Our affable boat captain has a grin like the Cheshire Cat. “It’s pretty special, right?” he asks, pointing to the vast and deserted Outer Beach, part of the magnificent Cape Cod National Seashore fronting the Atlantic Ocean.

With seagulls squawking overhead, a cluster of long-abandoned beach shacks in the distance, and a classic ketch in full sail out at sea, this is quintessential New England at its best.

After a tour of Pleasant Bay – passing the historic town, expansive waterfront homes, and resident seal colony of seaside Chatham – we return to the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in time for an ocean-fresh lobster roll and chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc.

It’s early summer at this delightful weekend and vacation retreat, nestled in 27 acres of landscaped gardens, marshes and woodlands on the lower Cape on Nantucket Sound, and life is looking good.

After the breezy boat excursion, a relaxed afternoon of tennis, golf, swimming, a coastal trail bike ride, or a quiet read and snooze on the patio of our waterfront guest room beckons.

That will be followed by a cocktail in the cozy and club-like Thoreau’s bar, with its oversized leather chairs and stone fireplace, and dinner in the resort’s critically acclaimed Twenty-eight Atlantic, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing a dramatic sunset.

One of the joys of this multi-purpose resort – part- family vacation resort, part-wedding venue and part- romantic retreat – is that it caters to each type of guest with alternative and equally attractive options. If grown-ups don’t want to be with kids splashing in the pool at the bayside Outer Bar and Grille, they can hide out at an adults-only lap pool and Jacuzzi tucked away in a quiet enclave of the resort.

While families tuck into outdoor barbecues and clambakes on the Pleasant Bay Terrace, couples can drink and dine in elegant style at Thoreau’s and Twenty-eight Atlantic.

And wedding parties can whoop it up in the main pavilion without impacting on the traditional family, romance and relaxation aspects that have been the corner- stones of this welcoming resort for generations of guests.

In terms of outdoor living, Wequassett is a winner. Perched on prime waterfront land, with views to both Pleasant Bay and the more tranquil Round Cove, the 120-room resort actively encourages guests to take part in all the activities on offer and enjoy the leafy and flower-filled gardens.

A Forbes Four-Diamond and AAA Four-Star resort, Wequassett comprises a collection of Cape Cod-style and whitewashed buildings and clapboard cottages, much like a tiny New England village.

The accommodations are arranged in clusters – named Azalea, Bayberry, Cranberry, and so on through the alphabet – to reference the flowers and berries that bloom on the Cape in spring, summer and fall.

The rooms are comfortably spacious with everything guests need for a weekend stay or longer vacation. And if it’s not in the room, a neatly attired, responsive and friendly staff will deliver it to you. The interior de?cor of our guest room would best be described as New England eclectic – with dubious pairings of marine-themed and striped wall coverings and mix-and-match soft furnishings – but the room was spacious and comfortable with a picture window looking out to Round Cove.

Other rooms have a more cohesive and stylish design aesthetic, but overall the emphasis is on coastal comfort rather than contemporary living, as it should be in this breezy bayside setting.

Some of the rooms and suites also come with private patios and gas fire pits, a pleasant place to relax when the sun goes down or with an after-dinner nightcap.

Dining at Wequassett is a highlight with the resort’s award-winning executive chef James Hackney delivering delicious seasonal New American cuisine – served on beautiful Limoges china with Riedel stemware – and complemented by an extensive wine list.

The ambience in Twenty-eight Atlantic is upscale with Shaker-style chairs, hand-blown glass chandeliers and nautical etchings on the walls, and smart casual is the appropriate dress code.

The rest of the resort is seaside casual with relaxed resort wear the order of the day in the bayside outdoor areas. We loved the Outer Bar and Grille, the beachfront LiBAYtion bar, and Pleasant Bay Terrace adjacent to the main swimming pool.

Open from early April to December, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club delivers on the promise of a delightful Cape Cod experience – or to quote our jolly boat captain it’s, well, pretty special. wequasset.org

Image Credits: Photos courtesy of Wequassett Resort and Golf Club.