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Winter by the water: Cape Cod resort pivots off-season

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Winter by the water: Cape Cod resort pivots off-season
The Frost Bar’s igloos accommodate up to six people and feature cozy blankets, heaters and a winter menu of cocktails and bites. PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN EDGE RESORT & GOLF CLUB

Cape Cod is the land of fast-melting ice cream cones and sun-soaked days on the beach. It stirs up images of mini-golf games and sandy car seats and the distinctive smell of suntan lotion. But the seasonal strip of Massachusetts coast doesn’t quite lie dormant during the winter. After the lifeguards are off duty, winter nightlife blooms on the Cape.

PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster has made it a mission to bring winter fun to a largely seasonal section of the state. It’s easy to entertain visitors when it’s 80 degrees and the pickleball court is packed with players, but it takes some creativity to bring guests to the coast in the bitter cold.

A highlight of Ocean Edge’s winter offerings is the transformation of its expansive outdoor patio into the Frost Bar. Here you can experience the same stunning ocean views while dining, but in the warmth of heat lamps and enclosed igloos. The igloos accommodate up to six people and feature cozy blankets, heaters and a winter menu of cocktails and bites.

The Frost Bar’s igloos accommodate up to six people and feature cozy blankets, heaters and a winter menu of cocktails and bites. PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN EDGE RESORT & GOLF CLUB

For hotel guests, the Fire & Ice package includes an igloo reservation, welcome hot toddies and a credit toward the meal, in addition to accommodations. But the Frost Bar is open to the public as well, making winter entertainment accessible for locals and visitors. Even on a blustery January evening, diners flock to the winter-proof patio for a unique experience.

These efforts began during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Ocean Edge realized it had the physical capacity to accommodate many visitors while maintaining social distancing. Since then, it’s become a year-round resort committed to bringing fun to the Cape every season. For the resort team, inspiration bloomed in a pandemic that shuttered many other hospitality groups.

The Frost Bar’s igloos accommodate up to six people and feature cozy blankets and heaters. PHOTO: COURTESY OF OCEAN EDGE RESORT & GOLF CLUB

Of course, the area is much quieter during the winter months, and that’s part of the appeal. Winter visitors can bypass the inevitable traffic jam on the Bourne Bridge, the fight for a good spot on the beach, and the noisy and crowded restaurant experience.

Everything about Ocean Edge in the wintertime begs visitors to relax, from the crackling wood-burning fire in the library, a room awash with historic volumes and broken-in leather couches, to the hot-stone massages offered at the spa on particularly chilly days.

Cape Cod will always be most popular as a summer escape, but the efforts made by Ocean Edge have illustrated a different kind of seaside getaway, one marked by coziness and quiet rather than sunburns and crowds.