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“Luxury!!”
Review of The Ocean House

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The Ocean House
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Watch Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 October 2013

We travel quite a bit and the Ocean House is one of the nicest hotels we have stayed. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean in Watch Hill, a charming small town in Rhode Island. The view of the ocean is breathtaking. The staff was delightful, the hotel room beautiful and the linens and mattresses superb. We enjoyed a tasty dinner in the restaurant. Ask for a good explanation on the breakfast pricing, package versus regular menu. It was confusing and very pricey.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank barbara d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2013

It’s wonderful to hear that as a seasoned traveler, you felt the Ocean House stood out among the many other hotels you’ve visited. We greatly appreciate your glowing review as well as your feedback regarding the breakfast package, which we will take into consideration as we are constantly looking at ways to improve ourselves and our guests’ experiences!

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Reviewed 13 October 2013

Yes, it is very expensive. And if you are going to worry about what you're going to spend here you should find a different place to stay. But if you want a truly exceptional southern New England beach experience then you need to put this on your bucket list. There were so many little details that make this place special. I know how much hard work goes into making something appear effortless and this hotel does a great job in this regard. The room- king with a terrace was terrific. Love those high thread count bed linens. Views are spectacular. We had two memorable sunsets to enjoy. Ate all our meals on property and the food was very, very good. Unlike a previous reviewer we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of gluten free offerings. The Sunday brunch was among the best we've ever experienced. The beach. Well it's a great beach. The whole place is worthy of the accolades and 5 star reviews. Will we go back. Oh yes. It's so pricey that people in our income bracket will have to save up for a special occasion, but it's a special occasion worthy place and we will enjoy another special occasion as soon as we can. One last amusing note- I needed some sunscreen and the gift shop was out as it was the end of the season so I went to the spa and they had a fancy mineral sunscreen available. I asked the attendant at the spa to not allow me to see the price because I knew it was going to be expensive. I'm glad I didn't see the price until I got my bill at checkout because I about fell over when I saw what it cost. Next time I'll stay under an umbrella if I forget my sunscreen.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PepperWat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words about your experience! We’re so glad you had such a pleasant experience and look forward to welcoming you back!

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Reviewed 2 October 2013

My husband was so sweet to chose this fine 5 star hotel for my 50th birthday celebration. All was perfect and I even said to my husband that "this hotel really does the 5 star treatment very well - even better than the Ritz or Breakers." This sentiment was true until after our dinner and we were heading to our room when these two gentlemen promenaded through the lobby with their dog on a leash. My heart and festive mood immediately dropped to the floor upon seeing this dog. All my senses were screaming pet friendly rooms. UGH! My only hope was that we were in a nonpet friendly room or could be moved to one. After my NOT SO customer service friendly discussion with the front desk, I learned my room was a pet friendly room. However, the pet owner guests are required to pay a deep cleaning fee so they assured me the room was clean from previous pet visits. Obviously, I am not a pet lover, but no cleaning is going to remove urine, feces, tics or fleas from a room in the short turnover there is between guests. Unless you book a signature suite, you are going to be in a pet friendly room. Yes, my husband is guilty of not looking into that hotel policy before booking our room. However, at that caliber of a hotel, a pet friendly environment never entered his or my mind. If it was a lower end hotel chain, we are experienced enough to ask. I have filled out the hotel survey and spoke to two employees who were not too receptive in changing the pet friendly policy or providing nonpet friendly rooms at each price level. I am so disappointed in their opposition to even listen to the other side of the argument (non pet friendly consumers) and don't seem like their policy will change. Good luck with the family or people that have serious allergies and are not just disgusted by pets being in a bed or on furniture. Another disappointment is their lack of detail to another important consumer group - gluten free and/or vegetarian. Even with a discussion with the chef a week prior to our visit, my gluten free vegetarian meal was not 5 star. Furthermore, the fruit flies were absolutely disgusting in our room. I was assured they were fruit flies, but being in a pet friendly room - I wonder??? If this policy is going to continue, I strongly suggested that they replace all those pet infested carpets with tile flooring.

Room Tip: Decide if a pet friendly room is an acceptable option for you at that price level.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank tina c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 October 2013

Thank you for your message -- we are in fact a dog friendly hotel, as are most along the New England coastline. We limit this to not more than one dog, of up to 35 pounds, and we do place a pet charge on our guests bills and adhere to a very strict protocol of deep cleaning of carpets, etc. after each pet visit. Further, the fee includes a series of amenities provided for the pet including dog dishes and dog bedding, so as to ensure that the guest's pet stay on this pillow and not on beds or furniture. We also ask that pets not be left unattended in the hotel rooms. We pride ourselves on providing the highest standards of service and cleanliness to our guests. I am sorry that you found our gluten-free/vegan offerings to be less than you had wished for, we work hard to ensure we have a variety of alternatives, including gluten-free breads for our guests to enjoy.

