Luxury Experience - The Online Resource for the Discerning Consumer
Home | Testimonials | Who We Are | Contact Us | Subscribe | Links | Media Kit
Home
Destinations
Hotels and Resorts
Spas
Restaurants
Chefs' Recipes
Liquor Cabinet
Wine Cellar
Music Scene
Adventures
Fashion
Arts and Antiques
Performances
Luxury Products
Publisher's Notes
Awards
Events
Gastronomy
Travel News
Subscribe
Site Search


A Romantic Summer Weekend in Connecticut, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Debra Argen and Edward Nesta at Gillette Castle - photo by Luxury ExperienceWe spent a romantic summer weekend in Connecticut staying in a luxurious inn and exploring the enchanting towns of Essex, Hadlyme, Old Lyme, and Old Saybrook. We dined in lovely restaurants and on a dinner train, visited a museum, and even a castle. Picture postcard perfect Connecticut was an excellent choice for wining, dining, romancing, enjoying life, and each other!

 

Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Welcome to Old Saybrook

Where to Stay

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, Connecticut 

Old Saybrook, Connecticut is one of the oldest towns in the state of Connecticut; its history dates to 1635 when it was known as Saybrook Plantation, and was later incorporated in 1854. It is a charming and stately step back in time Connecticut shore town, and one that is definitely romantic.

We stayed at the luxurious AAA 4-Diamond rated Saybrook Point Inn & Spa owned by the Tagliatela family, which consists of the three properties, the 80-guestroom main building, an elegant landmark with its yellow and white trim located on the water, the 8-guestroom Three Stories Guesthouse, and their newest property, Tall Tales Guesthouse, which has 6 guestrooms.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CT
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

For our June 2016 stay, we stayed in the Tall Tales Guesthouse, an attractive coral mansion with white trim and a romantic mansard roof, in the luxurious General William Hart junior suite. This spacious and attractive guestroom featured a king bed dressed with sumptuous linens and a pristine ivory coverlet trimmed with gold and a plethora of pillows and European shams dramatically presented against an  intricate gold headboard and gold post footboard, and flanked by bureaus with gold-leaf lamps. Gold elements continued throughout the room with a gold area rug over the hardwood floors, gold accent pillows on the loveseat, and gold framed paintings that graced the walls.

Tall Tales guesthouse - Old Saybrook, CT- photo by Luxury Experience
Tall Tales

Located on the top floor of the mansion, we had stunning direct water views from our private front balcony, and enjoyed having our morning coffee on our private side balcony. Another romantic touch was the luminary fireplace to add to the overall ambience.  

Lighthouse at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa - Old Saybrook, CT- photo by Luxury Experience
View from Guestroom

The main building has a well-equipped Fitness Center with state-of-the-art equipment, whirlpool, steam, sauna, and indoor and outdoor salt water pools which are open year round.  They also have complimentary bicycles, which we used to go on an early morning bike ride to explore the area.

Outdoor Pool - Saybrook Point Inn & Spa - Old Saybrook, CT- photo by Luxury Experience
Outdoor Salt Water Pool

The Inn has an eye on "green" and was named a Certified Energy Hotel in 2007, and has charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles. Their marina, which can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet in length, was Connecticut's first designated Clean Marina, and received the AAA 4-Diamond distinction.

Guests that like to travel with their dogs will appreciate the Inn's pet-friendly policy welcoming dogs 50 pounds and under, and of special note is the dog-walking service and special canine packages available.

The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is easily accessible by car, train, plane, or boat. Driving time from Boston and New York City is approximately 2 hours.

For guests arriving by Amtrak the Inn offers complimentary shuttle service from the Old Saybrook train station to the Inn. For guests who want to fly to Old Saybrook, the closest airport is Tweed New Haven Regional Airport located approximately 35 minutes from the Inn. While the Inn provides complimentary shuttle service throughout the town of Old Saybrook, guests wishing to explore the nearby neighboring towns, can arrange for a car service through reception.

Bike Riding Old Saybrook, CT- photo by Luxury Experience
Bike your way to adventures in Old Saybrook

Visually stunning with luxurious amenities and attentive service by professional, knowledgeable, and caring staff, is what sets the high standards for the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa.

Read about our experience at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Spas sections.

