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“Tour Guide Included”
Review of Chateau-sur-Mer

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Ranked #18 of 117 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Chateau-sur-Mer is a landmark of High Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. It was the most palatial residence in Newport from its completion in 1852 until the appearance of the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s.Chateau-sur-MerChateau-sur-Mer ballroom was built as an Italianate-style villa for China trade merchant William Shepard Wetmore. Mr. Wetmore died in 1862, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his son, George Peabody Wetmore, and a generous allowance for his daughter, Annie Derby Wetmore. George married Edith Keteltas in 1869. During the 1870s, the young couple departed on an extended trip to Europe, leaving architect Richard Morris Hunt to remodel and redecorate the house in the Second Empire French style. As a result, Chateau-sur-Mer displays most of the major design trends of the last half of the 19th century.
Mobile, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Tour Guide Included”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

This is not a self-guided audio tour. Instead, a nice lady who has done this for 27 years guided our group through the home. Nice because it allows one to ask questions. Fantastic house, very different from the others we've seen thus far. It's older than the others, too. I would love to have seen more rooms but the ones on exhibit were wonderful.

Visited July 2014
Thank Valshouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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326 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fleming Island, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“The original gilded age mansion”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Chateau-Sur-Mer was built in 1852 for William Wetmore, who derived his wealth from the China trade. The mansion is designed as an Italianate villa, and is the first, and oldest, of the gilded age mansions. Stepping into the mansion is like going back to the Victorian era in every respect. The mansion is rather dark, but that's how the Victorians lived. The Wetmores sold, or donated, land to Salve Regina Univ. which is nearby. I would recommend starting your mansion tour here, and see the progression of architecture and interior styles , in the later-built mansions. Well worth seeing.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
Level 6 Contributor
340 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“One of the Nicer Mansions....Beautiful Woodwork”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We always enjoy coming back to Newport and this year was no different. We try to visit those mansions and historical sites we missed on our last visit. Chateau-sur-Mer was a very pleasant home to visit and definitely less opulent and over the top as other mansions. I can appreciate the difference and really enjoyed the history and woodworking in this mansion. The tour was very professionally done and the docent seemed very knowledgeable. Its definitely worth supporting the Preservation Society of Newport County for all its work and the chance to visit each and every mansion when in town. Membership is definitely the way to go and save $$ seeing these marvelous homes.

Visited July 2014
Thank eminker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eustis, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

This house is unique. I loved everything about it. The decor inside was unique. It felt more like a house than the palatial marble estates. The lady who gave the tour was knowledgeable, professional and a very patient person as some of the guests tended to want to break the rules.

Visited July 2014
Thank Floridia_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trussville, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very Pretty”
Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

This one was more livable and not as opulent as some of the other houses. The woodwork in this house was truly amazing and especially in the gathering room for your tour. The only thing that I would change was there was no audio tour and we had a tour guide with a very large group and it was rushed, crowded, and you couldn't hear because she would start before everyone was in the room. I really like the audio tour concept because you can take your time and see everything.

Thank ronna58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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