An historic guesthouse that invites guests to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of completely renovated Italianate home overlooking Long Island Sound.
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is thrilled to announce the opening of its new Three Stories guesthouse adjacent to the main Inn in historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut. BeginningThursday, May 1, 2014, guests will be able to unwind and enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of a completely renovated Italianate home overlooking the Long Island Sound. Originally built in 1892 as a single-family home for the prominent engineer William Vars, this landmark property has been fully refurbished and revitalized as an eight-room guesthouse. East Wharf Architects of Madison, Connecticut, and Silver Contract Interiors of Stamford thoroughly researched and replicated the architecture and interior design of the period. Wrap around porches, private gardens, and common rooms with billiards and books offer guests places to relax and rejuvenate. The property’s unique architectural features include eight individually designed rooms each with a private balcony, fireplace, European bedding, fine linens, heated bathroom floors, multiple showerheads, extensive water views and original artwork by local artists. And as a testament to its rich history, each room tells the profound story of a famed local resident who made sure that the history of the community was well preserved.
“It’s been a labor of love, and we’re thrilled to finally make our dreams a reality and open the doors to this historic property for all of our travelers to enjoy,” said Stephen Tagliatela, Innkeeper and Co-Owner of Saybrook Point Inn & Spa. “That really does sum it up for us: Love and labor is what motivated us to turn the old single-family house into an eight-room Three Stories guesthouse.”
In 1998, the old Vars house, an ornate Victorian Italianate home overlooking the mouth of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, looked as if it might blow down in the next big Nor’easter. Tagliatela, who walked by the house every day on his way to work, decided to give the old home a different future, and still preserving its historic charm and character.
As a result, Three Stories was refreshed and rejuvenated to pay tribute to the community’s rich history, while honoring some of the area’s most prominent individuals including Katherine Hepburn’s mother, who was a co-founder of Planned Parenthood and leading suffragette, and Anna Louise James, who had the distinction of being one of the first women and African American pharmacists in America and ran the James Pharmacy locally. Other remarkable individuals include Mary Tagliatela (Stephen’s mother), Margaret Buckridge, Fitz Dibble, Steffie Walters, Frank Ingham, and Joeseph Woods.
“We wanted to save the house, and that came from liking our neighborhood. That led us to the idea that we could honor some of the notable people who have lived around the house,” said Tagliatela. “Every place has its own history and feeling, and we thought people would like to come here, and be able to feel a bit of our history when they stay at the guesthouse.”
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa is not the only hotel Tagliatela and his family have owned. His grandparents operated the local Castle Inn in the 1950s hosting such famous guests as Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes and Jimmy Durante. Later, his father and mother bought the infamous Terra Mar Hotel in 1980, (Terra Mar had a reputation as a place with underworld ties, a reputation that was rekindled every time Frank Sinatra and his pals showed up.) The Tagliatela family replaced Terra Mar, which had closed, with the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, an expansive hotel with a spa, marina, and restaurant.
“We’re an innkeeping family, and Three Stories benefits from all those innkeeping years,” said Tagliatela. “We have staff and managers who all know what they are doing, so there will be no big learning curve when we open. It’s always a dream when you do this to have a perfect inn, and for some people, perfect is a few rooms, with a living room and a place for board games, and porches, and we wanted to be able to offer that to guests who love that kind of experience.”
Three Stories features eight creatively designed guestrooms, including a luxurious suite and two specially designated meeting spaces all with a private balcony, complimentary wifi, European bedding, fine linens, and original artwork by local artists. This exclusive guesthouse is just across the street from the Saybrook Point Inn, providing travelers with the luxury and comfort of fine dining and spa amenities. Additional offerings include a first floor living room with fireplace, and stylishly furnished rooms on all three floors with flat-screen televisions, refrigerators with snacks, as well as coffee, espresso and cappuccino machines, and an outdoor living room setting with a fire pit on the third floor.
Three Stories is also available as a vacation rental or business retreat. The fully renovated home has private baths in each room and features three tiers of porches overlooking Long Island Sound. In addition, the bedding and housekeeping services make it convenient and accommodating as a wonderful vacation home and family retreat.
People have flocked to Saybrook Point for more than 180 years. In 1870, when the Pease House opened on the present site of the Saybrook Point Inn there was finally a place guests could spend the night. The Pease House was a small country hotel built by William Pease. It welcomed guests until 1956, and was known that the bartender had to collect his tabs from women by using a long paddle to reach across the four-foot wide bar. The property was later purchased by a group that built the Terra Mar Hotel and Yacht Basin on the site.
In 1979, the Terra Mar property was foreclosed, and in 1980, Louis and Mary Tagliatela bought the then unoccupied and dilapidated property at auction. Nine years later, they opened the Saybrook Point Inn, tipping their hat to legendary Terra Mar by naming the restaurant at the Inn for the old hotel.
Louis and Mary’s son Stephen, along with daughter Tricia Tagliatela who oversees the Inn’s decor and ambiance, and son Louis Jr., who also helps to oversee the daily operations with Stephen, now runs the Saybrook Point Inn.
Since it opened, the Saybrook Point Inn has adapted and changed. It has taken a decidedly green direction, winning numerous awards for its often best-in-class green practices, including the first Connecticut inn to be named a Certified Energy Hotel in 2007. The Inn now includes SANNO, the property’s full-service spa that opened in 2012, as well as Fresh Salt, a restaurant designed by Peter Niemitz, which replaced the Terra Mar Grille. Fresh Salt opened to strong reviews in 2011.
“I think the most amazing thing about the Point is that the scene that William Pease looked over in 1870 is largely unchanged,” said Stephen Tagliatela. “If you stood at any other river mouth in 1870, and then today, you would be very hard-pressed to recognize anything. The view here would look very familiar to Mr. Pease, and we are doing all we can to be good stewards of this spot. Restoring Three Stories is part of that work to keep the natural and human history of this place in the best shape we can.”
Lisa Silver of Silver Contract Interiors of Stamford designed the interiors of Three Stories and much of the main Inn, and the lead architect was East Wharf Architects of Madison. Jonathan Turley from Franklin Construction of New Haven, Connecticut was the lead builder on the project.
About Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Situated along the picturesque coastal community of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut in the hamlet of Saybrook Point, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa features 82 elegantly appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service spa called SANNO, and a casual fine dining restaurant named Fresh Salt. Luxurious spa amenities include 11 treatment rooms, a Swiss shower and diverse menu of services including massages, facials, body wraps, manicures and pedicures. SANNO is a latin word meaning to make sound or to heal. The goal at SANNO is to help guests be well, look well, feel well, and eat well. Fresh Salt diners savor fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in Old Saybrook’s most spectacular setting – the spot where the fresh waters of the Connecticut River meet the salt of Long Island Sound. It’s a treasured and historic place, rich in life, and the restaurant reflects that lively diversity. The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa also features the historic Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark yachting dock conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River with easy access to Long Island Sound. The marina is Connecticut’s first designated Clean Marina, featuring friendly concierge service, award-winning onsite cuisine, AAA Four Diamond accommodations, an indulgent spa, and a community-based member-driven health club. It can accommodate vessels from 12 to 200 feet and has received numerous premier Connecticut marina awards. More information is available at www.saybrook.com.