Please visit their website, www.Saybrook.com, for more information.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa - Old Saybrook, CTSaybrook Point Inn & Spa
Two Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475
Toll-Free Telephone:      +1-800-243-0212
Telephone:                     +1-860-395-2000
Fax:                                +1-860-388-1504
Email:                             
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:                
www.Saybrook.com
Facebook:              
www.Facebook.com/SaybrookPointInn

Exploring the Area

Hadlyme - Gillette Castle

What could be more romantic than a visit to a castle? Gillette Castle, called "Seventh Sister",  was constructed of local granite in the medieval style, built between 1914 and 1919 at a cost of $1.1 million and was designed by William Gillette with the architectural firm of Porteus-Walker Company. This impressive and romantic castle soars 200 feet above the Connecticut River, has 24 rooms, and totals 14,000 square feet.

Gillette Castle Hadlynme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Gillette Castle

We loved exploring this spectacular Connecticut historic landmark with its unique details and inspiring views, located on the grounds of Gillette Castle State Park. Although the tour of inside the castle is self-guided, there are knowledgeable guides in each of the rooms to share information and fun tidbits about Mr. Gillette and the objects in the rooms. We especially enjoyed seeing Mr. Gillette's vast collection of art in the specially designed gallery, the original furnishings, as well as the many interesting objects that he bought during his travels around the world. Other highlights included his workshop, library, great room, secret passageways, and conservatory.

Gillette Castle Hadlynme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Gillette Castle Gallery

Plan your visit to arrive early and perhaps bring a picnic lunch to enjoy before or after your visit to the castle, or have something to eat in their snack bar. Do take time to enjoy the remarkable views and explore the grounds and the hiking trails and create special memories of your visit.

Gillette Castle VIew - Hadlynme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
View from Gillette Castle

Visiting Tip: The castle has many stairs with multiple floors so wear comfortable shoes. There are scenic walking and hiking trails for those that would like to explore this visually stunning park.

Gillette Castle Hadlynme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Gillette Castle Built in Sofa

Gillette Castle State Park grounds are open year round, however Gillette Castle is only open for tours from Memorial Day Weekend (late May) until Columbus Day (in October) from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, with the last ticket sold at 4:30 pm. Entrance to the park and grounds is free, there is a small fee to enter the castle.

Castle Entrance Fees: Adults (13 and older): $6.00, Children (6 - 12 years): $2, Children (5 and under): Free. There are no discounts for Seniors or Groups.

Gillette Castle Hadlynme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Drive up and enjoy Gillette Castle

Directions: From late April until late November, you can take the Chester - Hadlyme ferry across the Connecticut River from Chester to get to Gillette Castle. The alternative is to drive north along Route 154, to the famous East Haddam Swing Bridge, and then follow signs to the castle.

Read more about visiting the castle in the Destinations section.

Gillette Castle State Park
67 River Road
Hadlyme, Connecticut
United States
Telephone:          +1-860-526-2336
Website:             
www.GilletteCastle.com

Old Lyme, Connecticut - Florence Griswold Museum

Another romantic setting is the Florence Griswold Museum located in Old Lyme, home of the Lyme Art Colony, which began in Miss Florence Griswold's family homestead when it became a boardinghouse for artists and later evolved into the center of Impressionism in America.

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Florence Griswold Museum

With its gorgeous gardens bursting with blooms during our visit, the grounds inspired romance, as did the Café Flo, the museum's restaurant, where we had a lovely lunch overlooking the Lieutenant River before visiting the museum to see the exhibition, "The Artist's Garden - American Impressionism and The Garden Movement, 1887 - 1920," which runs through September 18, 2016.

Florence Marshfield - Old Lyme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Marshfield House

The story of Miss Florence Griswold is an interesting one; born on December 25, 1850, she was the youngest of four children of Captain Robert Griswold, a wealthy ship captain. She grew up in one of the finest and largest homes in Old Lyme, considered one of the finest examples of Late Georgian architecture in America, built in 1817 on a twelve-acre estate by the Hartford Connecticut architect Samuel Belcher (1779-1849), which her father purchased for his bride, Helen Powers, in 1841. However, after the financial downturn of the Civil War and the reversal of the family fortune, the Griswold's turned their mansion into a school, and later as a boarding house as a means of financial support.

