Sesuit Harbor House Lodging
I explored the charming town of Dennis, Massachusetts and discovered miles of soft-sand beaches, delicious fine and casual dining options, and a friendly New England community within Barnstable County. I stayed at Sesuit Harbor House, a Cape Cod family resort that was a pleasure to call home for the weekend.
Where is Dennis, Massachusetts?
Dennis is central to many Cape Cod locations, with coastal frontage on both the bay and the ocean sides of the Cape. Settled by the English as part of Yarmouth in 1639, it comprises five distinct villages: Dennis (including North Dennis), East Dennis, South Dennis, West Dennis, Dennis Port.
You’ll find Sesuit Harbor House in East Dennis, just down the road from gorgeous bay-side beaches and picturesque Sesuit Harbor.
Pro Travel Tip: “Sesuit” is pronounced “seh-SOO-it.” It was the name given to the northern part of Dennis by the original Native American inhabitants of the region.
History of Sesuit Harbor House
Sesuit Harbor House is a familiar place for locals and visitors alike.
The Main House, a stately white colonial dating to 1735, graces Old King’s Highway, which was once the original Native American trade route. It is one of the first large estates in Cape Cod.
From 1837, the property served as a family-owned shipyard known for shipbuilding excellence as Shiverick Shipyard.
Fast-forward to the 1960s, when owners built two motel-style buildings and converted the carriage house into apartment-style suites. Known as the Sesuit Motel for several decades, its prime location on the Cape and sparkling pool made this well-respected motel a favorite for families.
In its most recent incarnation, Sesuit Harbor House’s continued commitment as a Cape Cod family resort shines under new owners Phil and Sylvia Baxter. The couple has an extensive background in hospitality and is a welcome addition to the history of this unique bed-and-breakfast.
In fact, Baxter Hospitality is committed to authentic, community-centric travel experiences. They offer boutique accommodations and a genuine service culture. Phil and Sylvia’s specialty is renovating and rebranding historic inns like the Sesuit Harbor House, and their most recent addition to the portfolio, Chapter House in Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod.
Sesuit Harbor House | Cape Cod Family Resort in Dennis
This 21-room bed-and-breakfast located one mile from Sesuit Harbor and a 10-minute drive from Mayflower Beach offers free WiFi, an in-ground pool with lounge chairs, a roaring fire pit surrounded by cheerful Adirondack chairs, and serves a free daily breakfast.
Guests may choose from four lodging options, at Sesuit Harbor House, some named for regions in Cape Cod:
- The Main House – Two comfortable rooms restored with original details and outfitted with luxury bedding and period furnishings
- The Upper Cape – Deluxe Queen and Efficiency rooms overlooking the lush front or rear gardens; some equipped with petite kitchens
- The Cape & Islands – Deluxe Queen, King rooms, and second-floor apartment-style suites
- The Lower Cape – Standard Queen and King rooms
Availability of in-room refrigerators, sofa beds, and outdoor seating varies by room.
Tip: Check-in for your stay at The Main House, and be sure to say hello to Thumper, the inn’s sweet little dog.
Martha’s Vineyard Room Sleeps 5+
Of the 21 rooms at Sesuit Harbor House, I stayed in a 2nd story suite called “Martha’s Vineyard.” It’s one of the apartment-style spaces in the converted carriage house—and it was much bigger than necessary for me.
However, it was great to spread out in this adorable space.
It’s easy to envision a family with children comfortably settling into these quarters for a weekend or an extended family vacation down the Cape.
A large bank of windows and skylights fill the area with natural light, giving view to the fire pit and spacious grounds. An airy nautical theme follows throughout, and every inch is absolutely immaculate.
Tour of Accommodations
Besides two full beds tucked into the back of my suite, this space includes a fully equipped kitchen with eat-in dining and a skylight; a comfortable living room with plenty of seating and flat-screen cable-equipped television; and a large, spotless bathroom. The bedroom is semi-private.
That could mean preparing a home-made meal or ordering from nearby takeout and delivery options.
