Rhode Island’s Weekapaug Inn combines Yankee charm and unparalleled service

As I drove south towards the Weekapaug Inn, the landscape grew more and more rural – highways gave way to small villages with pretty Victorian-era homes scattered across rolling farmland. The weekend away felt like it had already begun. Finally, I saw the ocean, and then the Weekapaug Inn.

The inn dates back to 1899, when Fredrick and Phebe Buffum opened a small inn on a small headland in Weekapaug, Rhode Island, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Quonochontaug Pond on the other. The inn has been rebuilt twice – once on a more sheltered side of the saltwater pond after the original hotel was destroyed during the 1938 hurricane, and once in 2012 when the current owners upgraded the building with luxuries such as heated bathroom floors and air conditioning, while preserving the original floor plan of the building.

The Weekapaug Inn is a member of Relais & Château, a coalition of more than 560 hotels and restaurants. They are all independently owned and operated and are committed to the same vision: to provide their guests with the most authentic experience possible. Whether on the other side of the world or nestled on the coast in New England, Relais & Château hotels provide guests with a strong sense of place along with first-class service and amenities. Each is a perfect destination for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway.

From the outside, the inn is a modest New England-style structure, clad in dark cedar clapboards and crimson shutters. Guests enter the cozy Garden Room, flanked by a wood fire on one side and a bar on the other. This quarry-tiled room was a gathering place for early 20th-century guests – as their luggage was being brought upstairs, guests greeted friends they hadn’t seen since last summer before going up a floor to check in at reception. The inn has received many esteemed guests throughout its century and a quarter of its operations, even a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt and her two boys in 1926.

The second-floor lobby has another fireplace and plenty of comfortable seating—and the fun continues in the 27 rooms and nine suites. Dormers flood the rooms with light, and the furnishings, by Weekapaug-based interior designer Nancy Taylor, keep regional details central. Modern details such as marble bathrooms and feather beds round out the subtly luxurious accommodations.

The inn’s on-site restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with an emphasis on farm-to-table dining. Some of the ingredients couldn’t have been fresher – from our dining table we could look out the window at the pond where the oysters we ate had lived. And seasonal food was a treat. Root vegetables and local shellfish were plentiful, and the pumpkin soup with sage and pickled apple was something to write home about.

In the warmer months, Weekapaug also operates the Pondhouse, an intimate alfresco dining experience by the pond, priced for up to four guests, and featuring a curated, locally sourced lunch or dinner menu paired with Louis Roederer champagnes.

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