September 11, 2017 for 3 nights for 2 adults.

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Ocean House in Watchill, Rhode Island

Elegance on the coast of Rhode Island is pristine and inviting at the Ocean House. Iconic white washed facades and traditional architecture are captured by the sunny seaside and miles of white sand. This grand Victorian invites travelers to a slow paced vacation, set to the tranquil timetable of the tides, and sun, teatime, cocktails, sailing regattas, and bonfires on the beach. Perched on the bluffs of Watch Hill, the rebirth of a New England resort is meticulous, an homage to legends of the pass. Personal services for guests offer uncompromising accommodations and treatment. World class amenities are reminiscent of a golden age of hospitality and renewed charm. Whether in Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, your faultless destination is soothing throughout the year. A 12,000 square foot spa is overflowing from light, pale blue greens and washes of paint invoke the calming nature of the sea. Inspired by organic produce from New England harvests, therapeutic elements of the sea are for rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul.

As a Preferred Boutique property, part of the Preferred Hotel Group, the highest level of culinary fare is featured for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With a variety of settings and menus to match every taste and mood, fine dining on the coast is delectable. Rest at night in a spacious guest room, observing flickering of distant stars and sweeping ocean views. Luxury linens and spa inspired bathrooms are understated yet beautifully appointed with impeccable features. Discover a timeless destination, Ocean House, for a post card perfect New England retreat.

Location of Ocean House

Ocean House
1 Bluff Avenue
Watchill, Rhode Island

Nearest Airport: PVD

Amenities for Ocean House

  • General Information
  • 49 Guest Rooms
  • Dining
  • Poolside Dining
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Restaurant
  • 24-Hour Room Service
  • Organic Cuisine
  • On-Site Amenities
  • Beauty Salon
  • Concierge
  • Pool
  • Spa on Property
  • Fitness Center
  • WiFi
  • High-Speed Internet Access
  • Terrace
  • Indoor Pool
  • Valet Parking
  • Beach Access
  • Beach Amenities
  • Putting Green
  • Lap Pool
  • Steam Room
  • In-Room Amenities
  • Air Conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • CD Players
  • Ceiling Fans
  • DVD Players
  • Fireplaces
  • In-Room Safes
  • iPod Docks
  • Iron/Ironing Boards
  • Marble Bathrooms
  • Flat-Screen Televisions
  • Luxury Linens
  • Coffee & Tea Facilities
  • Luxury Bath Amenities
  • Activities
  • Cooking Classes
  • Sailing
  • Yoga
  • Business
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Nearby
  • Shopping
  • Train Station
  • Art Galleries
  • Restaurants
  • Golf

Reviews for Ocean House

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TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 1 day ago

