Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s, Provincetown, MA
Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke & Elizabeth Anne Brooke, Owners
A quirky town surrounded on three sides by shimmering water, Provincetown deserves its reputation as a fun summer destination. Set on the northern end of Cape Cod amid 100 square miles of pristine sand dunes, P-town feels far away from city life–yet offers world-class arts and events. Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke, owner of the Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s, can tell you all about it.
“What makes P-town so special? You can walk from one end of town to the other, and everything is unique–we don’t have Burger Kings or chain stores. It’s welcoming for everybody; it’s a liberal community made up of creative artists, writers and notables,” she says. “Every week there’s a different thing going on: The Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, Carnival, Women’s Week, Girl Splash [and even] whale watching. There’s always something to do.”
The first out lesbian innkeeper in New England, Brooke was fresh out of grad school in 1975 and came to P-town for a weekend getaway. That weekend stretched into 42 years. She and her former business partners purchased the property that would become Gabriel’s two years later (today she owns and operates the hotel with her wife Elizabeth Anne Brooke and son Christopher). “Opening the hotel fell into our lap almost by accident,” she says. “The property was abandoned and condemned. We were made an offer that we couldn’t refuse, and with $500 down, we became owners.”
Now, the Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s is a fixture in the heart of P-town. Nineteen charming rooms vary in size and amenities—each features Tempur-Pedic mattresses, fireplaces, private baths and relaxing views of gardens, parks and the inn’s courtyard. Some offer private entrances, kitchenettes or full kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs or pet-friendly accommodation. The hotel recently acquired an open-air electric car—“less than a car, more than a golf cart,” Brooke laughs—to shuttle visitors where they need to go.
Every morning, the hotel serves “a big, beautiful, homemade American breakfast, with waffles, pancakes, French toast, omelets, yogurt, granola, hot cereal, fruit, juices and more,” says Brooke. Afterward, guests can find homemade cookies and tea for an afternoon snack.
Included with every stay is the staff’s personalized intel about P-town’s many activity options. “We know this town intimately—which restaurants deserve a visit, what show is worth seeing, where you should be getting a ticket ahead of time or where to go walking in the woods,” she says. “It’s insider information from 40 years of living here, and that really makes a difference.”