WATCH HILL RI
About Watch Hill
Watch Hill is the southernmost section of the town of Westerly Rhode Island. Watch Hill consists of a peninsula with the Atlantic Ocean to the South, Long Island Sound to the West and the Pawcatuck River to the North. Surrounded by water on three sides, Watch Hill is a boater's paradise. With beaches on three sides - all with varying degrees of surf - everyone from children to surfers will find their favorite spot. (Please view the video section below to get a better sense of our beautiful beaches!)
An easy commute from New York, Connecticut, or Massachusetts qualifies Watch Hill for 'second-home' status. Whether you travel by car on Rt-95, travel by train via Amtrak, or fly in via the local Westerly Airport, you have multiple options to arrive. If you enjoy sailing, golf, tennis, fishing, or simply kicking-back, you will find plenty of options to fit your style. There are multiple clubs in the area, along with fine restaurants and shops.
For more Watch Hill information, please visit the WATCHILL'n website, or continue reading below.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT WATCH HILL ...
Deal for Rhode Island Mansion Is the Second-Largest Closed in the State
The property, sold by hotelier Kevin Wendle, is just two houses away from a mansion owned by the pop star Taylor Swift
"On the coast of Rhode Island, a New England shingle-style mansion just two doors down from the oft-photographed home of pop star Taylor Swift has sold for $17.6 million."
by Katherine Clarke Nov 1 2019
The Charming Rhode Island Village You Should Visit This Summer
"The ideal summer weekend destination requires a few things: a beach, fantastic food choices, and the option to explore, whether on foot or via bike. Less crowded than the Hamptons, and easier to reach than Nantucket, Watch Hill is the serene summer destination that checks every box. Located on the southernmost tip of the state, the tiny coastal getaway is part of the larger town of Westerly and is known for its massive and restored historic homes and notable residents. (This is where Taylor Swift had her infamous Fourth of July extended photoshoot of a weekend.) It’s a small place, so hard to miss the major attractions, but here’s a guide to planning an idyllic stay."
by Michaela Bechler Jun 8, 2018
Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake Is the Preppy Thriller Everyone Will Be Reading This Summer
It's the first must-read of beach season.
"Her latest effort, Neverworld Wake, might be geared toward a younger audience that either of her first two books but it has all the hallmarks that made both so remarkable. Set among a group of boarding school friends—or former friends; a classmate’s untimely death has made things a bit awkward—in tony Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the book explores what can happen when you have every opportunity to learn the truth, but doing so can be fatal."
By Adam Rathe Jun 8, 2018
This Beachfront Restoration Is A Perfect Blend Of Old And New
Designer Giancarlo Valle rejuvenates a stalwart New England mansion on the coast of Rhode Island for the family of high-flying, high-style entrepreneur Kevin Wendle
Nearly a century ago, Jean-Michel Frank made a compelling case for the compatibility of the old and the new. “The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations. The house that we build now can welcome ancient things of beauty,” the eminent French designer wrote. Architectural and interior designer Giancarlo Valle and his client Kevin Wendle apparently got the message. On a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the coastal village of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, the two have deftly brokered a rapprochement between past and present, reimagining a stately 1903 “cottage” with contemporary interiors laden with treasures of 20th- and 21st-century design.
Inside Ocean House: One Of The Last Original Rhode Island Resorts From A Bygone Era
"When you eventually arrive at Ocean House in Watch Hill, it’s a sunny welcome. The primrose-yellow, porticoed property– which first opened in 1898 – is a happy sight. With the Atlantic coastline as its backdrop and impossibly green lawns all around – your two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boston feels like it has taken you back to the Victorian era."
Angelina Villa-Clarke , May 26, 2018
"Watch Hill and Westerly are the definitive anti-Hamptons, or at least what Montauk was long way before the Surf Lodge. That is to say, Watch Hill and its environs are fully rustic, authentically local, relatively un-gentrified (if the baseline is East Hampton), and unpretentious, with just the right dash of elegance. Full of pristine beaches and a food scene full of unique local flavors and options that will more than satisfy discerning foodies, the southwestern Rhode Island area makes you want to bring back summer, the verb."
By Hannah Seligson, July 20, 2017
Rhode Island's Secret Coast
"Onward to Watch Hill, the last coastal town in Rhode Island before crossing the state border into Connecticut. This grande dame of a village once vied with Newport as the toniest resort in the state, but its turn-of-the-20th-century shingled “cottages” were much less pretentious. Indeed, when I started visiting Watch Hill with my then-two-year-old son, it was a rambling, fraying, lost place; the large old houses were considered white elephants, hard to maintain, constantly battered by ocean wind and salt water.
We used to stay in the ramshackle Ocean House, built in 1868, with its huge stone hearth and communal dining room. The place always felt thrillingly, frighteningly as if it were about to slide into the ocean. We would head down toward the beach to ride the colorful wooden creatures of the Flying Horse Carousel. The wind caught their real tails and manes and we suspected we might soon spin off into the air. Residents claim that the carousel, built in 1879, is the oldest in the country.