I can not emphasize enough that this kitchen has everything needed for hosting meals, from pots and pans, measuring cups, utensils, small appliances, dishes, barware and serving plates–and of course a lobster pot.
And, everything needed for cleaning up, too. The stainless sink is set up with fresh sponges and assortment of cleaning products.
In addition to the setup for drip coffee and tea, complete with sugar and creamers, a refreshing bottle of drinking water awaited my arrival on the kitchen’s gleaming granite countertop.
Other bonuses in the Martha’s Vineyard suite include a writing desk outfitted with regional guides and magazines, and a walk-in nook by the front door with two luggage racks and cubbies. I could easily envision these cubbies occupied with an assortment of little shoes, beach hats, and all the fixings for a fun-filled family day in Cape Cod.
Additionally, guests in this suite enjoy a semi-private outdoor seating area with table and chairs.
Several extra hospitality touches enhanced my experience at Sesuit Harbor House.
For instance, a vase of brilliant yellow sunflowers in the bathroom looked so perfect I thought they were silk—until I realized they were a fresh bouquet!
Also in the bathroom, I found plenty of fluffy white towels; a black makeup towel; blow-dryer; a full line of eco-friendly Further soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and bath gels (with more under the counter); and an extra chest of storage drawers.
Off the living room, a large closet held an assortment of extra pillows, extra blankets, hangers, a fan, an iron and ironing board, and a beach bag.
I usually bring my pillow when I travel but forgot it. Feeling like Goldilocks, I scouted out a pillow from the selection that was just right for me.
An assortment of neatly stacked books and travel magazines under the TV and beside the bed reminded me to take full advantage of the opportunity to relax.
I found that the in-room information binder was carefully researched and prepared with loads of useful information, including dining recommendations and all kinds of interesting facts and references about the area. As a writer, I really appreciated the effort that went into preparing that resource.
Finally, my hosts filled a welcome basket to the brim with locally made treats… and included a handwritten card with a personal note. This was such a thoughtful touch that went a long way to really making me feel special. Sometimes, it’s the smallest gesture of hospitality that leaves the best impression.
Phil and Sylvia filled my gift basket with local chocolates, handmade soaps, flower seeds, cookies, Cape Cod chips, saltwater taffy, and other candies. It was an assortment of goodness that I took home that extended my memories beyond my stay.
While I loved each of the samples, I especially enjoyed the Cranberry Toffee candy from Robin’s Toffee by the Sea in Yarmouth, and the Lavendar Rosemary Soap by Hyannis-based Summer House Natural Soaps.
The Historic Main House
Since I love historic homes, Sylvia gave me a peek inside the Main House. I adored the wide pumpkin pine floors, fireplaces, and Colonial craftsmanship of this 18th Century treasure. Such charm!
Beautifully Landscaped Grounds
Beautiful perennial gardens designed to bloom throughout the season in an array of colors accent The Sesuit Harbor House grounds. No doubt you will want to enjoy relaxing within this lush 2-acre property.
From taking a dip in the pristine swimming pool and playing outdoor games like Cornhole, to having coffee, wine, or making S’mores around the newly constructed fire pit, the outdoor community of this family resort is integral to the experience.
While I could have easily retreated to the comforts of my suite, what I most enjoyed about this trip was getting to know other guests and my hosts, Phil and Sylvia, within this green gathering space.
Complimentary Breakfast at Sesuit Harbor House
One of my favorite things was spending cool Autumn mornings having breakfast around a crackling firepit. Alternatively, you might decide to have breakfast in the Main House, sunroom, outdoor patio, pool deck, picnic tables, or even on your own patio.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 am to 10:00 am from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and choices change daily.
My breakfast featured “Jaws” coffee made from Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters specialty beans (Brewster, MA) and a selection of tasty pastries from Underground Bakery in Dennis. I helped myself to both the fresh-baked pumpkin cream-cheese muffins and the delicious scones.
Best Beaches in Dennis MA
Beaches are one of the best attractions on Cape Cod. I enjoyed sampling a few beaches during my stay at the Sesuit Harbor House, but have many more to visit. That’s because there are eighteen (18) beaches in Dennis!
