by Lissa Poirot
Imagine living in a stately home that overlooks the sea, its bold white color a sharp and nautical contrast to the deep blue of the ocean it stands before. The rocky coast acts as a barrier when that aforementioned sea becomes unruly, while the home’s bright green and expansive lawn stretches out between the rocks and the entrance.
Here stands the former Stacy House, named for George O. Stacy, a prominent hotelier for which a boulevard has been named. Stacy was also a strong force behind Gloucester’s famous Fisherman’s Statue. The Colonial Revival home was a wedding gift to Stacy’s bride, so it became affectionately known as the Wedding Cake House. Sadly, Mrs. Stacy refused to live in the house, as Bass Rocks was very isolated, especially in the cold of winter. A string of renters and owners took on the home, built in 1897, right up to the 1960s, when Gerald and Geraldine Muller began to run the home as an inn, along with the two motel buildings added adjacent: The Seaside House and the Oceanfront House.
The motel has seen its share of updates over the years, and today, it is a modern motel and inn enjoying the same gorgeous views that Stacy wanted to witness each day. Families from near and far enjoy the Ocean House Hotel at Bass Rocks while visiting Cape Ann, just north of Boston, and its beaches, rocky shores, artist communities and fishing villages.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanfront location with gorgeous views
- Complimentary breakfast daily
- Accommodations for larger families
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
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This intimate inn is both a stately house and an upscale motel. While you may drive up to your door on the lower level, and may have to grab the stairs for a second-story room, the rooms are decidedly both attractive and comfortable. All rooms feature sliding glass doors that open to large patios or balconies with whicker loveseats and oversized chairs.
Each of the 51 rooms is accommodating to families with children of all ages. The north wing overlooks the pool, making it easy for families on the ground floor to run right out and jump in. Each room provides either one king or two queen beds with larger rooms in the center portion of the building offering a pullout sofa. We enjoyed a room with the sofa bed, but in order to open it we had to stand the coffee table up on its end and push it against the wall to be able to get outside to the balcony. The room was spacious enough when the couch was in place, but the bathroom had a small pedestal sink and no counter space. (For space, we used the ledge by the window, but it is a small, high window, so the kids couldn't reach anything we put on the ledge.) It was our only complaint.
The Seaside House is a smaller "motel" connection with rooms outfitted with king beds. Two connecting rooms are available on each floor, making it a great choice for larger families. Elect to stay in the Stacy House if traveling with just one small child for a more historic stay, as the three-story house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once a private mansion, it has been restored and offers three guest suites on the second floor. The suites feature a bedroom with a king bed, separate sitting area, Jacuzzi tubs and a gas fireplace.
All rooms feature DVD players, refrigerators, coffee makers, and HD TVs.
There is no better view to be had than from the second floor room balcony of Ocean House hotel. Looking at the Atlantic at Bass Rocks never gets old. The hotel is well maintained with an outdoor pool in season and every room has a balcony with comfortable seating overlooking the ocean. The breakfast included in the room rate is delicious as well. From here you can walk to Good Harbor Beach. A wonderful location for couples and families to stay and from which to explore Gloucester, Rockport and Essex.
Booked two rooms for our family trip. Since none of the rooms were adjoining we requested two rooms next to one another so that we could go out our patio room doors and sit together looking at the rocks and waves. We arrive and they had us in Rooms 101 and 104. We specifically asked to be together since it was a family trip as well as to even explain the patio togetherness when reserving the rooms. The front desk gal said WE specifically said to put two rooms between us. Who does such a thing?!? I can’t decide if they are that stupid or that they didn’t care enough to try. They got their money and that’s all that mattered.
The hotel's friendliest kids' feature is its small, heated pool that sits amidst the inn's great lawn and overlooks the blue Atlantic. The pool is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Stacey House offers a library of both books and DVDs to borrow for free while staying at the hotel.
Free bicycle rentals, including helmets, are also a nice perk. Definitely grab bikes and enjoy the views along the coastal road. A pool table is also available for first-come, first-serve use in the Stacey House.
The hotel provides a complimentary continental breakfast in the Stacy House every morning starting at 7:30 a.m. Grab warm chocolate chip cookies at the check-in desk in the evening.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The fire pit located next to the pool is a nice place to relax in the evenings.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The Art of Smart Timing
While Bass Rocks is a gorgeous place to visit in the summer and fall, with blue skies and temperate, breeze-filled days, winter can be dismal and grey, and the sea loses its deep blue color and instead goes as gray as the sky. Only the brave fancy vacationing in the area in winter months, and many restaurants, shops and attractions close down for the season.
Bass Rocks is located on Cape Ann, in Gloucester, Mass. It's about 50 minutes by car from Boston.
The hotel's free bicycle rentals are a great way to explore the surrounding area. During the summer season the hotel arranges free water shuttle service.
For Mom and Dad
Enjoy some quiet time and an ocean view from the rooftop deck.