The oppressive heatwave blasting through NYC a couple weeks ago gave me the best excuse to get out of dodge for a bit and say hello to clear blue skies and orange sunsets in Newport. We could not have picked a better weekend to go, and could not have picked a better place to stay.
Gurney’s Newport opened up over Memorial Day weekend just this year in Newport, and yes, it’s the sister hotel to the popular one in Montauk. It’s located on something called “Goat Island”, and they actually have a little “goat mansion” on the hotel grounds, where you can stop by and say good morning to Cornelius and William, resident goats of Gurneys. This is real life.
We were fortunate enough to get a duplex suite, which I didn’t even know existed at Gurneys! But needless to say, it was awesome. Living room and bathroom on the first floor, not to mention a balcony with the most gorgeous views. If you’re into sailboat porn, this is the place for you. The second floor has a king size bed AND ANOTHER BATHROOM. So ideal if you’re staying with a spouse. In my case, I stayed with my mom, who definitely needs her own bathroom because she takes an hour just to blowdry her hair.
On our first night, we dined at Scarpetta, which has been a longtime favorite of mine. If I’m being honest, the one in NYC has been hit or miss for me lately, but I was pleasantly surprised with Scarpetta at Gurneys. Our experience was wonderful from beginning to end, and the maitre d’ sent over a bottle Amaro dell’Etna, this new aperitif from Italy that just arrived in the US. We were one of the first few to taste it here on American soil. How cool is that? If you like herbaceous liqueurs post-dinner, you should definitely try it. Nice little palate cleanser.
Another nice thing about Gurneys is the location – very close to town and the visitors center, so you can take a walk or a quick drive and be on your way to the mansions. I have never been to Newport before, but mom had passes to the mansions, which are now historic landmarks. The Breakers is a popular one, previously owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt. You may have heard of him.
This place is incredible to see, especially walking through a piece of history that has remained essentially untouched for over 100 years. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment. This “house” has 15 bedrooms. Can you imagine the money you’d make on Airbnb if you owned that shit?! Outrageous.
We made a little pitstop in town for ice cream at Newport Creamery, where I had maybe one of the best cones I’ve had in a while. My mom loves coffee (as do I), and we both agreed their coffee ice cream could rival Haagen-Dazs, which is my absolute favorite. So that’s a big statement coming from us. I got cookies and cream, which was no slouch either.
If you have the chance to visit Castle Hill Inn, do it – if only for the photos. It’s grandiose structure sits on a literal hill overlooking the sea. Gilded with bronze and porcelain art inside, Castle Hill Inn hosted the likes of actress Grace Kelly and playwright Thornton Wilder, among many others, once upon a time.
There is a little nature trail you can take down to the lighthouse, on a scenic cliff overlooking the water. It’s just a 5 minute walk. You can watch the waves crash against the rocks while you hold hands with your significant other…or you can get chased by bees and nearly throw yourself off a cliff. We did the latter. Not sure what happened there but we didn’t have a chance to eat at The Lawn by Castle Hill Inn because of it. I’m not someone who remains calm in that situation, so I ran to the car and said “let’s get the hell out of here”. But you know, outside of that, it was lovely. So we headed back to Gurney’s to take a break – I’m old now. I require naps in the middle of the day.
Dinner on our second night was at The Mooring, which was delicious. It’s not on the Gurney’s property, but it’s not far into town either. The clam chowder may have been one of the best ones I’ve ever had, and the fish tacos were great too. For an appetizer, they could have been an entree – 3 big tacos, perfectly fried fish, guac, and pickled cabbage. Yum. Right outside of The Mooring, we stepped into the most gorgeous sunset. I think I posted this photo everywhere, but it’s 100% worth it to share it again.
Back at Gurney’s, we sat out on the deck and listened to some live music. They have little fire pits on the lower level, complete with waitress service, which was really cool. Super relaxing way to end the vacation. Well, technically we ended the vacation the next morning with some strong coffee from Corso in the main lobby. If you like Italian espresso, you’ll love their iced coffee!
Thanks Newport, for being the stress-free weekend I needed. And BIG thanks to Gurneys for making that really easy to achieve.
1 Goat Island
Newport, RI 02840
Website: Gurneys Newport