YARMOUTH – For a family vacation, an awesome reunion, a romantic retreat or even a girls’ weekend away, look no further than five Red Jacket Resorts properties on Cape Cod.
Once guests discover their favorite–whether its the oceanfront Red Jacket Beach, Riviera Beach, Blue Water or Green Harbor resorts or the link-side Blue Rock Golf Resort–they come back year after year.
Every year, the resorts spiff up the facilities and add amenities. This year, there’s new decor in the cottages at Red Jacket; a new bar area at Blue Water and new complementary activities at all the properties. The resort menus have been adapted to be friendly to all dietary needs, including vegan and gluten-free. And complementary morning yoga on the beach continues to be a popular activity.
The big message this year to guests is “Book early!” The resorts are booking up fast and it’s not too early to book your room for 2016.
Cindi Griffin, who has worked at Red Jacket Resorts for 15 years, said, when guests post comments about the resorts on social media, they often say it is their favorite place to be, their “home away from home.”
“They feel really relaxed and taken care of,” she said.
That must be why the resorts are so popular for family reunions. One family, for example, has been holding family reunions, featuring a family golf tournament, at Blue Rock for more than 40 years.
“We do cater to generational travel,” Cindi said. “We have so many different room types and accommodations. Families come to the resorts and pass that tradition on of traveling together and spending their vacations together. That happens at all the resorts and at different times of year, especially the fall.”
The advantage to booking the Red Jacket Resorts for family reunions, Cindi said, is that there are numerous places on the property where the family can congregate, whether it is by the pool, on the beach, on the mini-golf course or at a bonfire on the beach.
The resorts are also popular venues for weddings, particularly Red Jacket and Blue Water, “because they have all the amenities,” Cindi said, listing the spa and banquet facilities.
Paul Ronty Jr., Red Jacket Executive Director of Business Development, said, what makes Red Jacket Resorts special is that “we are very, very family-oriented especially during the summer seasons. The locations are spectacular.”
Paul said what also sets the Red Jacket experience apart from other places are the activities, and he should know.
His job, in essence, is to create a fun experience for guests so they return. “More activities, to me, makes the resorts very special,” he said.
Among the new complementary activities this year is yo-yo expert Brett Outchcounis, who doubles as a dj and dance instructor. He’ll be performing at a beach party every Friday afternoon at Red Jacket and at Blue Water on Friday evenings. And on Saturdays, he’ll be at Green Harbor in the early afternoon and at Riviera Beach later on in the afternoon.
“He’s like the Pied Piper of South Yarmouth when he’s here,” Paul said.
Also new this year are caricatures by Michael Horvath, who also performs at Fenway Park. He will be on hand to capture images during breakfast and during the late afternoons at the resorts.
A new complementary show every other week at the resorts during the summer is called Magic of the Steelgraves, featuring Markus and Angelique Steelgrave, magicians and illusionists who put on an extraordinarily entertaining show, Paul said.
New this year for adult guests, costing a nominal fee, there is a Paint and Wine program on Tuesday evenings at Red Jacket and Wednesday evenings at Blue Water and Riviera Beach. This is a chance for the beginning Sunday painter to have some fun in a group setting.
There are also favorite activities for the kids from past years: hermit crab races; sandcastle competitions with an expert sand sculptor; and wiffle ball with Cape Cod Baseball League players.
Of course, there is fishing off the dock at Red Jacket or the jetty at Green Harbor with an expert from Cape Cod Salties.
The family activities are in addition to the Kids Klub program, which has been in place at Red Jacket Resorts for over 30 years. It is three and a half hours of free supervised fun for children six days a week from 9:30am to 1pm.
The family activities, on the other hand, take place mostly in the afternoon and the evening.
Cindi Griffin has her own ideas about what sets the resorts apart and it goes hand in hand with the activities.
“Honestly, it’s customer service,” she said. “We have a really great relationship with our guests. We go out of our way to make sure guests are enjoying their Cape Cod experience.”
The signature resort of the five Red Jacket Resorts is the Red Jacket Beach Resort, set on a prime waterfront site in South Yarmouth with Nantucket Sound on one side and Parkers River on the other.
The largest of the Red Jacket Resorts, it has a spa and a function room for weddings, in addition to large indoor and outdoor pools, a dining room and, of course, a private beach.
In addition, Red Jacket Beach Resort includes cottages that can be rented by larger families and it has the additional amenities of parasail and jet ski concessions on site.
One of the big projects last winter, Cindi said, was to redecorate all the Red Jacket cottages and vacation homes, giving them new fixtures, counters and textiles in a fresh beachy look. “The guests are loving it already,” Cindi said.
Just down South Shore Drive are Blue Water Resort and the Riviera Beach Resort, side by side on Nantucket Sound.
Blue Water has one of the largest swimming pools of the Red Jacket Resorts, but its signature feature may be its outdoor bar set close to the beach so guests can enjoy a perfect sunset view. “The beach is really one of the nicest in Yarmouth, for sure,” Cindi said.
New this year at the Blue Water is an outside bar, popular with young couples.
The Riviera Beach is perhaps the best choice for families with young children, according to Cindi. That’s because it has the very kid-friendly zero entry pool, which is a pool with a natural slope instead of stairs.
The Riviera’s oceanfront rooms are also perhaps the closest to the beach. “You step out of a sliding door and in three steps you are on the sand,” Cindi said.
The Riviera has a new outside dining area added last year for bistro-style dining and the outdoor beachfront boat bar has also been renovated.
Both Blue Water and the Riviera are known for having one of the best sandy beaches on the Cape.
“It’s a great resort for people who just love the beach,” Cindi said. It is also the place to go for water sports like parasailing and jet skis.
A few miles inland is a resort that happens to have one of Cape Cod’s best 3-par courses, Blue Rock Golf Resort.
Located on the 3,000-yard, 18-hole Blue Rock golf course, the resort includes a heated outdoor pool and a grill room with tables overlooking the course.
And not to far away in West Yarmouth is Green Harbor Resort, which Cindi called, “Your quintessential Cape Cod vacation.”
Surrounded on three sides by the waters of Lewis Bay leading to Nantucket Sound, guests staying at the cottage colony at Green Harbor Resort can enjoy, as Cindi put it, “all those old Cape Cod activities like fishing and crabbing just steps from your room.”
A mini-golf course with Nantucket Sound views completes the picture.
Over the last couple of years, Cindi said, the Green Harbor has gotten an across-the-board redecorating, giving it a more coastal look throughout the resort. The new color scheme of blues, yellows and greens bring the beauty of the exterior into the rooms.
Also in West Yarmouth are the Cape Cod Harbor Houses with the brand new Baxter House. Guests in these cottages have access to all the amenities at the resorts, as well.
The best part is a guest staying at any of the five Red Jacket resorts on Cape Cod can partake of activities at any of the other resorts. So a guest at the Blue Rock Golf Resort, for instance, can take advantage of a sunny beach day by heading to the Red Jacket’s private beach.
That’s the recipe for a perfect Cape Cod vacation.
– Laura M. Reckford