Another Great Inn Reopens: The Inn at Longshore in Westport, Connecticut
The Inn at Longshore reopened for business on July 22, 2020. Another great American inn adds its prestigious name to the fight against COVID-19 and the economic hardship it has caused the travel industry.
Originally built in 1890 as a private residence, by the early 20th century The Inn at Longshore had become “the in place” in Southern Connecticut to get married or hold an important event.
The Inn is a living memorial to that early time, and we went there to get a sense of a special era in American history – we were not disappointed.
A place for sentimental rendezvous
As reputed, we found that little had changed over the years at the Inn. We talked with frequent patrons who were most appreciative that in a fast-paced world of constant change, there was still a place like the Inn, where past recollections were easily renewable – rather than part of a distant gossamer memory.
The Inn’s classic country club architecture and setting are pleasing to the eye, and its intimate reception area is quiet, traditional, and comfortable. There is a definite air of deep-rooted elegance about the place.
Once private now public
The 169-acre property on which the Inn is located once belonged to the private Longshore Beach and Country Club. It was purchased by the Town of Westport in 1960 and is now the public Longshore Club Park with picnic areas, three swimming pools, tennis courts, a seasonal ice skating rink, playgrounds, a marina, sailing school, and an 18-hole golf course.
A destination inn
Longshore is not “right next” to anything. You stay at The Inn at Longshore because you like Westport, Long Island Sound, you enjoy golf, tennis, the pool, sailing, – or you are attending an event. The Inn’s setting is ideal for parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and corporate events – and thousands of them have taken place at the Inn over its many decades of service.
The main ballroom/banquet hall is very large and can welcome many guests. If your celebration will take place during the warm months, the back lawn of the Longshore can accommodate upwards of 500. In any case, check with the Inn for current capacity limitations due to social distancing.
We spoke with a young woman at dinner that was planning her wedding for the same date and in the same rooms where her parents had been married – 30 years earlier. She would also be wearing her mother’s wedding dress, and the significance of it all made her nuptial plans extraordinary and very special indeed.
After checking in, we exited the banquet room at the back of the Inn and walked the long stretch of lawn beyond the rose garden and patio. As we looked around at the bucolic surroundings, we wondered how many thousands of delighted guests had made the same journey across the grass.
We stopped at a site, watched, and listened to happy children learning to sail just off the nearby shore. It was easy to envision an earlier time when other guests stood on the very same spot, chatting, laughing, and perhaps dancing to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The country-inn style guestrooms have the feel of a private residence where tradition dominates and permeates. The furniture is comfortably urbane, and all the modern amenities are present.
A place for memories
The Inn at Longshore is a place where memories are made and remembered. It is a dwelling of old elegance, where generations of families have dined and idled away the hours after a round of golf on the adjacent links – or an afternoon of fun, sun, and sailing on picturesque Long Island Sound.
We enjoyed our stay at The Inn at Longshore and can recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great place to party or would enjoy a touch of mid-20th century upscale Americana. Historic and versatile, the Inn perfectly suits both romantic retreats and corporate getaways.
If you go
The Inn is not far from Exit 17 on the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) in tony Westport, Connecticut. For more information, or to get specific directions, look up their website at www.innatlongshore.com. The Inn’s telephone number in the United States is 203.226.3316.
Due to the global pandemic, travelers are advised to call ahead to ensure what facilities are open at the Inn, and to remember to adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines at all times.
Drive don’t fly
If you plan to vacation during these early days of travel “reopening,” we recommend driving to your destination. At this time, we are not at all confident about the safety measures put in place by the airlines.
If you drive out of state, check with the visiting state for any quarantine regulations.
Happy and safe travels.
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The opinions expressed in our articles are the journalists alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any entity.
© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff
Photos © Wayne and Judy Bayliff