Florence Museum Old Lyme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Relax in the Gardens

By the late 1890s, Miss Florence Griswold was the sole family member to maintain the family homestead. With limited finances, she continued to open her home for borders. Artist Arthur Heming wrote of his experience there as, "Already I could see she was a born hostess, with that lovely air and remarkable gift of making her guests feel it was their home, and she was visiting them."

The multi-faceted museum consists of the Krieble Gallery, Griswold House, Hartman Education Center, Chadwick Studio, Grounds and Gardens, Rafal Landscape Center, Marshfield House, and Museum Shop, so allow several hours to fully experience all that the Florence Griswold Museum has to offer.

Florence Griswold Chadwick Studio Old Lyme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Chadwick Studio

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Admission: Adult: $10, Senior: $9, Student: $8, Children 12 and under: Free. Admission covers entrance to the Griswold House and to the Krieble Gallery.

The Museum is closed New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Please visit their website, www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org, for more information on upcoming exhibitions and special events.

Read more about the Florence Griswold Museum in the Destinations section.

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT, USA

Florence Griswold Museum
96 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, Connecticut 06371
United States
Telephone:          +1-860-434-5542
Website:             
www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org
Facebook:            www.Facebook.com/FlorenceGriswoldMuseum

Where to Dine - Essex, Connecticut - The Essex Clipper Dinner Train

For a romantic dining experience, we boarded The Essex Clipper Dinner Train, in Essex, settled in 1664 and incorporated in 1852. This charming and historic town is only a 10-minute drive from Old Saybrook, which made it very convenient during our stay at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa.

Essex Clipper Train - Essex, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Essex Clipper Dinner Train

We had a lovely 2.5-hour, 4-course dinner, 1920s style, while comfortably seated in the beautifully restored 1924 Meriden dining car where we enjoyed the scenic views and the stunning sunset as the train made its way through picturesque New England scenery. So close your eyes, let 1920s music play, pop the bubbly or enjoy a cocktail, and imagine yourself onboard the Essex Clipper Dinner Train, perfect for couple's, families, or for celebrating life's special occasions.

Meriden Car on Essex Clipper Train - Essex, CT
Meriden Car

Our four-course dinner consisted of: crudités appetizer, mixed green salad, entrées of Chicken Francaise with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans, and Salmon with Rice Pilaf and Zucchini, and desserts of sinfully rich three-layer Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake with Apples and Cinnamon. (The menu changes seasonally.)

Essex Clipper Train - Essex, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Salmon with Rice Pilaf

Read more about our dining adventure on The Essex Clipper Dinner Train in the Adventures section. The Essex Steam Train also has a special connection to Gillette Castle for those who would like to combine two distinct adventures. The Essex Steam Train offers many different programs throughout the year including boat and train combinations.

View From Essex Clipper Train - Essex, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
View from Essex Clipper Dinner Train

Please visit their website, www.EssexSteamTrain.com for more information on special packages and upcoming events.

Essex Clipper Train - Essex, CTThe Valley Railroad Company
One Railroad Avenue
Essex, Connecticut 06426
United States
Toll-Free Telephone:    +1-800-377-3987
Telephone:                   +1-860-767-0103

Fax:                              +1-860-767-0104
Email:        
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:     www.EssexSteamTrain.com

Facebook:                     
www.Facebook.com/EssexSteamTrain
Twitter:                         @essexsteamtrain
Instagram or Geotag:  https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/97569397/
Official Hashtag:           #essexsteamtrain, #essexstation

Where to Dine - Old Saybrook, Connecticut - Fresh Salt restaurant at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

The attractive restaurant, Fresh Salt at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa was the perfect setting for romance with its stunning shoreline water views to complement a delectable menu from Chef de Cuisine Gese Rodriguez.

Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook, CT
Fresh Salt

A few of the many highlights of our dinner included appetizers of Tuna Sashimi with Wonton Matchsticks made with sushi grade yellowfin tuna, avocado, and bamboo sushi rice on a nori bed, drizzled with Asian ginger soy dressing and mango salsa, Lobster Wonton made with Maine lobster and Asian cabbage presented with a yuzu-wasabi dipping sauce, and the Crab Stack which were succulent crab cakes layered with cornmeal crusted fried green tomatoes.

