Welcome to day 28 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society. (More about heterotopias and liminal spaces.) Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.
I still enjoy traveling a lot. I mean, it amazes me that I still get excited in hotel rooms just to see what kind of shampoo they’ve left me. — Bill Bryson
Or, what kind of animal the towels have been arranged to make.
At The Cove Motel in Orleans, MA (Cape Cod) — the sixth of our favourite motels and hotels — one of the housekeeping staff is remarkable for leaving fairly elaborate towel animals on the beds and we also heard, but did not see, that for guests with children she makes towel monkeys to hang in the closets, too.
We came back to find this elephant one day, with real cedar or yew cuttings for the eyes:
I wanted to bring it home but that sort of behaviour is frowned upon at most lodgings.
The day before, it was a swan, similar to the swans in the cove –Town Cove, off Woods Cove, off the Atlantic Ocean — from which the motel gets its name.
Even before these enchanting creatures appeared in the room during our September 2017 visit, we had decided that The Cove would be our go-to spot on the Cape, after staying there in April and having tried two other motels (another in Orleans, and one in Hyannis) on previous visits.
The waterfront location, on the cove, is tranquil and quiet.
It’s also walking distance to some restaurants (e.g., Hole in One for full breakfast; Mahoney’s Atlantic Bar & Grill for dinner — love the sole almondine; the wonderful Hot Chocolate Sparrow coffee shop most mornings and many evenings) and to the Ice Cream Cafe in season. Also walking distance to the bike rental shops and access to the 22-mile Cape Cod rail trail. It’s well located for exploring walks and beaches in our favourite parts of the Cape — Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro — but it’s not too far from Chatham’s restaurants, Dennisport, parks and trails in Harwich and Brewster, or more shopping, eating, and entertainment action in Yarmouth and Hyannis. (It is, however, a longish drive to the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich.)
Location and charming housekeeping staff aside, the Cove is just a pleasant and agreeable spot to rest. The wifi works well, beds and pillows are comfortable, windows can be safely opened to let in fresh air …
… ample parking is available …
… there’s seating and a firepit by the cove, and “quiet hours” are posted (and enforced) for all guests, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., which I really appreciate. When I couldn’t figure out how to work the newfangled TV, someone came right over from the office and got it going. There’s also an outdoor heated pool (which we haven’t used), ice, vending, the usual motel amenities. Some rooms have a kitchenette (most have at least a microwave), fireplace, and/or water view.
In April, we had a deluxe queen room; this is how it looked:
In September, there were two queen beds and no sofa:
Of the two, I preferred the one queen bed with sofa, but both were perfectly accommodating.
If you visit, make sure to walk a couple of blocks to the little Orleans Conservation Area pocket garden; it also overlooks a cove.