Category Archives: Celebrity Sightings

Steve Jobs Mega Yacht Venus

January 5, 2015 by Beth Colt

inside maga yacht venus Steve JobsIs is fitting that I captured images of the late Steve Jobs yacht Venus with my iPhone?  Yes.  Would he have been amused that posting them to Instagram later that day would cause an international stir?  I am thinking not.

I took a vacation last week, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with my family and a few friends on a small rental sailboat from a great outfit called the Moorings in Tortola.  On our last night out at sea, we anchored in the Norman Island Bight, famous as an ancient hideaway for pirates and rum runners.  Captain Kidd hung out there, or so they say at the pub onshore.

In any case, I was snorkeling and enjoying the trade winds on our last day out when this extraordinary mega yacht anchored at the mouth of the harbor.  It looked like something suitable for a villain in a Bond movie.  Not really even like a ship — boxy, clear, highly structured.  From a distance it appeared that the bow was square, like the whole thing was a floating Bauhaus inspired cube.   More like something you would see in the Malibu hills than on the ocean.  More like an Apple store.

When we got closer, we saw the huge bow deck littered with teak furniture and red cushions.  The illusion of a box from afar was created by a polished chrome bowline that reflected the water.  The whole boat was like a mirror, mirroring images that passed (like our tiny sailboat that looked positively trailer trash in comparison).  The stern was open like a tin can, with a ziggurat of steps cascading down to the water.  We circled peeking into what was clearly an exercise room with a huge shiny X that reminded me of the Mondrian Hotel in LA.  Several crew members were in there, polishing the chrome, scrubbing the deck  and rearranging the bicycle collection.  There were paddle boards, a small umbrella, room for the launch which appeared to be elsewhere.

I posted these photos to Instagram right after I saw the ship.  I could not resist, even though I try to keep my photo stream focused on fun things to do here in Woods Hole.  Little did I imagine that these images would go viral the next day. First on Gizmodo, then Business Insider, Time MagazineCult of Mac, you name it.

So what does Steve Jobs’ mega yacht have to do with the Woods Hole Inn?  Challenging question.  I am a big fan of the iPhone, especially for photos, and I teach a seminar called “ten tips for great photos with your smart phone” with a session coming up next week.  Not nothing, but not likely to get me the TED talk that might earn me an invite on this ship. Of course, there is always Captain Kidd.  He hid out around here too, in amazing harbors like Tarpaulin Cove and Quicks Hole — equally beautiful places in summertime.  (There is even a Captain Kidd restaurant right here in Woods Hole!)  And we share the beautiful Atlantic waters as Cape Cod is the last stop on the East Coast for the Gulf Stream.

OK, maybe you are right — the connections between the Woods Hole Inn and Steve Jobs’ mega yacht Venus are tenuous at best.  I doubt publishing these photos will help get me my dream invite on board, but I’ll keep you posted.  I can only imagine the stir true inside shots might make.  All rights reserved.

Steve Jobs Venus yachtmega yacht Venusinside Steve Jobs mega yacht Venus


Author Maile Meloy Visits Woods Hole, Talks at Eight Cousins

March 2, 2014 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn guestsAuthor Maile Meloy was in Falmouth last week talking with fans about her novels Apothocary (a New York Times bestseller which also won the E.B White Award in 2012) and it’s sequel Apprentices.  Eight Cousins Bookshop on Main Street hosted her visit and invited their middle school book club to read the book and come ask her questions.

Of Meloy’s debut novel Liars and Saints, the New York Times Book Review wrote, ” “Every once in a while a book comes along that upends popular notions of American fiction. There is the literature of family dysfunction . . . There is regional literature . . . There is the social novel about current events . . . And there is the historical novel . . . Liars and Saints, Maile Meloy’s spectacular first novel, is at once all of these literatures and none of them.” 

Meloy — a long-time fan of the Woods Hole Inn — visited for this chilly February weekend from her home in Los Angeles.  Meloy talked to her readers about growing up in Montana, her daily rituals as a writer, and her creative collaboration with the illustrator Ian Schoenherr.  She shared a wonderful slide show, took questions from the audience, and signed a bunch of books.

