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June 30, 2010
Travel / New England / The Ocean House Watch Hill

The Ocean House Watch Hill

Here’s the crazy thing, the rooms at The Ocean House are super luxe: the bed piled with down pillows, comforters and cashmere, the shower sheathed in marble and paved in beach pebbles, the two-foot deep soaking tub with flat screen TV poised for your viewing pleasure, never mind that crazy VIEW and all I can think about is the jar of insanely yummy malted milk balls (free, of course), perched on the slab of marble that serves as your in-room bar. What’s WRONG with me?? But, frankly, that’s what sets the Ocean House apart: a dogged devotion to detail: from the free iPads for guests’ use to the vintage yacht available for charter. I played Eloise for two giddy days at the Ocean House. 
This is an old-fashioned idea of a beachside resort executed with modern style. While the original Victorian structure was demolished and completely rebuilt, elements of the old hotel were thoughtfully salvaged and incorporated in the new one (the front door, the original fireplace in the lobby, the antique elevators). The mammoth building smells of fresh paint, but has a decidely vintage feel. It all seems so, well, perfect: the vast porch for light lunch or cocktails, bright dining room with sweeping ocean views, the sheet of clipped lawn for croquet and the breezy beach cabanas. And it is. Sure, they’ve got to ramp up the army of staff to the level you’d expect of a hotel of this caliber, but on most counts, Ocean House delivers. The tasteful spa offers all manner of treatments AND a mini outpost of our very own Timothy Pamment Salon. The gym is tricked out with something I’ve never seen before: push a button and your personal yoga, spinning, pilates instructor (whatever floats your boat) appears on a huge video screen for a private class. Croquet lessons are offered on the great lawn in the afternoon. So civil. And, oh yes, how could we forget that long and glorious strand of ocean beach? My daughter couldn’t resist, despite the drizzle and freezing water, she dove right in. I HATED to leave.
p.s. And that jar of malted milk balls? Refilled daily.
 
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BLACK BOOK

The Ocean House

1 Bluff Avenue
Watch Hill, Rhode Island 02891

401-484-7000

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