Spa by the Sea

by Rona Berg

In the heat of summer, the wide rolling lawn behind the historic Castle Hill Inn, set on a serene stretch of beach in Newport, RI, is a lovely spot to grab a drink, soak in the late afternoon sun and mingle with friends, old and new.

You can almost imagine you’ve teleported back to a lawn party at the Gatsby mansion, with the gentle tinkle of ice, soft ocean breeze and lilt of conversation. The romantic setting has a very 1920s feel, even though the Inn was built in 1874 by Alexander Agassiz, a marine biologist and naturalist from Harvard, for his summer home.

The historic details of this Relais & Chateaux overlooking Narragansett Bay–burnished-wood staircase, circular dining room, working lighthouse–have been lovingly restored. Rooms are spacious yet cozy, not an easy feat, but beautifully done, with great attention to details like a minibar loaded with delicious snacks from small, local Rhode Island purveyors.

Wander along 40 acres, or stay close to the water’s edge at the newly restored secluded bungalows right on the beach. The brand-new Retreat at Castle Hill Inn by Farmaesthetics is a little spa jewel, with a beautifully curated menu of restorative herbal wellness treatments created by Farmaesthetics Founder Brenda Brock.

After your treatment, sit on the rocks at Grace Kelly Beach (yes, she loved it here, too!) and stare out to sea, or enjoy afternoon tea, a dip in the ocean and a memorable dinner that features microgreens and herbs grown on-property, with wine pairings.

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