A JOURNEY TO NEW HOPE

by Sandra Ramani

Set on the banks of the Delaware River—just across a walkable bridge from New Jersey—the bucolic town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, has a rich and interesting history, from its days as a river crossing point for George Washington’s troops to its evolution into a transportation hub and then, in the early-1900s, into a haven for painters and performers. (Visitors can learn more about those stories on a themed walking tour with the New Hope Historical Society; newhopehs.org.)

In addition to the renowned Bucks County Playhouse (first opened in 1939), one of the best-known entertainment venues was Chez Odette’s, a bistro, cabaret and piano bar opened by a French-American former Broadway actress. In 2020, the canal-side site of that historic lounge

became home to River House at Odette’s (riverhousenewhope.com), a 36-room hotel complete with an artful design, multiple dining and drinking venues (all featuring locally sourced ingredients) and—once pandemic regulations allow—a revived cabaret and piano lounge.

In addition to enjoying the on-site amenities and peaceful water views, guests can borrow hotel bikes to ride along the Delaware Canal Towpath, walk into town to explore the independent shops and eateries, or head out for a day of antiquing, hiking or walking the trails of the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. Cap it off with a massage at Nurture Spa, a beautiful, multifloor sanctuary that blends its own oils for its therapeutic treatments. nurturespa.com

—Sandra Ramani

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