Located in Newport, Rhode Island, close to a yacht-filled waterfront, The Wayfinder is a design hotel that embodies the seaside city’s relaxed feel and independent energy; distilling the essence and nostalgia of mid-century Americana into a memorable ode to classic motels and their decadent design.
With 197 guest rooms, the hotel has been created by a group of local chefs, bartenders, artists, designers and entrepreneurs; offering a modern take on the the traditional Newport hospitality experience. A home from home, The Wayfinder—designed in collaboration with New York-based studio Reunion Goods & Services—offers a fresh take on coastal style, think a muted colour palette interspersed with cool tones, vintage finds, custom furnishings, contemporary local art and local touches.
With sustainability close to their hearts, the hotel takes part in frequent beach cleanups, provides six electric car charging stations, and has committed to using zero single-use plastic in all guest-facing spaces. Collaborating with local creatives and artisans, the hotel boasts a collection of more than 1,000 pieces of artwork; all sourced or commissioned from Rhode Island artists. In the bedrooms, guests will find locally made snacks, crafted soap bath products from Newport’s Shore Soap and luxury linen, and bed throws by Rhode Island’s family-run home linen store Matouk.
The lobby, with its central fireplace straight out of 1970s California, is a place to gather and meet likeminded travellers over a glass of wine, or sup on a beer from local craft breweries. The outdoor pool area serves Dark and Stormy on tap, but is anything but; a bright and playful space where a fresh raw bar, snack bar and rotating roster of Rhode Island food trucks can divert you from dive-bombing.
Looking for something more refined? The property’s signature restaurant, Nomi Park, serves a menu brimming with New England classics, executive chef Matthew Brown creating plates such as New England lobster roll stacked with fried shallot and trout roe; parent group the Mission’s famous fried chicken sandwich paired with fingerling potatoes; and the Nomi Park Burger, served on a brioche bun with caramelised onions and manchego cheese. A stellar cocktail list and 12 rotating draft beers complete the offerings.
Programming and events allow guest to mingle with locals (socially distanced for the time being) giving them true Newport feels. With everything good about the hotel experience condensed into one retro-designed wonder, The Wayfinder looks to be a bar-setting project serving as a major draw for this evocative seaside city.