Address: 1 Bluff Avenue
Web Address: http://www.oceanhouseri.com
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
"HALL OF FAME"
Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean House opened originally in 1868 and became the “summer home” to the rich and famous for 135 years before falling into disrepair and closing in 2003. A group of local sentimental investors bought the property and spent $140 million to build an upscale exact replica of the original building. More than 5,000 artifacts and furnishing elements were salvaged for the project. This ambitious project has resulted in a quite spectacular seaside resort.
In the off season, this is an ideal cozy, weekend getaway for couples. In season, when all the amenities are available, it is a wonderful place for a family vacation.
The Inn sits majestically on 13 oceanfront acres overlooking a 650 foot white sand beach. The views are spectacular and the color of the building changes during the day depending on where the sun is. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the building is in pristine condition. The Inn maintains its own herb garden and bee hives for use in the restaurants.
There are 49 guestrooms and 13 suites, many with full or partial ocean views, fireplaces and terraces. Starting at a very generous 450 square feet, rooms feature feather top beds with Frette linens and goose down pillows. Bathrooms have custom milled vanities and carpevola marble, Italian woven towels and large showers. My room had a couch, club chair and ottomon, fireplace and a terrace with patio furniture that overlooked the ocean.
Seasons is the signature restaurant serving all meals. Traditional décor, a large stone fireplace, an open kitchen and marvelous views of the Atlantic make for a unique dining experience. Farm-to-table menu is exquisite. A more casual, classic bistro menu is available in the Club Room, Club Terrace, Seasons Bar, Seasons Terrace and Winter Garden. I had an excellent dinner at the bar during my stay, but it was the breakfast the next morning that lingers in my memory. How can a breakfast be that special? Imagine super fresh eggs, cooked perfectly, caramelized sweet onions, Black Forest ham, gruyere cheese and amazingly seasoned hash brown cakes. So good!
As befits a Relais & Chateau property, the service is impeccable. The staff is pleasant and very well-trained. The entrance is always manned and towels and water are offered upon arrival and departure. Valet parking is complimentary as is use of bikes, room snacks and a glass of Champagne upon arrival. A resort fee covers all tipping. Children get special treatment with a welcome amenity, child- size bathrobes and complimentary children’s toiletries.
From $760 in season.
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
Forbes Four Star, AAA Five Diamond recipient. Forbes Five Star Spa. Andrew Harper’s Grand Award. Member Relais & Chateaux
WHILE YOU ARE THERE
The OH! Spa offers a number of complimentary activities as well as a full compliment of services. There’s croquet on the lawn, squash courts, culinary classes, an Artist in Residence program, beautiful cabanas on the beach, an indoor lap pool and surf and paddle board rentals. The Inn can arrange fishing charters, has nearby golf and tennis membership privileges and has two classic boats available for a variety of charters.
Newport, RI-1 hour
Hartford, CT-1 hour 20 minutes