The following is a guest post by Luxury Travel Mom Lindley Pless
This 429-acre Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is located in the town of Brewster, near Cape Cod made famous by the Kennedys. The resort is run by the Jennison family who are locals to Brewster and take great pride in offering up wonderful family vacations that allow guests to see all that their town has to offer.
As soon as you cross the Bourne Bridge in Cape Cod you feel the air get slightly cooler and the pace get slightly slower. While Chatham (the big name “posh” destination on the cape) garners a lot of attention – Brewster feels like more of a “hidden gem” – just a little more laidback and less developed.
We arrived at the majestic Nickerson family Mansion and Carriage House that sit on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay. We checked in at the “Mansion” and then headed straight to our spacious room on the back-side of the property. On a clear day we would have been able to catch a glimpse of the bay just beyond the tennis courts below our small outdoor porch – but alas it was overcast.
We stayed in a clean, newly refurbished room with a beautiful big bathroom. We had two queen-sized beds and both bath and shower options which were great for the girls. The bedding felt brand new – and after staying two nights I can tell you the sheets were luxurious. The resort had left a lovely (and healthy) tray of treats for us in our room. Just what we needed to get us ready for a quick tour of the property before dinner. The landscaping throughout the property was pristine – and the front lawn (with croquet court and lawn games a plenty) was perfection. We found it was a short 10 minute walk down to the 700 foot long private beach from our room. I loved the casual bar set up by the beach where you could buy hot dogs, soda, beer, and water. My husband noted that a real “snack bar” would be great for those opposed to hot dogs – not that he doesn’t like hot dogs – but on a hot summer day a sandwich is a better fit. The girls were thrilled to find an outdoor pool (a relatively small one) not far from our room. Again the snack bar here was slim pickings. The “big” pool where they host movie nights for children is on the other side of the property over near the golf course. It would have been a 30-minute walk or a 4-minute car ride. We opted to stick with the beach on our side of the property. The resort also has two indoor pools and a new 5,000 square foot Members Sports Club – neither of which were used by us since it takes a lot to pull our family away from the beach.
After our tour we had drinks on the Ocean Terrace which is spectacular. The Terrace overlooks the water and has a bar in the center of the space. My husband adored his “Cape Cod Cranberry Mojito” and I was very impressed by the wine list. Cocktailing while overlooking the water is divine. We had dinner the first night at Bayzo’s Pub in the Mansion. It was exactly what you would expect. Dark wood, comfort food, and a lively little bar. I had a wonderful salmon dish – seared to perfection and my husband adored the fish tacos. While we had a great night – mid-summer I think you’d be better served having dinner on the Ocean Terrace or over at the Linx Tavern on the golf course.
While I adored our time at Ocean Edge I will say the food and restaurant service was the most underwhelming part. The staff was lovely and polite but seemed to get our orders confused regularly. That being said – the things we ate were authentic and well made. There are also a ton of cute places to eat in Brewster so it is worth eating the wonderful buffet at the Mansion each day for breakfast and then occasionally heading out to explore other places for lunch and dinner. After dinner at the pub – the highlight of our first night was smores on the beach. It was magical to saunter down to the beach just after sunset and find cozy beach chairs, blankets, and everything you could ever need to make the perfect fire-pit smore. Did I mention they had a full bar on the beach as well? We sipped wine while the girls loaded up on chocolate and marshmallows. The bonfire and smores are complementary and made every Thursday night during the summer at the beach.
We knew we just had to try a local lobster roll at one of the “right off the road” food vendors. We drove ¼ of a mile down the road from the resort and hit up JT’s Seafood. You make your order at the counter and take a seat at the open-air picnic tables just outside the front door. The corn on the cob was delicious and the lobster roll was just what we had been craving. We also drove to The Brewster Scoop and Country Store one evening after dinner. The ice cream was fabulous and I particularly loved the throw-back items at the general store like marbles, penny candy, and kitschy kid toys.
Our favorite activity while staying at Ocean Edge was biking on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. It was amazing! The CCRT is 26 miles long and mostly flat, which makes for great biking for all ages. The resort rents bikes, bikes with tandem seats, kid sized bikes, and pull carts. They also have helmets for all ages. We rode our bikes – with the kids in a trailer – straight to the Chocolate Sparrow one morning. The frozen hot chocolate is famous on Cape Cod – and the assortment of homemade chocolates was incredible.
