Sitting on pristine white beach in the exclusive enclave of Watch Hill on Rhode Island is the private and ultra elegant Ocean House. Originally opened in 1868, the hotel underwent a recent refurbishment creating a hotel with abundant character and style.
Rhode Island, or 'Little Rhody' New England, is a favorite spot for family reunions and beach vacations for New Yorkers and Bostonians seeking low-key outdoorsy vacations with long days spent languishing on the beach - think Cornwall with better weather. Following its recent refurbishment the historic Ocean House sitting atop the Watch Hill Bluffs overlooking the Atlantic has much to attract travelers from further afield looking for a pampering, luxurious vacation.
Opened in 1868, this Victorian hotel welcomed guests for 135 years before closing for a much needed renovation that was completed in 2010. Much of the original design and some of the furniture and artifacts from the old structure were kept intact so today's hotel has the air of an ocean liner from a glamorous bygone era mixed with colonial beach house - all sparkling brass, gleaming woodwork, marble & leather, plus fresh ocean interiors and plantation shutters.
The 63 guest rooms, suites and Residences at Ocean House are light and airy completed in yellow, blue, turquoise, and cream, and most feature private balconies with stunning ocean views and fireplaces. The Signature suites on the top floors of the hotel are quite simply stunning and range from a one-bedroom studio to three bedroom residences each individually conceived by different interior designers. Some have spacious roof terraces, others full kitchens and the Tower Suite has a spiral staircase leading to the Crow’s Nest and a ladder up to the historically replicated widow’s walk, with dramatic 360-degree views of the ocean.
Seaside Terrace Restaurant offers farm-to-table cuisine that changes daily and an excellent wine list and you can either sit in the Seaside Terrace for the ocean views or in a cosy booth or banquette by the fireplace or at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. Locals flock to the Sunday brunch accompanied by a jazz and blues pianist. Dune Cottage is a shaded pergola perched above the private beach, and creates a dramatic setting for lunch and early dinner in season and offers a simple, yet sophisticated Mediterranean inspired menu prepared from its outdoor kitchen.
To complement the farm-to-table ethic, the Ocean House offers Farm + Vine: Led by the hotel's Food Forager guests are able to enjoy complimentary cooking classes and trips to local farms, fishing docks and the Chef’s on-site herb garden as well as wine tastings led by the Sommelier.
The OH! Spa, is a 12,000 square foot spa with seven spacious treatment rooms pre or post treatments chaise lounges point out to sea. There is a fitness/yoga studio with 20-meter indoor lap pool and two squash courts or for a slower pace take to the croquet lawn. Westerly is charming, and the Mystic Aquarium is not far down the road. Art lovers will be kept busy with fifty art galleries within a 50 mile radius of the resort. The sleepy waterfront village of Watch Hill is just 3 minutes walk down the hill with a selection of boutique shops and cafes.
When to visit
Take out one of the hotel's complimentary Mercedes for the day, saves hiring a car at all.
Plan your tripPlan your trip
The Ocean House at Watch Hill, overlooks a pristine white sand beach
in the exclusive district of Watch Hill near Westerly, Rhode Island.