What a great visit from a wonderful friend!  If you are curious about Maile, check out her website right here.  If you are interested in seeing Woods Hole in winter, we recommend booking a room at the Woods Hole Inn, where culture meets a Cape Cod B&B.

Maile Meloy in Falmoutharts and culture near Woods Hole Inn arts and culture in Falmouth Woods Hole Inn Maile MeloyWoods Hole Inn winter culture romantic Cape Cod

Takes a Village

August 16, 2013 by Beth Colt

Cal Peternell, Chez Panisse, Quicks Hole

Despite setbacks including intermittent rain and no power to the building for at least an hour mid-day, our James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef dinner called “Starry Starry Night” came off in style this past Tuesday evening August 13, 2013.

We started the night before, renting a truck and emptying the restaurant of all it’s furniture to make room for the chefs to work.  Early in the morning, our parking lot was emptied of cars, the dramatic Sperry Tent raised, True North’s gorgeous farm tables assembled, glassware and plates and table dressing delicately placed with guidance from Susan Ryan Ackell and Jen Chagnon of the Pink Polka Dot.

With celebrity chef Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA and Anna Kovel former food editor of Martha Stewart Living at the helm, the kitchen was an incredible thing to witness. Cal held a meeting of staff at 9 am and the Quicks Hole crew led by our executive chef Stephanie Mikolazyk jumped into action prepping lobster, roast fennel, fish stock, fresh mozzarella and much much more.  All day was spent bustling, chopping and prepping but the tone of the kitchen was calm, relaxed, jovial even.

All key ingredients for the meal were sourced from local farms, fisheries and the Falmouth Farmers Market.  Running short on fish bones, I dashed to the Clam Man early in the morning where our friends there had saved this key ingredient for excellent stock, the critical base of the fish and lobster bouillabaisse.

One hundred lucky guests gathered on the deck of the inn with Woods Hole harbor twinkling beyond to enjoy bellini’s while noshing on passed appetizers like Washburn Island and Island Creek oysters with mignonette, smoked bluefish toasts with roasted fennel, fried panisses and summer vegetable fritters.   Moving to the tent below, we were seated at farm style tables and the courses started arriving, first a salad of heirloom tomatoes and freshly made mozzarella, then this incredibly light saffron and tomato bouillabaisse with scallops, lobster, mussels, cod and a Maison Villatte grilled bread topped with rouille.

Nectarine galettes (along with all the delicious breads) were provided by chef Boris Villatte of Maison Villatte an authentic french bakery here in Falmouth and dressed up by Chef Peternell with creme fraiche.  Lavender chocolates from Sirenetta Seaside Chocolatier were passed with gooseberries.

Oooh La La!

We gathered to support both the James Beard Foundation and our local Falmouth Hospital which is in the process of raising money to expand it’s emergency room.  Representatives from both organizations attended the dinner, and I spoke briefly about how important that emergency room is to the community, and how lucky we are to have such a good one.  Jeff Black spoke on behalf of the James Beard Foundation.

Our celebrity guests included captains of industry from Boston, Providence, Newport, Falmouth and Woods Hole.  Artists in the crowd were directors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, singer China Forbes of Pink Martini and actor James Waterston, all dear friends of mine who made the evening special.

As guests trickled from the tent at the end of the night, I enjoyed the gushing about this unique venue and Cal’s  amazing food.  After months of planning and the gauntlet of the day, it was really satisfying to have made people happy.  I am also so grateful to the event sponsors including Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Bank of Woods Hole, Robert Paul Properties and the Sea Crest Beach Hotel and hope they will join us next year as we build on the success of this evening.

James Beard Foundation rep Jeff Black told me that despite seven years of circling America hosting 20+ dinners like this one per year, he had never hosted a celebrity chef dinner with anyone from Chez Panisse as the restaurant tends to stay focused on it’s roots.  We are so grateful to Chef Cal Peternell for coming and falling in love with Woods Hole!

