Rebekah Grace Wyant
Wentworth By The Sea
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Ghostly Roaring Twenties Partygoers? Who cares? Wentworth By The Sea is one of, if not, the most amazing hotels I have ever stayed.
I routinely investigate historic-type properties with the intent of retiring to a gentleman’s farm. One property, situated on the outskirts of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, took my daughter and me on a memorable trip to New England.
We drove to New Hampshire by way of Vermont, spending the night in the historic town of Bennington. After filling our quota of covered bridges, we visited the grave of Robert Frost. Walking the grounds of Old First Church and Old Bennington Cemetery conjured the feeling of being transplanted to a quieter time.
The following day, a rollercoaster drive through the green mountainous roads of Vermont dropped us along the 18-mile rocky shoreline of southern New Hampshire. The realtor assured us, we passed author Dan Brown’s home on the winding coast road that led to Wentworth by the Sea — “Grand Dame of the Sea.”
Surveying one of the few Gilded Age hotels remaining today, and the last by the seaside, one could imagine Gatsby and Daisy lounging on its veranda after a game of tennis. Nonfiction celebrities and dignitaries have long graced its lobby, including the politicians that brokered The Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese War, which earned President Theodore Roosevelt the Nobel Peace Prize.
Continued disrepair fated the resort, making it the perfect setting for filming, In Dreams, a psychological thriller. Impending demolition loomed until preservations took on the arduous task of restoration.
Without knowing its history of ghostly Roaring Twenties partygoers, I too considered the hotel for a story backdrop. Bright sunshine, blue sky, and opulent refurbishment could not dispel the eerie sensation that crept up my back as I traveled its halls alone. Of course, my daughter’s incessant watching of the Long Island Psychic during our stay may have had something to do with my quivers.