By Irvina Lew
A close-to-home getaway to Connecticut lures Manhattanites to its scenic countryside and appealing residential communities, replete with culinary diversity, exciting shops, and spacious parks. Connecticut’s varied art scene reflects the state’s Yankee spirit—particularly in the paintings by Colonel John Trumbull, an aide to George Washington during the American Revolution—and its bucolic landscapes, as portrayed by the plein air American Impressionists.
Art is also intrinsic to each of the one-of-a-kind, art-filled Delamar Hotels, located in the following three driving destinations: Greenwich, Southport, and West Hartford, which are also readily accessed from Manhattan via Metro-North or Amtrak. The dog-friendly boutique hotels are assuredly luxe, with fine dining restaurants directed by Chef Frederic Kieffer, valet parking, fitness centers with a Peloton bike, event spaces, and on-site spas featuring Biologique Recherche and Valmont skincare products. In addition, guests receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco—or bottle of water—at check-in, a Grab & Go continental breakfast, and access to courtesy vehicles, within a three-mile radius (Southport and Greenwich Harbor) of five miles, around West Hartford.
A Cosmopolitan Hub
In Greenwich (56-minutes by train), Greenwich Avenue is a central shopping avenue lined with restaurants, galleries, and high-end shopping at Hermes, Tiffany & Co., and Saks Fifth Avenue. On nearby Church Street, The Townhouse just opened in an exquisitely transformed, mid-20th century building with high ceilings, magnificent millwork, and superior dishes thoughtfully prepared by Chef Steven Lewandowski, the formerly of Myriad’s Tribeca Grill. The Bush-Holley House, a National Historic Landmark c. 1730, is in Cos Cob, three miles away, where Childe Hassam lived and worked, and the first American Impressionist art colony gathered in the 1890s. Connecticut Gold Coast’s country clubs attract tennis and golf enthusiasts, the yachting set, and polo fans (until Sunday, September 12th); then, the 2021 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival arrives: September 28th to October 3rd. Finally, the Bruce Museum, located in a park just a five-minute walk from the Delamar, features an exhibit until October 10th, 2021: The Amazon Rainforest: Beauty Destruction Hope.
Delamar Greenwich Harbor
abuts a marina with 500-foot private dockage, where one vessel is available to charter. The 20-year-old Mediterranean-influenced venue—with its pastel walls, tiled roof, wrought-iron balconies, and waterview rooms—is a popular getaway for New Yorkers. They, along with locals, seek Stephanie’s services at the spa and frequent the sophisticated restaurant, L’escale. Its marina-fronted terrace has been integral to guests and the community since Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer, the classically trained French chef, launched it.
The harborside village of Southport, which was settled in 1639, is a suburb on the Long Island Sound, about 50 miles (90-minutes by train) from Manhattan. Southport Historic District—with its historic churches, public buildings, and tree-shaded streets lined with Federal, Georgian, and Victorian mansions has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971. The village borders artsy Westport, with its celebrated Westport Country Playhouse and Sherwood Island State Park, with 238-acres of sound-fronted beach, wetlands, and woodlands. Just seven miles from Bridgeport, where works by Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Miro, and Chagall are on display at The Housatonic Museum of Art.
The Delamar Hotel,
a large, white clapboard colonial structure with black shutters, offers individually-sized, traditionally-decorated rooms, with handcrafted furnishings and updated, marble bathrooms; among the 44 rooms, six are suites with one to three bedrooms. Artisan Restaurant, Tavern & Garden is an ample indoor space that flows outside into a sprawling courtyard. The spa facility includes a lounge with a fireplace and steam shower and one large treatment room with twin tables.
A Suburban Setting West Hartford, where Noah Webster’s birthplace is a local museum, encompasses the upscale suburb where Hartford insurance giants settled. There’s Westmoor Park boasts two golf courses on a 162-acre former fox-hunting ground and Elizabeth Park, a wooded, 100-acre estate famous for its rose gardens. Only seven miles away, Hill-Stead, is a 152-acre estate where paintings by Cassatt, Degas, Manet, Monet, and Whistler decorate 19 intact rooms. Finally, Hartford’s state capitol is only five miles distant (three hours by train from Manhattan). It’s notable for the Mark Twain House Museum and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, an impressive complex featuring American paintings, sculptures, and wonderfully rare samples of 18th century New England furnishings.
Delamar West Hartford, a LEED Gold Standard property, sits adjacent to Blue Back Square, the Town Hall and Library, and a walkable mixed-use development with a movie house, restaurants, shops, condos, and offices. It’s a three-year-old, six-story, tastefully decorated 114-room oasis with a spacious lobby, meeting rooms, and the two-story Artisan Restaurant has an outdoor terrace. The second-floor spa houses a reception room, changing room, lounge, and four treatment rooms, including twin tables. (Dorine, my masseuse, is gifted with what my grandma called “golden hands.”) My light-filled corner room included side tables, a mirrored chest, and a two-part, 18-foot-long bathroom, where one of the spaces houses a soaking tub, service bar, and closet.
For more information on Delamar Hotels, visit delamar.com