Of all the perfect spots along Connecticut’s coast, the colorful town of Mystic is a special favorite. People have always known Mystic as a quintessential summer escape. And off-season travelers who love a great deal in a wonderful place think of Mystic as a best-kept secret.
To enjoy this seaside scene up-close, guests have long turned to The Whaler’s Inn in Mystic. The historic hotel has a causal, comfortable elegance that appeals to families and couples. You begin with location: The Whaler’s Inn can claim the best address in Mystic, splendidly situated within a two-minute walk of the town’s hottest restaurants, including BravoBravo and The Engine Room. Its five buildings offer varying levels of luxury, but comfort is everywhere. Nautical white and blue décor in the Main Inn gives off a beachy vibe—even in January. Rows of big windows throw a warm light into hallways and spaces throughout this gem of a hotel. Not all buildings were originally hotels. On the genuinely historic side are the Main Inn and 1865 House. Noank House and Stonington House are much newer. Hoxie House was rebuilt in the early 2000s as a replica of the original historic building that was lost in a fire.
An incredible thing about The Whaler’s Inn is that it’s actually five hotels in one. Hoxie House is the most upscale accommodation. Located immediately next door to the Main Inn with views of the Mystic River, Hoxie House has larger rooms, finer furnishings, in-room fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and other enhanced amenities. Stonington House has a more traditional feel with newly updated spacious bathrooms, a big communal porch and a quiet ambience. Noank House gets a bit more of the town energy from its vantage on East Main Street. 1865 House transports guests back to the Victorian era, when Mystic was a great seafaring center of America. It’s astounding how the innkeepers have created such a variety of experience within a single property. All rooms have Keurig Brewing Systems, HDTVs and high-speed Wi-Fi.
The Whaler’s Inn serves as home base for a lot of savvy vacationers who steer clear of crowds. That’s why around here, “shoulder season” is a symphony. Winter in Mystic is a picture postcard of cozy New England charm. Fireplaces roar, and there’s a tasty shift in the culinary spectrum to wintery dishes and hearty ingredients—local chicken and beef, winter produce like parsnips and winter squash, amazing area wine—and the mood is one of holiday cheer long after Valentine’s Day.
Early spring blooms in this part of Connecticut like few places on earth, as the natural beauty of the local biome shakes off winter. Daffodils explode in whites and yellows on blustery, sunny days while green creeps back over the nearby countryside. People love surrounding towns like historic Stonington—home to New England’s last small fishing fleet—and ritzy Watch Hill, Rhode Island, both minutes away by car. The world comes to life in March and April, when sloops in the local marina slowly begin preparing for local boating season.
“In summer we are booked seven days a week,” says Amanda Arling, General Manager of The Whaler’s Inn. “But the frequent travelers who know us in summer are the same ones we see enjoying our hotel during off-season, when crowds have thinned out. These folks do little getaways as a lifestyle. Mystic is one of their ‘go to’ destinations in the off-season.”
The other two big reasons people come here are Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Museum of America and the Sea—also known as Mystic Seaport. Both facilities have undergone a renaissance in recent years, drawing curious crowds with astounding new exhibits. Mystic has many personalities—most of them serene—at all times of year. It is “on the list” of travelers who frequent America’s best hideaways. And they’re hard to please.
“Many of our guests come back repeatedly and celebrate important life events here at the Inn,” says Arling. “We offer our visitors a curated experience and a high level of quality during their stay, something we are very proud of. Spring, summer, fall or winter, we are passionate about this area and look forward to sharing our experiences here with others.”
The Whaler’s Inn
20 East Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355