I am deeply grateful to the farms and vendors who supported this event, plus our volunteer staff who served so beautifully and made the night incredibly special:  Allen Farm, Cabo Cado, Cape Cod Beer, Cape Cod Saltworks, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, Carpet Barn, Clam Man, Courtney’s Floral Creations, Edible Cape Cod, ElizaJ, Eva’s Garden, Fishmonger Cafe, Half Shell Co, Island Creek Oysters, Jacquelines Catering, Kayak Cookies, LKnife, Mac’s Seafood, Wellfleet Fish Co, Mahoney’s Garden Centers, Maison Vilatte, Mionetta Prosecco, Moonlight Rose, MS Walker, Narragansett Creamery, Newport Winery, Peachtree Circle Farm, The Pink Polka Dot, Pocasset Pretzel Co, Polar Beverage, Rentals Unlimited, Running Brook Vineyard, Shy Brothers Farm, Sid Wainer and Sons, Silverbrook Farm, Sironetta Chocolatier, Sperry Tents, Stella Artois Beer, Travessia Urban Winery, True North Event Rentals, Vermont Creamery, and Washburn Island Oyster Farm.

Finally, it must be noted that it takes a village to put something like this on, and the village of Woods Hole rallied to make this possible.  Every business in the village helped out in some important way — offering sandwiches to feed our staff, extra parking places to wash dishes and clear up, walk in cooler space when we ran out, cocktail napkins that we forgot to buy and so much more.  We are so lucky to work next door to places like the Landfall, Pie in the Sky, Jimmy’s, Coffee Obsession, Fishmonger, Phusion, Captain Kidd, Woods Hole Market, and Shuckers — could not make it through the summer without the support of our terrific peers.  When you come to the food mecca of Woods Hole, you must try all these special spots.  Thank you all!

Here are a few more photos of the evening for you to enjoy.

Travessia Rose Anna Kovel formerly of Martha Stewart Living fish stock for bouillabaisse table settings for Starry Starry Night Courtneys Floral Creations event servers

radishes farm-to-table Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett, Tracey Roberts, PK Simonds Jim Taylor and Kim Taylor Bouillabaisse by Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse at Quicks Hole China Forbes of Pink Martini Buzzards Bay Little Necks on the half shell Quicks Hole staff Sperry Tent at Quicks Hole view of Woods Hole harbor the day of the event

New Perch in Woods Hole

July 31, 2013 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole Inn, best place on Cape CodMeet Phil Stanton, a friend of mine and local fisherman extraordinaire.  Phil has won more fishing derbies than most people have collected parking tickets, is renowned for having re-located a raft of eider ducks from Maine to Penikese Island (not to mention being a world-expert on the species),  and is a dedicated participant in all elements of the Woods Hole community from auctioneer to fishing guide to horse wrangler to deer hunter to welcome wagon.  It’s not an exaggeration to say Phil is the ultimate renaissance man, Woods Hole style.

Phil took my son fishing last summer and showed him a secret spot where the squid gather in the Woods Hole current at certain tides.  “Cast right in there,” he said, pointing to a swirl near the rocks about 10 feet in diameter.  Ten minutes and several large Stripers later, the fishing trip was over and my twelve-year-old came home with a huge catch and a huger smile on his face.  Phil’s generosity and knowledge inculcated another young convert to the secret joy of fishing.

Last winter, Phil offered to build a stone bench to honor his mother on the side of the Community Hall. There has been much hoopla in town about the new Rachel Carson statue, and tongues wagging about a new MBL whale-tail sculpture that is possibly dangerous for climbing children.  But to date I have seen no notice of this wonderful bench Phil financed which might be the best addition to town in decades, perched as it is on the edge of the channel into Eel Pond at just the right spot to catch both the view and the breeze. (Of course, Phil would know that!)

With a stunning view out toward Nonamesset Island, this bench is the perfect place to watch the drawbridge go up and down, with boats large and small flowing in and out of our protected harbor. You will enjoy the view, the constant southwesterly breeze… and if you are patient, you will see Phil heading out in his boat, as he goes fishing most everyday.

