Classic Beach Retreats of the Northeast

Stay Stateside this summer and enjoy two must-visit Relais & Châteaux properties—The Charlotte Inn on Martha’s Vineyard and Ocean House in Rhode Island
Classic Northeast Beach Retreat, The Charlotte Inn
The Charlotte Inn on Martha’s Vineyard

The Charlotte Inn has welcomed guests for almost 50 years, since Gery Conover first saw the neglected clapboard house on Summer Street in Edgartown and determined he had to have it. “That was 1972, and we have been at it ever since,” says Gery, who runs the inn with his wife, Paula. Rooms are filled with English antique furniture, books, and paintings, and the inn has many places to relax—wide porches, brick terraces, and a cozy library with a crackling fire. Caught-that-day New England seafood and fresh, locally sourced produce are coaxed into delicacies by French chef Patrice Martineau, from the Champagne region. Savor it all, indoors or out, in the flower-banked, fountain-splashed Terrace restaurant. The Conovers describe the aura here as “a window into a gentler age . . . where [guests] find something that elsewhere has been lost.”

Classic Northeast Beach Retreat, Ocean House
Ocean House in Rhode Island

Another queen of the northeast coast, Ocean House, crowns the bluffs of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, with cupolas, turrets, verandas, and balustraded porches that offer expansive views of Block Island Sound. Meticulously reconstructed to replicate the original 150-year-old hotel, the sprawling yellow clapboard building exudes Victorian charm. Enthusiastic guests, ranging from families to couples, indulge in spa, pool, and beach activities, as well as fishing, boating, and golf. Enjoy fine dining at Coast, Rhode Island’s only five-star restaurant, as well as The Bistro for coastal brasserie-style meals. Most guests book their next stay before leaving—it’s a good idea to follow their lead.

By Marion Laffey Fox

Flower magazine May June 2021 cover

This story originally appeared in Flower magazine’s May/June 2021 issue. Find Flower in a store near you or subscribe.