We love(d) the Ocean House. We have been going there for years, long before its present incarnation as a 5 star Relais & Chateaux property. We watched with sadness as the old building came down to be replaced by a half dozen or so McMansions on some of the most sublime acreage on the East Coast, but were overjoyed at the response from local citizens not to allow that to happen. We were thrilled to see the Ocean House rise up anew in essentially the same footprint as our beloved Victorian-era hotel and reopen again in 2010. We have made it our summer destination for a mother/daughter(s) getaway, sans children/grandchildren, ever since and I have stayed solo, with just one daughter, or one granddaughter, or girlfriend, or other friends countless times since so it pains me to write a less than glowing review. This is my 10th or 11th OH review on Trip Advisor but my visits there are more numerous than that so I am very familiar with the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of OH. We were very anxious to see the results of the multi-million dollar refurbishment over the past winter season. Overall, it works but some of the blues in the fabrics seem to clash or at least not blend very well with the blue on the walls and depending on the light can look downright gloomy, rather than cheerful or relaxing. I thought the room had a bit of a Pottery Barn feel to it. Nothing wrong with the Pottery Barn but it did seem more casual and laid back than traditional. I booked a one bedroom studio with a sofa bed as there are 3 of us traveling. The room was oddly set up with chairs clustered by the fireplace and lots of vacant space in other corners. You cannot get into your room until 4 because they need to service the room and do the inspection to make certain all is in order. It was not. First off, the new carpet had begun to unravel where it meets the entry tile. It looked as though it could have been done by a vacuum cleaner but it did need to be attended to before more damage could be done. Second, the coffee table had what appeared to be pencil marks all over it, as though a child had gone wild. I tried to rub it off manually but that didn’t work so I told housekeeping about both issues when I saw them next day and they were tended to that afternoon. Still, the room should have been in spotless condition when we entered it. In addition, one of the drawers and one of the cabinet doors in the minibar area were painted shut. I could not move them and didn’t try to force them as I didn’t want to do any damage. The bed and bath linens are no longer Frette but have been replaced with Matouk for the bed linens and OHMCollection towels. The bed linens are fine but the towels don’t have the same plushness as the previous towels. The towels in the beach area are the same as in years past but the towels in the pool area are not nice at all. They are flimsy and not particularly attractive. We had a fireplace in the room but it didn’t work. We came up from the beach one afternoon and needed to take the chill off after going into the ocean and thought the fireplace would be just the thing. I didn’t bother to call to get help because at that point I was frustrated and didn’t want to deal with the wait or the apology for the inconvenience. The new sofa beds open out with a slant so that the bed is not completely flat, either that or we had a defective sofa bed. Neither of my daughters found it particularly comfortable. We had a great view of Taylor Swift’s mansion and some of the ocean front. At almost $1700 a night (base price $1450), with all taxes and resort fee added in, we felt the room was way overpriced. I have stayed in prettier rooms in the hotel with better views that don’t have the same upcharge as this one but they do not offer a third person in the room even though there is sufficient space for a sofa bed or a rollaway. One daughter and I drove together from Massachusetts and my other daughter took the train from Pennsylvlania. She called in advance for a pick up at the train station but never got a confirmation or a call back of any kind. When the OH called me to confirm our visit for the following week, I inquired about the train pick up but there was no note in the file about that. So my daughter called but still did not get a return call and was left waiting at the train station when she arrived early in the morning. She called the hotel and they did send someone after about 20 minutes. We have had issues with phone requests/reservations in the past so I made my reservations on line through the Relais & Chateaux website where I signed into my account and assumed that all of my information including my 5C number was being relayed to the OH. That did not happen and so any amenities associated with my 5C membership were not available to me. I did request that we be able to eat in the member’s dining room but was told the room category I had didn’t allow that. However, given how many times I had stayed with the OH, they could accommodate my request. Upon check in I was given a card with my invite for the club room although my name was spelled incorrectly on it. The daughter who arrived first wanted to run an errand and requested a bike. She was offered the use of a car through their Mercedes loan program but opted for the bike as she wanted some exercise. She wanted exercise on a 3 speed or a 10 speed not a plain old bike which can be challenging with some of the hills in the Watch Hill area. We have taken the bikes out on many occasions and have pedaled to Weekapaug and back as well as in some of the neighborhood areas. We were surprised that 3 or 10 speeds were no longer available and while a plain old bike is fine on the straightaway, we weren’t looking to do our usual route with just a single gear. If 3 or 10 speed bikes were still available, that information was not conveyed to us. We normally visit OH in July to coincide with my birthday but this year given other family commitments we had to schedule it for August. We found there were a lot more families with small children and generally just many more people contending for services than during our usual week mid-July. The hotel was full and there was an influx of vacationers from everywhere in the area that descended upon Watch Hill and the OH so much so that there was confusion and chaos in the valet area on a number of occasions. We