Phil Stanton view from the bench, Woods Hole Phil Stanton Betty Stanton bench SEA

James Cameron comes to Woods Hole

July 2, 2013 by Beth Colt

James Cameron loves Woods Hole.  He has been coming here for decades, first to meet with Bob Ballard and the team that discovered the Titanic for his hit film of the same title, later to research the underwater sequences for the international blockbuster Avatar.
When Cameron crossed the line from film-maker to explorer to built his own deep-sea submersible called the Deepsea Challenger, he became one with the scientists and engineers here, and his visits increased culminating in the donation of his incredible vessel to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

In Woods Hole last month with his whole team, Cameron talked about the team of engineers and his solo dive to the Mariana Trench, one at 11,000 meters one of the deepest places in the ocean.  His exciting journey to the bottom of the sea (think Abyss, literally)  gathered video and samples allowing for the identification of over 60 new species!

Cameron’s vessel Deepsea Challenger will live next door to us here in Woods Hole, where WHOI scientists can make the most of this incredible vehicle.   Here are a few photos of the donation ceremony, as well as a link to more information on the WHOI website.

We hope Cameron returns to Woods Hole to visit Deepsea Challenger, and that the legacy of this extraordinary gift to humankind continues it’s reach.  Woods Hole — a picture postcard village, postmarked around the world.

James Cameron and Susan Avery at WHOI Woods Hole, Cape Cod James Cameron donates vessel to WHOI, Cape Cod

Marshfield Hills General Store

June 2, 2013 by Beth Colt

One of my favorite places to visit from Woods Hole is the historic village of Marshfield Hills, Mass.  Here, nestled in a blink-and-you-will-miss-it town center, you will find the charming Marshfield Hills General Store.

Who does not love the delights of a general store, half dedicated to US post boxes, the rest jam packed with everything from penny candy to milk, ice cream to t-shirts, jewelry to mugs, home-decor to a wine room.   Check out the DVD collection in one nook, and grab a bottle for the movie at home in another.  It’s the way shopping used to be — curated, simple, perfect.

Yankee Magazine named this spot one of the best in New England this year in their annual round up. No wonder as the place was saved from the wrecking ball by Steve Carell (“The Office”) and his wife Nancy.  Without their generous intervention, it is likely the Marshfield Hills General Store would no longer exist.  So kudos to good people who understand that preserving our small-town culture is the spirit of America.

Open year round, the store and surrounding Marshfield are well worth the 50 minute drive from Woods Hole.  Check it out!

Marshfield General Store "The Office" Steve Carrell Henry David Thoreau Marshfield General Store candles for sale owned by Steve Carrell Steve Carrell Steve Carrell Yankee Magazine editors pick



Jud’s Museum

October 14, 2012 by Beth Colt

Dublin, New Hampshire with Judson Hale, editor of Yankee



The Red Chair is a great way to meet new people.  I know, that sounds really strange but it’s so true!

My humble red chair (rescued from the Falmouth dump, more context here)  is making a tour of all the best Inns and B&B’s in New England, and because of that, it was invited to meet the editors of Yankee Magazine.  And I got to tag along.

Yankee Magazine is headquartered in the village of Dublin, New Hampshire.  In the shadow of Mount Monadnock, this is a classic New England spot if ever I saw one with a white-spired church, petite village green, tiny sandwich shop and miniature rotary.

Blink and you will miss it.

We were ushered in the hallowed halls of this iconic spot, and amazingly enough, retired editor Judson Hale was there!  What an incredibly warm and charming fellow he is — curious about the Red Chair and eager to show us his famous “Museum,” a collection of objects gathered over the 50 plus years he has worked at Yankee, many of them as it’s editor in chief.

Red Chair visits Yankee Magazine

Jud’s Museum is irreverent, historical and downright hilarious.  He has a splinter of the sinking of the Maine (1898) which a man from Cuba claims to have rescued from Havana Harbor, a glove mold from the old runner factory next to “The Balsams” in Dixville Notch, NH and even a crows foot Jud says was stolen from the dead body of Sitting Bull.   He asked for Einstein’s brain but never got it, and that kind of detail does not set Jud back —  he has a fake.

