Relais & Châteaux Property Spotlight: Ocean House

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Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Managing Director
Newsletters20 March 2018


The Ocean House on the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, has more than a century-long history. Built as a distinguished vacation home just after the Civil War, it became the quintessential summer destination by the early 1900’s. Then, after 135 years, this grand Victorian hotel shuttered its doors as the building fell into disrepair. A year later, however, this much-loved beach hotel came back to life. In 2004, the original design of the exterior was replicated—including its distinctive yellow siding—in a new building on the property. The spirit of the original was preserved when, after years of building and refurbishing, the interior of the new Ocean House was then decorated with artifacts and detailing salvaged from its predecessor.

While Ocean House is furnished with elements of history, the estate is far from being stuck in the past. With fine and casual dining onsite, as well as a full-service, Forbes Five-Star signature spa, a full-service hair and makeup salon, and a beach butler service—you can expect to be pampered in the most modern sense. However, if old school New England charm is what draws you here, a sunset yacht cruise, the tournament-level croquet lawn or championship-level squash courts may appeal to your athletic sensibilities.

Guests also gain access to the resort’s state-of-the-art Center for Wine & Culinary Arts, which hosts many signature culinary events and hands-on a la carte classes. If you’d rather have someone else do the work, consider attending one of their traditional Ocean House Lobster Boils hosted on summer weekends on the resort’s private beach. A fresh feast by the sea? Now that’s something we can get on board with!

From their Grand Deluxe Guest Rooms to cosy two-bedroom cottages and more, this by-the-sea destination boasts Relais & Châteaux hospitality in timeless elegance.

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