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“Love this place but be careful which room you get”

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Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Chatham
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Love this place but be careful which room you get”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Charming place to stay with many things to recommend with some warnings! First, CBI is an overall pleasant place with a great beach location. Great pool, outdoor restaurant and stellar breakfast. But for the amount of money that we spent, our room should have been perfect. Instead, room was cramped. Worse were the noise problems. This is an old hotel and (I think I have this right from building maintenance) the rooms have pumps to drain A/C condensate. Pumps are in the ceiling above most rooms (like ours). The Cape climate can be humid so the pump activates frequently to drain. It is loud and disturbing especially in the middle of the night. Do not get room 20- near the elevator which is also used as room service elevator. There is a floor elevation change near the room - makes for unpleasant cart noises! Will say that the staff and manager were very friendly and listened to these complaints. They couldn't find another room for us but did comp us a breakfast (which is amazing) but still...they need to correct these items for the amount they charge.

Room Tip: Do not book room 20 on the second floor of the main hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dbenners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,752 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (465)
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English first
Marco Island, Florida
Level Contributor
88 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Let me start by saying that the grounds of this hotel are just breath taking, perched on a bluff overlooking a harbor and sand bar with private hotel grounds directly on the beach as well that include dining, bars, pool and beach access. That is the VERY good about this hotel, and it is also a very short walk to the very quaint town of Chatham and a stone's throw from the municipal 9 hole golf course that is actually quite a links challenge.
We took a family vacation that included 4 different rooms that were ALL very expensive, which were luckily being paid for by the patriarch of our family - - - at least he paid for the rooms, the incidentals, well...... The rooms were all very clean and ranged from decent location (one Sister, and our room) to outstanding location right on the beach (my other Sister's). The prices were absolutely out of control for these rooms - one Sister's was $1,100/nt., ours was $1,500/nt., and God only knows what my Sister's on the beach cost (I wasn't privy to the info!). Needless to say, my Wife and I are more along the $200-$300/nt. type of vacationing couple (especially with a 1 and 2 year old in tow!), so needless to say, we were in sticker shock mode. So, knowing what everything cost, I was expecting 4 Seasons type service by all staff - - - sorry, NOT even close!
Our first poor experience came with the first night's dinner in the pub (Sacred Cod). The apps were fair to poor, but the huge problem was my Dad and my entrees. We ordered that night's special prime rib medium rare and lo and behold it came back medium well with not even a slight pink, let alone red. I returned mine immediately but my Dad (who NEVER complains about anything) decided to tough it out and try it. After a ten minute wait, the waiter came back and said there was no more prime rib, but they had the 14 oz ribeye so I gave it a shot. I must admit that the returned steak was fantastic, but my poor Dad who could only stomach three bites of his tough overcooked rib ended up having half my steak, so we both ended up leaving with a lot less money in our pocket (the price was $38 for each of our meals) and not very full stomachs!
Well, we figured it could only get better at breakfast, so we took our young kids to the buffet. After literally waiting 10 minutes while waiters and hosts/hostesses whizzed past us constantly we were finally seated in the way back and dropped off at a table that had two seats while we waited for another seat and a high chair....and waited....and waited....and waited. Finally my Dad and Sister came by to say 'hi' after their meal at another table and wondered why we were still standing, to which we voiced our displeasure and the fact that we had asked twice for chairs. I finally just grabbed a chair from a neighboring table and asked a busboy to get us a high chair. That said, no one came over to ask us what we wanted (you have the option of ordering off the menu or doing the buffet) or even offer coffee. My Dad watching this whole thing unfold