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Chuck Royce

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The Ocean House Reopens!

Ocean House - Viewed from the Front

Ocean House - Viewed from the Front

As you come around the bend on Westerly Road heading southwest toward the quaint seaside town of Watch Hill, RI (once known as the Queen of Atlantic Resorts), you’re bound to stop dead in your tracks (or slam on the brakes!) as the magnificent Ocean House hotel comes into view.

Ocean House - View From The Beach

Ocean House - View From The Beach

At least, that’s what we did last week as we arrived  with our car full of flowers for the “Show Your Cause – Designer Showhouse Benefit” which took place at the hotel to celebrate its grand reopening.

Ocean House - View of the Tower Suite

Ocean House - View of the Tower Suite

Ocean House - Outdoor Seating

Ocean House - Outdoor Seating

Ocean House - Steps to the Beach

Ocean House - Steps to the Beach

While we had read a number of articles on the new Ocean House and how Chuck Royce, the owner, had invested a certain sum to restore the 1868 hotel to its classic Victorian-era grandeur, nothing prepared us for the quiet elegance and beauty that enveloped us as soon as we walked through the majestic front doors.

Ocean House - Lobby

Ocean House - Lobby

Describing this renovation as a labor of love is an understatement.  After decades of structural damage, the hotel had to be entirely demolished before it could be built again.  Fortunately, the Royces, intent on preserving the hotel’s historical features, salvaged over 5,000 artifacts from the original building which were then restored or replicated in the new resort.  These include original fixtures such as windows and doors, a reception desk, an elevator, a phone booth and even a fireplace.

Ocean House - Seasons Restaurant

Ocean House - Seasons Restaurant

Ocean House - Ladies' Room

Ocean House - Ladies' Room

The golden age of hospitality is captured in every detail – from the serene decor (thanks to devine designer Peter Niemitz, who understands that history is to be honored, especially by the sea), to the kind and accomodating staff, to the little touches such as cashmere throws draped over the rocking chairs on the porch and the bigger gestures, like having a croquet pro on hand to help guests with their game.

Ocean House - Rocking Chair in Porch

Ocean House - Rocking Chair on the Porch

Ocean House - "Hotdog Shack" on the Beach

Ocean House - "Hotdog Shack" on the Beach

We even loved the use of the Ocean House logo “OH” on many the architectural details – since everywhere we went, we said “OH, how lovely!” and “OH, how charming!” and “OH, how beautiful.”

Ocean House - OH Chandeliers

Ocean House - OH Chandeliers

Ocean House - Railing on Back Stairs

Ocean House - Railing on Back Stairs

Needless to say, we were enchanted by the Ocean House and can’t wait to return as guests instead of trunk show participants.  Stay tuned for more on the Designer Showhouse Benefit and the new store, Ocean House Home!

Photos by yours truly