Roosted above the Atlantic Ocean overlooking Newport's Cliff Walk, this Victorian manor house and former home of painter Beatrice Turner channels the sort of joie de vivre stylings one might expect in an eccentric artist residence. The main house and its adjoining cottage are a living museum, chockablock with great antiques and romantic canvases painted in the early 20th century by Turner. Rooms—16 in all—are plush with grand beds, fireplaces, and private "bathing salons," where guests will find whirlpool tubs and steam showers, in addition to a menagerie of towel origami (yes, the inn really can turn a stack of washcloths into a warren of rabbits!). Other standout amenities include iPod docking stations, funky cotton kimono robes, and homemade chocolates left at turn-down. Elaborate teas—served fireside in the parlor, on the veranda, and in the garden in nice weather—are a highlight here, and reason enough to book a room; the afternoon affair is a dizzying flurry of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, clotted cream, and handmade English marmalades and fruit butter curds. Beatrice would approve.
Insider Tip: The Vanderbilt Family "cottage," The Breakers, is Newport's most extravagant mansion; it's just a short stroll from the inn on the Cliff Walk.
Coziest Room to Book: Ask for the grand south-facing Governor's Suite, with four-poster king bed, sitting area, and antique armoire. Warm up in winter by the wood-burning fireplace, or in the afternoon sun on the suite's Victorian fainting couch.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.