Charming Decor and Waterfront Views at An 1800s Inn in Newport, Rhode Island


(ABOVE) Castle Hill Inn, a classic shingle-style mansion built in the 1870s, played host to Grace Kelly over the summer of 1956, during the filming of “High Society.”

There is so much charm to be found in American northeast summer homes built before the turn of the last century. This one, a shingle-style delight commissioned in 1874 by Harvard University marine biologist Alexander Agazzis, is on the western-most tip of Newport, Rhode Island.

After World War II, the house became a summer hotel, and played host to a variety of interesting guests. According to the Inn’s website, among them was Grace Kelly, who stayed during the summer of 1956 while filming  “High Society.” Novelist Thornton Wilder also, evidently, stayed often.

I’ve never been to the hotel. I discovered it through a vacation photo posted to an Instagram gallery I happen to follow. It was just a simple snapshot of one of The Cottages rooms, but the architecture and decor were so pretty I immediately wanted to learn about the place. When you see the photographs below, I think you’ll understand why!

Named “The Most Romantic Retreat in New England” by Forbes in 2015, the Inn offers rooms in both its Agazzis Mansion or at its Harbor House, which overlooks the private beach where Grace Kelly often swam. Guests may also stay at one of the Inn’s other two on-site properties: The Cottages (located on the Inn’s private beach) or the Beach Houses (located between the beach and nature trails).

The Inn offers meals in its Relais & Chateaux restaurant The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn, and also al fresco on The Lawn.

For more information, see Castle Hill Inn.

~Janis Lyn Johnson


(ABOVE) The Cottages at Castle Hill Inn.


(ABOVE) The Cottages at Castle Hill Inn.


(ABOVE & BELOW) Harbor House at Castle Hill Inn, and its secluded cove, made famous by Grace Kelly.


(ABOVE) Grace Kelly Beach, the secluded cove below Harbor House at Castle Hill Inn.



(ABOVE & BELOW) The Rose Room, on the second floor of Castle Hill Inn’s Agassiz Mansion.


(ABOVE & BELOW) The Rose Room at Castle Hill Inn’s Agassiz Mansion.



(ABOVE) The Lighthouse Suite in the Agassiz Mansion at Castle Hill Inn.


(ABOVE) The Turret Suite, where novelist Thornton Wilder is said to have stayed.


(ABOVE & BELOW) The Beach Houses, which overlook a private beach front.


(ABOVE & BELOW) The Beach Houses.


All photographs via the Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island.

By |2017-06-10T10:26:26-04:00August 16th, 2016|Architecture, Homes & Gardens|6 Comments

About the Author:

Janis Lyn Johnson is a happily married SW Floridian and Texas-born (1960) fan of timeless style and healthy living.


  1. Rose August 17, 2016 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Oh my!!!! Amazing!!!!upload more this kind of blog posts lovely Janis,they make my day better,so inspirational,thank you thank you.
    Happy days~

    • JLJ August 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      I’m happy you liked it, Rose. Thank you for letting me know! 🙂 ~Janis

  2. Liz W. August 17, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

    This Hotel is one of the best in both location and charm. I am lucky enough to live in Rhode Island and have been there many times both for dinner and also lunch–it is wonderful and nothing beats sitting on the hilltop lawn with drinks and soaking in the spectacular views of Narragansett Bay.

    • JLJ August 17, 2016 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Liz, thank you for letting me know about your personal experience with Castle Hill Inn. I’m so happy to hear that it’s as wonderful as it looks! ~Janis

  3. Missy August 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    A visual vacation! More please!

  4. Michel Riese August 19, 2016 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I close my eyes and Visualize!! Thank you!!

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