Monday, October 01, 2007

The Old Hotel is Shutting Down

The first time I walked into the Narragansett Hotel on Block Island, I expected to hear Tommy Dorsey playing from the wireless in the corner. That's what the place looked like -- a hotel from the 1930s or '40s, and charming in its way, although it wasn't quite charming enough to entice us to stay for dinner on a cool evening when we wouldn't have been comfortable eating on the wide porch.

Although you can't help passing the Surf Hotel on Block Island -- its on the corner of Water Street, in Old Harbor -- I haven't been inside. But I'd be surprised if it doesn't have the same atmosphere as the Narragansett. It's closing up though, and the place is on the market, and its patrons are full of laments. The Surf has no bar. Only a handful of the rooms have private bathrooms and none have TVs. This Hartford Courant story, here, explains why people like going there anway.


Blogger Sam said...

The Motts got out of the hotel and restaurant business in the late 70's; they ran the 'Gannsett, Dead Eye Dicks, Spring House, and Oar but now are leasing them all out.

I've stayed in the Surf Hotel a few times, which always seemed to me to be a cross between a high dollar bordello and a pawn shop but I loved it. I remember an old lady taxi driver named Dodge gave a ride one time and she had so many hysterical stories about the Surf Hotel. "The National had better hookers" I remember, as a kid maybe 14 years old. What's with the Islanders?

Anyway, the Surf is a great deal but is in the Historical District and needs to be brought up to the 2006 Building Code, including new regulations for fire sprinklers. I hope somebody doesn't condo-ize it.

1:20 AM  

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