In Newport, one of New England’s most beautiful and historic summer resort towns, Forty 1˚ North will have you in instant relaxation mode. By Andrew Conway
What is it about Newport, Rhode Island, that speaks of golden summers? The sound of sails flapping in the ocean breeze, the faint aroma of sea salt in the air, lazy days at the beach, a stroll in the gardens of a historic mansion, the thwack of tennis balls, or a sundowner with family and friends relaxing in traditional Adirondack loungers?
Whatever the reason—and there are scores to choose from—this classic harbor city never fails to deliver and delight. Dotted with first-rate hotels, must-reserve restaurants, stylish boutiques, and a host of vibrant attractions and colorful festivals, Newport comes alive during the summer months in a swirl of social activity.
At the center of it all lies Forty 1˚ North, a contemporary boutique hotel perched directly on the waterfront along Thames Street, and which has successfully established itself as the place to see and be seen since opening in 2010. A summer evening that starts with cocktails in the sleek Oval Bar, followed by a leisurely dinner in The Grill, and ends with a chilled glass of Champagne at the al fresco Pavilion Bar overlooking a private marina, is the very essence of Newport.
Upstairs, no expense has been spared on the 24 stylish guest rooms and suites, many with views of Newport Harbor and featuring Frette linens, soaking tubs, Malin+Goetz bath amenities, and up-to-the-minute accessories, such as in-room iPads. Each room is decked out in a stylish color palette of grays, taupes, and dark chocolate tones, cleverly blending modern luxury with coastal comfort. There are two Cottage Suites in separate buildings and two Loft Suites above neighboring Christie’s restaurant. (Be sure to check out the 41˚N Card, offering priority access, exclusive benefits, and special events during the summer.)
Arguably, Newport’s best dining and shopping is along Thames Street, brimming with whimsical boutiques, galleries, and antique stores. Dine at Thames Street Kitchen (thamesstreetkitchen.com), which delivers field-to-fork menus with produce from local growers; Restaurant Bouchard (restaurantbouchard.com) is perfect for a quiet, romantic dinner of gourmet French cuisine; and Christie’s at Forty 1˚ North has a funky and playful vibe featuring Asian-style tapas and classy cocktails. 41north.com.
No visit to Newport is complete without exploring at least one of the 11 iconic mansions in The Preservation Society’s unique collection. The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms are the grandest, but each of the others is also spectacular in its own right.
Hop in the car and take a spin around Ocean Drive, Newport’s most beautiful stretch of coastline and real estate. Alternatively, stroll the delightful 3.5-mile Cliff Walk past some of Newport’s gilded mansions.
It’s not Wimbledon, but Newport’s International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum hosts pro and amateur tournaments during the summer, and the museum has fascinating memorabilia dating back to the 1800s.
A sunset cruise on Narragansett Bay aboard the elegant schooner Adirondack II is a quintessential Newport experience.