Treat yourself to a seaside spa resort vacation and pamper yourself in grand style. Fabled Wentworth-by-the-Sea, a restored Victorian landmark built in 1873 as a grand hotel, is now operated by Mariott Hotel & Spa, in Newcastle, NH. It's is a stunning place to do just that with sightseeing, shops in nearby Portsmouth, a Spa resort to rejuvenate, relax and restore bodies and minds.
After a $25 million restoration, added two new wings, itís again a beautiful grand hotel, with a sweeping profile, and bow-shaped side, which once hosted Gloria Swanson and hired Annie Oakley in the 1900s to teach socialites how to shoot. The hotel also hosted the 1905 peace talks between Russia and Japan which ended that conflict, brokered by Pres. Teddy Roosevelt. The Peace treaty was signed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard across the Piscataquis River.
But it is not a pretentious place, and the staff was New Hampshire amiable, down to earth, friendly, and excellent. Surrounded by this history and luxury, I felt like a movie star on my three-day stay there, dining in the elegant dining room with large windows overlooking the harbor, used the indoor and outdoor heated pools, Jacuzzi. strolled around the hilly grounds, to chatting it up with other guests on the wrap around porches. If you go, try the lobster roll for lunch; lamb for dinner, and...oh, well, the chefs are fantastic.
In the year-round Spa at the Wentworth, in a new, separate wing, I had several spa treatments, from a warm stone massage, to facial, to pedicure. Spa director Jeraldine Hoffman said many men use the spa, too, not just women.
My large room, furnished with comfy down quilts, chairs, a couch and gorgeous fall view, was quiet and near the tower rooms, which I toured. These rooms would be my choice next visit, for they have high panoramic views of sea and marsh. The 161 rooms and 34 suites include heated marble floors, at $175 to about $895 a night (rates can change). All have an Atlantic Ocean or Little Harbor view. The Little Harbor Marina Suites are on the ocean; various prices. A Spa Package is available; ask. Beach access if provided via a free trolley; tennis courts, fitness room; golf course access. Kittery is close by with many discounts and outlet stores. For More Information, visit www.wentworth.com/spa or call 603-422-7322, hotel; reservations, 866-240-6313.