One of the best value hotels for families on Cape Cod is a family owned resort known for its indoor waterpark in Hyannis. While getting premium pricing in the cool months, it’s a downright bargain in the summer on the Cape.
The Cape Codder is a family owned resort in Hyannis, which is centrally located on Cape Cod. It’s close to everything. Cape Cod is one of the most sought after summer destinations in New England. Visitors come for the beaches and countless chances to eat the best lobster and ice cream in your life, but usually not together!
Although many people think the Cape Codder Resort is a waterpark hotel, it truly is a full-service resort. There are several amenities beyond waterslides that can keep a family active on vacation.
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The Ideal Cape Cod Location
Because of its location in Hyannis, Cape Cod’s biggest city, everything is close by. The ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the lighthouse and the harbor seals off the Chatham coast are all easily reachable.
The resort is not beachfront. It is centrally landlocked off of the main route that goes the distance of the Cape, shaped like a bent arm. Families will have to drive to public beaches, and many require permits.
The Rooms at the Cape Codder
Standard rooms are very quaint and comfortable for families with two queen beds, a balcony (for some) and a fireplace. Ironically, this is the one resort on the Cape whose peak season is outside of summer.
The Cape Codder offers fancier accommodations for families, and there are mermaid themed family suites that reminded me of the Art of Animation’s at Walt Disney World Resort. Beautiful painted murals inside Murphy beds in the kitchen area would delight any kid.
The Resort Amenities
My daughter and I chose to get our nails done at the spa called the Beach Plum Spa. Although it wasn’t a “luxury” spa our services were great, the staff was friendly. I would’ve been delighted to book additional treatments had we had more time.
It had the quirky homemade feeling of a truly independent spa with more personality than the generic spas at chain hotels.
There’s a fun family arcade run by Ryan Family Amusements, the same company that has one in downtown Newport we enjoyed. We exchanged our tickets for prizes and called it a night because we had accidentally missed the resort bonfire.
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There are tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and other daily activities for families who wish to take a break from the waterpark.
The resort has a charming shop with a large selection of children’s books, crafts, toys, and gifts.
Dining at the Cape Codder
There’ a sit-down restaurant onsite that offered an extensive menu called the Hearth ‘n Kettle Restaurant. The Hearth ‘n Kettle serves all three meals and offers well prepared meals at a reasonable price without the typical resort upcharge.
My daughter and I ate at the Grand Cru, the more formal restaurant and wine bar that still had plenty of families enjoying multi-course dinner’s beyond the comfort food favorites next door. A live band played in the back, and it was a very relaxing meal out for families.
The waterpark recently expanded in size and now has two large rooms. The main entry room has two large tube water slides that descend from the ceiling into the same pool. I actually rode them both, and they were fun, not too scary, though they are dark in some parts, and I didn’t like that.
There is a river around it that is NOT lazy. This is the one feature of the waterpark that disappointed. Water sprayers are meant to soak guests floating by, and the “traffic” we experienced with the number of people made it really hard to stay together as a family. Some children were rough, too, and my daughter and I didn’t enjoy this.
There is an enclosed area for tots we kept visiting because it was calmer than the main area. My five 5-year-old would have loved this had he been with us.
The second, new room contains a wave pool and more slides. These slides move you faster and blue tubes make them pitch black inside. There was a also a large hot tub overlooking the room that my daughter and I would have enjoyed, but she was too young at 11 to enter.
We experienced the waterpark during one of the New England vacation weeks, so we saw things as hectic as they could be. It was too much for me. My best friend had visited with her family a few weeks prior and the crowds were much lighter. They had an incredible time and can’t wait to return.
Timing is everything. Consider saving the waterpark for a nighttime activity when crowds disperse and it lights up in different colors.
What Works for Families
Many activities are available to families beyond the water park: an arcade, daily activities, an outdoor pool, tennis courts.
The restaurants serve good, well priced food in two restaurants that work well for families.
Mother-daughter nail services are available.
What Doesn’t Work
Vacation week crowds can overwhelm the resort’s charms. Avoid travel during those weeks for the best experience. Waterparks and hotel hallways get noisy.
The resort also sells day passes to the public on certain days, so resort guests don’t get any priority or reserved access, which they should.