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“A great get away to the middle of the bay”

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Rose Island Lighthouse
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A great get away to the middle of the bay”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

The Rose Island Lighthouse may be the best value getaway in New England in November. Rates drop by as much as 50% and you lose none of the ambience. It's easy to book - just call the number on the website. There are several rooms to choose from - we stayed on the ground floor in the lighthouse itself - which has the gresatest period feel and had the floor to ourselves. (There are two bedrooms, so you might have to share common areas.) The interior is filled with period pieces and bits of history The beds are surprisingly sturdy and very comfortable. The kitchen is fully stocked, with utensils but you are limited to the outside grill or a single large propane burner if you want to actually cook. (A little creativity can go a long way - for the perfect lunch get Portugese fish chowder from Anthoy's on Aquidneck Road, some crisp grapes and crusty bread from a local supermarket.) There's a fire pit for pleasant evening and even a working lobster pot - just ask your guide/boat captain for the particulars. In the early portion of a warm November you can kayak or snorkel/swim - but bring you own gear for snorkeling. Fishing is permitted, just bring your gear and bait.The island is a treat for beachcombers and glass collectors, with spectacular views, interesting rocks to scramble up and some interesting abandonded military installations. There is even supposed to be a ghost or two. Post August 15th you can roam the entire island - not possible during much of the summer due to nesting season. A perfect excursion for couples and families - especially if your kids are old enough to be trusted on their own.

Room Tip: If you're a family consider the upstairs apartment. Newlyweds should request the Foghorn house r...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank RickNorton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Sumneytown, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

My family of 6 spent the last week of August in the keeper's apartment. It was an amazing adventure and the most relaxed vacation that we've ever spent together.
The website does a thorough job in preparing guests in what to expect. While not luxurious, the keeper's quarters are more than adequate. Supplies are plentiful - pots, pans, utensils, towels, dishware, etc. are all provided. Unlike the rooms downstairs, the apartment has modern running water as well as a full-sized fridge, oven and microwave. We brought a few days worth of food with us on the initial boat trip out. We also took a trip back into Newport on Tuesday to visit the grocery store and purchase lobsters from the Lobster Shack on Long Wharf. We packed lots of puzzles and games, but needn't have bothered. There is a whole closet full of things to keep people entertained (but bring consumables like paper if your kids want to draw with the provided art supplies). There is no TV, but it wasn't missed.
Some of the things that impressed us the most about Rose Island are things that can't be easily explained in promotional materials. First, the staff is AMAZING. Our daughters (ages 5,8,10 and 11) learned so much! Kathy and Nora are experts in sparking children's curiosity and then following up with an easily understood lesson. By the time we left, our girls could rattle off the history of the island as well as which kinds of plants were safe to eat. They knew all about what it means to be "off the grid" and fancied themselves as little experts in sustainability. They had a new appreciation for water and electricity as limited resources - a lesson which has followed them home. After a week on Rose Island, you may never have to remind your children to turn off the lights again!
This was a magical place for our family. Time seemed to move at a slower pace. We were not running from place to place or spending money doing contrived touristy things. We started the mornings with kayak trips around the island (kayaks are provided). The kids spent hours and hours down on the beach combing for materials to use in fairy houses while my husband and I watched from the Adirondack chairs on the top of the bastion. There is a little hill perfect for rolling down, and you'll never have easier kite-flying conditions. We ate most of our dinners outside on the picnic tables and made it a habit to gather with the other guests to watch the sunset from the balcony of the lantern room. As the boat took us away at the end of our stay, our 8 year old daughter's eyes welled up. She said, "That was the most special place I've ever been..." We all agree.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
Helpful?
6 Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashua NH
Level 6 Contributor
231 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

What a cool overnight at the Rose Island Lighthouse!
This is a bit of an adventure and would not be for everybody, but read the website, and reviews and if you are up to it, book it! We spent a night in Newport so that we would be ready for our boat trip to Rose Island Light.

You have to bring all of your food in coolers, as there is no refrigeration, and only a one burner propane stove and BBQ's, so some precooking at home may be in order. That said, we found mussels, caught fish, and were enjoying living off the "ocean".

Water has to be pumped into the sink and toilets, and there really isn't a shower to speak of, just a "solar" bag setup outdoors. Think of it as camping, but getting to stay in a historic lighthouse.

