Virtuoso Traveler - August/September 2018 - 47
Narragansett Bay's Castle Hill Lighthouse and
(right) garden views at The Chanler at Cliff Walk.
(LIGHTHOUSE) STEVE DUNWELL/AGE FOTOSTOCK
Wicked good seafood
meets historic mansions
in the Ocean State.
hen Gilded Age magnates
sought a summer escape,
the Vanderbilts, Astors,
and their cohorts chose
Newport, a craggy spot with fresh
breezes, a safe harbor, and dramatic
views at the base of Aquidneck Island,
building grand mansions that attest to
the lavish tastes of the time.
"Early nineteenth-century Americans
didn't have a style of their own, so they
looked to Europe to emulate their grand
houses," says Fran Kramer, a Rochester,
New York-based Virtuoso advisor and
antiques collector who frequently shops
in Newport. She recommends strolling
the Cliff Walk, which divides the Atlantic
from the town's titanic homes in a timeerasing three-mile route. "Newport is like
the Hamptons of Rhode Island," Kramer
adds, "except that it's very accessible;
you can walk to everything and get close
to its homes."
This summer, the grandest of Newport's grand mansions, The Breakers
(44 Ochre Point Avenue) has opened a
new welcome center with a sunlit café
where guests can relax after estate
tours, including one that explores the
house's below-stairs workings via an
underground tunnel. A new pass to
Doris Duke's home, Rough Point (680
Bellevue Avenue), offers entree to the
house, grounds, and special exhibitions,
which include the bespoke jewelry
produced for the tobacco heiress.
"Seafood is, in itself, worth the trip
to Rhode Island - think New England
lobster, stuffed quahogs [clams], and
creamy 'chowda,' " says Kramer. Order
fresh-from-the-boat dishes at the new
Stoneacre Brasserie (28 Washington
Square), then toast the former "rum
capital of the world" on the new
Newport Cocktail Tour.
BE THERE: Housed in a nineteenthcentury "summer cottage" on Newport's
Cliff Walk, The Chanler at Cliff Walk
channels global destinations, from
Morocco to Martha's Vineyard, in 20
themed rooms. Doubles from $660;
Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily
and a $100 dining credit.
For further New England charm, check out Bar Harbor, also originally a summer colony, or more-bustling Portland, Maine, filled with lobster boats and oyster bars.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 11-day New York City-to-Montréal voyage aboard the 490-passenger Seven Seas Navigator visits both and includes a shore excursion
to Acadia National Park. Departure: October 18, 2018; from $7,299.
| SEPTEMBER 2018