WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND
“Grand and Victorian, sitting practically on top of the beach, this complete refurb of an old, classic resort is nothing short of impressive. It’s truly the embodiment of an old-time era – modernized with every creature comfort imaginable. Nothing feels more like North Eastern ‘glamour’ than cocktail hour on the Verandah – both evenings we partook, sipping martinis while overlooking the sprawling croquet field and spectacular ocean vistas. After a nine-year renovation with an attention to detail that dazzles, this historic Rhode Island treasure reopened in 2010. The beachy-formal feel is a welcome addition to the handful of high-quality places to weekend on the East Coast.”
- Experienced by Suzanne with Edgar Boone, Henry & RJ (the pups)
(Date experienced: May 2012)
A few days or weekend getaway in a pampered shoreline setting.
A lover or the whole family – multi-generational family would be a great fit.
We took a flambé class – one of the many complimentary culinary education courses. It was such fun and completely out of the ordinary. We made Bananas Foster and Crepes Suzettes (and managed to avoid any fire disasters).
Best time to go
Anytime. Go for a cozy retreat in the winter and fall, or enjoy beachy activities in the summer and spring. Summer is the best time to take the kids (and small dogs), as they’ll love the children’s summer program and there is of course, the beach. I look forward to an Autumn visit someday.
There is a dinner dress code at Seasons, the hotel’s formal restaurant (Relais Chateaux). Gentlemen, be sure to pack a jacket and slacks if you plan to dine there (which you certainly should). Think casual-elegant for attire in and around the rest of the property – again – a nice difference to most very casual places these days.
Good to note
There is not much of a town nearby, but there are activities including beautiful walks mapped out by the Concierge team. I think of Ocean House as more of a bolt-hole I’d not leave except to run on the beach and walk up to the light house.
Spacious and classic, all 49 guestrooms and suites are elegantly decorated with fine touches of coastal cute. Many suites have private terraces, fireplaces and panoramic water views. Each room is unique, all very well designed with top quality everything; and in an aesthetic that anyone (with taste) will enjoy. The Ocean Suite is a 3 bedroom marvel stretching along side a huge wooden terrace looking out over the ocean, complete with deep hot tub and a glass games room. Wowsers.
Service & vibe
“Luxurious” with the right amount of homegrown comfort. The staff is friendly and the service excellent – we felt right at home from the moment we arrived and knew we’d be very welcomed back – even with the sandy dogs!
Seasons, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant is delicious and well appointed for a tete a tete or a group meal. The menu features locally grown ingredients, inspired by the resort’s natural setting for a real farm-to-table experience – and who doesn’t love an open exhibition kitchen? There is a raised ‘community’ table in front of the kitchen which is a fun change if there many days. For lighter, more casual meals there are a number of options around the property. Try the Bistro menu for lunch and dinner, cocktails and appetizers on The Verandah, or a beachside snack at Dune Cottage or on the Seaside Terrace.
Price per night
$550 and up, season depending (a surcharge for dogs – call in advance)
To Do & See
There are some little explorations in Watch Hill, from antique shops and art galleries to the Watch Hill Lighthouse or the Flying Horse Carousel, the oldest operating carousel in the US. But don’t feel too much pressure to leave the property – the resort has a long menu of complimentary activities available for guests: cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings, morning yoga and pilates, cocktail making, art classes, guided tours, the list goes on...
Sport & Activity
They offer a number of sporting activities seasonally. Take advantage of the Atlantic and charter a yacht, go on a fishing trip, take a surfing lesson. If you prefer to stay on land, play a game of golf, tennis, squash or croquet. Take a bike ride or a plunge in the pool. There’s also a fully equipped gym (including a movement and yoga studio) for those who prefer to maintain a routine. Loved the sea water enclosed lap pool. Fitness trainers available for private sessions as well.
Spa & Grooming
A tranquil little oasis for pampering - excellent massage therapists. The relaxation room, I’ll leave as a surprise – I can’t think of many properties where this space was as well thought through.
Visit Westerly for some local eateries: try a one of a kind burger at Oak Street B&B or a yummy breakfast at The Cooked Goose. Maria’s Seaside Café is a favorite for Mediterranean fare and W.B. Cody’s has been voted best ribs in South County.
Take a stroll into town for an hour or two of shopping on Bay Street – antiques, art, clothing, beach gear, jewelry stores and more. Tons of little shops line the village sidewalks. Comina is fun for home accessories and décor; The Lily Pad Gallery has a lovely collection of fine art.
If you have a free afternoon, ask the hotel concierge to help arrange a visit to Jonathon Edwards – a picturesque winery in North Stonington, CT. Take a tour of the property and sample from the winery’s Napa Valley and Connecticut wines.
1 Bluff Avenue
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Three hours from Manhattan, two hours from Greenwich, and an hour and a half from Boston, Watch Hill is conveniently located, making it the perfect excuse to take a weekend break from big city life.
Tel: 1 401 584 7000
Reservations: 1 888 552 2588
General Manager: Daniel Hostettler