The Delamar Southport: An Intimate Connecticut Hotel That’s Big On New England Charm
By Jeanne Muchnick
Every now and then a gal needs a king-sized bed, a duvet so fluffy you can sink into it, and a staycation that feels like you’ve truly gotten away. The Delamar Southport, with its attention to detail and New England charm, knows how to pamper.
No matter how stressful your day has been, it melts away at the registration desk where water or champagne – pink on my visit (and my fav) – are offered upon arrival. The white clapboard hotel, nestled between Westport and Fairfield, Conn., is small – just 44 rooms and three floors — giving it the feeling of a comfortable country inn where the owner presides over you, making sure every detail is to your liking.
Need help figuring out what shops to hit? Check. Prefer walking to the harbor or taking a bike ride to Southport beach? All can be arranged. Me and my aching back opted for the spa where Sheila kneaded my tired muscles with the perfect combination of deep, hard strokes and ever-glorious hot stones.
The spa is intimate – an oversized suite on the second floor complete with a fireplace, sitting room, treatment room and bathroom with steam shower – where you and only you are the sole focus of attention.
Just as enticing — and a definite draw of the property – is the Artisan Restaurant, a farm to table dining experience with a nod to New England’s seasonal cuisine. The interior is gorgeous – a combination of clean, classic Scandinavian design in neutral shades, wide, wooden floorboards and plush seating that is instantly calming. Being a “summer girl,” I wanted to eke out every ray of sunshine that I could, which is why my husband and I headed first to the outdoor lounge, a large, comfortable patio complete with cushioned sofas and chairs and a lively vibe that is a people-watcher’s dream.
Sinking into a spot in what feels like a friend’s terraced backyard under twinkling lights, we ordered cocktails – The New Fashion (Bulleit Rye, Angostura, and an orange peel on the rocks) for Mark, champagne for me – while we toasted our good luck. A little bite in the air made for the perfect post Labor Day evening for dining – and drinking – al fresco.
You can eat in this area or choose from the more formal table clothed setting in between the restaurant’s dining room and the lounge, which is where we eventually moved to, each ordering the specials of the night – halibut for me, veal medallions for Mark. Each was stellar, so much so that there was not one thing left on my plate. Even me, a seafood snob who grew up in Maryland and so knows my way around a crab dish — ate every morsel of my Crab Cake “A La Plancha” appetizer, served with coriander chutney and avocado.
This being a getaway about relaxing and slowing down, the two of us brought a bunch of newspapers and magazines that had forever been sitting by our bedsides waiting to be read. Which is why it was beyond glorious to return to a room that was spacious and light, complete with turn down service, a piece of chocolate, and a comfy four-poster bed. Mark, of course, loved the big flat screen TV while I was drawn to the elegant furniture and the large sitting area sofa where, after finishing my pile of magazines, I momentarily parked my laptop and snuck in some emails.
Each room at the Delamar has its own individual style, giving you options for a fireplace or kitchenette, a plus for those staying more than one night. Being so close to my Westchester home, I like knowing I can request a different room next time – and relish in a different staycation experience.
Delamar Southport, at 275 Old Post Rd., is part of the Greenwich Hospitality Group which operates seven other properties. For more information, call (203) 259-2800, reservations (888) 489-1964, or go to www.delamarsouthport.com. Rates start at $$239 and vary based on seasons and room types. A generous buffet breakfast at Artisan is included in the price.