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“A dream come true!”

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Rose Island Lighthouse
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A dream come true!”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

After an amazing tour of American Civil War battle sites in Virginia and nearby states, I promised my family a relaxing surprise on our way to Massachusetts. They were not disappointed! A gloriously sunny day in April saw us waiting at the dock for our boat. Chris took us out round the island to see the seals: knowing it was a surprise, he didn't mention the lighthouse at all! The girls guessed where we were going as we rounded the island but my husband didn't realise until we docked! Thank you, Chris.
It was the start of a perfect break. After introducing us to the facilities, telling us about the island and cleaning up after the geese and gulls, Chris and Ethan left us to settle in. We had the upstairs apartment which was fully equipped with everything we needed, including board games and jigsaws. We made the most of the day: exploring where we could, visiting the lantern and balcony, kayaking, beachcombing and relaxing!
Chris and Ethan came back in the afternoon to do more volunteer work and even found time to sit and chat with my husband and the couple from the downstairs apartment. It was a perfect day. We would have been happy to stay for a week but didn't have the time.
I can recommend this holiday to almost everyone: from those who need their creature comforts in the Apartment to the hardy ones, happy to manage the basics in the Fog Horn Building or the Barracks Room. The pampered few may find it too basic!
It was a wonderful experience for us. We would like to thank everyone involved in this venture for providing this amazing opportunity - truly, a dream come true!
Downsides: we found it difficult to find a food store in Newport. Leave plenty of time for this if you are touring. Eating outside would have been hazardous with the gulls: we retreated indoors, but it was all part of a very enjoyable experience: one we will never forget.

Room Tip: The Apartment on the second floor has more creature comforts!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BrentorGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Prospect, CT
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

I had reservations about this trip with friends. It was very different from anything I had ever done so I gave it a try. I ended up having a fun time and a unique experience. Chris, our boat captain was great! He knew we were interested in seeing seals and gave us a boat ride to see them. He answered all questions about landmarks we were interested in and the history of Rose Island. I am sure he doesn't always have time to do this so we were very appreciative. I agree with some other readers that it could be cleaner, but if I was there longer (only a day) I would have done more to help. I work at a 501c3 organization and would have been happy to contribute my time! I would advise guests to bring "outdoor shoes" and indoor shoes to save them a lot of sweeping. We stayed when there were many geese and gulls and it can be messy.

Room Tip: I would definitely stay in the apartment with the amenities unless you like to camp. The best case s...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Diane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank RickNorton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 Contributor
223 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank surfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Massachusetts
Level 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Marie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cabo San Lucas
Level 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
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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 6 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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