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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

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8 Comments

  • Reply pretty pink tulips June 18, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Carolyn,
    2 things! 1 — we need to chat about RI. Was thinking of going there with the hubbie for a weekend in August (importing my mom from Texas to watch the kids) and this looks amazing!
    2- I’m about as monogrammed obsessed as a girl can get and the OH is just BEYOND. The chandelier – genius! The OH on the stair railing. The beauty is in the details – and Ocean House certainly has them!! Great post!

  • Reply pve June 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

    wowza! Looks like quite the spiffy place for a posh weekend trip.
    pve

  • Reply The Shiny Pebble June 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    This place must have some fabulous history. It looks amazing! I hope you do get to go back this Summer and share some pictures of the rooms and the beach. I love the chandelier. It brought just a little bit of ‘right now’ to this fabulous restoration.

  • Reply David Holahan June 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    In case your readers are curious, the designer of the new and improved Ocean House was Centerbrook Architects of Connecticut.

  • Reply Struggler June 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    It looks amazing! I’d love to stay there. And yes, the logo works really well as a detail.

  • Reply hamptontoes June 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I’m so glad you showed this house! I got the invite for it through Lyndhurst, but could not attend but was curious…thanks for sharing! I’m loving the ladies room…the artwork reminds me of some of which I have in my daughter’s bedroom. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply The Zhush June 19, 2010 at 9:29 am

    This looks OH so Amazing! Your photos are stunning! And…in my next life I want to come back as a croquet pro at a lovely Ocean side resort!!!

  • Reply Maya @ Daily Vitamin Sea July 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I was just there a few weeks ago…, but the hotel wasn’t open to the public yet. I saw the Ocean House in its dilapidated state, and it’s just awesome that the place is back in its full glory.

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