Hay Creek Hotels Travel Series Stay 1 of 6
Written by Stavros
The New England Travel Journal visited Shelter Harbor Inn, in Westerly, Rhode Island as as the first hotel in our travel series partnership with Hay Creek Hotels (HCH). HCH manages a collection of timeless boutique hotel properties largely in New England. To book a future stay at any of the HCH we visited or any of the many hotels in their portfolio use Promo Code NETJHCH20 for 20% off the best available rates.
The Exterior and Grounds
Our trip to SHI started on a rainy Saturday on the last weekend of May. We eagerly made our drive from Connecticut to Westerly, a town that we’ve visited countless times in the years past. Located on Route 1, the hotel can be seen from the road sitting on just over 3 acres of lush greenery. As you drive up Wagner Road you turn off onto the gravel driveway and get a sense of what it must have felt arriving to the inn in the 1800s when it was originally built. From the exterior you get the feeling that everything is beautifully restored but done so carefully to maintain the original look of the building. We parked and immediately took a walk around the property to get a good look at all the hotel grounds had to offer. We came across multiple fire pits circled by Adirondack chairs, a collection of white iron bistro sets of tables and chairs and lots of well tended to garden beds. On any sunny day there are a multitude of places to sit and relax outside.
As we entered the lobby, we felt the warmth of the fireplace from the library fill our bodies and chasing away the chill of the rainy day. We were immediately greeted by the hotel manager and then give the opportunity to explore the main floor of the hotel. To the right of the lobby is the aforementioned library, fitted with rich brown leather couches, wide paneled covered walls, dramatic brass candelabras, a roaring fire, and a book case covered in antiquity and leather bound books.
Just beyond the front desk is the main seating area with multiple seating options ranging in textures and colors, as well as an attention grabbing stone fireplace. The main seating room is decorated with many different patterns while still offering many relaxing seating locations. To the right of the main seating room is the bright and airy sun room which boasts a full bar and plenty of comfortable seats to enjoy a few cocktails and appetizers. Opposite of the sunroom is in the in-house farm-to-fork Farmhouse Kitchen and Bar. The Farmhouse Kitchen restaurant offers delicious contemporary American cuisine with an intimate atmosphere where you can comfortably sink into the leather booths and enjoy many tasteful cocktails. More on Farmhouse Kitchen to come so keep on reading!
We stayed in suite number 5 in the main house just above the front desk and were lucky enough to get one of the three rooms with a large balcony. The king sized bed was exactly what we needed for a restful nights sleep and the rest of the room was spacious enough to make us feel like we had enough room to relax and unwind. The nautical decor of the room matched the coastal town of Westerly and we especially loved the wooden whale and fish sculptures detailing the walls. The spacious bathroom has giant walk-in shower and plenty of luxurious and thick towels that made the room feel like a spa.
For dinner we enjoyed the delicious offerings at Farmhouse Kitchen and started our night off with the refreshing and aromatic honey lavender bourbon cocktails and lavender spritz. For an appetizer and meals we naturally stuck with seafood and adored the steamed clams served with andouille sausage, white kidney beans and crisp kale chips. Then hearty meals were a lavender dressed salmon on polenta with a green agile and the wasabi scallops with a bacon risotto. All finished off with the fluffiest piece of tiramisu.
The next morning we also started our day with the breakfast buffet at the Farmhouse kitchen. We had all individually packaged scrambled eggs, fruit salad, pastries and grabbed juices from the fully stocked drink bar that offered plenty of hot and cold beverage options.
At the Inn
At the Inn, the best thing to do is relax in one of the many seating areas tucked around the property. Whether it’s staying warm and cozy near one of the multiple fire places, or enjoying the greenery outside on the bistro or Adirondack chairs, there are plenty of rejuvenating spaces spread about. One of the main draws to the Inn is the heavenly Spa which is located on the third story of the main house. It is calming and rejuvenating for those seeking the ultimate way to relax and unwind.
Away from the Inn
One of the most obvious things to do while visiting SHI in the warmer summer days is to visit Misquamicut beach. Only a 5 minute drive from the hotel, the state beach has plenty to do other than just swimming and surfing. There is a whole strip of restaurants, a water park, mini golf, and other amusement rides. the best part is the hotel offers shuttle service to and from the beach. On our second day at SHI we took a long walk across the sandy shores as it was too cold and gloomy to go swimming. Then we enjoyed a hot lobster roll and clam chowder across the street at Two Little Fish Restaurant.
If getting sandy isn’t what you’re all about, downtown Westerly is a beautiful place to walk around, especially taking a stroll by the Pawcatuck river. For our first day visiting SHI we stopped into the Bridge Restaurant which is aptly name for it’s location right next to the bridge where Route 1 crosses the river from Connecticut into Rhode Island. Another great American style restaurant which has plenty of delicious handheld favorites and hearty brunch options. Shortly after our lunch we took a quick drive down the road to GreySail Brewery, a local favorite. Stocked with plenty of refreshing NE IPAs and other delectable lagers, GreySail is definitely a must go if you’re staying at SHI.
Our last stop of the day before retiring back to the Inn was of course Watch Hill. One of our most visited locations in Rhode Island, walking along the water and getting ice cream at any of the multiple stops along the way to walking past all the seafront mansions. We even made the Walk out to Watch Hill Lighthouse which we haven’t done in a few years.
Shelter Harbor was the coziest hotel that we visited as part of our Travel Series partnership with Hay Creek Hotels. There were plenty of quiet corners and seating places to tuck ourselves into and enjoy the warmth of the fireplaces as we escaped the chilly and rainy weather of the weekend. The room decor was also the most creative and interesting to see, especially the rooms in the Carriage House that were decorated in the equestrian style. We also enjoyed its proximity to Watch Hill, a favorite destination of ours.
To read about the rest of our Travel series Partnership with Hay Creek Hotels Visit our Season Wrap Up Story.