Sixteen (16) of the beaches in Dennis are on the ocean and two (2) are on freshwater.
- Beaches in Dennis on Cape Cod Bay (bay side): Bayview, Chapin Memorial, Cold Storage Corporation,* Harbor View, Howes Street, Mayflower,* Scargo,* Sea Street, Princess
- Beaches in Desnnis on Nantucket Sound (ocean side): Depot Street, Glendon Road, Haigis, Inman Road, Raycroft, Sea Street, South Village, West Dennis*
- Freshwater Beaches in Dennis: Scargo Lake, Princess Beach
Note: During the week, most beaches charge a non-resident parking fee of $20 on weekdays, $25 on weekends. Bayview, Cold Storage, Harbor View, and South Village parking is for Residents Only.
Pro Travel Tip: In winter, nobody checks for beach stickers.
Dining Out in Dennis
During my stay at Sesuit Harbor House, I enjoyed excellent food and drink at three great dining venues:
- Sesuit Harbor Cafe: A classic Cape Cod clam shack with picnic benches overlooking the Marina. Delicious Lobster Rolls. (Note: Cash Only, ATM is on premise.)
- The Pheasant: Refined American cuisine with French influences in a 250-year-old farmhouse. Don’t miss the amazing, creative cocktails.
- Encore Bar & Bistro: Tasty, innovative dishes served in the dining room or tavern. Perfect for date night, located alongside the Cape Cod Art Museum and the Cape Playhouse.
Tip: Look for upcoming reviews on Enjoy Travel Life about each of these fine dining establishments.
Natural Encounters at Sesuit Harbor House
This peaceful retreat in Dennis offers additional natural encounters, should you be so inclined. At the rear of the Sesuit Harbor House property lives two little goats, Lola and Brownie. Phil will gladly show you to the large fenced in area and perhaps even give you a chance to feed them.
I have to admit, the goats were far more gentle than I ever imagined they would be. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them climb up on their house, feeding them treats, and patting their coarse but silky coat. They were so friendly and entertaining!
You’ll also find an apiary in the back of the property, where honey bees are working hard. While just learning the art and science of beekeeping, Phil and Sylvia hope to serve their sweet harvest as part of Sesuit Harbor House’s breakfast and share their honey with local restaurants. They may even offer souvenir samples for guests wanting to bring honey home as a parting remembrance.
This is just one of many ways Sesuit Harbor House focuses on sustainability.
Green Practices & Sustainability at Sesuit Harbor House
I’ve stayed at hotels and inns that are minimally invested in green practices. They may give you the option to skip housekeeping or reuse your towels—and that’s a step in the right direction.
As someone concerned with my carbon footprint on the earth, I was happy to find Sesuit Harbor House also takes seriously the importance of sustainable travel.
You’ll find they are proactively engaged in green practices that conserve energy and water, reduce waste, and support social commitment. They also encourage their guests to join their commitment to reducing the inn’s carbon footprint. You can read more about their Green Practices here.
A Great Cape Cod Family Resort
Somehow, a visit to Cape Cod always clears my head and helps me re-focus on what’s important.
This time was no exception, in fact, better.
Sesuit Harbor House afforded me the perfect environment to slow an ever-frenetic pace and find peace within, with nature, and with some new friends in a thriving Cape Cod community. It was a welcome moment of renewal where I chatted with like-minded people around the fire-pit, and laughed at a silly goat.
It’s easy to understand why this Cape Cod family resort is so well-loved. You can bet I’ll be coming back to Sesuit Harbor House again; perhaps next time with a car-full of kids.
Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, MA 02638
Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Sesuit Neck Road
Dennis, MA 02638
Telephone: (508) 385-6134
Note: Cash Only, ATM on premise.
Summer House Natural Soaps
1336 Phinneys Lane
Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA 02601
This article is part of a sponsored collaboration. Special thanks to Quinn PR and Sesuit Harbor House for their support on hosted stay; and to Encore Bistro & Bar, Sesuit Harbor Cafe, The Pheasant, and Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters for their hospitality. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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