A 19th-century mansion in charming Mystic
5 Rooms / 3 Suites
Mystic, Connecticut, may seem an unlikely location for a luxury retreat, but the team at Ocean House Hotel Collection and the local Gates family had a plan for Spicer Mansion: transform the ramshackle apartment building in the center of town back into the 19th-century gem it once was.
And so, the Spicer Mansion was born. It took several years to transform the 12,000-square-foot building back to its original glory. Opened in the spring of 2016, Spicer Mansion was reinvented as a boutique, eight-room inn with an exterior painted a cheery yellow.
This included repair of the delicate frescoed ceilings, restoration of the original wood floors, and the addition of period-appropriate furniture and historical documents in many of the guest rooms.
During the renovation, Spicer Mansion re-envisioned the home’s layout to create eight spacious Victorian-meets-contemporary style rooms and suites dressed up in cool blue and white tones with occasional pops of yellow and gray. Expect luxurious touches that evoke the modern — marble showers and deep soaking tubs with Molton Brown products — as well as oversized Duxina mattresses and fluffy robes embroidered with the hotel’s name.
All guests receive a monogrammed pillow with their initial announcing their arrival, plus perks like twice-daily housekeeping. You’ll also enjoy complimentary morning coffee and tea, afternoon snacks and evening port left on a small console near the guest rooms.
The Mystic hotel’s tasting-menu-style restaurant has a special twist — it’s only open to guests of the Mansion, the other three Ocean House properties and invited guests.
Helmed by Jennifer Backman, formerly of Weekapaug Inn, the six-course tasting menu is offered Wednesday through Saturday nights. Meals start much as they would at a friends home, with cocktails and canapés in the inn’s sitting room, after which you are invited to start the dining experience and select from a vegetarian or traditional menu, with optional wine pairing.
At the conclusion dinner, don’t skip the optional cheese course, with many of the pairings sourced from nearby farms. You’ll also get a final mignardise of house-made confections presented in a jewelry box.
The Sister Properties
Spicer Mansion is the fourth in the Ocean House Hotel Collection’s portfolio, a group of hotels and inns in Rhode Island. Spicer Mansion is the first property outside the state and is about a 30-minute drive from the other three (Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Ocean House, Four-Star Weekapaug Inn and Watch Hill Inn). The intimate Spicer Mansion offers you access to all that the sister properties offer, including the beach and spa at Ocean House, plus the restaurant at Weekapaug.
Take the five-minute stroll into downtown Mystic, where you’ll find much more to enjoy than just the famous Mystic Pizza, although you’ll pass that too on your walk down the hill. Shops are plentiful — enjoy preppy clothing at Island Pursuit, purses made from recycled sails at Sea Bags and fine linens at The Linen Press. Nearby Sift Bake Shop supplies the pastries for breakfast each morning at the Mansion, and the owners Adam and Ebbie Young met while working at Ocean House.
Those familiar with the Ocean House Collection know that the amenities at the resort go far beyond the standard — think LA Fresh tech wipes left on your devices each night and a generous “no tipping” policy. Spicer Mansion visitors receive the same treatment, as well as access to a BMW house car you can enjoy for chauffeured service all around town or over to one of the sister hotels.