You will enjoy his whimsy in this YouTube clip talking about the contents of his famous office.  I did get the sense he had told the stories he shared with me and the Red Chair a few times before, but you too can experience it with the magic of the internet:)

Here are a few more images from this special visit, one that both the Red Chair and I will cherish forever:

Hanging out outside the building, waiting to meet the Editors.







Contents of Jud’s Museum, up close and personal.








Close up of the fragment of the “Maine” — “How do I know this is a splinter from the sunken ship?” Jud asked me, looking coy.  “The man who gave it to me told me so.” he answers himself with a wry smile.








While the exact historical relevance of each the objects in Jud’s museum may be a bit suspicious, one thing is surely true — Jud has enjoyed collecting them, and there would be no better tour guide to this rare space than the inspired collector himself.  You can read more about our visit in the Yankee Magazine blog written by Heather Atwell.  Check it out!

Queen of Versailles comes to Woods Hole

August 1, 2012 by Beth Colt

Great Harbor with Lauren Greenfield, director of Queen of Versailles

The Woods Hole film festival is in full swing this week.  Lauren Greenfield, director of the hot new documentary Queen of Versailles stayed with us at the Woods Hole Inn, and she screened her incredible movie to a stunned Woods Hole audience on Sunday night.

Lauren’s gift is capturing the zeitgeist, and she sure did it this time, chronicling the riches to rags tale of the extraordinary Siegel family of Orlando, Florida.  The movie opens as the Siegels are building the largest house in America, which they have aptly named “Versailles.”  The story turns dark when the crash of 2008 clobbers Siegel’s timeshare business, and we are rapt as these over-consumers are faced with what every American faced in the recession, writ very, very large.

A still from the movie Queen of Versailles

While tiny Woods Hole has it’s share of multi-million dollar waterfront spreads, the currency here tends to be less plastic surgery and more Phd’s, less private plane than leather-bound book, less limousine than yacht.  None the less, this cautionary tale hit home as locals talked about it’s themes and colorful imagery for days.

Patrons of the Woods Hole Film Festival were treated to a “master class” with Greenfield on Tuesday afternoon.  In a two-hour session, she traced the roots of her work back to her undergraduate years at Harvard, and made connections with images about beauty culture (the subject of a documentary of the same title), current youth obsession with money (kids + money a short documentary from 2008) and our relationship to celebrity and fame.  Greenfield also screened Thin – her 2006 documentary and book project for HBO chronicling the emotional reality of life within the halls of a residential treatment center for eating disorders.

Greenfield was joined by her husband Frank Evers (executive producer of Queen of Versailles as well as founder of the photo agency Institute for Artist’s Management) and their two kids for the week.  They were spotted at lunch at Quicks Hole, exploring Great Harbor in an outboard, and at dinner at both the Landfall and Fishmonger Café.

Waterfront dining at the Landfall in Woods Hole

Queen of Versailles director, Lauren Greenfield.

Our little village is a  mecca of the talented — we may have to start calling Lauren the Queen of Woods Hole.

Graham Nash visits Woods Hole

July 22, 2012 by Beth Colt


A guest post by blogger Megan Jensen

Since coming to Woods Hole, I’ve been surprised again and again at how busy this small town can be. You really never know what opportunities might turn up each week.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a ceremony held by the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary awarding singer/songwriter Graham Nash of Crosby Stills Nash and Young with the Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award.

Mr. Nash, who is well known for his work with CSNY as well as The Hollies is a true renaissance man. He is also photographer, artist and strong advocate of the environment. After a brief explanation of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Nash was asked to give his thoughts on current environmental issues we are facing today.

Nash stressed how important it is that we leave a better world for our children, and that we work together to do all that we can. He quoted Willie Nelson, who recalled that things were better when, “you looked around and if there’s anything wrong here, there, anywhere, you took care of your own area. And I think that’s a pretty good thing to go by. If everyone just takes care of their own area then we won’t have any problems. Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there. And look around you and see what needs to be changed.”

