If you follow me on Instagram then you know I spent the weekend at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary. TEN YEARS!! I can’t believe it. The Ocean House was simply spectacular in every way and while it was definitely a huge splurge for us, it was well worth it to commemorate such a milestone and I HAVE to share with you guys because it is such a gem.
The hotel originally opened in 1868, just after the Civil War and has always been a fancy beach resort where the wealthy “summered”. It operated for 135 years until it was closed in 2003 after it was deemed beyond repair. But in 2004 a new structure, which replicated the original was built. All of the original resort’s 247 windows remain in their same positions and more than 5,000 artifacts and furnishings from the original hotel’s interior have been reused in the new resort. Truly, it is the perfect melding of old and new. When you walk around the hotel, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, into the most amazingly well maintained old hotel which I suspect is exactly what the architects and designers of this new property were going for.
The views and the grounds are just unreal with an endless array of stuff to do – from croquet and shuffleboard to a putting green and, my own personal favorite activity – sitting with a drink in hand and doing absolutely nothing. There are so many perfect places to do the latter, it’s really hard to motivate to do almost anything else. I tried and failed numerous times.
The walk down to the beach from the property.
Please note, I am wearing a full winter coat at the beach on Memorial Day weekend and could not be happier about it in this photo. All New Englanders know, it’s not really bathing suit weather at the beach until July here. The water was a toasty 53 degrees.
So instead I did a lot of this.
Despite being FREEZING, I have to say, this is some of the clearest water and prettiest sand I have seen in New England.
Look at these people! These are the smiles of people who know they’ll be sleeping in for 2 whole mornings, not changing a single diaper and basking in the glory of child-free, leisurely meals! Oh and fun fact – see that house in the top left of the photo – that’s Taylor Swift’s $17 million beach “cottage” that sat empty aaaaaall Memorial Day weekend, except for one lonely security guard who kept circling the property.
Funny enough, we had a perfect view of the house from our room.
Speaking of our room, this post would obviously not be complete without me sharing some of the many impressive design details of the room. I am obsessed with this cheerful robin’s egg bluey aqua on the walls. It’s the kind of color that you’d paint and immediately freak out because it’s waaaaay too bright but then as soon as you start to bring in other dark tones for contrast and texture, it becomes this great, happy backdrop. The curtains were a coraly orange toile which I probably never would have picked but looked fantastic. And I loved all the dark frames and plantation style wood furniture.
I took tons of photos of the tile in this bathroom because I think it’s exactly what I want to do on the walls in our future powder room with a fun wallpaper on the top.
The attention to detail throughout the hotel was just incredible. The staff was so attentive and honestly not a single detail is missed. From the personalized H lumbar pillow that was on the bed when we arrived….
to the starfish adorning our towels…
the macarons and reading material left at turn down…
to the parting gift and cold bottles of water placed in our car when we were leaving. They just don’t miss anything.
On Friday night we had dinner at the Matunuk Oyster Bar in nearby South Kingston. If you like oysters on the half shell, this is a must.
And because I’m a geek, I had to take a photo of the Oly chandelier they had hanging in the dining room. This is one of those “when I have a beach house one day” pieces that has lived on my Pinterest for years so I loved seeing it in person. It did not disappoint.
Back to the hotel…the walls were FILLED with some of the best art collections I’ve ever seen in a hotel. They had this enormous collection of vintage, early 1900s cartoon prints which I discovered where by French artist Sem, depicting the great beach resorts and aristocratic summer activities of the day.
The art collection on the stairs down to the spa and pool was a series on some of the great cruise liners of yesteryear.
In a random little corner of the lobby, I found these delightful illustrations done in a green watercolor on graph paper.
I felt like there was inspiration and something pretty to look at literally every where I turned.
Of course I couldn’t leave without doing a bit of real estate stalking. A quick walk down the road from the Ocean House did the trick.
Sigh…Watch Hill! You were so good for my soul and I will absolutely be back. Watch Hill is located in southwest Rhode Island, closer to Connecticut than to Massachusetts. Previously, Newport has been our go-to weekend away destination but I think I’m officially a convert to Watch Hill. If you have any special occasions coming up or just need a little getaway, I highly recommend it. We went sans kids but there were tons of children there and the hotel seemed very kid friendly, from the menus to the complimentary beach toys, etc.