Once upon a time, happy, upper-crust Victorians frolicked in the surf, and on the greens, at what is now the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Cape Cod in Brewster MA. The pickleball courts and bike trails came later. Much later.
The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club combines the best elements of a sports club, golf club, social club, beach club, high-end hotel, and top notch dining in one place, allowing you to live like a happy upper-crust Victorian. For as long as you stay.
On 429 acres split between two campuses – the Mansion and The Villages, (across the street from each other), Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club indulges participants in nearly every recreational sport imaginable.
History of the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Cape Cod
In the 1880’s National Bank of Chicago co-founder, Samuel Nickerson, and his wife, Brewster MA native, Matilda Crosby, built a summer house, “Fieldstone Hall,” for their only son, Roland, on 48 acres overlooking Cape Cod Bay.
Roland married Addie Daniels, who, sorely tested years later, would prove to be strong and resilient in the face of tragedy.
On May 24, 1906, Fieldstone Hall suffered a devastating fire. Purple-prose prone newspapers of the day reported that “the house was a seething mass of flames.” Although no one perished in the blaze, Roland’s heart condition worsened and he died less than a month later, at the age of 47.
On June 10th, 1906, the Boston Globe ran a story with the headline, “Nickerson Dies After Fire: Heart Trouble Aggravated By Recent Burning of His House.” The Chicago Tribune blared, “His Illness Proves Fatal: His Palatial Home Burned on May 24th.”
After the loss of her beloved husband, Addie donated 1,900 acres of the family’s private nature preserve to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in his name, creating Nickerson State Park.
In 1907, she was also determined to rebuild a less ostentatious Fieldstone Hall, although she did hire Italian artisans to hand-carve the ornate wood staircase in the Great Hall.
It’s the building you stand in when you first arrive to check in at the front desk.
After Checking In, Peruse Nickerson Family Photos on Mansion’s 2nd Floor
There are Nickerson Family photos in abundance throughout the hotel (including in guest rooms). But for an overview of how joyful and at ease this family was here, head up to the mansion’s 2nd floor.
The hallway is lined with pictures of Sam and Matilda, Roland and Addie, and family dog, “Lion,” carrying golf clubs like St. Bernard’s carry casks of rum.
Then, there’s the mysterious life of the party, Aunt Jen, who takes top billing in some shots, but is not identified by a last name. Turns out, she’s Addie’s older sister, who, with her own husband, traveled with and visited Addie and Roland in Brewster. You can just feel their love and close connection in those photos.
Fieldstone Hall Becomes a Seminary and Then A Resort
In 1945, the third generation of Nickersons sold the property to the Missionaries of Le Salette, who used it as a seminary. Then, in 1986, developer Joseph Cochran bought the property and transformed it into the luxury resort it is today.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Today
Cape Cod, where air temperatures are ten degrees cooler in summer and ten degrees warmer in winter than those on the mainland, has been drawing tourists and second home owners for centuries.
These days, many come to Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club for its extensive recreational activities and social events. Some visitors (most with second homes here) become members of the Golf Club and/or the Beach Club.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Mansion Side
Of the five pools on property, only two are on the Mansion side: one outdoor and a larger one indoors. Those who work here call the latter, “the loneliest place in the summer.”
That’s because most guests prefer the sun and sand on Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club private beach, accessed via a boardwalk that sits over tangled jungle-like wetlands. It’s a short walk from rooms, but you don’t have to carry anything. Resort staff will set you up with lounges, towels, umbrellas, etc.
You can park your tush on the sand and read the latest bestseller, or kayak, paddle-board, swim. If you’re lucky, you can catch Brewster Oyster Co. watermen harvesting those salty bivalves from the flats, just offshore.
The Beach Bar Café overlooks the waterfront. But if getting out of your chair is too much of an effort, waitstaff will come to you. Honestly, it’s your vacay. You never have to leave the beach at all for a drink or bite.
Bud Johnson Oyster Bed Tours
Special to Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, in season, naturalist Bud Johnson takes guests on a fun and educational (not an eating) tour of this local delicacy (for a fee). It’s one of the most popular programs at the resort.
The Villages Side
An 18-hole golf course, the Ocean Edge Spa, a full-service fitness facility, nine tennis courts, and six pickleball courts are all located in the Villages. If you’re a pickleball fiend, plan to stay at the Briberige Condos on that side of the resort.
Ocean Edge Golf Course, with its famed Par Five 17th hole, is the only Jack Nicklaus designed course on Cape Cod, and a reason even locals belong to the Golf Club.
This is also where you can link up with the Cape Cod Rail Trail (rental bikes available on property) that extends in both directions from Dennis to Wellfleet.
Guest rooms are located in East and West Wings that extend downhill off two sides of the Mansion. (There are none in the mansion itself).
Shoreline classic decor- in colors of moss and salt marsh, punched up by bright green sea glass – soothes the weary traveler. Beds, topped by white duvets embroidered with golden thread, cradle you in bliss.
Perhaps it was the ocean air, or the overall serenity of the room, but I experienced the best sleep I’ve had in months there.
There are several restaurants and cafes throughout Ocean Edge. Some, like the Front Lawn, the Shark Bah, and the Beach Bar, open seasonally. Most serve “Elevated New England Fare.”
Ocean Terrace/Frost Bar
In summer, the Ocean Terrace is open to the elements – a good thing when those elements include a bay view. In cooler seasons, the terrace turns into an enclosed blue-lit fantasia. You keep warm, but can still feel the pull of the sea.
Inspired by County Roscommon in Ireland, this fireplace-warmed space was the Nickerson’s dining room. The bar was installed in 2017. Rather than humdrum resort food, dishes here tend to be interesting tweaks on comfort food: like Salmon Rockefeller and Duck Poutine. The innovation pays off. It’s all delicious.
This cozy tavern downstairs, where once coal, wine, and personal belongings were kept, has all the requisites of a rural English pub – including stone walls. Find craft beer on tap, live music, and, many say, the “Best Burger on the Cape.”
Just the Facts
There are packages and memberships galore, so check the website. Rooms off season start around $300, in season rates from $700.
Weekend Getaways In Cape Cod (And Nearby)
- Falmouth MA: Your First Beach Stop On Cape Cod
- Sandwich MA; On the Edge of the Cape Cod Canal
- Dennis MA To Eastham MA; 15 Oceanfront Miles on Cape Cod Route 6A
- Rockport MA: On Massachusetts’ “Other Cape” – Cape Ann
- Woods Hole MA: The Perfect Blend of Science, Stunning Seascapes, and Succulent Cuisine
- MA Islands, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket