More than 15 years ago, British sisters Pamela Adam and Sandra Arnold, along with Sandra’s husband Bernd, were looking to change careers … and their lifestyles. Pamela owned a travel business in Ohio specializing in cruises and custom itineraries and Sandra owned and operated a communications business in Manhattan.
The sisters dreamed of buying and running a small hotel or inn as their parents had done many years ago in England, inspired by the love of the hospitality business they shared from an early age. They were looking to model what their family had accomplished with a charming seaside resort in England—but this time, on the Lower Cape.
It was a brisk and sunny morning in January 2000 when they ventured here, driving on the south side of Route 28 along Pleasant Bay. When they reached the sign that reads, “Welcome to Orleans,” followed by a for sale sign at a hilltop inn, they knew they had found the perfect location for their new business. It met all of their criteria: a great view, property with ample space, a charming main building and enough seclusion to feel away from it all.
That summer, the trio opened A Little Inn On Pleasant Bay. The house was built in 1798 and would need an inordinate amount of work to bring it to the splendor they had imagined. After the sale was complete, they stripped the building to its core. Slowly, their dream was coming to fruition.
They now have nine luxuriously appointed rooms. Guests have access to the dock on Pleasant Bay and there is a small, sandy, pebbled beach perfect for swimming, kayaking and sailing.
“It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural and unique beauty of Cape Cod,” says Sandra Arnold. “The Little Inn is a magical oasis that our guests from around the world return to year after year.”
One of the greatest pleasures of owning the inn is to see the guests getting acquainted at breakfast each morning while sharing their plans for the day. The lavish breakfasts include fresh fruit, bread, homemade jams, smoked fish, meat and cheese, as well as a healthy, hot dish of the day. After breakfast, guests can meander to the backyard where they are greeted by the English gardens that Sandra has cultivated over the years, a symphony of meticulously maintained flowers. Sitting in the middle of a Koi pond is the sisters’ favorite feature—a beautiful water nymph.
By early evening at 5, sherry is served on the front terrace overlooking the sun’s glow over Pleasant Bay. The three owners enjoy listening to guests share highlights and adventures of the day. Conversations are always lively and stimulating, since the inn’s clients come from all over the world. Hopefully, when guests return home, they take with them joyful memories of their stays at a little inn on the bay.
A Little Inn On Pleasant Bay, 654 South Orleans Road, Orleans, 508-255-0780 or 888-332-3351. The inn is open May 5 through Oct. 8.