Editor’s Review of Dan'l Webster Inn
The first part of Cape Cod -- confusingly called the "Upper Cape" by locals -- is completely different from the rest of the area. Even though it's the easiest part of the Cape to get to from Boston and New York, it tends to be passed over by eager vacationers speeding towards the honytonk of Hyannis or the beaches of the outer seashore. Because of that, it retains a small-town village-y feel, especially in the quaint historical centers of Sandwich and Falmouth, giving it the feel of a 1950's -- if not 1850's -- summer vacation. In keeping with this atmosphere, there are few big resorts in the area, where lodging tends to be in the form of historic inns and tidy beachside B&B's. The trick can be finding one that offers that small-town cozy feel at
the same time accommodates children without fuss.
The Dan'l Webster Inn may just be the holy grail in historic but family-friendly vacation spots. Situated just a short walk from Sandwich's achingly quaint town common, it's got historic cred coming out of the eaves. Its origins as an inn date back before the American Revolution, when it was converted into a headquarters of the patriots during the war. Later in the mid-1800's, the inn became a favorite of US Senator Daniel Webster, from whom it currently gets its name. As you might imagine from the precious spelling of the inn's name, the property has gone to great strides to retain an historic feel -- and out-of-towners looking for a little slice of Ye Olde New England won't be disappointed with the creaky floorboards in the lobby and exposed beams in the tavern.
The atmosphere here, however, is anything but stuffy. Within the last decade, the property was acquired by the Catania family, which also owns and operates the over-the-top family resorts The Cape Codder in Hyannis and The John Carver Inn in Plymouth. They've extended the same warm, family-friendly vibe to this property -- staff goes out of its way to address kids and make them (and their parents) feel welcome, and even the formal dining room has a convivial atmosphere that makes it a local favorite for multi-age gatherings that pull in everyone from grandma to the newborn. You won't find a bevy of children's activities here at the inn -- there's no formal kids club or activity schedule -- but if you are looking for a vacation on the quieter side of the Cape, this inn offers a pleasant and atmospheric home base from which to explore the surrounding area. less
Our Editor Loves
- The homey feel of a classic New England inn
- A staff that is great in dealing with kids
- Proximity to the historic and cultural attractions of the Upper Cape
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The main inn and the Fessenden Wing in a separate building out back each offer standard rooms with two double beds as well as more spacious rooms with two queens or one king bed. Rooms are "individually decorated," which in practice means a somewhat mismatched collection of antique furniture pieces including armoires, writing desks, and the like, that is homey and comfortable. The newer Jarves Wing has smaller rooms but more luxuriously appointed rooms with four-poster queen beds.
The inn also has several suites with more living space. Located in each of the three buildings, they feature a combination of queen- and king-sized canopy beds, whirlpool tubs, balconies, and fireplaces with "fuel cells" -- that is, cans of paraffin that can be lit to provide some ambience (after the kids go to bed!)
All rooms include air conditioning, cable TV, coffee makers, and free wi-fi Internet. Suites feature additional amenities, including refrigerator, DVD players, a choice of pillows -- goosedown, synthetic down, or "memory foam," high thread count sheets, micro-fiber robes, and Spa Therapy toiletries. Cribs are available at no extra charge and cots are available for a nightly fee. One of the suites and two of the double rooms also have a pull-out couch.
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