The view is the thing here—and the resort provides ample ways to enjoy it. The posh Villas by the Sea, where we stayed, are clean, crisp, and modern, boasting gourmet kitchens with Viking appliances, beautiful marble and blue-glass-tiled bathrooms, gas fireplaces, private beach access, and spacious balconies for staring out into the sea (preferably with your morning coffee or a glass of wine in hand). Water’s Edge also offers waterfront views in its timeshare units, in two freestanding beachfront rental homes, and in many of its standard guest rooms in the main house. (Note: The Villas stood out as the nicest accommodations, offering a luxe, modern ambience, while parts of the resort seemed a bit more dated, with a slightly Dirty Dancing/Catskills-in-Connecticut feel.)
In fact, my desire to do nothing but stare at the water from our balcony even distracted me a bit during my European Deep Cleansing Facial at The Spa at Water’s Edge, which offers an array of treatments and is comfortably appointed and welcoming. While the facial was super-relaxing and the smell of the Pevonia Papaya-Pineapple De-Aging Body Balm the aesthetician used was sensational, I kept craving a return to that water view, and had to remind myself to enjoy the here and now. (I found out later that you can arrange spa treatments in your room—jackpot!)
Turning in early on a Friday night (forgive us—we have two young children and two busy careers!) proved divine: Falling asleep—on luxurious bedding, mind you—while listening to the waves crash right outside your door may just be the best way to start a weekend.
Explore: The Connecticut Coast is home to relaxed seaside towns peppered with cute antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants—picture the Hamptons, but without the crowds and the attitude. Nearby Gillette Castle State Park and Foxwoods Resort Casino are popular draws, as are quieter attractions like The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.
Dine: Food comes with a view as well: Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the shoreline into the resort’s main dining room, The Restaurant at Water’s Edge, where we ate both dinner (the halibut special and jumbo lump crabcakes were excellent; desserts fell a bit short of our expectations) and breakfast (the poached eggs with sausage hash is a must-try). There are also two casual outdoor options, the seasonal, beachfront Sunset Bar and Grill and the Seaview Bistro and Martini Bar.
Insider’s Tip: Casual golfers will love the nine-hole course at Fenwick Golf Club in nearby Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The course winds its way along the waterfront and offers views of the charming surrounding real estate, including a glimpse on the second hole of Katharine Hepburn’s former estate.
Water’s Edge Resort & Spa
1525 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT (860) 399-5901; www.watersedgeresortandspa.com
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour, 30 minutes Details: Room rates range from $129 to $750/night in low season, and from $229 to $1,000/night in high season.