By Jeff & Stephanie Sylva
Located in the picturesque coastal community of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the historic Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa offers guests an ideal spot to unwind and find solace and makes for a perfect fall getaway. Situated where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, the inn has rightfully earned the distinction as Yankee Magazine’s “Best Waterside Escape.”
A HISTORY LESSON
The history of this inn stretches back to 1871 when the Pease House operated a popular restaurant and hotel at Saybrook Point. A century later, a group of investors replaced the Pease House with a new resort and marina called Terra Mar. The resort and its noteworthy restaurant was touted as the place to be and even hosted members of the Rat Pack who were often seen on their yachts.
Then in 1980, Louis and Mary Tagliatela bought the abandoned Terra Mar. Nine years later the Saybrook Point Inn began its tradition of providing guests a welcoming waterside respite. The award-winning restaurant, Fresh Salt, was added in 2011 and its full-service spa, Sanno, opened a year later.
SUITES & VILLAS
The inn welcomes guests with an array of room choices. The Main Inn has 82 rooms which include comfortable standard to luxury junior and one-bedroom suites—many with private balconies. A number also have working fireplaces for those cooler nights. The nearby Three Stories and Tall Tales guest houses offer 14 unique rooms as well as spacious common areas that include full-sized kitchens, game rooms with pool tables, rooftop fire pits, and even a backyard bocce court. Most of the individually designed rooms offer a private balcony or deck.
For more extended stays, the Marina Point Villas provide two bedrooms, two baths, private balconies, and fireplaces. Or for larger groups, the cozy South Cove Cottage has three bedrooms.
For a truly unique experience, consider the Lighthouse Suite. Situated on the main dock, this suite boasts unobstructed views of the Long Island Sound and Connecticut River. With a living room, dining area, and kitchenette available, you have 900 square feet of space in what Connecticut Magazine voted “Most Romantic Place to Stay.” The Lighthouse Suite is available for nightly or weekly rentals from May through October.
In addition to being an AAA Four-Diamond rated property, the resort has garnered numerous awards for its green initiative. The resort is also pet-friendly.
WINE & DINE
Saybrook Point’s waterside-escape theme is furthered by its excellent upscale casual restaurant, Fresh Salt. Whether inside in the sophisticated, nautically-themed dining room or on the outdoor deck highlighted by an inviting fire pit bar, the water views are great. The cuisine is just as fabulous. We recommend the Fresh Salt Sriracha Calamari (that is if you like a bit of heat). There’s also the regional Clam Chowder (a menu staple and offered year-round)—either New England- or Rhode Island-style. There’s even a combination of both! Make your main course memorable with Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Lemon Risotto, Lobster, Asparagus, and Red Pepper Oil, or the Indian-Spiced Salmon featuring a tasty Tikka Masala Sauce. Fresh Salt’s Sunday Brunch is so popular, it’s garnered numerous awards. And there’s still time to stop in to the outdoor deck featuring the Marina Bar (open seven days a week during the summer and weekends through October) with live music Sunday through Thursday.
There’s plenty to do at Saybrook Point Inn. The year-round, heated indoor-and-outdoor saltwater pools and state-of-the-art fitness center will keep you active. Jump on one of the complimentary bikes and peddle across the scenic causeway to view the classic coastal mansions in the Fenwick neighborhood, including the former home of Katherine Hepburn. Take the free shuttle to town to stroll Old Saybrook’s quaint downtown with its many shops and eateries. Or use the Inn’s complimentary parking pass to Harvey’s Beach and enjoy some time walking along the beach.
Make your stay even more relaxing with some pampering time at SANNO indulging in any of the spa’s extensive menu of services. Consider the “The Kate” Rose Wrap or the Atlantic OCEANE Memory body rituals. The Oxygen Therapy and the Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Facial are popular esthetic skincare therapies. Before and after your treatment unwind in one of the peaceful relaxation rooms or the outdoor tranquility garden.
Perhaps you plan to travel to Saybrook Point on your own boat. If so, the resort’s Marina (Connecticut’s only Five Bell Marina) has slips for boats up to 200 feet. Charters are also available seasonally for fishing and sunset cruises.
Located close by is Fort Saybrook Monument Park. Here you will discover the history of Saybrook Colony, founded in 1635. Take a peek at the spot marked by a plaque and where The Collegiate College was established in 1701. Soon after in 1718, the school moved to New Haven and renamed itself Yale University! Be sure to visit Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center better known as “The Kate.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the center honors one of Saybrook’s most celebrated residents.
The Saybrook Point Inn, Marina, and Spa is an approximate two-hour drive from New York City. It can also be reached by Amtrak to the Old Saybrook train station, where a free shuttle will transport you to the inn.
For more information on Saybrook Point Inn, Marina & Spa, visit saybrook.com.