are thrilled for the OH’s success but we think they have taken on more than they can handle with the addition of the Watch Hill Inn, the cottages and now we understand there is to be a third bed and breakfast in Westerly proper that will be able to avail themselves of OH services and beach access. This is significantly changing the character and service standards associated with the OH as we know it as well as in keeping with R&C service standards. One of the things that we liked so well about OH is the personalization and the feeling that we are a member of the family. Except on check in and maybe check out, I was not addressed by my name at all. Again, I think it’s the number of people who are wandering in and out of the OH from the other properties or just coming to dine there. Staff simply doesn’t know them. We noticed there seemed to be significant staff turnover and we missed some of the old friendly staff. I have seen adverts for job fairs for the OHMCollection and know that seasonal help through the visa program has been challenging for everyone this year and the OH is no exception. Service simply wasn’t up to par this year on a number of fronts. There were definite staff shortages. One morning I went down to get coffee at 7:30 and had to hunt for someone to fill the cream. No newspapers were yet put out on the table and I again had to hunt for the newspapers at both the hostess desk and the front desk until I found one or at least someone who could help me find one. There seemed to be some division of labor there as to who was responsible for what but it didn’t seem up to OH standards at all. When we were escorted to our room on Day 1, we were asked what time we would like service during the day as well as evening turn down. We gave them times though they weren’t necessarily adhered to. We also requested that the sofa bed be made up in the evening. We had an experience the previous year where the sofa bed wasn’t made up and there was a language barrier in getting the housekeeper to understand what we needed. We were assured there would be no problems. Lo and behold the first night the sofa bed was not made up. We went up to our room after dinner thinking that the time for service had passed. We had requested 7 to 9. When we arrived at the door, we could see that the in service sign was still up and the door was locked from the inside so we could not access the room. We then took a walk and gave the housekeeper time to finish. When we got back to the room, we had to call for the bed to be made. Additionally we had requested plates and utensils for a special birthday treat that my daughter brought from a favorite local bakery. The plates had been delivered and we assumed they would be sitting where we left them waiting for us to use them once we returned from dinner. We discovered that they had been taken away even though they clearly had not been used so we had to call again necessitating another wait. The next day we returned to our room about 12:15 to change into our bathing suits to go down to the beach and saw that the in service sign was on the door and again the door was locked from the inside and I couldn’t access with my passkey. This time we knocked on the door loudly. We had requested 1 to 4 service so why the housekeeper was there at noon we couldn’t say. I always thought the guest came first not the convenience of housekeeping so to have the door locked was very offputting. She did excuse herself and we quickly changed so she could continue to service the room. Turn down service could be better and we did miss having little treats left at bedside. Because eating habits have changed, the OH may have received comments not to leave edible treats so they leave a little something as a takeaway. One night it was a lip balm, one night a miniature room spray, and one night it was a cloth lens cleaner. The Four Seasons leaves those when they see eye glasses, iphones, ipads, or the like. The OH leaves the disposable ones. They do the job and it is a nice touch but there is a difference in standards. Also, many 5 star hotels that I’ve stayed at, put the slippers by the bedside during turn down service. I think this is a nice touch and the OH might want to consider it. We also did not get any welcome bakery treats in the room although we did have a nice bowl of fresh peaches. The peaches, being a more healthy option, might have taken the place of the bakery treats. On the positive side, because this was a belated birthday celebration, the OH provided us with a lovely cheese tray and bottle of champagne. My granddaughter also sent us a bottle of bubbly to enjoy. It was in an ice bucket, wrapped with a napkin and 3 champagne glasses. We had that one the first night. Of course, the ice melted over night and we did request that the second bottle of champagne be iced in the bucket. We also had to move complimentary beverages out of the refrigerator to make room for the birthday treat. Sodas and waters can go from being refrigerated to non-refrigerated and back again without issue but beer, not so much. We put the beer cans in the ice bucket with the champagne to keep it cold and requested housekeeping to refrigerate it so that it wouldn’t spoil. They did not. Nor did they put the third bottle of champagne that my daughter brought in the ice bucket on Day 3. The regular ice bucket was never filled once during our stay. This was something they always did automatically. There are still Keurig machines in the room with a selection of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. There was always a decaf selection as well but not so this time. The service issues were evident in the dining areas as well. One morning we went to breakfast and although there were few people in the dining room service lagged. We sat there for about 15 minutes while waiting for our order and finally inquired about the bread basket. Someone did come back with one after a few minutes and unceremoniously plopped it on the table. We are used to them delivering it with a smile and telling us about each of the little pastries in the basket as they are always different. Sometimes there are scones and croissants or mini-muffins but they always tell you what the flavors are. Not so, this time! They used to have a lobster omelet on the menu but that seems ages ago now. It’s no longer offered and it’s one thing I