After this hopeful discussion Nash was given his award and preceded to play a few favorite tunes. In the spirit of marine conservation he played “Wind on the Water,” for the first time ever on acoustic guitar, which he wrote after an encounter with a blue whale while on a sailing trip. The ceremony ended with Nash playing “Teach Your Children” and the audience couldn’t help but to sing along.

Having grown up listening to CSNY, it was amazing to meet Graham Nash, right here in Woods Hole!

(CSN is currently on a 70-plus date world tour, and they just released their first live performance in over two decades titled, CSN 2012).

Red Chair Travels

March 26, 2012 by Beth Colt

The red chair looks out over Vineyard Sound and the Martha's Vineyard ferry before heading on an epic journey to Provincetown and back!

Remember the story of the red chair?  You know, the image I put on Facebook that inspired a visit from a Californian photographer who then sent me the most amazing photograph she had taken of the chair?  I wrote all about this last spring, and told everyone I ever met all about it, and you can catch up with the story here.

Well, now the red chair is headed on a very unique trip.  I have reached out to innkeepers all over Cape Cod.  This chair is going to have the most amazing spring visiting the very best places to stay on the Cape and Islands.

Having checked in on the phone with these fabulous hoteliers, I can genuinely say I am jealous of the chair’s journey.  I too want to spend five weeks crisscrossing the Cape, exploring every nook and cranny from the dunes of Race Point to the shops of Nantucket, from the farms of Martha’s Vineyard to the sand flats of Barnstable Harbor.  I too want to try a growler of Cape Cod beer in Hyannis, or see the whales and dolphins off Provincetown, or chow on steamers in Truro, or skip the boardwalk in Sandwich.

Why send a chair on a journey like this?  Because, like the surrealists used to say, this chair is not just a chair.  It is a metaphor, an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place.  It is an open seat at the table of relaxation.  It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature where you can lose and find yourself at the same time.  It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.

And that, my friends, is why the chair needs to travel!

Today I prepared my  heart, then drove the chair to thirty minutes up the road to the lovely village of Sandwich where the chair will be hosted by the Belfry Inn and Bistro for a few days.  This is a really cool place — a converted church with all the stained glass still intact.  I must admit, I felt a bit like a mother taking their child to overnight camp for the first time!  I mean, all the preparation I have put into this trip, and when it came down to it I really did not want to let that chair out of my hot little hands.  I was feeling anxious and worried, wrote a long note to my fellow innkeepers about it’s care and safekeeping, even fretted a little about leaving it on side deck rather than handing it directly to the next innkeeper.

But I have to remember, the soul of this chair was meant to be shared.  I found it at the swap shop, and so much joy has come already from sharing it.   I have to believe more joy, laughs, curiosity will come as others are touched by it too.

Some nostalgic images of the chair at the Woods Hole Inn before it headed out:

Red Chair before making it's journey from the Woods Hole Inn to Provincetown and back.

Oooh, that Cape light.

Red Chair enjoying the end of the day at the Woods Hole Inn.

On a foggy day:

Foggy day red chair in Woods Hole, looking over Coffee Obsession.

Then getting ready to head out today, with a little note that says “Read Me!” filled with instructions and well-wishes.

Leaving the waterfront across from the Marthas Vineyard ferry can be traumatic:)

Here we are all loaded up in the car:

Leaving Woods Hole in my Prius.

Arriving at the Belfry Inn in Sandwich MA, a lovely 30 minute drive on a windy bright day:

Arriving at the Belfry Inn in Sandwich, MA.And finally the hiding spot:

Red chair hidden in red brick wall at the Belfy Inn in Sandwich, MA.

Isn’t everything better when shared?

More to come on this story, plus read about it directly in a new blog called

Brangelina come to the Woods Hole Inn

May 26, 2010 by Beth Colt

Justin Bieber eat my dust:)

Are you ready for your close up?

Just like producing a movie, at the Woods Hole Inn we are crafting great vacations, one customer at a time.  Every movie begins with a great script and the Woods Hole Inn is no different — our script calls for us to make you feel pampered and welcome the minute you walk in the door.

