pound lobsters, Wellfleet oysters and perfectly seared scallops. Reserve a table by the window and you might spot seals on the beach. For a more laid-back meal, the inn’s Sacred Cod Tavern has lighter pub fare. If it’s chilly outside, afternoon tea is served in the South Lounge, where you can curl up by the fire with a book or a game from the library.
In the Area
Take the milelong stroll along the waterfront to the Chatham Lighthouse, where you can look for seals lounging in the cove. Then head to the Squire, a pub on Chatham’s Main Street that’s always packed, for a bowl of velvety lobster bisque or a pint and some live music. On weekend mornings the inn’s naturalist leads nature walks and short hikes along the coast. There are also opportunities to bike, boat and fish. The ground seldom freezes on the Cape, so you can book a tee time year-round at the Chatham Seaside Links golf course, which is right next door.
How to Get There
I’ve been fortunate to travel much of the world and I’ve stayed at hotels ranging from Motel 6, Marriott courtyard, Hilton, Pebble Beach, Raffles, Four seasons, Ritz, Aria sky suites etc. I share this simply to quantify my commentary and review.
The Cape cod location and venue size works for their benefit as there’s nothing else like it to fairly compare via the location and views. My first time to Cape Cod I enjoyed very much however my greatest disappointment was the Chatham Bars Inn. Simply put for the price they’re charging they need to step up their definition of “Hospitality”
The dissatisfaction began when prior to arrival we called the concierge to make local dinner reservations 2 weeks in advance and were asked by Carol to please email her as she was busy and she could then work on it on our behalf. We did, in detail and never heard back. We then called a week out and we’re told ????oh I’ve been working on it but didn’t understand everything ? If you don’t understand something you ask a question however she chose not too and thus she then began working on the various requests now only a week out from arrival. We didn’t get a few things and times we requested were not met.
We arrived and were immediately greeted by very friendly valet as expected, pull the car aside and see if room is ready. As we arrived about 1 we didn’t think it would be as this is high season and we arrived prior to the 4pm check in. Left vehicle went downtown returned at 4. One room ready, one not. Manager saw me standing by and jumped to help and check into why. Asked to wait a bit longer they provided 2nd room keys about 15-20 mins later.
Able to drive close to our ocean view suites we parked and unloaded our own luggage.
Rooms generally nice with modern accoutrements and decor. A little tired and a few “off” items. Cheerios on the floor from prior guests ( note stayed in the same area on the floor for our complete stay ) the bathroom door is hung off centered and would not close, bedroom tv wire just hanging and tv hung off center. Hallway area paint peeling, hallway floor warped, no evidence of a privacy door hanger and was therefore walked in on while in shower. The common vestibule is quaint but a constant irritation when your neighbor is entering or exiting as it sounds as though they are attempting to open your door and enter. The rest of the suite was dialed in comfortable with great HVAC a 2 Propane fireplaces within the living area and bedroom. Closet space is adequate but small.
Room service, limited menu, delivery speed very good, food quality satisfactory to good, forgot requested condiments, had to re-call room service and await 5-10 mins for return.
BIG NOTE: all of the room service staff and housekeeping and pool and beach staff were all very hospitable and trying to please with service on their mind however many have broken English and sometimes don’t understand all conversation which of course can lead to a disconnect.
They overcrowd the pool area and need to better accommodate adults with easy access to adult only pool.
SPA was called on 2 different occasions within prime open hours and the phone was never answered. Our additional calls to the on site concierge was met each time with short/abrupt answers and a definite bothered attitude.
The Chatham Bars Inn had a wedding scheduled on Saturday afternoon. All looked great from afar but we experienced first hand the rest of the organization was stressed and understaffed and overwhelmed. The hotel guests not attending the wedding were almost left to figure it out as various dinner and bar venues were closed off for the wedding with no notice and left to fend for yourselves.
All in overpriced for all the issues and poor concierge services and NO accommodating for the wedding.
I was really concerned after reading the reviews of poor service and other experiences but decided to stay anyways. I was concerned they weren't able to email pictures of the room we booked that cost over $1600 a night but could email pictures of the crib for our baby. The room wasn't as 'advertised', the service is a bunch of people on a J1 visa from all over the world that have no clue whats' going on or are 'customer service' minded. It's impossible to find management or anyone of any responsibility. When booking events a concierge, they told us one price, then at the end charged us 100times more. We had to pay in full for our stay then mid-stay, charged my credit card for a new tax that was not known or agreed upon and now there is no one but an accounting voicemail to reconcile it. The resort is on beautiful grounds but I would high highly take into consideration if anything goes wrong, which is will, it's impossible to resolve anything or find someone to take responsibility. I would not recommend staying here.