just shook his head and went looking for what looked to be the head host. He gave me coffee but mentioned nothing about our food orders or what was offered. After literally sitting at our table for no lie a good 5 minutes, I decided I'd better get up and get my own cream for the coffee since none would be offered and we then just said the heck with it and decided to hit the buffet before the kids had a meltdown. The food was fine, but service was downright AWFUL and as I was walking out, I noticed there happened to be an cooking station in a side corner of the restaurant that I would have loved IF anyone had ever come over to explain things to us. A miserable morning start to the day that was only more infuriating because of the night time gaffe in the pub the night before! A serious hint, avoid this pricey breakfast and take a short walk down town to the Captain's Table - we did this every morning after and were greeted with smiles and exactly what we ordered!!
The beach, although beautiful to look at from the bluff, is not a real hang out beach that CBI would have you think by the cabanas down there. It is a dark sand that is plagued by a perennially low tide and freezing cold water. It is just not a very attractive stretch of sand when you are down there - and we are a beach stroll loving couple with the kids either in stroller or one carried and one semi-walking. We did enjoy the FREE (yes, something finally included) boat shuttle to the sand bar. It is a much nicer stretch of beach out there, but again it is freezing cold water that you might not want to brave with either the seals (we saw swimming close by) or the shark that we were told was in the immediate area. What does that leave, why the pool of course. We had a cabana rented all week, and figured it would work out well, and it did. The cabana is nicely equipped with chaises, food tables, wind barriers and a stocked fridge (water and soda anyways). The staff at the pool are all young kids and I have nothing but praises for them, they are the exact opposite of what you can expect in both the pub and dining room. I don't want to generalize, but it seemed that all of the dining staff in the Inn (Verandah, Pub and dining room) were of Eastern European decent with no emotion or care. The staff at the pool and beach were young local kids who really hustled and cared about the customer. Seems like the CBI higher ups should re-think who they have staffing certain areas, I would flip it and have the Europeans at the pool and locals manning the very important dining areas.
We had a nice rainy night hanging out at the Verandah, and decided to have take out which turned into a mind boggling $350 tab. Between two adult dinners and apps for kids, plus 4-5 drinks each for 4 adults my jaw hit the floor! Be prepared to pay at least $12 for a vodka tonic and almost $20 for a premium mixed drink!! Did I mention that the setting is breath taking? Well, if the setting doesn't take your breath away, the bills will!
I will end the review on the Tuesday night clam bake. It actually was great for the most part. the lobsters were just perfect and the clams and shrimp were super fresh as well. The steak was absolutely abysmal - small and disturbingly over cooked (every single one of our party of 14 who tried their steak took a bite and that was all!). My Dad did not tell me how much it came up to, but my Wife saw him grab the check at $890 for 7 adults, 5 kids and 2 toddlers. That is astronomical, even though you have to add in for a few drinks per couple.
Overall, I can see that people would come to CBI for it's sheer beauty and proximity to Chatham. However, for the discerning traveler who likes to spend but not lavishly for a product that is not worthy, this will be a one and done trip. Thanks Dad for picking up most of the tab, but my incidentals were still almost $1,500 for 4 days and 5 nights and for what we got in return, it was not a fair trade off. If you are required to pay a five star price, the finished product should also be five star!!
If you want a still semi-expensive vacation on the Cape, but on a BEAUTIFUL beach with swimmable waters (temp-wise) and two separate pools, try the Sea Crest in Falmouth instead. If you want a fantastic clam bake that is from top to bottom fantastic, and a little cheaper go to Wianno in Osterville Sunday Nights.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CdrMcBragg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
resortmanagercbi, Manager at Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to detail your extensive narrative of your family’s vacation at Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa. We appreciate your complimentary comments in highlighting our property and facilities, in addition to your experience at our family style clam bake, at The Beach House.