really miss. One day we had lunch at the Seaside Terrace. We had been out walking the beach and had missed breakfast so we opted for an early lunch. My daughter ordered the pesto grilled chicken salad. It arrived pink. She sent it back. The waiter told us the chef had stepped away so it would be a little bit before the issue was resolved. My other daughter and I were nearly finished with our lunch by the time my younger daughter’s chicken was replaced or redelivered. We’re not quite sure what they did with it or why it took so long or even why the chef had stepped away so early in the lunch hour. We, or at least I, also noticed stains on napkins which you would never have seen in the past. Seasons dining room closed earlier this year, replaced with the even more expensive Coast by Jennifer Backman, who was the chef for several years over at the Weekapaug Inn and then the Spicer Mansion. I found her cuisine at the Weekapaug to be inventive and excellent. At the Weekapaug it was a la carte but Coast is a 4 to 6 course dining experience that changes daily. We viewed a prior day menu and were told that it will probably have some of the same dishes on it for the next 2 weeks. Since the starter and the dessert courses didn’t appeal to any of us, it seemed crazy to spend $105 per person (tax, gratuity and wine pairings extra) on a dinner that most likely would not delight. We ate in The Bistro that night which was okay. I had an OHBH salad which was very skimpily dressed. One daughter had a burger which was good and my other daughter opted for a Caesar salad and spring rolls. The resort fee covers a number of activities. One is the weekly Wednesday "How to make a mean martini" class which we've attended on multiple occasions. It's held in the club room and the longtime bartender left this year so a new bartender took over. He was very entertaining and we sampled some well made beverages and learned some tricks of the trade. It's a fun thing to do and a way to meet some of your fellow travelers. One suggestion I would make though is to include some munchies or bread cubes to clear the palate in between samplings. We arrive early in the day even though we know we cannot get into our room until 4 but the OH provides you with a passkey to access the beach and spa areas so you can take advantage of all that the hotel has to offer, except this year was different. We went down to the spa and were told that we could no longer use it. It was only for members and those having specific spa treatments. Those were the new “rules” and personnel was guarding that spa door like a beachhead about to be breached. We were told we could use the family bathroom down the hall to change and shower if we needed to. The only steam room is in the sauna so that became off limits. At $1700 a night, one should not feel as though they are in steerage and not allowed the privileges of a full paying passenger. And only some of the rules seem to be enforced. For instance, from 4 to 6 is adult swim. We came up from the beach one day feeling a bit chilled after going in the water and thought we could take a swim in the indoor pool to re-acclimate body temperature. There were families in there and several children in the pool frolicking. It wasn’t possible to go in the pool and do laps so that’s when we went back to our room to find that the fireplace didn’t work. The pool is simply not adequate in size for the amount of people who may want to use it during the summer months when the surf is too rough to go. It is essentially a 2 lane lap pool and cannot accommodate guests from 49 OH guest rooms and 18 signature suites, guests from 31 rooms and 4 suites at the Weekapaug Inn and the multiple guest suites at the Watch Hill which can house many more people per unit than 2 people to a room at the OH. We have noticed this segregation between members and non-members in the past and we get it. We understand that if you are a member you should be able to find a chaise to sit in or be given first priority. After all, you are paying for these privileges. But this year, it was so much more apparent. There seemed to be an even greater distance between the beach seating areas for members and guests. Paying guests definitely defray the cost of upkeep of such a fabulous facility so their feelings need to be taken into account as well. If I’m staying at the Watch Hill Inn and can have all the privileges that OH guests have, why should I pay the higher rates of OH. It’s for all of the little things that I have pointed out here. We expect more than we got from the OH this year. The property itself is stunningly beautiful and the expanse of beach is outstanding. That will never change and for that we will always gravitate towards it. Besides the physical property itself, the OH has much to appreciate in the off season but the crowds, lack of service, and general chaos in the summer months are definite drawbacks. The Mercedes loan program is a nice plus and we did use it one night to drive into Westerly proper and dine at Ella’s Fine Food and Drink which I highly recommend. The OH chefs might want to take a page out of their book because on a Tuesday night Ella’s was packed and hopping like it was a Saturday night. My trips to OH have not been as frequent in the past couple of years because I’ve doing a lot of bucket list travel to exotic destinations. I travel with a luxury tour outfit that specializes in small groups and we stay at 5 star hotels, including the Four Seasons, some Relais & Chateaux hotels and other properties that routinely appear on the Conde Nast Gold List or the Travel & Leisure Reader’s Choice List so I have a good basis for comparison for what qualifies as 5 star service, accommodations, etc. I feel the Ocean House is 1) beginning to rest a bit on their laurels and 2) not equipped to handle the sheer number of guests that flock to their doors in the summer. They need to rethink what management or staffing changes they need to make in order to ensure their high season service equals their off season service when the hotel has fewer guests. I have stayed in this property during all four seasons and generally temper my expectations for the summer season but this year was just not up to par by any stretch of the imagination. The mother/daughter time was priceless but we’re not sure we’ll be back at the Ocean House in the summer months.