The Sparrow Store just across the street had fabulous local goods too. It’s not your average “shot glass from my vacation” sort of place. They had adorable flip-flops for children’s dolls and really pretty seashell artwork made by local artisans. As we biked back to the resort I saw plenty of walkers and joggers. The paths offer exercise in many forms. I wish we had had time for tennis. The har-tru courts looked like they were in very good shape.
We never made it out to play golf either but we drove by the course on our way to dinner at the Linx Tavern. The Jack Nicklaus designed course is one of only a few private golf course clubs on Cape Cod. The course is available to members and hotel guests. Clearly 2 days at Ocean Edge wasn’t nearly enough. We could have been there for 7 days and never run out of things to do.
While at the resort I was able to tour a 3-bedroom villa. It too was beautifully decorated and perfect for families. The villa had a living room, dining space, decent-sized kitchen, and 2 full baths. Each villa also comes with a washer and dryer which is a big bonus when you are swimming and running around all day! Prices for single rooms and villas vary from $425 (single room with 2 queen-sized beds) to $2,250 (three bedroom villa with water views) per night. Prices do not include resort fees and taxes.
Our second morning at the resort we spent 2 hours walking the beach at low tide exploring the tidal flats. It was quite possibly the perfect morning. The girls adored searching for enormous sea snails in the tidal pools and we have never before collected so many hermit crabs. The water remained 1-2 feet deep almost a mile out into the bay. I had never seen anything like it!
On our way out of town we stopped at She Sells, the resort gift shop which is across the street from the Mansion. They had just about the cutest cover-ups and “island” gear I had ever seen. I couldn’t resist buying a Miilla caftan for the last dog days of summer. We also grabbed coffee and bagel sandwiches at JoMama’s Coffee Shop which shares the space with She Sells. They bring the bagels in daily from NYC. Amazing! We were sad to have our beach weekend draw to a close – especially since we knew there was so much we still had not seen.
We will definitely be returning to Ocean Edge next summer and highly recommend it (despite the food service snafus). They made us fall in love with Cape Cod. Not to be missed! The Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) is spectacular. Get on a bike and get riding! (With or without kids of any age.) The Ocean Edge golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus. It’s well worth sneaking out to play 18 holes!
• Bring your own bike helmets to assure a good fit!
• Waterproof camera is key for taking shots of the ocean life during low tide.
• Bring boogie boards and goggles to explore the underwater critters at low tide.
• Pack casual! Brewster is very laid back and has a true beach-town feel to it!
• Ask the resort about the wedding schedule for the dates when you will be staying. They have a massive tent set up between the mansion and the beach. Wedding music can be heard from most rooms at the mansion – although it’s shut off by 11pm!
Just Added Summer Discounts! And if we thought prices were reasonable before – Ocean Edge has just launched a special rate plan for families in need of an end-of-summer escape. The resort is offering 50% off peak summer rates August 25 – August 29, 2013.
The Villages – One bedroom villa • Enjoy a one-bedroom villa that feature kitchenettes, washer, dryer and separate bedroom and living areas complete with pull-out sleep sofas, perfect for families. Rates starting at $195 per night.
The Mansion – Mansion guest wings • Enjoy luxurious, newly renovated accommodations adjacent to the historic Nickerson Mansion. These guestrooms feature first-class hotel service with one King or two Queen beds. Rates starting at $330 per night. Take full advantage of the resort’s summer kid’s activities, which run through Labor Day. Enjoy complimentary offerings including “Dive In” Movie Night at Arbor Pool, S’mores Family Beach Fires, or Kid’s Croquet. * Rates are based on availability and do not include state and local taxes equaling 11.7% or a nightly, per bedroom resort fee of $25 plus tax. To book this special rate, please follow this hyperlink August Promotion, visit oceanedge.com and type AUGUST in the promotion code, or speak with one of our Reservation Specialists by calling the Resort at 508-896-9000.
Lindley was a guest of Ocean Edge Resort representing Luxury Travel Mom as part of a press trip. Her views are her own. You can find more of fabulous Lindley on her adorable blog at TheSentimentalist.