The Cliffside Inn inhabits a beautifully historic, tastefully updated, and enchantingly artistic 1876 Victorian manor house. In the heart of Newport’s Historic District, just steps from the scenic Cliff Walk and a short walk from the beach, shopping and restaurants, Cliffside is an elegant and romantic choice for a getaway in Newport, RI.
Creative design choices made during the 2019 renovation—a rich palette of jewel tones, rich textures, and eclectic patterns—pair old with new, traditional with bold, to charming effect. Each of The Cliffside Inn’s 16 luxurious rooms and suites features unique design and furnishings. Guests are invited to relax in the inn’s spacious, stately lounges or on a multitude of elegant verandas and decks where stunning views abound, whether of the dramatic coastline or the inn’s lovely formal gardens.
History of The Cliffside Inn
The Cliffside Inn, our historic Newport RI hotel, is an authentically restored Second Empire Victorian Manor House. Built by Maryland Governor Thomas Swann c. 1876, the house was then known as “Swann Villa," and his family summered there until 1897. During his lifetime, Swann held a variety of distinguished positions, including railroad president, member of Congress, and ambassador.
From 1897-1901, Swann Villa was converted to a schoolhouse and served as the first home of St. George's School, a prestigious prep school for boys. St. George's later moved to its permanent campus in nearby Middletown, RI, where today it thrives as a world renowned co-ed prep school.
In 1907, the Turner family of Philadelphia bought the property and returned it to its former summer home glory, naming it Cliffside. Andrew Turner was a successful cotton merchant and his wife Adele was a prominent Philadelphia socialite descendant from Jacob Shallus – the engrosser of the United States Constitution in 1787. The Turner’s only child, Beatrice, who was 18 when her family took ownership of the property, summered at Cliffside until her death in 1948. A fascinating and sometimes mysterious 20th century painter, and Newport legend, some of her original work still adorns the walls of The Cliffside Inn today.