Enjoying the Suite Life
We have frequented several of the Historic Inns of Newport; Adele Turner, Abigail Stoneman and Cliffside. We have always stayed in suites with beautiful decor, fireplaces and large bathing salons. We love staying in small B&B's with their personal service and friendly staff. I couldn't imagine staying in a regular hotel in Newport especially if it was for a special occasion. Some of my favorite memories are from the Abigail Stoneman Inn. We were staying in the beautiful Vanity Fair Suite (which is our favorite). It was a beautiful day and we had just returned to the Inn to relax before dinner. Liz and I curled up on the couch in from of the fireplace, put on some background music and enjoyed each other's company for a few hours. We almost lost track of time just sitting in the dark room with the fireplace glowing bright and warm.
We both love a good bubblebath and every Inn we have stayed has had large jacuzzi tubs perfect for a bubble bath for two. The Inns provide wonderful bubble bath and soaps (you can chose from a menu of products). It is heaven to relax in a wonderful bubble bath as the fireplace glows in the room.
Right by the Rhino bar is "The Wave" sculpture by KAy Worden. It's a green wave cresting with a pair of feet sticking out from it. On one of my visits Nathalie found this very amusing. Liz also thinks it's pretty funny as well.
We were told by some people at the Inn that this was a good Italian place. Liz knew where it was so we decided to try it out. We ordered beverages and that was the begining of the bad experience. Liz asked for ice tea, they didn't have it so she asked for sparkling water. She was given a botle and a glass. The water was warm and they didn't give any ice. Next came to bread and olive oil for the table. The bread was flavorless and the olive oil had a moldy, bitter taste to it...yuck! Liz ordered the rigatoni with fresh pesto. This also had a biter moldy taste to it. I ordered the pasta with hot sausage. It was alright, nothing to rave about.
After this awful culinary experience we will not return here again for a meal.
Museums: Arts and History
There are other museums in Newport besides the well known mansions.
Newport has an Art Museum on Bellevue Avenue, right next to the Redwood Library. The Redwood is an excellent visit, and you can walk right over to the Newport Art Museum for art from the 17th century right up to contemporary. There are always a variety of exhibits coming and going. At this writing, there is a show of art quilts.
A lesser known mansion called Rough Point, with the cliff walk on one side and Bellevue Avenue on the other, was the home of Doris Duke. It is now a house museum that has a stunning collection of paintings, European antique furniture, Chinese ceramics, and some of Duke's amazing wardrobe. The only caveat: the $25 price of entry. However if you appreciate architecture, decorative arts, painting, fabulous clothing, or all of these, it is well worth the price. The tour guides have much information to share.
Also, it should not be overlooked that Touro Synagogue, America's oldest, is open for tours. It is a fascinating look back to our country's founding, and one of the most purely beautiful examples of 18th c. architecture on the East Coast. Newport has always been a haven of religious tolerance. Walking distance from the Synagogue is the Quaker Meeting House, which is a simple and handsome building, though not regularly open to the public.
The manmade draws a distinct line between what mother nature built along these shores. The cliff walk hovers along the space where water meets land and traces the coastline straight down to a stretch of a open beach of sand. Many Newporter's were taking advantage of waters and hauling out like seals, they would swim to rock portrusions to sit in accomplishment. Heave the glory of "MISSION COMPLETE".