Only three months after putting both feet back into community service, my hectic schedule was already taking its toll. I was stressed, getting very little sleep and my last few visits to my campus health center revealed that my blood pressure was elevated. I was on the hunt for a weekend getaway where I could escape, rest, relax and reprioritize when the invitation came through for a two-day visit to experience Tall Tales, Saybrook Point Inn’s new luxury guesthouse.
I became a fan of the shoreline resort last year after staying at Three Stories, their very posh, and ornate Victorian Italianate home that is across from the main building. The quietness, serenity and scenic views reminded me a lot of my childhood home high up in the hills of my native Jamaica. Of course, I never had water views like the ones that I had during my visit to Three Stories, but all the same, I knew from my prior experience that this is the kind of place where one goes when they either need to relax and/or fall in love. My experience there definitely resulted in one and perhaps, finally, the other.
When I arrived, the greeting that I received at the reception desk made me feel like an old friend. The receptionist handed me a white envelope with my name on it along with my keycard and a map of the Connecticut shoreline. I opened the sealed envelope, pulled out the content and discovered a greeting card with a painting of the Saybrook Point Inn’s main building on the front. A Cheshire cat grin blossomed on my face as a I read the short message “Welcome Natasha! Sincerely, the staff at the Saybrook Point Inn.” As short as that message was, it made me feel so special that I promptly snapped a picture of it and posted it to my Facebook page with the caption “I have arrived, in all aspects”. The caption had nothing at all to do with the fact that I had reached the destination.
My dinner reservations at Fresh Salt, the on property restaurant, was an hour and half from my arrival, and I wanted to freshen up before sitting down to dinner. I made the short trip across the street where Three Stories and Tall Tales stood side by side, both with un-obstructive views of Long Island Sound. I guided my Corolla onto the gravel scaped driveway and parked next to a white Mercedes Benz truck. I stepped out of my car, inhaled the cool fresh air and felt the tension and stress that I was carrying begin to lift from my body.
Tall Tales certainly had a lot of curb appeal. The salmon colored house stands out just as prominently as it’s neighbor Three Stories which is painted a beautiful pastel pink. I could see that it was designed with the same Victorian design esthetics popular in the quaint New England town where Yale University had its beginnings. As I entered the house, I passed through one of the two common areas; a first floor living and dining room, where complimentary coffee, fruits, baked pastries and lemon infused water is served daily. There was a dining table that seated 8 in the center of the room; and the living area had a couch, chairs and a gas fireplace that we could easily fire up with the flip of switch. It felt like a home; I felt at home!
The security guy who I met outside was kind enough to help carry my suitcase to my room. He pointed out the first floor common areas that was available to all guests including a washroom and a full kitchen with a stove, fridge and Keurig coffee makers that was available for our convenience. He noted that a billiard table, chess, checkers and backgammon game tables were also on the second level.
The General Manager and owners have taken great care to not only make the luxury guest homes a green property but also to preserve the history of the area. Rooms in both Tall Tales and Three Stories are uniquely named and themed after a remarkable individual or prominent figure in early American history and local lore. One of the rooms in Three stories is named after Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), the Connecticut native who made her final home in Old Saybrook. Another room is named after Anna Louise James (1886-1977), an African American woman who became the first female licensed pharmacist in the state of Connecticut. Both their legacies along with 12 others are being kept alive through these efforts at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa.
My room, #710, was named and themed after Adriaen Block, the Dutch trader and navigator who is best known for his 1611 to 1614 exploration of the east coast shores spanning from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Block was also noted for naming both Block and Rhode Island, and establishing early trade with Native Americans.
We walked passed the kitchen to room 710, inserted the keycard and opened the door to a scene that looked like a page from Town and Country magazine. With the lingering hint of fresh paint, the room smelled new and looked very posh! The very large bathroom with a seated shower was to my left. The rest of my room with its pastel green and white décor and decorative ship accessories handpicked by Lisa Silver of Silver Contract Interiors of Stamford beckoned me. To my right was a his and hers walk-in closet with a safe, refrigerator and two bath robes waiting to engulf me in its luxury. There was a desk with a few things including a slip of paper with the password for the complimentary wifi that is available to all hotel guests. Magazines, Saratoga spring water and Dean and Deluca chocolates sat on a table under the window. The king bed, which sat on top of plush area carpeting, and its many pillows looked majestic with its European bedding and fine handwoven linens. To the right of the bed was an iHome radio with a docking station for my iPhones. As I turned around, two turquoise and white decorative arm chairs came into view and in the middle of them, was a flat-screen television mounted above a gas fireplace. Each of the six guest rooms in Tall Tales have their own large private balcony. I stepped out onto my balcony, looked out over Long Island Sound and imagined the amazing sunrise and sunsets that I would be viewing from that very spot as the hours passed.
Dinner at Fresh Salt was lovely. The restaurant and their chef’s truly deserve every accolade that they have been given. I will certainly be making the drive from my Hartford base to their brunches and dinners; especially for the “Mrs Tag” style swordfish from their dinner menu. Dinner was so great (service, food, setting) that I also reserved a table for my second night and invited my new friend to join me. The restaurant, the guest house, the scenery was definitely the perfect location for date night. I wanted, however to spend the rest of the night solo, unwinding and relaxing before heading into the next day.
Rested, I woke up to the most stunning sunrise. The orange and pink hues made a wonderful back drop over the empty marina and the lighthouse hotel suite, all of which was visible from my window and balcony in Tall Tales. My itinerary for the day included a full tour of the property; spa service at Sanno, Saybrook Point Inn’s onsite spa and exploring the Old Saybrook coastline. I helped myself to coffee and the fresh pastries and fruits available in the dining area and sat out on my balcony to enjoy them before heading across the street to the main building where Sanno is located. I checked in, loaded my belongings into the lockers and then went into the relaxation room rocking my plush, Sanno Spa robe. I snapped a picture showing off my Mona Lisa smile and promptly posted it to Facebook to share my experience.
I thought about dipping into the outdoor, salt water pool or steam room after my massage but instead, decided to explore Old Saybrook. I drove down the very scenic 154 gazing at its two light houses and cottage dotted shoreline before heading back into town. I even drove through the Cypress Cemetery hoping to catch a glimpse of the Yale boulder the original location of the world renowned University baring the same name. I did some light shopping at a few of the gift shops, ate lunch and headed back to Saybrook Point Inn for a nap. It’s amazing what a change of scenery (the right scenery), a glorious massage, rest, distractions and great reception can do for a stressed mind.
My mind finally at ease, and focused I was ready for company. When he arrived, we headed straight to Fresh Salt for dinner. The restaurant manager, waitress from the night before and the General Manager all stopped at our table to say hi. Their visit was the ice-breaker that we needed and with very little liquid courage, we passed the night laughing and swapping what felt like endless stories before retreating back to Tall Tales for more conversations. At some point we both drifted off to sleep in front of the flickering fireplace. I don’t know exactly where our relationship will go but I know that I made a friend for life that night. I have both Saybrook Point Inn and Fresh Salt to thank for that memory.
DISCLOSURE: I received gratis/complimentary service at the hotel, restaurant and spa which allowed me to share my experience with you. Date night expenses at Fresh Salt was out of pocket. My experience might be slightly different from yours but all opinions expressed are honest and were not influenced.