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Reviewed 25 September 2013

When we first arrived, we had our worst experience of our visit. Talk about a bad first impression: as we drove up, a valet worker motioned us to pull our car over to the side of the driveway and then ignored us while he helped another car full of guests who arrived after us. After awhile, we got out of the car in hopes someone would notice that we still had not been helped. We had not even been greeted. Finally this same guy came over and said brusquely "here for lunch?" as he shoved a ticket into my hand. I said no, that we were checking in, and his response was "oh, you have to park on that side" pointing to the other side of the driveway - literally 8 feet away from where we were parked! The tone of his voice implied that I should have known better. Like I'm a regular guest and everyone knows that guests park on the right side and lunch people park on the left.

As he walked away again to help someone else, I shrugged and got back in the car and pulled it to the other side of the driveway. I was really annoyed with this and felt awkward and as though I'd been slapped and nobody would tell me why. Then he came back and told me that he needed the ticket back that he'd thrust on me because that ticket was for people having lunch.

The entire 10 minute experience set a horrible first impression that the rest of the weekend was never quite able to overcome. I was truly disgusted with how this bozo behaved, and couldn't get that sense of dread out of my mind despite all the good service we had after that first impression.

So with that introduction to my review, I'd like you to hear about the rest of our stay, which was mostly wonderful. We had a "Terrace King" room with a single king bed and a view towards the south, overlooking the croquet course. The "Terrace King" rooms are also available with a view to the north, but we recommend this side. The room is fairly large, and very comfortable, with plenty of room for two people to spread out, and then some.

Our terrace was very nice, but you should know that there's not very much privacy as the neighboring rooms can see most if not all of the terrace from their terrace. It made us feel a bit self-conscious whenever we were out there.

The bathroom has a large window that can be opened to connect the bedroom or closed for privacy. The tub is one of the largest and most luxurious I've ever seen. It's really deep.

The bed was beautifully appointed, but I've got to say that it was rather saggy. We were glad to get home to our bed after our stay so we could undo the sore backs we got on our vacation.

A great feature of this hotel is that all the amenities such as snacks and drinks in the room are complimentary. The room comes with an iPad that explains a lot about the resort, but some of the finer details were difficult to find. On more than one occasion, it was easier to just pick up the phone and ask.

One of the impressive things we noticed were the "little things". There were many of them and they were clever and thoughtful. Our housekeeper left us little items on our bedside tables like a screen cleaner for the laptop, and a bottle of moisturizer. Fresh bottles of water appeared in the cup holders of our car every time we called it up. There were several umbrellas by the door on loan in case we needed one. The server at the beach brought by complimentary water and moist towelettes occasionally.

Which reminds me: the drinks service at the beach was very slow. We had to flag down passers-by several times and wait even longer to order a drink. It seems to me that for $20 each, they'd be going out of their way to bring drinks as fast as possible! Another annoyance is that the chaise lounge chairs at the beach are locked to each other with a cable. So it is not possible to move them. If you want to turn towards the sun it's not possible. And if you want to hold your wife's hand while lounging by the beach, you better have long arms.

The service in the bar and restaurant was great. And the food was remarkable. Clever and interesting and very tasty. But I thought that the formality of the service was lower than the formality of the food and the room. I felt like the servers needed to take their performance up a notch or two considering the way the dining room was appointed and the menu was created. Nothing about the service was wrong, but it was just too informal.

The architecture of the building and the quality of the craftsmanship of the entire property is absolutely world class. Every element from door knobs, to door hinges, to the gardens and landscape were among the finest we'd ever seen. In fact, I think the property itself is the star of the resort. The staff are doing a good job, but they could do better to match the caliber of the venue.

All-in-all, it was a great stay. I'm being harsh and picky with my complaints because this resort sets an expectation that is extremely high, and they didn't meet it. I would recommend it to anyone who is fortunate enough to afford it. But I think we'll continue exploring new places as we're not in a hurry to return. We didn't feel like we got a great value for the price.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 6Continents2toGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 30 September 2013

Please accept my apologies for your experience upon arrival- our goal is always to make a first impression as grand as the impression the hotel makes as it first comes into view and I am sincerely sorry for not meeting this standard during your arrival. Your feedback is greatly helpful in assisting us to improve upon our service throughout the property. While I am happy you feel that it was a great stay all-in-all, I do hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back in the future and have the opportunity to make you next visit even more remarkable.

