High season has come and gone, but fall is still one of our favorite times to visit Newport, Rhode Island. And when we do, there’s only one place for Pursuitist to stay: Relais & Chateaux property Castle Hill Inn, historic mansion that dates back to 1874. A mere 15 minutes from downtown, the property offers some of the area’s best views, including panoramic vistas of Narragansett Bay from nearly every room in the house.
We recently returned from a long weekend at one of the property’s luxe breach cottages, small private homes along a rocky strip of beach about 250 yards from the main house. Through late fall, don’t miss these cozy yet luxe accommodations, which offer the intimacy of a small home plus all of the amenities of the main inn such as a gourmet breakfast and guests-only afternoon tea. Just make sure you upgrade to the larger homes, which boast gas fireplaces and king beds — the fire place is a particular ‘must’ for cool fall weekends.
Come winter, we’d select the Turret Suite in the main house, a two-level suite where you can see the bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Castle Hill Lighthouse right from your room.
But don’t plan on spending too much time in your room — we’d suggest a car to enjoy Newport to the fullest, but a seasonal water taxi or the hotel’s Mercedes house car can also shuttle you to various attractions if you don’t wish to drive. The Bellevue Avenue mansions are charming, downtown shopping is quaint, and a sunset drive (or walk) along Ocean Drive is an absolute must.
While the weather still permits, try for a sunset harbor cruise on 12 Meter Charters’ Heritage, a boat that raced in the 1970 America’s Cup trials.
Plan for a sunset on the Lawn. One of the most famous sites in Newport, the Adirondack chair-dotted lawn offers some of the area’s best cocktails (spiked blueberry lemonade!) and the best lobster rolls in town.
Of course, the dining room is a treat too. We love the Maine lobster hash at breakfast or the chocolate chip cookie dough soufflé for dessert from the prix-fixe multi-course menu.
Want to venture out? Newport Harbor Corporation, the group that runs the dining on property, also owns popular neighborhood spots like 22 Bowen’s, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar.
Newport is quieter in the fall, so you’ll have plenty of time to curl up with a good book. We just finished The Price of Inheritance, a juicy novel about an art theft set in Newport, which mentions Castle Hill several times throughout.