An Inside Peek At The Cape’s Only 5-Star Resort: The Wequassett

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When picturing a luxurious five-star hotel, do you think the Carribean, Hawaii, Las Vegas or Europe? How about Harwich?
The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club on Route 28 is the newest member of a very exclusive club: it recently scored a five-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide – one of only 76 five-star resorts in the whole United States.

The Wequassett is a slice of paradise on the eastern coast of Cape Cod. It boasts a four-star restaurant, luxurious suites overlooking Pleasant Bay, beautifully landscaped gardens, championship golf, and one of the most spectacular outdoor bars you can find. All of these amenities add up to a five-star rating yet barely scratch the surface of what makes Wequassett unique and special: an unwavering attention to detail and dedication to the craft of hospitality. The best part? The restaurants and bars are completely open to the public.

The dedication starts at the top with Managing Partner Mark Novota. He ascended to the position in 1995 after starting his career at Wequassett in 1986. His passion and genuine love for what he does shines through the moment you meet him. He instills that same passion into all of the employees at Wequassett.

Creating The Ultimate Experience

“Hospitality is all about detail,” he says, “it starts with the culture.”

His ‘culture’ is creating a customer-intimate organization. Novota does not want guests to just ‘like’ Wequassett, he wants them to become ‘advocates’ and ‘raving fans.’ His aim – and the aim of the entire staff – is to create the ultimate experience so that when guests come they will remain on the grounds because everything they could want is right there.

Despite its aura of luxury, the Wequassett is a very family-friendly resort, complete with a Children’s Center. This is a place where parents can leave their kids and know they are living their dreams.

There is a pirate ship playground, an amphitheatre where talent shows are held, a kids-run lemonade stand, a replica Good Humor ice cream truck made from a golf cart, and dive-in movies where kids watch their favorite flicks around the outdoor pool. There are also ecotours to the outer edges of Round Cove. But the highlight for kids is the Pirate Ship Buffet which includes a real pirate, usually played by a member of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Championship Golf and A Great Restaurant

Adults can have fun too. Guests of the resort may play golf at the nearby Cape Cod National Golf Club course. This 18-hole private course was designed by Brian Silva and takes advantage of the Cape’s natural beauty with spectacular views of the bay and nearby cranberry bogs.

A meal at the four-star rated Twenty-Eight Atlantic led by Chef James Hackney is a must. Entering his sixth season at Wequassett, and originally from across the pond in Leicestershire, England, Hackney has raised his game when it comes to the cuisine. He is constantly changing things up and keeping it interesting for the guests so that they never feel the need to venture off the grounds to get a good meal.

Before dinner, have a drink in one of the most spectacular settings on Cape Cod. Libaytion and The Outer Bar & Grille combine great food and drink with a dreamy scene. Nothing compares to sipping a cocktail around the fire pit and then taking a walk out onto the sand along Round Cove to the sounds of lapping waves or live entertainment.

A Secret Hideaway To Escape Crowds

If this all sounds great, but you hate a crowd, here’s a little secret: The Verandas at Twenty-Eight Atlantic. Jamie Mcphee, director of guest relations and a staff member at Wequassett for over eight years, calls The Verandas a ‘hidden gem.’ The spot sits just behind the restaurant overlooking Round Cove with several small fire pits dotting the patio. It has the same allure as the main poolside location but with fewer people. It is still relatively new, it’s best to take advantage of it before others catch on to this spot.

These beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of Wequassett would not be made possible without the dedicated staff, all 450-475 of them. Only about 30 of the employees are year-round, the rest are seasonal. Locals get the first chance to work at this marvelous resort. The employees are meticulously screened and trained at Wequassett’s own academy making sure that the dedication to the guests is first and foremost on their agenda.

A Passion For Great Service

Mark Novota says the Academy where “passion meets proficiency.” Here prospective employees are taught about things like ‘heroic acts.’ These are the small or large things staff can do for guests that go the extra mile. It can be a small gesture, like getting a guest at the pool some sunblock, or a larger perk like fixing up a picnic lunch for a boat trip across Pleasant Bay to the Outer Beach. These ‘heroic acts’ are meant to surprise and delight, awe and dazzle the guests.

Whether on a family vacation, a couples retreat, a solo jaunt, or simply grabbing a drink by one of the fire pits, Wequassett has something for everyone and is open to anyone. Come and enjoy a genuine five-star resort and never have to go over the bridges.

The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club is located at 2173 Rt. 28 in Harwich. It opens on April 1st with Twenty-Eight Atlantic resuming dinner service on April 21st. Visit them at their website: Wequassett.com

– By Christopher Setterlund

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