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Reviewed 19 September 2013

We stayed for a weekend celebration of our family patriarch's 80th birthday. Accommodations were stellar with amazing ocean views and ample deck space in each room. Each of the many dining experiences was wonderful. Don't miss the Friday night Clam Bake/Lobster dinner on the beach when offered and the Sunday brunch was divine! The only drawback we experienced was the distance from the hotel too the beach. The very long, windy decline was too difficult for our "Birthday Boy", but the attentive staff was at the ready with their golf cart as needed.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Phyllis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2013

We are so pleased to have welcomed you and your family during your birthday celebrations. Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words and we hope to have the opportunity to host you and your family again soon.

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Reviewed 16 September 2013

The staff are not only well trained but also friendly and welcoming. We ate at the bar a couple of times during our stay and very much enjoyed the ambience. Sadly, the food, while expensive, didn't quite measure up- half chicken was relatively tasteless and the skin didn't have that delightful crispness which is one of the major reasons to order roast chicken. Swordfish was so-so and Veal Milanese was definitely overcooked. Not awful- but definitely not a 'foodie' experience.
Our room - a junior suite- was very spacious and the bathroom was well appointed. There isn't anything particularly cozy, characterful or romantic about the rooms- this is not a Wauwinet (Nantucket) or Charlotte Inn (Edgartown) and, to be fair, Ocean House doesn't seem to be aiming for that. This is a Resort Hotel. A Resort Hotel has facilities and Ocean House charges a daily Resort Fee. Not a problem at the height of the season when someone is running back and forth bringing drinks to the beach or the swimming pool or when the highly advertised croquet lawn is in its verdant glory. I start to feel more resentful about the fee out of season when the croquet lawn is burnt out and unusable and the beachside/poolside service isn't required. The fee does however cover gratuities for housekeeping and the valet- though not for bar and restaurant staff where tipping is discretionary and for the spa where 20% is automatically added to your bill. Here's a major gripe. For a 20% gratuity I expected more- a really great, snooze inducing massage. What I got was merely competent- like I might have hot at the neighborhood salon. I would have tipped 15% for this standard....but when I made this comment at checkout, I was thanked for my input with a promise to pass it on to management. Hey Management! Gratuities are meant to be discretionary- based on the level of service! I suggest they revisit the whole concept of resort fees and fixed gratuities- at least out of season.
All in all- a very nice property in a beautiful location but don't go for the food or the spa and check before packing your croquet whites!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 4994MM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are very happy you were so pleased with the service of our superior staff, which we very much feel is our best asset. That said, I do strongly value your feedback (rest assured, all input is indeed passed along to me). While the resort fee and non-tipping policy is designed to prevent guests from having to carry money and also rewards our behind-the-scenes staff (such as kitchen workers and gardeners) and is typically a very well-received practice by guests, I will definitely take all of your responses and suggestions into consideration as we are a constantly-evolving property, always looking for ways to improve ourselves and the experiences of our guests.

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Reviewed 14 September 2013

My wife and I stayed here in August 2013 and were impressed at the level of service in the hotel, the rooms, the spa and the property overall. Our room had a spectacular view of the ocean, with comfortable large beds, a great bathroom and a small bar area. We enjoyed getting massages at the spa, which had to have one of the largest treatment rooms I have ever seen (full hot tub and shower in the room). Seasons restaurant served an excellent brunch, and the accompanying bar has an excellent wine selection. I was a little disappointed at the small pool (it is basically a two-lane lap pool only) but then again the beach area was much more expansive. We had a clam bake on the beach that was a lot of fun. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: Upper floors facing the Ocean avoid the noise of the pool deck.
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank laffingnetizen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel H, General Manager at The Ocean House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2013

It’s wonderful to hear that you had the ability to take advantage of so much of what we have to offer while you stayed with us! Thank you for all the kind words and I do hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

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Additional Information about The Ocean House

Address: 1 Bluff Ave, Watch Hill, Westerly, RI 02891-5703
Region: United States > Rhode Island > South County > Westerly > Watch Hill
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Watch Hill
Price Range: £500 - £1,004 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ocean House 5*
Number of rooms: 49
Also Known As:
The Ocean House Hotel Watch Hill
The Ocean House Watch Hill, Rhode Island

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