Lobster Wonton - Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Lobster Wonton

Dinner highlights included Seared Yellowfin Tuna Steak, and the Pan Seared Diver Scallops, which was a special for the evening. Everything is made in house, and we could not resist Pastry Chef Stephanie Schroeder's and Assistant Pastry Chef Jillian Gagel's ultra decadent Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart presented with Espresso-Caramel Sauce and Espresso Gelato; need we say more?

Diver Scallops - Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Diver Scallops

Read more about our dining experience at Fresh Salt in the Restaurants section.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart - Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Read the interview with Chef de Cuisine Gese Rodriguez in the Chefs' Recipes section where he graciously shares his tasty recipes for Seared Tuna Steak with Red and Yellow Peppers, English Cucumbers, Fennel, Napa Cabbage and Kimchi Sauce, and Pan Seared Scallops with Fresh Sweet Corn, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Peaches, Parsley, Cilantro and Chives.

Chef de Cuisine Gese Rodrigues Fresh Salt Restaurant - Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef de Cuisine Gese Rodriguez

Read more about the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in the Hotels and Resorts and Spas sections.

Please visit their website, www.Saybrook.com, for more information.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa - Old Saybrook, CTFresh Salt restaurant at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Two Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475
United States
Telephone:       +1-860-388-1111
Email:              
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:             
www.Saybrook.com
Facebook:           
www.Facebook.com/SaybrookPointInn      

Spa Time - Old Saybrook, Connecticut - Sanno at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

To complete our romantic weekend, we indulged in pampering Spa treatments at Sanno, the attractive Spa at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, where the philosophy is, "Be well, look well, feel well, and eat well." The spa has eleven well-appointed treatment rooms, men's and women's locker rooms, multiple relaxation rooms, and caring, professional, and knowledgeable therapists to ensure that each guest has a memorable Spa experience.

Sanno Spa - Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sanno Spa

Sanno at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa features an intriguing treatment menu divided into: "For Your Body" consisting of diverse massages, body wraps, and scrubs, "For Your Face" consisting of facials, peels, polishes, and lip and eye treatments, "For Your Beauty" consisting of make-up application, eye artistry, and waxing services, "For Your Hands & Feet" consisting of a variety of manicures and pedicures, and "Your Wellness" which focuses on fitness services, sauna, whirlpool, and therapeutic indoor/outdoor salt pools.

Relaxation Room - Sanno Spa - Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
Relaxation Room

Read more about our experience at Sanno in the Spas section.

Please visit their website, www.Saybrook.com, for more information.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, Old Saybrook, CTSanno at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Two Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475
United States
Toll-Free Telephone:    +1-800-243-0212
Telephone:                   +1-860-395-2000
Fax:                              +1-860-388-1504
Email:                    
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:                 www.Saybrook.com
Facebook:             
www.Facebook.com/SaybrookPointInn

Old Saybrook and its neighboring towns are picture postcard perfect New England and offer much to appeal to visitors in every season. Come and discover the charm, the history, and the romance for yourself.

The Kate - Old Saybrook, CT - Photo by Luxury Experience
The Kate

Need more romantic ideas for your visit to Old Saybrook? Why not take a sunrise or sunset walk at Harvey's Beach, go to The Kate (The Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center) for a concert or a special screening of a Katherine Hepburn movie, take a self-guided walk past the historical homes, or shop in the boutiques that line the attractive heart of the town and bring home something special from your trip.

Gillette Castle, Hadlyme, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
Come and Enjoy Connecticut

For more information on visiting Connecticut, please visit the website, www.CTVisit.com.

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience   

Follow Luxury Experience on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/LuxuryPair  

© July 2016. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com   All rights reserved.

 
< Prev   Next >
Home Performances Luxury Experience Company
Destinations Hotels and Resorts Spas Restaurants Chefs' Recipes Site Map...
Liquor Cabinet Wine Cellar Music Scene Adventures Fashion Arts and Antiques
Luxury Products Publisher's Notes Awards Events Gastronomy Travel News

Luxury Experience Company
Luxury Experience - Like Us On Facebook

 

 

 


All copyrights reserved, Luxury Experience Company.
44 Amogerone Crossway #1573, Greenwich, CT, 06830, USA +1.203.358.9701
Luxury Experiences, Products, Services
A Host Matters Website