HBO Max's The Gilded Age has its viewers entranced by the glitter and glamor of life in the late 1800s for those in the New York City elite.
The luxurious clothing, the well-appointed marble halls and the exquisite food are a feast for the eyes every week as we tune in to watch Bertha Russell scratch and claw her way to the top of society.
The Gilded Age, which begins in 1882, follows the ruthless social war between the new monied-Russell (and her husband, a railroad tycoon named George) and the old monied-van Rhijn sisters, Agnes and Ada.
While a lot of liberty has been taken in the show, it is based on actual people and places that existed then, including the Astors and the Vanderbilts and their mansions in both NYC and in Newport, Rhode Island.
That means that you can still find some of these old homes and in some cases, stay in them, like at the Castle Hill Inn in Newport.
The Castle Hill Inn, built in 1874 as one of Newport’s summer "cottages," now has a new "Gilded Age Experience" package inspired by the show.
Those who book the two-night package for a cool $1,185, will be able to enjoy a gourmet breakfast, a guest-only afternoon tea, a welcome "amenity" upon arrival, a tasting menu experience for two at the Dining Room and get two tickets to one of the Newport Preservation Society mansions that directly inspired the décor of the Russells’ NYC palace. Several scenes from the show were filmed within these mansions, which you can visit and tour.
The tasting menu, which changes daily, includes six dishes with starters such as Rhode Island oysters, live scallop, sunchokes, entrees like bass, lobster, black truffle and beef, and desserts from chocolate to citrus and more.
Castle Hill Inn, which overlooks Narragansett Bay, was originally built for marine biologist and naturalist Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University as his original summer home. According to the inn's history, Agassiz filled his house with Chinese and Japanese art and furnishings, especially bronzes and porcelain, many of which are still present in the house. (You can see the inside of the mansion here.)
The house has seen a lot over its 148-year history, from the Hurricane of 1938 to the impacts of World War II, when it was used as an impromptu base and housing for Naval officers. Later, it became a summer hotel, hosting the likes of Grace Kelly (during the filming of High Society in the 1950s) and renowned novelist Thornton Wilder, who describes the turret suite as a "magical room" in his autobiographical novel, Theophilus North.
Castle Hill Inn is exactly what Gilded Age fans might think of when daydreaming about summering in Newport. It's both beachy and regal, sun-filled and classic...and definitely a home Mrs. Astor would approve of.
For more information the package, visit castlehillinn.com.