Oceanfront Old-World Charm

The Chanler at Cliff Walk Newport, Rhode Island.


The Renaissance Room, also designated one of the bridal suites, is one of the largest and most popular rooms in the hotel. Features include three crystal chandeliers, an antique Oriental rug, a four-poster king bed, a spectacular marbled bath, a huge walk-in shower, and tall windows overlooking the private rooftop deck. It’s $1,465 per night in high season.

As the saying (and credit card commercial) goes: There are some things that money can’t buy. One of them is an address alongside the world-famous mansions of Newport’s Cliff Walk—though money can buy you a stay at one. The Chanler at Cliff Walk, the former “summer cottage” of New York Congressman John Winthrop Chanler and his wife, Margaret Astor Ward, is now a luxury, European-style, boutique hotel and the only hotel on Cliff Walk.

Book one of the ocean villas, and you’ll wake to a spectacular sunrise and the smell of the surf, without having to leave your full-canopied, four-poster, king-size bed. French doors open to a balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and a flight of stairs takes you down to your private patio, hot tub, and sauna. When you’re ready to venture out, a stroll on Cliff Walk is a must. If you do the entire 3.5-mile walk, allow two to three hours and wear sensible shoes: At the southern end, you’ll be scrambling over rocks. But stick close to The Chanler, toward the north, and the walk is easy and flat, with expansive views of the ocean and mansions. 

While there’s much more to Newport than the summer cottages of the rich and famous, let’s start with the obvious: a mansion tour. There are many packages available, but if you’re a movie buff, make sure you take one that includes Rosecliff, the Stanford White mansion where 1974’s The Great Gatsby was filmed. Also not to be missed is The Breakers, the grandest mansion of them all and a National Historic Landmark.

If outlandish opulence isn’t your thing, you’ll still find plenty to do in Newport, including seal tours, birding cruises, or a visit to the Tennis Hall of Fame, where you can play a match on one of the 13 manicured grass courts. Newport also plays host to festivals throughout the year, and food lovers will find plenty of good food and drink at its annual wine festivals, tea parties, oyster and seafood festivals, and restaurant weeks. If you’re a music lover, summer is your season, with three-day folk and jazz festivals and the world-famous 17-day Newport Music Festival.

Back at The Chanler, it’s just a quick stroll from your room, down a landscaped walk, to The Spiced Pear, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, which serves classic New England fare with French influences. Or, wander over to the The Bar for a dose of classic Newport, where the dark wood and leather chairs resemble a drawing room from days gone by. 

Summer rates start at $465 per night. 

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