Fall Getaways 2011: Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, RI

Vacay like a Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Grace

41 Mary St // Newport, RI
(401) 846-6200 // vanderbiltgrace.com

Distance from White Plains: 3 hours

A crisp fall weekend is the perfect time to indulge in a little Gilded Age glamour and experience the exclusive upper-crust enclave of Newport. Don’t trace your lineage back to the Social Register? Not to worry—if you’re feeling flush, this elegant boutique hotel will make you feel you’re a blue blood, too, at least until checkout.

Tucked into a quiet little brick lane conveniently situated a stroll away from shops and restaurants, the handsome, 1909, Beaux Arts red-brick manse comes by its name honestly. It was built for—though never occupied by—the mistress of a Vanderbilt, who ultimately chose to break things off in favor of retaining the family fortune. (Who doesn’t love a hotel with its very own historic scandal?) The discreet, private club service begins with a welcome flute of Champagne. You can spend your day luxuriating in one of the 33 guest rooms or…shoot some pool in the wood-paneled Snooker Room, work out in the fitness center, succumb to a soothing facial at the spa, swim in the indoor or outdoor pool—or head to the rooftop deck to soak in the stunning 360-degree panorama of the city.

Off-site, take a peek at how the other half lived and tour the island’s many splendid period mansions; explore the famed 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, featuring breathtaking views of the Atlantic; hit the links at a nearby course; or visit Touro Synagogue, the oldest such house of worship in the country. Back at the manse, gourmands are in for a serious treat at the recently opened Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, a fine-dining destination created by the eponymous acclaimed chef. Showcased is a modern take on traditional European cuisine that incorporates regional New England culinary themes (lobster, of course, and breast of pheasant with cranberry purée) and locally sourced ingredients. The next morning, linger over breakfast, served in the light-dappled conservatory with its charming brick wall, greenhouse ceiling, and wall of windows overlooking the gardens, before continuing your sojourn—or reluctantly taking leave and returning to your regularly scheduled, circa 2011, suburban life.

The Nitty-gritty: Room rates, which include a Champagne breakfast, start at $595 per night.

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