Two Rhode Island Hotels Ranked Top 20 in the World
An exotic city of lakes in India, a 784-year-old stone castle in Ireland, a grand Tuscan estate, and the spectacular seashore of…Rhode Island?
That’s right, all of the above made it onto Travel + Leisure‘s annual World’s Best Awards list, which ranks the most supreme Top 100 hotels in the entire world, voted on by the magazine’s discerning readers. Less than half of the hotels in the Top 50 are in the U.S., and only two are located in New England—both situated in our postage stamp-sized neighbor to the south, Rhode Island.
The two hotels, which, strangely, are ranked back-to-back, are No. 18 Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport, and No. 19 Ocean House in Watch Hill. I had the pleasure of visiting Ocean House for Boston‘s Top Spas in New England feature, which ran in January 2015. Just getting to the hotel is an adventure, traversing along winding, leafy roads until you hit the southernmost point in Rhode Island, which features expansive ocean views and a lawn straight out of Downton Abbey.
Below is what Travel + Leisure had to say about the properties. But with grandeur just a two hour car ride away, you can ditch the reviews and see for yourself.
There are only twenty rooms at the Chanler, built in 1873 as a private summer home. Each guest room is individually named and designed–some reflect a French Provincial style, others have Greek revival details–though all are luxuriously appointed with heated bathroom floors, wet bars, and antique prints or original oil paintings. Reservations are strongly recommended at the Chanler’s well-regarded restaurant, Spiced Pear. T he kitchen opens up to an elegant dining room with Atlantic Ocean views; organic, seasonal New England fare includes zinfandel-poached pear and Maine diver scallops served with a sunchoke puree.
Victorian oceanfront hotel was recently rebuilt to the tune of $146 million, and the 1868 property is as grand as ever. The number of rooms has been edited to 49 (not including suites and apartment-style residences), though there are double the windows and, consequently, double the light. Stay in the Grand Deluxe Room 301 for its ocean views, oversized soaking tub, and blue-tiled fireplace, or opt for a private villa. If you look quickly, you may catch the ghost of a lace parasol or top hat bobbing across the lawns. Consider visiting in the off season—moody skies, long walks on the private beach, and leisurely laps in the 25-meter spa pool—for a far more intimate stay.