“Coast Connecticut is my spiritual home!”
That’s what my friend Michelle said when I asked if she wanted to spend a weekend with me at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.
I have always been a snob about Connecticut’s shoreline. Since my parents are New Yorkers who spent their childhoods on the beaches of the south shore of Long Island where big waves rule, I turn my nose up at the Long Island Sound. No waves? No thank you.
But here’s the thing I’ve slowly realized over the past decade: No waves means less tourists and less tourists means that coastal Connecticut is still quaint and relaxed. There is no “scene” you don’t have to worry about keeping up with your neighbors. Your lack of flamingo pool float is just fine. All you have to do on the Connecticut shoreline is show up and enjoy yourself.
Michelle and several of my other friends figured this out years ago when our group of friends from college began spending weekends at Essex’s Griswold Inn. We’d have a huge group dinner and then spend the night singing along with the band in the Gris’s tap room. No one was dressed up. Parking was relatively easy to find. The town looked like a sophisticated Stars Hollow-by-the-Sound.
Coastal Connecticut is sophisticated without being, well, The Hamptons.
So when the Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook offered me the chance to spend a few days at their seaside resort, I jumped.
Who wouldn’t want to spend a relaxing long weekend in one of Connecticut’s most glamorous-slash-charming towns? The summer home and later year-round home of Katharine Hepburn, this little Connecticut Shoreline gem has enough to keep you busy for a week or more. We only had two days but Michelle and I made the most of them. We rode bikes along the beach, ate delicious seafood, strolled Main Street, stalked the Hepburn House and spent a few hours simply watching boats bob up and down in the Marina at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa.
SAYBROOK POINT INN AND SPA
The Saybook Point Inn and Spa sits right on a marina where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. This means that from most guest rooms, the pool, the Marina Bar and the restaurant called Fresh Salt, guests have an unobstructed view of boats going to and from Long Island Sound or up the Connecticut River, or just bobbing in the water.
It’s truly a spectacular setting.
The Inn offers three choices for guests: you can stay in the hotel right on the marina, or in the guest houses across the street called Three Stories and Tall Tales. Both Three Stories and Tall tales have water views.
We stayed in Tall Tales, an Italianate revival recently renovated for looks and comfort.
The guest house has three floors with six guest rooms total, and the first floor has a seating area and a kitchen so guests can share. Each morning I went down to the common seating area to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry while reading a book.
Have you ever wondered what the inside of Martha’s Stuarts Hamptons house looks like? I imagine it looks quite a lot like Tall Tales. It’s light and airy but refined and sophisticated all at the same time. You just feel really taken care of.
Next door is Three Stories with a light pink exterior but a more traditional interior. Three Stories features the same setup as Tale Talls: guest rooms with a shared space on the first floor for coffee and contemplation, but has another floor dedicated to lounging as well with a billiards room with buttery leather couches and fireplaces. Three Stories feels a little more like an old Ivy League Club.
The final guest room option? Saybrook Point Inn also has an option to stay inside a lighthouse on their marina. For reals.
THE SPA AT SAYBROOK POINT INN
In keeping with the “you are being taken care of” theme, the spa at the Inn is super chill and relaxing. I opted for the facial, and then spent a good 30 minutes sipping cucumber water in the spa’s waiting area.
There’s an indoor pool, an outdoor pool (heated so you can use it year-round), and a giant hot tub. There’s also a fitness center and sauna. We opted for the outdoor pool as this was August and had some cocktails and a split a perfectly cooked cheeseburger on a pretzel bun.
DINING AT FRESH SALT, THE POOL AND THE MARINA BAR
The restaurant at the Saybrook Point Inn is named Fresh Salt as a tribute to the Connecticut River and the Long Island Sound. On our first night, we had a long, boozy dinner of calamari, cod, filet mignon, edamame mashed potatoes, a bottle of cabernet, and Baked Alaska. I’ve always wanted to order Baked Alaska and Fresh Salt’s did not disappoint. It was a rare sugary treat for me.
The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and you can order off a smaller menu from the pool or the Marina Bar which is right on the water.
Fresh Salt’s interior restaurant is reminiscent of the Griswold Inn in Essex with a fireplace, stone walls, and a beautiful bar. Outdoors you get the marina vibe with great views and my favorite part: a fire pit-in-a-bar that they called the Fire Bar.
On our second night, we opted to sit outside and split a buttery Connecticut-style lobster roll with sweet potatoes fries while overlooking the marina. It was delicious.
WHAT TO DO AT THE SAYBROOK POINT INN AND SPA
There’s the spa, tons of quiet places to read a book, and you have the gorgeous shoreline to explore. On our final day we took a long bike ride around the waterfront of Old Saybrook. The Inn provides bikes, and because of the great location, you can bike across a causeway that leads into the Fenwick neighborhood (home of Katharine Hepburn) and a chichi golf and beach club. We took our bikes past the golf course and rode along the seawall a far as we could before heading back.
The Saybrook Point would be the perfect setting for a girls weekend, a romantic getaway, or a family reunion or event.
This is a sponsored post. Thank you to the Saybrook Point Inn for hosting me.86