When I was young, my parents took me to Plymouth and the surrounding area to visit Plymouth Plantation, Edaville Railroad, Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower, and some other local attractions that are no longer there.. It was a long time ago and I don’t remember much, but I do remember staying at the John Carver Inn & Spa (although I think it was just an inn at the time). Then, when I recently took the kids to Plymouth Plantation we stopped at the Inn’s family-friendly restaurant, the Hearth ‘n Kettle. So, when we decided to return to the area to see some of the other fun spots, I reached out to the John Carver Inn & Spa and they graciously agreed to host us for the evening for review purposes.
When we arrived, we were placed in a “Deluxe room.” It had two Queen-sized beds and a ventless fireplace. Not all of the deluxe rooms have fireplaces, so make sure to specify that if it’s important to you. It also had a small refrigerator and coffee maker, as well as all of the other basic amenities you’d expect. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, which I think is becoming more standard, but is always appreciated. The room wasn’t massive, but there was plenty of room to maneuver and, as you can see, the kids felt right at home. I’m not sure how to describe the décor, but I think of it as a traditional New England style. It tends towards ornate with floral fabrics, subtly striped wall paper, and gold leaf. There are also some hints of the sea here in there via a well-placed seashell or ocean painting.
The manager took us on a whirlwind tour of the hotel, which has 80 guest rooms and 5 meeting/function areas, the largest of which can hold up to 200 people. The meeting spaces are pretty, holding up to the same formal décor as the guest rooms.
One of the highlights of the hotel, especially for families, is the Pilgrim Cove themed swimming pool. As you can see, it has a life-size replica of the Mayflower, but it also has an 80 foot water slide running through it. My kids thought they were in heaven. They spent nearly two hours solely on that slide! There is a hot tub for the adults, as well as a couple of waterfalls and some open areas for swimming. The pool opens to a patio where you can get some fresh air, have a snack, gather with friends, or read a book. The pool is open to hotel guests, but you can also purchase a day pass to just enjoy some fun family time.
The John Carver Inn & Spa is definitely welcoming to families. In addition to the Pilgrim Cove pool, there’s a small game room. During school vacations, the hotel offers additional programming. While we were there for dinner over April vacation, there was a magic show. The Hearth ‘n Kettle restaurant is a comfortable dining option for families as well. They have a fairly standard kid’s menu (chicken fingers, mac ‘n cheese, cheeseburgers, etc.) and before 3pm, kids can order fun breakfast foods. I personally recommend the Cinnamon Bun Pancakes ‘n Bacon. I had the grown-up version and…. mmmmm. I should have taken a picture, but I was busy eating.
You don’t have to come with your family to enjoy the John Carver Inn & Spa. There are some lovely and romantic room options, but there are also some amenities geared toward adults. There is a small workout room that has all of the basics. And, as the name suggests, they also have full-service spa. I didn’t have time to enjoy any of the activities, but the Beach Plum Spa offers massages, facials, waxing, hair styling, and even some time in their hydrotherapy tub. They have some cute and reasonably priced treatments for kids as well as packages for wedding parties and overnight stays. If you’re looking for a healthy meal, the spa also offers lighter fare bento boxes with advance notice. For a more adult dining experience, there is the WaterFire tavern, which has a gorgeous water/fire fountain as a focal point. I was sad I didn’t get to eat there, honestly, as they have a few fondue-type meals, as well as some delicious-sounding tapas, flatbreads, and sliders. Kids are welcome there during the day, but they encourage an adult-only dinner experience.
If you are looking for something a bit more romantic, or even just more spacious, there are a few other room options. One is a Four-Poster room. I always wanted a four-poster bed when I was little, so I was a bit taken by this suite. It has a sitting room with a pull-out sofa and then a separate bedroom. This particular room overlooks the pool area, which isn’t my preference, but my kids thought it was pretty cool.
At the end of the tour, we were upgraded to a 2-room Fireplace Suite, which was really lovely. If it’s in your budget, I’d recommend the upgrade to one of the suites. For families, they offer more space and some privacy so mom and dad can stay up a bit later while the kids go to bed. Our Fireplace Suite had a DVD player on the TV in the sitting room. The kids were excited to watch a movie while I watched something more my speed. The fireplace opens into the bedroom and the sitting room so the whole family can enjoy it while still getting some separation.
Isn’t this pretty? I didn’t have the time or the energy to enjoy the jacuzzi tub in the bedroom, but if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, this is it. The one drawback to the Fireplace Suite is that there are glass doors between the bedroom and the sitting area. It doesn’t afford much privacy for soaking in the tub.
The John Carver Inn & Spa is central to many of the attractions in Plymouth and convenient to the rest of Cape Cod. It’s right across the street from the Grist Mill and within walking distance to The Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock. There are plenty of cute shops within walking distance. It’s a great location. Room rates are reasonable. At the time of publishing, they ranged from about $130 to $290 a night. They have a number of packages available for those who want to enjoy local attractions, so that’s something to look into for a family, friend, or romantic getaway. We had a wonderful time there and were all sad when it was time to go!
25 Summer Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Disclosure: We received free lodging in exchange for our honest review. There was no additional compensation and the opinions contained in this post are my own.