I stayed at the Block Island Beach House in 2019 for a long weekend and was sure I wrote about it then, but somehow it got lost in the sauce! My daughter and I fast-ferried for a quick overnight last week, and lucky for us, there was one room available. The renovation of the old Surf Hotel was brand new in 2019, and without seeing much use last year, feels as fresh. Lark Hotel group, known for their design-driven boutique hotels scattered along the East Coast, applied a happy surf vibe to this one.
What sets this place apart is that you never have to leave the property. It’s the only hotel on Block (that I know of) that sits directly on the beach. Just a 100 or so yards from the ferry dock, I suggest arriving early (we hopped the 8:30 ferry), check your bags, and head down the steps to Crescent. No shlepping of chairs, umbrellas, or towels required, as the beach attendant will set you right up.
When you’re ready for a clam bake, BBQ, or a Mahi Poke bowl, grab a seat at the Beach Bar. Since I stick to one order of fried clams per year, this seemed like the time and place. Plump and crisp bellies on a pile of shoestring fries arrived, making for a sublime lunch while gazing at the waves and sipping a strawberry basil (spiked) lemonade.
Our small room wasn’t oceanfront (in 2019 we had a view), but we spent so little time there it didn’t matter. The rooms are hip, neutral, and fresh, with a lovely tiled bath, glass shower, and fluffy towels. A morning coffee and evening ice station was right outside our door (handy when you’re on the third floor of a walk-up hotel).
The lobby has ample seating for setting up your laptop (not us!) and grabbing a coffee. Breakfast, however, must be taken a couple doors down at Persephone’s Kitchen. Don’t get fetutzed about the line; it moves quickly, and order up any sort of smoothie, quinoa bowl, avo toast, gluten-free strawberry almond muffin (delish), egg sandwich, or pretty much any brekkie and hot drink you can think of. This place is a MUST. We took our yogurt, fruit, and granola bowls to the beach.
Dinner saw us at the Surf, with the same menu as the Beach Bar, but on the hotel’s upper deck with a panoramic view of the water. Delicious grilled shrimp pesto skewers, plus a starter of tortilla chips with corn and black bean salsa, balanced out our fully fried lunch.
So, yes, we barely left the property in our 30 hours on the Island but did manage a quick trip to Mary Magill. This newish high-end boutique is an antidote to the tee-shirt and trinket shops, with a thoughtful selection of clothing (Organic by John Patrick, Black Crane), swimwear, and Mary’s own line of delicate 14K gold and gold-filled jewelry.
We also popped into Tori Jones’ vintage pop-up, where any single thing in this beach shack would have made a happy home with us: from Nankeen batik-covered pillows to Mary Maguire’s original works and a fun selection of vintage books and curios, this spot is open through the end of the month, and if you miss it, view her online shop full of treasures here: https://torijonesstudio.com.
A perfect getaway: we were lucky to have two sunny, lazy days on the beach and grabbed a late afternoon sail back, already planning our next trip.
Good to know:
No elevator, but help with your luggage is available.
The beach in front of the hotel gets a bit crowded, but you can always head farther down, or try the new Block Island Shuttle service ($5 per person) with hop on/hop off at State Beach Pavilion, Champlin’s Resort, The Oar, Dead Eye Dick’s, and Rebecca Statue. Taxis, too, are in good supply for venturing further out to Mohegan or other points.