Location The Queen Vic is located in the heart of Provincetown, right on Commercial Street, this seaside town’s main drag. Yes, there’s a pun there, because Provincetown is known for its LGBT oriented lifestyle. It’s also well-known as an artist colony and writer’s favored retreat: the writer and author Normal Mailer is buried here. During the seaside season, it’s a colorful display of tourists: there’s cabaret to enjoy, there’s the Provincetown Theater — the town is also home to the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, and the Provincetown International Film Festival. It is not only Cape Cod’s most colorful town, arts and lifestyle wise, but it is its most remote, set at the tip of the Outer Cape. Provincetown claims ownership of the dawn of Colonial America and marks the landing the Pilgrims there before heading to what would become Plymouth in 1620 with the Pilgrim Monument. There is also a frieze bearing the names of those early economic migrants, who wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown. These days, Boston is just a ferry ride away; Cape Air operates to Provincetown’s small airport; and the rest of Cape Cod — including Barnstable Airport — lies down Route 6. During the busy season, P’town, as it’s known, is bustling and Commercial Street awash with visitors. Though the town quietens during the winter and some businesses close till April, the town becomes slow and sleepy, and Provincetown’s wondrous remoteness and stillness is revealed.
Lodging The Queen Vic Guest House is a beautiful, converted Victorian house that bears her 175 years well. The name plays on the inn’s former name, the Prince Albert, named for Queen Victoria’s consort, but adds a gender ambiguous twist and a dose of camp — something P’town does with aplomb. The large house, spread over three floors, was refreshed in 2015 by new owners and convivial hosts, Stan and Josh. As much as the house has an airy seaside feel due to lots of white wainscoting and seafaring knickknacks, it is also warmed by huddles of Victoriana and other unique tchotchkes.
The lobby is a delight — check out the cabinet filled with antiques and ephemera — and has a small bar for grabbing a drink — the sign outside does say bed and beverage after all — and heading bed wards, or to the parlor where a round table dominates and encourages chit-chat.
In the morning, a continental buffet breakfast is set up, and there’s coffee and tea available 24/7 there, too. Welcome treats like cookies and fruit are left out. Pets are also welcomed with a treat. Out back, there is a hot tub. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this charming old guest house is that the hot tub area is clothing optional. But this is Provincetown, both a salty seaside town, a LGBT stronghold, and an artist colony with a tradition of live and let live, and flaunt and let flaunt!
View of a Room: 16 Room 16 is located on the second floor at the end of the hallway, which likely accounts for the lack of noise from other guests. (The amount of noise being relative to how busy the guest house is, of course.) It feels quite private anyway. This small suite includes a bedroom and sitting room and ‘twixt the two is a roomy bathroom with shower and a refrigerator.
There are windows throughout, allowing P’town’s famed wonderful light to pour in. White wainscoting lines the walls and the furnishings are classic and eclectic in style, echoing the rest of the house’s mix of modern and Victorian ad hoc chic.
The queen bed dominates the bedroom, which also has a small closet and TV, and a wonderful Queen Anne style drawing-room chair. An ironing board and hair dryer are provided alongside toiletries. The sitting room has a comfy modern couch and dark wood dresser, and another small TV — it’s a great spot for working or lounging, and with two windows, despite its small size, it doesn’t feel cramped.
Info 166 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 USA