Allow me to offer an apology that span’s across the board for your disappointment in price point for the accommodations your father generously paid for, in addition to any service and food preparation miscue’s mentioned in your comments above. As a four star rated seasonal beach front resort, we strive for the absolute best on a daily basis from the top down and if we fall short in aspect of our hospitality, we want to do what’s right and correct in a timely fashion. While it is lovely to be compared hotel companies such as Four Seasons, we tend not to make such comparisons, as we are an independently owned and operated property. Our goal is to provide gracious service and an experience that is both memorable and enjoyable. From the sounds of your review, we fell short on many counts.

I am truly sorry that we were not able to connect with either your father or you when your family was still on property, I would have very much appreciated an opportunity to hear your thoughts and concerns, while we still would have had a chance to turn your impressions of our performance around. It is always disappointing for me to read reviews such as yours when not having any prior knowledge of anything as extensive as the feedback provided to me today.
On behalf of our entire staff, we would like to collectively apologize again for leaving your lasting impressions of our property as that of just an average stay.

We hope that you may consider giving Chatham Bars Inn an opportunity to better showcase our very best hospitality in the future. I know that we can, and do on a regular basis, far better than the examples mentioned in your review.

Thank you for your candid, detailed feedback.

Michael Briggs
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

Staying at CBI was on my "Bucket List". It has never been in our budget to stay there, but for our 10th wedding anniversary we decided we would stay one night. We took our two children ages 6 and 9 and had the most AMAZING time! A dream come true!!! Everything from the impeccable service to the pool was just fantastic. The food was outstanding and our room was very comfortable. It was a wonderful surprise to receive a complimentary bottle of wine and a very nice anniversary card from the hotel. Our children loved the pool and the beach and especially the binoculars on the veranda. We took hundreds of pictures and hope to come back again some day.
Thank you CBI for a wonderful memory!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aidybug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

Very disappointing! Paid a fortune as it was to be the highlight of our US east coast trip. After shopping around, paid £2,375in advance for Delux room (2 bed) for 4 nights. At that price, we were very disappointed to find we were at back of the resort and our one window faced straight onto a services path, in front of a high hedge! When we arrived, 2pm, the scene was chaotic! There was a large wedding occupying the bar and beach restaurant, the terrace restaurant was booked out and there was only standing room at the bar. our car was to be driven to the room, but this did not happen. We drove it to our 'delux room', to find the car park full. I realise that we arrived just after 4th of July holiday, but feel a luxury resort like this ought to be able to cater better for its guests. A few days later there was more breathing space as some guests had left, even though the weddings continued daily. Had much better time and value at Waldorf Astoria, NY, for a third of the price!!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

Helpful?
3 Thank A H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
resortmanagercbi, Manager at Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for your review of Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa on Trip Advisor. I am awfully sorry that we were unable to connect regarding your overall experience while you were still on property. It is always difficult to properly resolve any outstanding concerns once a guest departs. Not knowing that an experience such as your was diminished due to the busy volume over the 4th of July Holiday, coupled with being a popular wedding weekend at CBI this past July , is unfortunate to learn of now.

I hope that despite the circumstance surrounding your July visit, you may give us a try in the future when visiting the states. I am confident that we can do much better next time, from room selection to personally valeting your vehicle in the event of heavy traffic volume in and around the resort. Please don’t hesitate contacting me if I can be of further or future assistance to you. My direct line is 508.945.6710.

Thank you again for your feedback, I only wish we had an opportunity to make it right while you were here.

Regards,
Michael Briggs
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarsdale, New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

We enjoyed 3 nights at this lovely resort. We made our plans only a couple of weeks ago but we were able to get a one bedroom suite for my husband, me and our daughter. The suite, which was one half of a cottage, was quite large and well appointed. Two large flat screen tvs, dressing/make up area with small sink which made sharing the bathroom much easier. Sofa bed was pretty comfortable. Of course prices are high, but you know that going in. Breakfast buffet was excellent. Beach is very nice and there is a beach that you get to by boat which is really great (note it has no amenities so be prepared). Dinner at Stars was fine. Service was excellent. Food was good and enjoyable but not great. Noverall I can see coming back again next time we go to the cape.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Westiefan79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

I can tell you about the fantastic views from their incredible outside seating area, but you have to see it for yourself.

Just go. This is the flat out best there is on the East Coast. Nothing sniffs it.

It's not easy for a New Yorker to admit this, but good for you Boston, you've beaten us at something.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Head_Band_93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

We have stayed at the Chatham Bars Inn several times and always loved it. Great pool, great beach, great porch, and great views. The rooms are all nice (though the rooms in the main building are a little small) and the hotel has a fantastic amount of common space; we have stayed there over the Fourth of July and even then it didn't feel too busy. The complimentary shuttle service out to the sandbars is awesome -- the beaches there feel almost deserted.

If there is one drawback, it is that the food -- though excellent -- is overly expensive. This is especially noticeable if you are staying for any length of time, as the town doesn't have many good dining options.

Room Tip: The rooms in the main hotel are pretty small and used to have memory foam mattresses.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Person3557
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa

Property: Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa
Address: 297 Shore Road, Chatham, MA 02633-2358
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Massachusetts > Cape Cod > Chatham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Chatham
#4 Family Hotel in Chatham
#4 Romantic Hotel in Chatham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 217
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa has been an idyllic Cape Cod family vacation retreat noted for its excellent service, fine cuisine and beautiful surroundings since 1914. The Inn is nestled near the heart of Chatham on 25 beautifully landscaped acres overlooking Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This world-famous turn-of-the-century landmark has a remarkable ambiance. The expansive lounge, front veranda and main dining room have been returned to their original grandeur, affording panoramic ocean views and gentle sea breezes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chatham Bars Hotel Chatham
Chatham Bars Resort
Chatham Bar Inn Cape Cod

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