anon3200 - Kingston, Massachusetts

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 3 days ago

The Ocean House has always been one of our favorite places. Spectacular does not do it justice. Tonight, we had dinner on the terrace and had the absolute pleasure of being served by manager, Thomas, and his staff. Thomas was beyond friendly and attentive. I don't think I have ever encountered better service, and we have been to many a five star hotel and restaurant.

Jessica P

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 3 days ago

My wife and I wanted to to go to the New England Area. We selected the Ocean House based on its high ratings. It was everything we expected and more. The hotel itself is so grand and elegant, a step back into time with all the modern amenities. From the moment you walk in the staff makes you feel special. Everything was top notch and well worth the money spent. The staff is the most accommodating I have ever experienced. (we travel frequently) Sitting at the Secret Garden over looking the coast line is surreal. Like a post card. We attending the Lobster Dinner on the beach Friday Night and The Ho Down at their sister property on Saturday. Fantastic. I have stayed at hotels that provide you a hotel car to drop you off within a certain radius of the hotel for dinner. The Ocean House allows you to take out a Mercedes. We used this service one day and put the top down and drove to Newport to sight see and look at all the mansions of the industrial age. I asked Devon (always smiling) where I could gas it up prior to returning the car and he informed me it me that is was not required. I had to ask twice as I was shocked. The Ocean House and its staff are truly special. I highly recommend making it a Must Do. We have already booked a return visit for next summer to escape the Arizona heat.

Chris M - Scottsdale, Arizona

TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 4 days ago

I had been excited to come here for a long time - beautiful setting. I had breakfast on the terrace and was treated so poorly, I waited for 30 minutes to be served while people around me were asked their order and given water. I was offered the only spot that wasn't covered by shade, being told that it was the only one open, but certainly that wasn't the case, as I could see so with my own eyes. The food was expensive but not very good. I didn't understand why this happened, but it made me feel small and not valued. I won't return.


TripAdvisor Traveler Review Rating Reviewed 5 days ago

I was visiting with a friend who is a frequent client at Ocean Hill. This trip, however, was different from all others. Started with a late check-in, an unwelcome rodent in the room, and a 45 minute wait in the restaurant without being acknowledged. Each of these situations was met with poor customer service, which was very surprising. I would have thought they would have handled these situations with more understanding and class. I'm sad to say that neither of us will be returning. Perhaps the staff - management included - would benefit from customer service training.

123mass789 - Boston, Massachusetts

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