No matter what kind of getaway you have in mind, you can find a guestroom to fit at Castle Hill Inn. Rooms in the main house vary in size and décor, but each is kitted out for romance with a fireplace, a king-sized bed, oversized tubs, and windows looking over the water and expanses of lawn. The Turret Suite, a bi-level space, has a bedroom on the first level; on the top floor, a soaking tub on a raised floor takes advantage of the 320° wrap-around windows. Below the main house, the Harbor House’s modern guestrooms feature front-porch views of Newport Bridge and the hotel’s Grace Kelly Beach. At the far end of the 40-acre property, the Beach Cottages and Beach Houses are set along the private beach, offering views that take in both the mansions along Ocean Drive and the wild Atlantic itself. The cottages, slightly smaller and closer to the beach, have peaked ceilings with rafters. The airy Beach Houses, compactly outfitted with galley kitchens, sunny decks, ceiling fans, fireplaces, and curated shelves of books, cast a kind of never-leave spell.
Dining at Castle Hill Inn
With views like these, the kitchen at Castle Hill Inn has to work hard for attention. You know it’s succeeded when the signature lobster hash arrives at breakfast, and any quiet murmuring about the lovely lighthouse across the bay halts for a moment of awe over the long tender chunks of lobster with potatoes, poached eggs, and a chive crème fraîche. Inside the mansion, two elegant dining rooms are supplemented by two smaller rooms for intimate dinners and afternoon tea, while in warm weather, an outdoor patio with table service under umbrellas becomes the place to enjoy meals, and especially, weekend brunch by the water. The menu showcases the bounty of local farms and fisherman—and even draws on vegetables and herbs grown in the Inn’s garden by the marina.
If Winslow Homer were to paint a view of Castle Hill Inn, surely he would focus on the slope of green lawn stretching from the turreted house down to the water’s edge. Whitewashed Adirondack chairs gather in comfortable conversational groupings angled towards the sea, and flags snap overhead on the nautical mast-flagpole. The chairs’ wide plank arms are just perfect for balancing a sundowner or iced tea. So if the weather’s clear, arrive early: Seats are taken on a first come, first served basis and aren’t often surrendered until long after the sun has set.
Off the lobby in the mansion, the wood-paneled bar with an alcove window and intimate tables for two is a welcome sight after a day spent sightseeing about town or sunning on the Inn’s private beach. A well-curated wine list (with surprisingly affordable options), and classic cocktails are available in addition to seasonal cocktails that use Rhode Island ingredients like ciders, herbs, and house-made tonic. In warm months, a popular bar on the Inn’s deck is shaded by a vaulted wooden ceiling and open to the breeze from the bay.
The Beach and the Cove
While High Society was being filmed in Newport, actress Grace Kelly stayed at the Inn at Castle Hill. Recently engaged to Monaco’s Prince Ranier III, she found that the Inn’s secluded location suited her real-life role as a chaste princess-to-be. During her residence at the hotel, she unwound by swimming in the protected cove beneath the Harbor Houses, climbing down by the path and scrambling over the rocks to reach the water. A path to the beach has since been cleared, and guests at the Inn can swim in the same waters of the bay like royalty. On the other side of the 40-acre property, an exclusive stretch of sandy beach off Ocean Drive is reserved for guests with beach chairs, umbrellas, divine views, and attentive staff service. Pick your way carefully out on the rocky jetty for a romantic front-row seat of the sunset.
The Retreat Spa at Castle Hill by Farmaesthetics
For years, the Castle Hill Inn and Newport’s green-minded beauty source, Farmaesthetics, heard pleas from guests and customers about starting a spa. A collaboration between the parties was hatched, and the result is nothing short of magical. Discreetly tucked behind a stained-glass door at the Inn, the Retreat, a suite of sunny and peaceful rooms, enlists Farmaesthetics’ natural skincare products, which are handmade with herbs often grown locally. Treatments vary from facials to a couples’ massage to a mineral saltwater soak in an oversized, freestanding tub. Guests step out of the spa renewed and refreshed with a natural energy.