Ocean House Design Group’s Donna Simmons to renovate Watch Hill Inn in Rhode Island

Ocean House Management (OHM), operator of the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, Rhode Island, and Watch Hill Properties (WHP) announced the formation of a joint endeavor to renovate and reposition the Watch Hill Inn into a luxury, all-suite boutique property managed by and affiliated with the Ocean House and Relais & Châteaux.

Located near the Ocean House at 44 Bay Street, the newly-renovated inn will offer 18 residentially-inspired suites and duplexes, ranging in size from 650 square feet to 4,000 square feet, all steps away from Watch Hill Harbor. Each unit will be equipped with new custom kitchens and private laundry facilities. The property will be positioned to appeal to a younger clientele by incorporating a contemporary coastal design esthetic, along with a variety of technology ranging from in-room iPads to wireless music systems and Apple TV.

While the Ocean House and the Watch Hill Inn will evoke two different atmospheres, the plan is for the designs to create appropriate synergies between the two properties.

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The multi-million dollar renovation and landscape projects are slated to end in summer 2014. Renovations include conversion of several current suites into two-story duplex suites, full refurbishment of all units, creation of a private club lounge, exterior landscape additions, and new interior design schemes done in a contemporary coastal style by Donna Simmons for the Ocean House Design Group.

The Ocean House re-opened its doors in June 2010 after a $140-million rebuild and restoration. The 136-year-old property, originally built just after the Civil War, is perched high on the bluffs in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Guests can access views of the Atlantic Ocean, Montauk and Block Island from the resort's 49 guestrooms and 15 signature suites. Amenities include the 12,000-square-foot OH! Spa and more than 10,000 square feet of event space. Ocean House is a member of Relais & Châteaux, a collection of more than 500 hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries. This property is the only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star rated resort in Rhode Island.

The Weekapaug Inn, which reopened in October 2012, has been a staple of the Rhode Island coastline since 1899. The inn is located five miles from its sister property, the Ocean House, boasting views of Quonochontaug Pond. Inspired by classic Cape Cod style, the property has 27 guestrooms and four Signature Suites, and boutique event space. The Weekapaug Inn is also a member of Relais & Châteaux.

Meanwhile, as the oldest original structure in Watch Hill Village, the Watch Hill Inn was built in 1845 and was known as the Narragansett House. Listed in the National Historical Landmark Register in Washington D.C., the inn was the first building to be built as an inn from conception and reported to be the oldest of its kind in the country. Along with the Ocean House, the Watch Hill Inn was one of only two Watch Hill original hotels to survive the hurricane of 1938. In 2007, renovations were completed that converted the inn into a collection of private condominiums. Its current renovations will build on the 2007 restoration by combining several units into luxury duplexes, ranging from 650 square feet to 4,000 square feet and each with terraces. When the upgrades are completed, the inn is slated to be affiliated with Relais & Châteaux.

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