My family and I have been guests at CBI for the past 20 plus years. We started going regularly when our children were quite young. It's always had its shortcomings but we absolutely love the location and the views are spectacular. In my humble opinion, the resort has been on a steady decline for the last 5 years. They used to operate a fun trolley service, no more. They still offer a car service to and from town for dinner etc.. They used to have some "rules" at the pool such as no floats etc. which is critically important given the size of the pool versus the explosive number of guests using it during the summer season. No more, now everything goes.The hot tub used to be restricted to guests 13 years and older but now BABIES are allowed in the hot tub with their parents. The resort NEEDS another pool, such as an adult pool because they cannot accommodate all of their guests during peak season. During our recent stay pool attendants were dragging chairs and umbrellas from storage areas and literally boxing in guests with rows and rows of chairs. It was quite honestly a circus and definitely not relaxing. You wait a very long time for drinks and food and the billing system is so poor (you do not get a bill to review and sign) and as a result when we checked out we realized that we had been charged for other peoples food and beverages during the week.
The other problem is the rooms. For $1300 plus per night, you expect your cottage room to be top notch. Not the case. The room (sold to accommodate 4 people) is truly fit for two. Also, when you book a room for 4 people, you expect that it will comfortably accommodate 4 people and have amenities for 4 people. At check in, we were provided with enough towels for 3 people, a single bathrobe, and shampoo and bath wash for one person. We were also given only two waters. The rooms used to have a makeup mirror, no more. The bathroom didn't even have a single shelf, cabinet or table to hold toiletries. It only had a pedestal sink, not even a vanity so there was not a single spot for toothpaste, shaving cream etc.. Terrible layout. Over the years, when you checked into your room, you received a lovely CBI tote filled with fresh fruit, a platter of cookies, a box of Chatham Candy chocolates and a bottle of wine. It was SO lovely. This year we received a small box of chocolates and that was it.
Now lets discuss our $1,300 plus per night view. Our front / bathroom view was of the parking lot. We had a lovely window seat that could of had a small peak of the fish pier and water BUT the bushes were so overgrown you could barely see anything. And through that same window when we looked down, we had a view of a heap of old refrigerator units and broken furniture thrown in a pile (under our window area). What?? So terrible and unacceptable. And this room was a superior room not a standard room which they offer at a lower rate. How can they charge $1,300 plus per night and think its okay to have a literal dumping ground outside of a guest room. And the building air conditioning unit was also right under our window to the other side and was extremely loud and annoying so we could not even open our windows. By the way, at $1300 you don't even have a patio or balcony (although we have stayed in rooms over the years that do). Lastly, you expect your tub and shower to work. Our shower would not turn on, maintenance had to come in. Then our tub filled up to your knees, maintenance had to come in. UGH.
I will end on a positive note with some pros (reasons that we have come back):
You can enjoy great outdoor dining (light meals / sandwiches) at the Beach Grill Restaurant at night (also open for lunch). During the evening hours, the dining section is restricted to the bar area as the main restaurant is only open to themed dinners (clam bakes etc.) so it can get crowded but worth the wait. Added bonus, the bar staff are so friendly and welcoming. They also have an outdoor veranda where they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. The menu is limited but it is a great spot.
There is a boat launch available each day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to the outer beach. You can either hop off or stay on and just go for a boat ride. The captain is terrific. It's an amazing way to see the seals up close and it's a great experience.
The sunrises over the water are AMAZING and if its low tide you get the added bonus of hundreds of seals basking on the sandbars. So beautiful.
Front desk staff are really nice.
The grounds are gorgeous but they do need to tend to a lot of overgrowth by the ocean / cottage rooms as many first floor rooms have obstructed views.
In summation, we will be hesitant to return as it's very pricey (gets more expensive each year) and a 5 Star resort should not have shortcomings, particularly this many. The "excuse" from the management staff is that it's peak season??! Well, when you are running a "5 star" resort that caters to peak season, you should be prepared to offer exceptional service during that time and not excuses. Management KNOWS the issues (read the reviews and comments by management) but they act as if they are hearing negative comments for the first time. Not cool. And note to the GM ... please take the heap of old and broken refrigeration units by the cottage rooms to the actual dump. It's not only an eyesore, it's a hazard.