Room Tip: We rented both bedrooms on the first floor to ensure our privacy. Some people prefer the "fog h...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank surfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2013

Incredible experience! I've always wanted to spend the night in a lighthouse, and this did not disappoint. We are two single ladies, and so we decided to book both the Curt Bunting and the Wanton Chase rooms. Great decision! We had the whole first floor to ourselves after the last tourist ferry left at 4 pm. Spent a great day exploring the island, went up to the lantern room and out onto the gallery several times during the course of our stay. The view from there, or anywhere outside is spectacular....the Newport bridge, Fort Adams...beautiful. The evening sounds of the ocean lapping on the rocks, the muted ring of the bell on the buoy...I can't say enough...be prepared for a very rustic experience, outdoor toilets during the day, and packing all your food needs in a cooler. But totally worth it !!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Marie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cabo San Lucas
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

My husband always wanted to stay in a lighthouse and we were traveling throughout New England so this was a perfect opportunity.

We took the ferry over to the island and learned we would have two other families with us for the night. There was a single lady volunteering as keeper for the week so she was upstairs and then there was an elderly couple. We looked around and all agreed that the other couple should have the fog horn building and we would take the main house. We had a teenager with us who slept in the Bunk room and we took the Wanton Chase room.

It was a little chilly as it was mid-October (2011 - just getting around to writing the review!) but we enjoyed a nice walk around the island and then had a fire and roasted marshmallows. There is a pump toilet in the home, but it's best to use the bathrooms located outside when possible to save water. Also there is heat, but it is run on a generator as there is no electricity, so you only want to run it for a short while to take off the chill. We forgot to turn it off when we went to bed so in the middle of the night we all got an unexpected wake up call of the generator alarm blaring to let us know it was running low. Oops!

Utensils/food prep is minimal so bring only the basics and try to keep it easy to prepare. Think as though you were going camping and plan accordingly.

We had a fun experience of sending out a message in a bottle. We went to the other side of the island in the evening and sent it out. Not knowing if the tide would just bring it right back to us, we ventured out the next morning to see if had gone out. We were disappointed as we saw a bottle on the beach but then were amazed to learn it was actually not our bottle AND that it had a note in it!! Crazy!!

The beds were just okay, but again this is a place where you're there for the experience. It was wonderful to sit outside, have a glass of wine and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the boats.

There's no maid service so you need to clean up after yourself and have the house/island back in tip top shape by 10am when tours start coming through. This includes stripping the sheets and making the beds.

Overall, it's great fun and a unique experience. If you have the opportunity, put Rose Island Lighthouse on your to-do list!

Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank CaboLivin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

This is such a unique experience. You can spend the week as the Lighthouse Keeper (you have chores to do, but get the upstairs apartment that has a kitchen and inside shower) which is pretty pricey or just spend the night. There are two bedrooms on the lower level as well as the fog horn room. There is an inside "john" in the kitchen area, but shower is outside (bags of waters are heated up on the sun) as are two other toilets. There is a library room and livingroom too.
We were lucky that no other guests were on the lower level. The barracks weren't bedrooms when we stayed there, so don't know what they look like. Island is fun to explore; lots of beach glass; kayaks available. Sitting out at night, wrapped in blankets, star gazing was priceless.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Windygnf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2013

My mother and I did a night away at the Rose Island Lighthouse this past weekend. We were brought to it due to it's appearance in "Ghost Hunters" and it's very detailed historical past. We stayed in the Barracks, the newest available room on the property, which was nice but a bit damp (due to humidity). We arrived on the Starfish at 10AM and lounged on the property all day after a brief tour by the property manager. For most of the summer, the majority of the island is "off limits" due to nesting birds, which was the only downfall of our timing (had to stay on local beach and yard- no exploring!). While this was a disappointment, we were thrilled to see that the preservation society displays an interest in the maintenance of nature. It was a beautiful island, simple, and stunning! We really enjoyed our stay (despite the lack of paranormal experiences) and recommend it to anyone looking for a simple and unique getaway!

Room Tip: The website portrayed the Lighthouse rooms perfectly- there is no exaggeration!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marguerite T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rose Island Lighthouse

Property: Rose Island Lighthouse
Address: Rose Island, Newport, RI
Region: United States > Rhode Island > Newport
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Newport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A stay at a 19-century lighthouse on Rose Island - be willing to rough it and pitch in with the chores. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rose Island Lighthouse Hotel Newport

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