A luxe take on New England beach cottages
Watch Hill, Rhode Island, is famous for its secluded beaches, Victorian manses and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ocean House, but in-the-know guests looking to live like a (well-heeled) local head to this peninsula for the Ocean House Cottage Collection. An exclusive offering from Ocean House, these four residences provide privacy and square footage while still including access to the luxurious amenities of both Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn. Golf two 18-hole courses, reserve a cabana at the beach club, rent bikes or kayaks, charter a yacht or book a treatment at Five-Star OH! Spa, and then retire to your private hideaway. Cottages are a short walk or bike ride from the Ocean House property, offering guests an opportunity to explore the beautiful paths and private roads that make the journey a peaceful and scenic one.
Watch Hill is a gem of a coastal town well known for its beauty — it’s surrounded on three sides by Block Island Sound — as well as for its residents’ immense wealth and high regard for privacy. As its name suggests, the town served as an important lookout point during the French and Indian, Revolutionary and Spanish-American wars, and today the Watch Hill Lighthouse and its museum are points of interest. Over the past century, Watch Hill’s reputation has shifted to that of an exclusive summer destination; for generations, visitors have been drawn to its beaches and village, where boutiques, ice cream shops and the antique Flying Horse Carousel deliver old-fashioned fun.
The Pink House is the largest of the four cottages within the Ocean House Cottage Collection, with six bedrooms, six acres and 6,500 square feet perfect for entertaining. An open floor plan and ample space dedicated to both lounging and playing make this house perfect for large families or groups of friends. The outdoor space is a stunner with its screened-in porch, pool with connected hot tub, widow’s walk, 300 feet of private beach and unobstructed views of Block Island Sound. And if the Watch Hill weather isn’t completely ideal, guests of The Pink House will have no trouble: The indoor perks are just as impressive at the outdoor ones. Ocean House has outfitted this property with a beautifully furnished living space complete with paneling from a 17th-century Irish castle, competition-ready billiards rooms, six gas fireplaces and a wide-open kitchen with all of the latest updates.
The Old Schoolhouse cottage is a quaint family retreat perfect for a quiet weekend away with loved ones. With 800 square feet of indoor space, this is the smallest of the Ocean House Cottage Collection, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in charm. Built in 1852, this schoolhouse-turned-bungalow has seen a number of renovations, most recently in 2013. The open floor plan includes two crisply decorated bedrooms, two full bathrooms, an open kitchen and a living room with a cozy fireplace. While everything about the Old Schoolhouse is enchanting, perhaps its most mesmerizing feature is the view — while the house is not directly on the beach, the property has stunning ocean views. And if you are craving a walk on the beach, Ocean House’s private sands are just next-door.
Set on 13 acres, Salt Spray Farm is a five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot, barn-style residence with faded wood paneling and forest green trim, but its country look belies its up-to-the-minute appliances and finishes — Salt Spray Farm was built in 2003 and completely renovated in 2014. Upon walking through the green-trimmed doors, you will find that every detail has been addressed, from the soothing earth-toned color palette to the wood-burning fireplace to the open kitchen complete with a wine fridge. Salt Spray Farm is the furthest cottage from Ocean House, with an address in neighboring Weekapaug village, but thanks to its more private setting — plus a fire pit, swing set and terrace deck — it’s a perfect choice for families looking to enjoy outdoor gatherings.
Because the cottages of the Ocean House Cottage Collection are private and residential, each has its own full kitchen ready for guests to stock and use. The kitchens do not come loaded with food, however grocery provisions are available upon request, so plan your meals and a cottage concierge will happily fill the pantries accordingly.
When you don’t feel like cooking, there is a host of dining experiences located inside Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn that are sure to suit the palates of even the pickiest of diners. For fine dining, we recommend Five-Star restaurant Seasons. With its open exhibition kitchen, diners can watch the chefs prepare their dishes while simultaneously taking in views of the Atlantic. The menu stays true to its farm-to-table inspiration, changing daily to reflect the freshest local and seasonal ingredients.
At Weekapaug Inn, The Restaurant is an intimate spot for fresh-from-the-ocean seafood and locally harvested produce in dishes such as native fluke with a jardinière of nearby vegetables and vanilla-bean parsnip soubise. A stone patio offers the perfect perch in summer; a wood-burning fireplace warms up the room come winter.
For lighter fare, savor some fresh-caught oysters and clams from The Verandah’s raw bar, or head over to Dune Cottage located on Ocean House’s private beach for some grilled skewers and brick-oven pizza.