I started my career in Hollywood, managing a group of actors and producing a few movies.  I don’t want to make my career sound too glamorous because it wasn’t — thousands of people like me toil behind the scenes as part of the grist that turns the Hollywood mill.  But I did learn a thing or two about star treatment that I use everyday in running the Woods Hole Inn.

I like to welcome guests the way I would welcome the star of my film onto set the first day — smiles, warmth and plenty of free bottled water.  I like to clean the rooms imagining that Oprah and her entourage might walk in later tonight.   I like to train staff to show off their knowledge of the local scene as if they were job interviewing for locations manager on “Jaws.”   I hope breakfast comes out feeling “Like Water for Chocolate”  and your pillow top reminds you of James Bond.

These are hard things to achieve and we don’t always get there.  Has there been a bad day when the electrician made a mess right before check-in, the phone rang too many times to answer and a guest waited at the front desk feeling more like Rita Wilson than Tom Hanks?  Yes.  Now you know why Bruce Willis throws temper tantrums in his trailer when the coffee is cold — even on a movie set with a staff of hundreds, mistakes happen.  So we apologize and try again.  Most of our customers are much, much more amenable than Bruce (visit the inn and I’ll share a few hair curlers for you).

In any case, nothing makes us happier than getting it right and I want to quote an email we received last night, because I think we succeeded in making this couple feel like Brangelina:

“My wife and I just finished a three day stay at the Inn and I can’t stop talking about it to anyone who will listen. From the second we walked through the door at 28 Water Street the warmth we were greeted by, yourself and the Inn, captured our hearts forever. I cannot say enough about the cleanliness of the room and the efficiency of the staff.

We have stayed in Woods Hole before, but by far the location of the Inn is far more noteworthy than any other places we have stayed. We found it a complete luxury to drop our car off with the valet and not have to think about getting around for the rest of our stay. The area restaurants and attractions all within walking distances on the scenic main strip of Woods Hole, as well as Quicks Hole located in the same building.  Talk about convenience.  Not to mention the activities you planned and executed for us (ferry tickets waiting for us, wine chilled in our room, walking tour of Woods Hole, massages at Bellezza Day Spa) all completely flawless in their delivery. The things you said were going to be done, were done.

How can I write our happiness with the Inn with out mentioning Sara the Breakfast Queen. I can’t express to you enough what a pleasure it was to wake up at our leisure, walk down the hall, open the breakfast room door to find the smell of freshly brewed coffee, homemade breakfast treats, and Sara’s smiling face. To say the breakfast she prepared for us each morning was delicious would be an insult. The word just doesn’t do enough credit to her skill. We especially liked the Linguiça and Asparagus bread pudding. I can still taste its’ warm flavorful goodness.

We have spent the last few days figuring out excuses for us to return to the Inn and believe us it’s not hard, if we could come every weekend we would!  Again, Thank You for all of the wonderful memories we were able to take with us in celebrating our 5th year of marriage. We hope to see you soon!”  — guest from Worcester, Mass.

I feel like Sally Field’s did in her famous Oscar speech  — “You like me, you really like me!”  We live for this kind of feedback, and I am grateful to my tremendous staff for another star turn.

And when Brad and Angelina actually arrive?  We are ready for you.

The Big House

February 13, 2010 by Beth Colt

Cover art for George Colt's memorable memoir about 100 years in the life of a Cape Cod summer house.

Author George Colt (“The Big House”) will be speaking in Falmouth on March 1st.  He is staying at the Woods Hole Inn that night and has offered to breakfast with guests and sign copies of his wonderful Cape Cod memoir over our gourmet coffee and chef Sara’s sweet delights.

George is my first cousin and the characters who inhabit his book are my family.  The now-famous “big house” out on Wings Neck belonged to my grandmother Mary Forbes Atkinson.  And it is my father who (along with George’s father) once dominated the tennis scene there, my Aunt Mary who taught the young Colt boys to fish, my Aunt Sandy who died so young of cancer that she left a baby boy who grew up as my defacto brother.  See, it’s close stuff.

