When you enter Architects Inn (also known as George Chaplin Mason House) in Newport, RI and glance around at the highback chairs, settee, and sherry set out after dinner, you may, for a moment think you’ve stepped into another era. That is until your casual, young, relaxed host appears to greet you. Nick is very engaging and shared his opinions of where to go and what to do in town and made us feel at home. He gave us a brief tour of the lovely downstairs – the dining room, parlor, and living room before helping us upstairs with our luggage.
The rooms are very comfortable and nicely furnished with a mix of antique and contemporary. My favorite part was the bathroom – ours had a Jacuzzi tub that looked like a beautiful, old clawfoot bathtub except with water jets – it was a perfect mix of classic style with modern amenities. With this room if you take showers and not baths you’d be out of luck as there was no real way to stand up given the slant of the ceiling and lack of a shower curtain. When we returned from dinner I was surprised to find that the B&B even provided turndown service.
Breakfast was excellent, but only served at either 8 or 9 sharp and lateness was frowned upon – that was the only part of the stay I found a little rigorous for my vacation, but it’s understandable because the food is only hot for a short period of time. The owner was great about working around food allergies. With my boyfriend’s request for a wheat-free dairy-free meal he came up with a baked egg tart with a bacon crust, roasted potatoes, and baked apples (and a delicious blueberry bread for those of us that could indulge). There is also a small guest kitchen with a fridge and coffee and tea anytime. In the afternoon sweet snacks were put out at teatime and sherry in the evening.
In the low season there are fantastic deals on rooms – we signed up for the ‘standard room program’ which was $99/night for a room – you can’t choose which room you receive, but you’re guaranteed something. They also have various specials on particular rooms – check the website for the latest.
While you’re in Newport be sure to explore Belcourt Castle which has an incredible array of rescued and restored antiques owned by a family of artists. It was by far the most interesting of the mansions. Also, enjoy a meal at Tuckers (recommended to us by our host). Architects Inn is a short walk to downtown and is an excellent base for exploring Newport.
©Christina Kay Bolton