The Best Beach Hotels and Beach Homes to Rent in New England

Indulge in a luxurious stay near the beach on your next getaway to New England
Indulge in a luxurious stay near the beach on your next getaway to New England | Courtesy of The Chanler at Cliff Walk /
Photo of Lilly Graves
23 November 2021

After enduring a long, hard winter scattered with potential nor’easter storms, New England bursts into life during the summer months. This is when beach houses and hotels swing open their doors to welcome visitors with the promise of soft sandy beaches, water sports, coastal trails and, of course, all the seafood you can eat. Pro tip: most of the properties below are open year-round for leaf-peepers and snow-sport enthusiasts who want to skip the crowds and cuddle by the fireplace. Read on for the best beach houses in New England, bookable on Culture Trip.

White Elephant Hotel

A long row of blue sun loungers line up in the gardens of the grey-shingled White Elephant Nantucket.
© White Elephant /
This landmark property exudes classic Nantucket charm, especially whilst enjoying sundowners on the lawn facing boats bobbing in the harbor. The location is popular with those who want to walk to town and Children’s Beach – rental beach gear is available. Start your day with house-made granola then venture to the outdoor pool, fitness center and spa, which incorporates natural healing products like algae. In the evening, tuck into a signature two-pound stuffed lobster before retiring to one of the elegant rooms, suites, lofts or shingled cottages.

The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Opulent renaissance-inspired bedroom with four-poster king bed, antiques and paintings at the Chanler at Cliff Walk
Courtesy of the Chanler at Cliff Walk /
On the north end of the Cliff Walk in Newport is this palatial mansion, dating back to the 19th century. There are just 20 themed rooms here that are individually decorated with opulent furnishings and elegant fabrics – many come with soaking tubs, fireplaces and terraces with ocean views. Spend your days at nearby Easton’s Beach, or take a spin on the hotel’s loaner bicycles. Locals and travelers adore the on-site restaurant, Cara, with views of the Newport shoreline and blind tasting menus featuring sustainable New England ingredients. Complimentary car service offers access to even more restaurants in town.

The Wauwinet

The Wauwinet
Courtesy of the Wauwinet /
With two private beaches on a remote part of Nantucket island, this boutique resort with 32 rooms and four cottages feels a lot bigger than it is. There are a dizzying array of activities for all types of weather – rain gear is available – from biking and playing tennis, to hiking, fishing and cooking demonstrations. Beautiful rooms have luxe linens and cotton robes, and there are plenty of special touches from the hard-working staff, such as popcorn deliveries during movie nights. Topper’s is one of the island’s best restaurants, with local oysters and a wine list with 20,000 bottles. Save room for port and cheese served nightly in the library.

Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina

Gurney's Newport Resort and Marina
Courtesy of Gurney's Newport Resort and Marina /
Sister property to Gurney’s in Montauk, this sprawling bayside resort and marina is located on Goat Island, a quick drive from downtown Newport. Check out the outdoor saltwater pool and spacious grounds dotted with Adirondack chairs, or stay inside at the indoor pool, fitness center and spa. A range of room types have chic decor – some with balconies, bay views or soaking tubs – while restaurants serve upscale menus with starters like soy chili calamari. Look for cool events such as DJs and live music, plus themed wellness programs. Beach bonfires are also common and come equipped with s’mores kits.

Nonantum Resort

Nonantum Resort lounge with nautical rum and fireplace with sailing ornaments on mantelpiece
Courtesy of Nonantum Resort /
On the banks of the Kennebunk River, which buzzes with summertime activity, this charming, seasonal resort represents the best of New England beach resorts. It attracts families for its plethora of activities – there’s a kids’ club, kayak and bike rentals, whale watching, golfing and a complimentary shuttle service for trips to nearby beaches. You can also stick by the outdoor pool or while away the afternoon on a rocking chair. The resort is big on charm, and the well-known Maine lobster roll is never far away – perhaps best enjoyed on the upper deck.

Forty 1 North

Forty 1 North
Courtesy of Forty 1 North /
This stylish hotel in downtown Newport, overlooking the marina, draws a trendy crowd of locals, boaters and tourists alike who come for the views – especially at sunset. All room types come with Frette linens, spa showers and gas fireplaces, and larger cottages are available for groups – weddings are popular here. Upscale bars and restaurants include an open-air dining area serving splurge items like seafood towers and a 45-day dry-aged prime porterhouse. There’s also an Asian-inspired restaurant, if you need variety.

Spruce Point Inn

Spruce Point Inn
Courtesy of Spruce Point Inn /
Maine-goers will get a prime position between the woods and the oceanfront with this historic inn, which has attracted summer vacationers for over a century. Rooms are cozy with a range of types offering various amenities like private porches and wood-burning stoves. An all-day restaurant offers fresh seafood and flatbreads, while more fine dining options are available in the evening. Activities include tennis courts, a gym, spa and hot tub, as well as acres of mature woodlands, gardens and trails.

Water's Edge Resort & Spa

Water's Edge Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Water's Edge Resort and Spa /
This sprawling hotel on Long Island Sound has a lovely waterfront location on a private beach. Rooms come with nautical tones and seagrass carpet, and many include fireplaces and balconies; condo-style units have kitchenettes and living spaces. There are indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, plus a fitness center and spa with several treatment rooms. With a roaring fireplace, the cozy Seaview Bistro serves original menu items like bourbon and teriyaki filet mignon tips.

Nantasket Beach Resort

Nantasket Beach Resort
Courtesy of Nantasket Beach Resort / Expedia
Close to Boston on the south shore, just a 15-minute ferry ride away, this relaxed, family-friendly hotel features fireplaces, mini-fridges and microwaves in all rooms – many with balconies and ocean views. A heated swimming pool and hot tub is on site, or you can work out in the fitness center. There’s also a sunny rooftop terrace and cafe serving healthy smoothies and acai bowls with additions like bee pollen and collagen.

Harbor View Hotel

Harbor View Hotel
Courtesy of Harbor View Hotel /
Extensive renovations have firmly planted the historic Harbor View Hotel at the top of the best hotels in Martha’s Vineyard. The outdoor pool is the centerpiece with covered cabanas in cheerful coral stripes, where you can order a round of bloody marys. The grounds are not to be missed either, with sandy beaches and tons of lawn space for long walks. Luxurious room types come with custom textiles and shiplap walls. There’s also a fitness center, and upscale dining options serving chilled gazpacho and slow-braised oxtail ragu.

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