But that was in the mid 1980’s, before the go-go years of the last boom economy. In the nineties, a new generation of money began to renovate the old houses. The Ocean House was rescued by Chuck Royce, a Wall Street financier with a passion for architecture. He spent an astonishing $146 million over five years to tear down the building and rebuild it, replicating the old exterior and its sunny color. Inside, there is little left of the old place, except for the handsome stone hearth—and the stunning views over a long, dramatic, sandy beach and the open ocean."
By Dominique Browning
"Watch Hill's streets are quiet, with beautifully landscaped homes and driveways with Mercedes-Benzes.
The social scene is low-key, centering on private parties at home or informal socializing at the Watch Hill Yacht Club, where sleek cabin cruisers tie up, or the Misquamicut Club, which has an 18-hole golf course and a private beach."
By Maura J. Casey, June 24, 2005
ABOUT WATCH HILL's GEOGRAPHY
Watch Hill sits at the most southwestern point of Rhode Island on a stubby peninsula jutting into Block Island Sound. It includes a smaller peninsula known as Napatree Point, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km)-long sandy spit that extends west from the Watch Hill business district, and Sandy Point, which was once attached to Napatree Point. Both Napatree and Sandy Point shelter Little Narragansett Bay have made Watch Hill a popular harbor around which the business district has grown. Watch Hill is a two-hour drive from Boston and a three-hour drive from New York City. On clear days, there are views of Montauk, New York.
ABOUT WATCH HILL's CULTURE
According to The New York Times, Watch Hill was historically home to "a select group of wealthy families", whose lives revolved around "golf and tennis at the Misquamicut Club, bathing and yachting at the Watch Hill Yacht Club and tea and cocktails at Ocean House and Watch Hill's other grand hotels." Wealthy families built sprawling Victorian-style "cottages" along the peninsula. The village was known as "a somewhat staid and family-oriented community compared to glittering Newport, Rhode Island's other, more famous summer colony." Famous guests to the seaside resort included Albert Einstein, Douglas Fairbanks, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Groucho Marx, David Niven and Jean Harlow. The writer Stephen Birmingham described Watch Hill as "an Andorra of Victoriana on the New England shore."
In the 1980s and 1990s, many of Watch Hill's expensive Victorian mansions were sold. They had been owned by the same families for generations but there was no longer sufficient cash flow to maintain the sprawling properties. The vibrant real estate market opened up the area to a new class of buyers who found Watch Hill "affordable compared with the Hamptons". These new occupiers are considered "more cosmopolitan than the families of old and less dependent on the private clubs for their social scene". Today, Bay Street in Watch Hill is lined with shops, restaurants, and businesses. East Beach and Napatree Point are the main beaches in the village. The community is a secluded and seasonal resort community with shopping, a golf and beach club, yacht club and beautiful public and private beaches.
The New York Times notes that "Watch Hill impresses visitors with a strong sense of privacy and of discreetly used wealth - the rambling, old-fashioned, turreted and gingerbreaded Victorian summer houses with piazzas and softly rolling lawns have little in common with the overpowering castles of the very rich in Newport, a place rarely mentioned in Watch Hill even though it is barely 30 miles distant."
The waterfront was once lined with huge Victorian hotels. However, fire and hurricanes destroyed almost all during the 20th century. The two remaining hotels, The Ocean House and the Watch Hill Inn, went through major renovations during the 2000s. The Ocean House was originally opened in 1868, torn down in 2005, rebuilt and reopened in 2010. This Ocean House today consists of both hotel rooms and condominiums. It is the only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Hotel in Rhode Island and has been described by The New York Times as a place which "conjures up another age, when women wore white gloves to tea and golf was a newfangled pastime." Celebrities including Hugh Jackman and Regis Philbin have holidayed at the hotel.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE COMBINED WITH
PROFESSIONAL SALES & MARKETING
My name is Geb Masterson and I have over 30+ years of Sales and Marketing experience. By combining 'old school' people skills with today's best online marketing tools and social media, I am able to help people like you with all of their needs, from buying or renting new homes to selling properties. My sensitivity to the marketplace comes from a single yet powerful perspective: Watch Hill - and the surrounding community - is more than just a market, it’s my home.
Real estate in Watch Hill and the surrounding areas is not inexpensive and because of this I believe you - whether you are buying or selling - deserve a level of personalized service more akin to 'private banking'. This is not a market for 'part-time professionals'. At this level, you deserve full-time service coupled with cutting-edge marketing tools.
THINKING OF LISTING YOUR PROPERTY...
If you found this page via a Google search then you have already validated some of the marketing tools that I can offer you if you are selling. Most real estate searches today begin with 'internet searches' and most sites will display exactly the same information that is sent out from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so all the other sites will have identical information. The key in today's market - where serious buyers are searching online - is to have your property 'promoted' online and not merely listed with hundreds of other properties. Your property needs to stand out!
By featuring your property on this site - with enhanced images, videos, and virtual-reality (VR) tours - you will gain unprecedented exposure to potential buyers. Combine this with traditional print advertising and ancillary marketing through sites such as WATCHILL'n and your property will reach the largest audience possible.
To learn more about how I can maximize your potential sale, please visit the Sell page for more information.