Captain's Manor Inn isn't a full-fledged hotel, but the label "bed and breakfast" hardly seems to do it justice. Don't get us wrong -- we're huge fans of B&Bs, so we don't mean it derisively by any means. The intimacy and character of an independent inn, after all, is something that big hotel chains are actually trying to emulate. But when's the last time you stayed at a bed and breakfast with a dedicated housekeeping staff, with a regular afternoon tea hour in its "bistro" and rain showers in guest bathrooms?
This 1849 property is just a five- to ten-minute walk from Falmouth's busy Main Street on Cape Cod -- though a front yard fringed with trees creates an illusion of remoteness and calm. As its name suggests, the plantation-style home was built by Captain Albert Nye, who wanted to bring the comforts of New Orleans to the northeast for his southern bride-to-be. These days, a stay here begins with an orientation with Trish Robinson, a warm host who's as knowledgeable of the best restaurants in town as she is of the best scenic detours on popular drives. The kitchen, however, is the domain of her husband Kevin, who's a historical restoration expert.
The eight guest rooms are all spacious with private baths; most have rain showers and a few have tubs and fireplaces. Luxury hotel afficionados will be delighted to find familiar names like Frette (super soft linens) and Gilchrist & Soames (luxe toiletries) in the rooms, not to mention bathrobes in the closet -- a sure sign that you're on vacation. Other thoughtful touches include welcome chocolates from a local candy shop, a note from the housekeeper taking care of the room, and complimentary bottles of water.
Then there's breakfast. The first meal of the day at Captain's Manor Inn is a three-course affair, typically consisting of fruit, pastry, and a hot, made-to-order entree. You might start with wine-poached pear and a raspberry scone (the latter is so popular that you can buy the dry mix in the gift shop). Next could be a fragrant and savory potato hash, made with herbs from the garden, to accompany toast and eggs. You'll sit on the covered wraparound veranda or in an elegant dining and sitting area indoors.
The inn has a few more extras for guests. On the first floor, there's a small fridge and a collection of wine glasses and mugs for guest use. In this space, called "the bistro," the Robinsons bring out baked treats with tea and lemonade every afternoon, while a Keurig tea and coffee is available at other times. On the back lawn, lounge chairs, a swing, and a gazebo make it difficult to leave the grounds and explore town.
But what truly makes a stay here a "smart luxury" choice is that a typical queen room here is just $150 in low season and $255 in high season, while a king room with a tub is $175-$290. For just a little more, at $199-$355, you can score a room with a fireplace and your own patio and private entrance (the Robinson room). At this value, you could visit in the fall for spectacular foliage, come back in winter for a cozy holiday jaunt, and perhaps return yet again in the summer for beach season.