Finding time to get away for a romantic retreat with your partner can be challenging, especially if you have kids. Sometimes it is nice to find a spot not too far from home, that offers a peaceful haven from everyday life, where you can just pause for a night or two, relax, and reconnect.
We recently discovered the quaint, waterfront village of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Located mid-way between New York City and Boston (about two hours from each), at the mouth of the Connecticut River and overlooking the Long Island Sound, the scenic town of Old Saybrook makes an ideal spot for a romantic retreat.
In the town center, you will find the main street lined with shops and restaurants, but the real attraction is the waterfront. Old Saybrook is one of the only places in the country with two working lighthouses right next to each other, with Lynde Point and Saybrook Point lighthouses. Fort Saybrook Monument Park offers panoramic views of the mouth of Connecticut River with a boardwalk, bird sanctuary, and storyboards depicting the history of Saybrook Colony.
The causeway that connects the two forks of the Saybrook peninsula is a perfect place for a romantic stroll, morning jog, or a bike ride. You can also continue around “the loop,” which consists of scenic waterfront highway 154, around North Cove Road, where you will find many beautiful, historic homes and magnificent trees that have been around for hundreds of years.
If you are looking for a little more excitement, Foxwoods Resort and Casino is less than a half hour away, as is the scenic and historic town of Mystic, Connecticut. You can also ride the dinner train at the Essex Stream Train, just a few minutes away or take a hike up to Gillette Castle.
The perfect place to stay when in town is the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, located right on the marina. With 84 guest rooms, two-bedroom villas, and a spacious guesthouse with common rooms for larger groups, the Saybrook Point Inn makes a perfect escape.
The classically decorated lobby and friendly desk staff provide the personalized touch of a smaller inn, but with the services and amenities of a luxury hotel. When I visited with my husband we stayed in a spacious fireplace suite, with two chairs in front of a wood-burning fire, a desk, and even a small balcony. The bathroom was also quite spacious with a very long vanity, a large walk in shower, and a Jacuzzi soaking tub. The suite was very well equipped, with chocolates by the bedside, spa-quality amenities, and easy-to-access free WiFi.
Just down the hall we found a billiard room and windows overlooking the indoor pool. Along with a fitness room, the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa offers a whirlpool, sauna, steam room, and even an outdoor heated pool.
For couples looking to relax (and who isn’t?), the Sanno Spa offers a variety of massages, scrubs, wraps, facials, and nail and beauty services with a total of 11 service rooms. With the feel of a luxury spa, the large locker room offered plenty of storage lockers, showers, changing rooms and a large vanity area for post-treatment beautification. Unlike some day spas, the relaxation room was very spacious and beautifully decorated with comfortable seating in two separate areas, and an adjacent “tea” room with complimentary citrus-water or tea, and small bottles of wine for purchase. During my visit, I spent a few moments unwinding in the relaxation room in front of the fire both before and after my massage.
If you just want to relax and don’t feel like exploring, Fresh Salt restaurant and bar in the Saybrook Point Inn offers fine dining and the most amazing Sunday brunch. With a nautical theme well-suited for its many windows overlooking the marina, the restaurant is nicely broken up into a bar area and two dining rooms. We sampled a few oysters and the chestnut soup to start, followed by the veal ossobuco over paparadelle, and the baseball steak with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes – all delicious and we even managed a few bites of the homemade cookies with salted caramel gelato for dessert.
But you may not want to overeat on Saturday night because the Sunday brunch is a feast for the eyes and the bellies. The buffet is set up in two of the smaller meeting rooms, just down the hall from the restaurant. In the “breakfast” room, we found an omelet station with crispy bacon and juicy sausages; a pancake station with add-ins like chocolate chips, bananas, berries and nutella; a raw bar with clams, oysters, and shrimp; and a table groaning under the weight of bagels, lox, fruit, salads, pastries, and more. After a couple rounds, we moved on to the “lunch” portion with a pasta station featuring two kinds of pasta prepared three different ways with all sorts of veggies and add-ins; a carving station; and the ever-so-tempting dessert buffet.
While Old Saybrook is nice to visit at any time, you may want to check out what special packages the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa has to offer. In addition to romantic escapes, they offer girlfriend getaway packages and something I’d really like to try – Food Lovers Weekends! Featuring different cuisines from around the world, their series of weekend food getaways include a two-night stay, welcome reception, breakfast at Fresh Salt, a full day of hands on learning and lectures from the Executive Chef, lunch, dinner, a Saturday-evening gala, and brunch on Sunday. Upcoming weekend getaways include Italian Winter Holiday, A Taste of New England, and Tour De France themes.
Note: Our stay, meals, and spa service was provided by the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, which did not require me to write about our stay. The opinions expressed above are my own.