Hotel St Regis and Beechwood

Tony Sheils

Member
Jan 6, 2001
71
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I recently returned to the UK from a memorable holiday in New England. While in Boston I read a copy of the newspaper "USA Today". In the Travel Section for 1 October there was an article headed "For century, St. Regis stands for elite society". It featured 3 leading New York hotels, one of which was Hotel St Regis said to have been built by John Jacob Astor (IV) in 1904. He died in the Titanic disaster, but the hotel "continued as a hub of New York society".

The hotel survives to this day. Apparently it has "Louis XV (XVI?) furnishings and Tiffany chandeliers". It employs more than 600 staff for 315 rooms.

It sounds quite a hotel, but I have yet to see it because I have never visited New York.

The Astor family sold the hotel in 1959. It is due for a major refit next year.

I would also have liked to have visited the Astor family home of Beechwood in Newport, Rhode Island.

Does anyone from ET have any recent personal recollections of a visit to Hotel St Regis or Beechwood?

Website links that may be worth a look at include:

www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2004-09-30-regis_x.htm

http://architecture.about.com/library/blastorsbeechwood.htm
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Hi Tony. Yes, I visit Beechwood often and especially love the character actors in costume playing the roles of the family and servants. It was a big hit for the TIS convention of 2003. Beechwood is actually very modest by Newport standards. They have a great website and also hire out for "Titanic Evenings" where JJ and Molly Brown and a few other familiar faces drop in! Here are some photos http://www.revdma2.com/Beechwood.html The place was spruced up and painted last summer and looks impressive. When you get back to Newport, don't miss the Vanderbilt "cottage"- The Breakers- the biggest and best of them all.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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http://www.astorsbeechwood.com/ The Murder Mystery and Ghost Story night sound like something I need to see- Newport comes alive in October and is fast becoming the second Salem, Massachusetts with ghost and vampire tours galore. Click on the link at the top for corporate events to see the Titanic party offering. You did know that Rhode Island was vampire capitol of the nation back in the 1800's?! Consumption it really was, of course- but Bram Stoker did base his character of Lucy Westerna on our own Exeter gal, Mercy Brown in his horror opus DRACULA. He heard about her when traveling in the States with Sir Henry Irving and clipped a newspaper cutting about this famous Brown family. The cutting is in the Philadelphia Atheneum with his Dracula notes. You should have stayed a couple more weeks-New England and Halloween are a great combination. I wonder what Mrs. Astor would think of what's happening in her stately home these days!
 

Tony Sheils

Member
Jan 6, 2001
71
1
136
Shelley, thanks for the additional info - I also note you live in Rhode Island. I shall have to try to visit both NYC and RI.

Tony