Having a memoir-ist in the family is a scary proposition — will we like how we are described? — but George supplies such insight, affection and humor that I found his book touching, revealing and a wonderful page-turner (and I know the ending!).   I look forward to my boys being old enough to read it.  They will laugh and cry along with the countless others who have enjoyed the book, all the while learning more about than I can possibly remember to tell them about our eccentric family.

So consider coming by  the Woods Hole Inn on a cold day in March.  I like to think of the Inn as a new kind of “Big House” where book lovers can wake from a restful sleep and then congregate over the kind of gourmet breakfast that my grandfather used to make (without his habit of using every pot and pan in the kitchen).  We keep spares of George’s book around so if you can’t come in March, feel free to come later and extend your stay to finish it.  It really is a great read.

George Colt lecture and reading at 7 pm March 1, 2010 at Falmouth Academy.  Breakfast with George on Tuesday March 2nd at the Inn approx 8  – 9 am.  Interested locals also welcome for coffee and a bite, just call us so we will have enough pound cake for you:)

Sippewissett Pound Cake with blackberries served at the Woods Hole Inn.

POST SCRIPT – This post is so popular!   Many people have asked me what the Big House looks like now.  I visit it regularly to pay respects to my Aunts Ellen and Mary who are often there.  So here is a glimpse of the renovated house, saved from the wrecking ball by my lovely first cousin and her husband.  Still the steep roof and the commanding views of the Bay, with all the charm of my grandparents and less eel grass insulation and mice:)

The Big House on Wings Neck as she is now.

Simpsons writers flock to Woods Hole

September 7, 2009 by Beth Colt

Somehow in the course of my life, I have been privileged to come to know many of the genius writers that bring the hit FOX series “The Simpsons” to life week after week.

And if you like “The Simpsons” then you know that the show is filled with erudite, cutting edge references to people, places and things all over the planet. The writers of such a show must be very very smart indeed. Smart enough to know that Woods Hole makes a great vacation!

So it is with some pride that I name-drop two of the very best writers from the show who came to visit us in Woods Hole this summer — Ian Maxtone-Graham and Mike Reiss. Ian came in early August and held a cool seminar in Quicks Hole as part of the Woods Hole Film Festival. The Boston Globe wrote a very funny article about it which you can read here:

Mike and his lovely wife Denise came late in the summer and stayed for lobster salads at Quicks Hole. They live in NYC now and commute to LA for Mike to bring his unique genius to the show one day a week. Mike is also known for his great kids books, and a wonderful lecture he gives about writing on the longest running TV comedy.

We are honored to host writing luminaries at the Woods Hole Inn. Any other Simpsons writers who would like to come check it out are welcome to call for a reservation — I’ll give you the Mike Reiss discount (everyone knows he and Denise are all about value:)

Why Celebs Love Woods Hole

July 14, 2009 by Beth Colt

Woods Hole is filled with marine biologists, wooden boat builders and fisherman. If you ask a Woods Hole local, most will tell you that they do not own a TV. The movie theater is at least a half hour from here and dvd rentals are slow at the “Coffee O.” Woods Hole is a place where pop culture is not much of a priority.

So when Steve Carell and his family drop in for a lobster taco at Quicks Hole restaurant, NOBODY RECOGNIZES HIM! That’s right, it’s seems most Woods Holies have never seen “The Office” or “The 40 Year Old Virgin” or “Little Miss Sunshine.” So, Steve just wanders around, orders what he likes, sits and enjoys a cold brew — whateva. No paparazzi, no autograph seekers, no lookie-loos.

Little known fact about most celebrities — they like being ignored. It’s a break from their public lives. Add to that the chance to nosh great local fare and boat in some of the world’s best waters and you have catnip for the fabulous and famous. Steve and entourage wandered across Vineyard Sound from their family compound near Tashmoo, swam on a sandbar, toured Woods Hole Harbor and ate at Quicks Hole.

It was a fabulous and famous Woods Hole day.