Jake’s back for a couple of posts about beautiful Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island, where there is a little something for everyone and incredible views year-round.
Stepping off the ferry from Point Judith, Rhode Island onto Block Island, I see a cab driver and ask him where I can find “Hotel Manassas”. He quickly points out that it is “man-i-sees” – duh, this 7 mile island is definitely not where two civil war battles were fought (Bull Run to us Northerners). Fortunately, in spite of my bad pronunciation, I was still in the right place. Wide rather than tall buildings line the harborside of Block Island’s Old Harbor, presenting a perfect sensation of being in a seaside town that hasn’t changed much in decades.
Built in 1872 with 129 guest rooms, Hotel Manisses is named after the Native American name for Block Island. The old room service call buttons still sit above the front desk. Now reopened after renovations in the 1970’s, but retaining its Victorian style and elegance, the Hotel Manisses has 17 rooms all named after Block Island shipwrecks. My room Palantine, had an enormous king size bed, jacuzzi in the bathroom, charming wallpaper and antique furnishings that complete the feel of stepping back to a simpler era. Don’t panic, as there is a flat screen TV and iPod dock for those rainy days or relaxing evenings.
The Manisses Hotel provides excellent service, has a first class restaurant in partnership with the 1661 Inn, and the rooms come complete with a complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvre hour, decanters of brandy and a full breakfast. Hallways are packed with fascinating art, newspaper articles, photos and more. Give yourself time to get out the door because if you’re like me you’ll have to stop and look!
The complimentary breakfast provided by the Hotel Manisses, which actually took place at the 1661 Inn, was quite frankly one for the treadmills – I ate so much good food that I probably would have broke a treadmill if I had the audacity to step on one after in a bad attempt to work off the breakfast. Lucky for me I didn’t see a single gym during the 40 somewhat hours I spent on the island. Back to breakfast; I was dazzled not just because of the vast amount of good food, including an omelet station and full fried fish, but because as I went through the buffet and filled my plate I took it outside to the patio and ate with a breathtaking panorama of the morning sun shimmering off the ocean.
After dinner, my in-room jacuzzi of course had to be utilized, I mean who doesn’t love an after dinner hot tub soak. Granted it being warm in the room didn’t make for an extended stay in the water. I ventured outside to the backyard of the hotel where weeping willows dot the landscape, a lonely but warm late summer breeze cools the night off while I lay back in a cushioned lounger and admired one of the most clear nightscapes to cross my eyes. One of those rare but perfect moments of serenity a billion stars above, the scent of the sea breeze and no where to have to be for a while.