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“A bit different of a viewpoint”
Review of Chateau-sur-Mer

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Newport Ocean Drive Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #18 of 114 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A bit different of a viewpoint”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Compared to the mansions of Newport, this place is significantly smaller, but does have it's own unique characteristics. People lived here up until the early 1960s, which is hard to believe! This house offers a guided tour. Tour guides are very informative and know quite a few little tidbits about the past of the mansion and early history of the families that once lived here. This home for the most part has a lot of subdued darker tones.

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

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palmyra, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
414 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Italianate Villa”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Built of granite! 1876 dining room beautiful walnut carving and gilt leather wall coverings. Loved the French styled ball room it was the only "lady like" room in this darker heavier house. Lots of different styles, a Turkish room, and lots of details to look at. Good contrast from the other "cottages" of the gilded age.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank 59galtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A nice Mansion, but should be at the bottom of your list of places to see!”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

This mansion has beautiful inlaid woodwork all over, but beyond that, this tour was a big disappointment. To start with, the staff member taking our money fit all the negative stereotypes of a snobby Newport Society lady. Our tour guide was a pleasant woman who didn't seem to know too much about the house or it's inhabitants--beyond the basic stuff of "Chinese porcelain" or "Italian marble". This house has very little furniture and furnishings original to the home---in the 1960's most of the remaining stuff was auctioned off. The house has been purchased by the preservation society and refitted with period pieces. The tour consisted of the dining room, an adjacent china storage room, living room, library, 3 bedrooms, and a quick walk-through a period bathroom without any comment at all. Most of the rooms were hot and dark, with the heavy draperies covering the windows. Would have liked to see the kitchen and servant quarters, even if they were stripped of all the furnishings. There was a carriage house that is not open for viewing, either. Basically, at $14.50 per person, this house should be at the bottom of your list.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank boats_and_castles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mobile, Alabama
Level 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
Fleming Island, Florida
Level Contributor
127 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 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

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