Cape Cod’s Historic Sea Crest Beach Hotel Reopens After $15 Million Renovation
NORTH FALMOUTH, Mass. - With a history that began in 1927 as a summer playhouse on the sands of Old Silver Beach, the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth has entered an exciting new era. The beloved, 263-room family hotel on Buzzard’s Bay - which has hosted generations of Cape Cod vacationers for almost 50 years - has emerged from a ￼$15-million renovation that puts a fresh, contemporary spin on the simple, barefoot pleasures of bygone days.
"Our goal was to create the quintessential beach hotel for a new generation of families," said Sea Crest General Manager Clark Guinn. "While the look is entirely modern, there’s a spirit of playfulness and freedom that gives even first-time visitors the distinct feeling that this is a place from their own childhood. The Sea Crest experience is - and has always been - about the simple moments that become treasured memories, from the feeling of sand between bare toes to that first taste of fresh lobster in drawn butter."
The renovation encompasses everything from guestrooms and suites to a brand-new restaurant and lounge, Red’s, which draws its name and design inspiration from former Sea Crest owner and legendary Boston Celtics coach and president Red Auerbach. Also new are a café, poolside bar, an inviting firepit for al fresco evenings under the stars, and courtyard event space overlooking the beach. Public spaces have been upgraded, the Ocean View Room completely renovated, and the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pools converted to saline.
The results are breezy and playful, with soaring ceilings, striped awnings, a beach-inspired palette of crisp white and sea-glass blues and greens, and plenty of natural elements, including wood finishes that evoke the soft tones of driftwood. There are touches of whimsy, too, from colorful kites suspended from the lobby ceiling to custom-crafted, oversized glass fish mounted against a wavy-textured wall behind the front desk.
According to Peg Blackall, who served as the renovation’s lead designer on behalf of Scout Capital, the hotel’s ownership group, "Every aspect of Sea Crest, from the artwork we selected to the furnishings, draws inspiration from its setting on Buzzard’s Bay. But ultimately, every design decision had to meet one additional standard: ’Is it fun?’ By adhering to this admittedly unconventional principle, we succeeded in creating a hotel that breaks the mold of traditional Cape Cod design while being utterly true to its location."
In the lobby, a photo collage displayed beneath a weathered oar introduces visitors to scenes from Sea Crest’s rich past. The story begins in 1927, when The University Players Guild (among them a young Henry Fonda, Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart), created a summer playhouse and tea room on Old Silver Beach, where the hotel stands today. The playhouse burned in a 1936 fire and was replaced by the Old Silver Beach Club, a Prohibition-era speakeasy that was destroyed just two years later in a hurricane. The Latin Quarter - a club managed by Lou Walters, father of broadcast journalist Barbara Walters - opened on the site in 1942. After a brief hiatus in World War II, the property reopened as a summer resort. Red Auerbach, along with partners Kenneth Battles and Steve Hill, purchased Sea Crest in 1963 and converted it into a year-round resort in 1971. After another change of ownership, Scout Real Estate Capital, LLC acquired the hotel in February 2010, launching a new era for one of Cape Cod’s most beloved family resorts.
In a nod to the nautical history of Sea Crest’s setting, each of the eight guestroom buildings has been named for one of the winning boats of the Buzzard’s Bay Regatta - among them, Wild Goose, Yankee Girl, Arabella and Hot Foot. A reproduction of each boat’s hull serves as the sign for its namesake building.
All accommodations feature premium pillow-top mattresses, sitting areas, sleek new flat-screen TVs, complimentary wireless Internet access and personalized voicemail. Writing desks provide a comfortable spot for leisure guests to jot down memories in their journals or send a few postcards home, and for business travelers to catch up on work. Plump white duvets are accented with colorful bolsters and throws in contemporary prints and nautical stripes. Woven seagrass headboards and cushioned rattan seating add a welcome dose of texture, while well-placed seashells and hand-selected objets d’art reflect the seaside setting.
A selection of expansive Fireplace Rooms promises cozy evenings by the flickering flames. Sofa beds and large baths with double vanities make these rooms ideal for families. Oceanfront Rooms offer private balconies or patios with sunset views. Many Sundeck Rooms afford step-out access to the pool area and private beach just beyond. Sea Crest’s suites are distinguished by especially spacious bathrooms with round glass tile accents in hues of blue and green.
A combination of new and renovated dining environments ensures culinary choices for all tastes. The most significant change is the addition of Red’s, Sea Crest’s newest restaurant and lounge, whose menu is an inspired blend of American Cape and gastro-pub cuisine. Drawing deeply from the legacy of Red Auerbach, this casual, oceanfront restaurant provides a range of individually designed dining spaces, each with its own distinct ambience. These include the RED Room - an "inner sanctum" filled with tributes to Red the man, and exclusively for private events; a family-friendly main dining room with sweeping views of Buzzards Bay; outdoor seating where guests can dine in beachwear; an indoor bar with wall-mounted televisions and a neighborhood New England pub flavor; a casual, poolside outdoor bar; the elegant 3 Seasons Porch for couples and private events, and Shutters, a private, oceanfront dining room.
Sea Crest’s time-honored Oceanfront Room has been completely revamped to take advantage of its spectacular views. A neutral palette and simple striped carpeting allow the ocean, beckoning just beyond the wraparound windows, to take center stage. Tall candle tapers and dramatic floral displays add just the right amount of formality for a menu focusing on fine local shellfish and other New England specialties.
Also new is The I-Café, providing fresh-brewed coffee and treats along with wireless Internet access and cable news.
Sea Crest’s two swimming pools - one indoor and one outdoor - have both been converted to saline. A firepit at the center of the pool area provides an inviting gathering spot for guests on cool nights. The pool area is also the setting for Red’s Poolside Bar, ideal for cocktails and conversation with ocean views.
Offering the largest conference facilities under one roof on Cape Cod, Sea Crest has unveiled its renovated Sea Crest Ballroom, a 6,450-square-foot space accommodating up to 800 guests, outfitted with sophisticated audio-visual technology. The ballroom, which can be divided into three separate rooms, connects to the adjacent Ocean View Room and its outdoor deck. A brand-new courtyard space is ideal for meeting breaks or cocktail receptions. Next up for renovation is Sea Crest’s Nauset Conference Center, which accommodates up to 1,100 guests in 11,800 square feet of meeting space.
Set on a private beach in Cape Cod’s legendary North Falmouth, and surrounded by old-fashioned New England cottages along Buzzards Bay, Sea Crest Beach Hotel has emerged from a multimillion-dollar renovation as the quintessential beach hotel for a new generation of travelers. With 263 guest rooms and suites, some with fireplaces and private balconies, the hotel is equally ideal for families who seek a beachfront setting in which to create timeless memories, couples drawn by the romance of the Cape, and meeting or wedding planners seeking expansive function space combined with superb dining and warm, personalized service.
Sea Crest Beach Hotel is within an easy drive of the region’s largest cities: New York, Boston, and Providence. Boston’s Logan International Airport and Providence’s T.F. Green International Airport are both just over an hour’s drive away.