Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ocean House, Watch Hill, Rhode Island

The New Ocean House


 Ocean House in its older, somewhat rundown state, which had its own charm in 1986.
Originally built in 1868, it was a grand and historic destination.  It was closed in 2004 for a complete renovation (Chuck Royce of Greenwich saved it from being replaced with McMansions). One hundred and forty million dollars, five thousand salvaged artifacts, and almost six years later, it is open again.









An Eliza B. Wrist Wrap


In their lobby there is a model of Aphrodite, which has a history itself that could serve as a microcosm for the whole building.


Even in the December chill, the porches and outside are inviting.  The view is still incredible.























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32 comments:

Casey said...

Looks like a lovely spot. And I love the closure on that bag!

Grace said...

Wow, it looks gorgeous there! And your Eliza B. tote turned out fabulous.

tracysinc said...

Muffy, Where did you get the cream cardigan in picture #10? I love it!

Jacob Phelps said...

Looks like you had a great weekend spent in good company! The renovation is beautiful, as is your Eliza B. tote!

Have a great start to the week tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

thank you, thank you, thank you for posting about watch hill and the ocean house! thanks to my great aunt, i spent many summer days at the beach club. in fact, my grandfather's summer job in school was at the ocean house, and another branch of the family owns the carousel! watch hill, like fisher's island, is one of those totally under-the-radar, but fabulous, places in my neck of the woods.

i was crushed when i heard they were getting rid of the ocean house, and so happy to see that course reversed. once i've scraped together 20 m or so, expect to find me summering in one of its bluffside neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Newport many, many times (lived in RI for a while...and Mom still lives there)...but, never to Watch Hill. It is beautiful. I love off-season as well. Do a lot of European travel in late March. I am not big on crowded summer places (or big crowded stores....think Walmart and people with pepper spray....I knew there was a reason I don't go to those places). Anyway, I have just put Watch Hill on my "to do" list. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy said...

I adore your new Eliza B bag and I want one!!! You said its canvas on the outside but it appears to be lined with leather? So very fabulous, wonderful color combinations!
Ocean house is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it all!

DocP said...

I haven't made it there yet. Your positive review will encourage me to make a point of visiting. I am so glad they were able to salvage much of the detail from the original.

Suburban Princess said...

Gorgeous post!

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

Pretty place, people who save such landmarks ought to be give prizes at the White House!

Sartre said...

Nice to see this place has been saved.

j.mosby said...

Muffy,
Next time we're up north I'm going to checkout Watch Hill! Ocean House looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this - once again, your photos are stunning, and the weather looked magnificent. Love your new Eliza B bag as well.

Lindsay T said...

I love your custom bag and wish those options were available online from Eliza B. I mean, I wouldn't want to copy you exactly, because that's your bag, but I would definitely borrow the leather trim. I love leather-and-canvas combos when it comes to bags.

Greenfield said...

Soooo glad they saved Ocean House! By the way, you are a very gifted photographer--beautiful shots all!

Tom Conroy said...

A note on the Ocean House. It actually was torn down. Then the developer rebuilt it on the original footprint. It's actually a new hotel. It just looks a lot like the original. I believe some of the units are condominiums. Watch Hill was mentioned in Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence". It was the 'old' resort town as opposed to the Newport of the new money from New York. Tom Conroy

Anonymous said...

oh muffy!
what a grand old lady. how glad i am that they kept her and valued the architecture enough to save it the way it was.
thanks for another wonderful day in new england. i get homesick. but i also feel i've been there again because of your blog.
i also like that there's usually a little dog (or larger!) in your posts. i'm a dog lover. so you couldn't go wrong if you tried!
happy egg and nog,
tammy j

chris said...

I just love "taking trips" with you! What a destination!

Anonymous said...

The photographs are stunning. But, as I am sure Muffy will point out, and as her blog says, the color photographs are the work of her husband, unless otherwise noted. This blog is certainly a successful collaboration between husband and wife.

Anonymous said...

What a nice post -- a little vicarious vacation for your readers. All the photos are lovely (as usual) but the one of the little dog waiting at the top of the steps really warmed my heart.

Cheers,
Bitsy

Reggie Darling said...

I've heard good things about Ocean House, and its ground-up reconstruction, but your post makes me want to see it all the more in person. Thanks for the tour and this post, a pleasure indeed. RD

Dawn said...

This is truly the only blog where I frequently have an urge to climb through my screen and join you. More often than not, I think, "Ohhh, I want to be THERE!"

Question. I have not been sailing aside from one summer in high school and the occasional Caribbean vacation. In other words, I'm not a real sailor, I don't own a boat, etc. Is it silly to wear one of those sailor type bracelets that I covet?

Ben said...

I believe, just as Muffy indicated with her " five thousand salvaged artifacts" comment, the property/destination was completely renovated, including the rebuilding of the main Ocean House structure with an emphasis on reclaiming and reusing material from the original.

I love the Sailormade bracelets, btw. I don't sail much anymore but wish that I was, so close enough for me!

sailormadras said...

The "new" Ocean house is really beautiful sitting on the porch and looking out at Block , is really special, I have always wished I lived in Watch Hill and sailed a Watch Hill 15....maybe some day!

Patsy said...

I believe the owner of Ocean House may also own Aphrodite.

Speaking of classic hotels, while staying at the Wentworth by the Sea this weekend, we visited the Thomas Bailey Aldrich house - any relation? :-)

Anonymous said...

I hope that Eliza B is reading your blog because they need to sell that gorgeous Leather Man Brit Bag in the medium size you just purchased!

Tom Conroy said...

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in his wonderful autobiography "My Salad Days" told the story of the first time he kissed a girl. It happened in the elevator of the Ocean House. His mother's family owned a house in the town.

non_such said...

Aren't those sister clip bracelets a little too
self derivative or identity reinforcing? Should it
not be that you cannot see the prep for the trees
in the "forest of symbols"?*



*Charles Baudelaire

John said...

Brunch looks delicious! Nice bag, too. Good hardware always gets my attention as well!

JB said...

Just to set the record straight on Ocean House, there was no extensive renovation, no broad scale materials reused. The Ocean House was razed to the ground and a new, steel structure built in its place--differently oriented I might add. The facade pictured was was designed to look like the old hotel, but the back side, that now faces the water is pure modern-resort-hotel-schlock.

That having been said, they did an extraordinary job in the new building. No expense was spared, much of the original architectural detailing was used in drawing the new building. The finishes are first class. I'm much happier to have it on the Watch Hill shoreline than a cluster of awful new mini-palaces.

Christmas Eve dinner reservations at 9:30...

JB

Paul Connors said...

Muffy: I attended Navy Officer's Candidate School in Newport back in 1982 and really came to love the town and its environs. I am so pleased to see that your posts and their photos do so much to preserve the heritage of the fine architecture and the buildings themselves. In addition, as a newcomer to your blog and preppy guy now in my late 50s, I glad to see all of your posts dedicated to great clothes, schools and the lifestyle itself. As they say in the USN, "BRAVO ZULU" (Well Done!)!

Chuck said...

Hey Muffy,

Who makes that sweater shown in the picture with the sailing flags belt? Or where could I get a similar one?

-Chuck