Looking Forward / Looking Back

Hammetts is a new kind of hotel located on the Newport waterfront. Original in concept and function, it’s a unique setting where guests can feel the footprint of the city’s historic past, carefully blended with the aesthetic of a more modern gathering spot. With a subtle nod to the city’s turn-of-the-century mercantile wharves, the hotel’s design and décor convey quality while being engineered for comfort and ease of use. The space is inviting … welcoming … offering guests a sense of belonging … with no hint of pretension and exclusivity. It’s a feeling that you have arrived at your place in Newport.

Hammetts is a salute to the working-class origins that helped make Newport what it is today. 

19th Century
It was a time of significant growth in Newport. This was reflected in the rapid expansion of the working waterfront. Workshops, warehouses and docks were built and rebuilt to keep up with the demands of the city’s rising industry. Everything from ice storage, to coal, cordage, manufacturing facilities, small trade shops, boatyards and fishing could be found along the now burgeoning waterfront scene. The U.S. Navy, already a major player in the area’s economy, continued to expand its presence. And with the birth of the Gilded Age, Newport became the summer stomping ground for the country’s wealthy elite. Their “cottages” (actually mansions) soon began to spring up along the coast. 

20th Century
By the beginning of the 20th Century change was in the wind. The state capitol was relocated from Newport to Providence. Industry slowed. The longstanding Naval presence was greatly reduced. And a new era began. The America’s Cup relocated to Newport, bringing with it an unparalled sailing dynasty that would last over 50 years. The city found itself in the national spotlight with JFK’s wedding. The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals were born. By the 1980’s the city’s economy had shifted. The waterfront, where for over 300 years hard-working residents made their living in the commerce, trade and manufacturing industries, saw its historic surroundings turned into fashionable residential properties, shops and restaurants – all fueled by Newport’s rising popularity as one of America’s premier travel destinations.

Today, visitors and residents alike vie for the best seats and views of the stunning Rhode Island sunset. They frequent establishments where good times and fine dining have replaced the edgewhere goods that were once hauled, stacked and stored while their ledgers were tallied and recorded under oil lamps and gaslights. Hammetts Wharf, once home to a cargo depot, lumberyard, bank, coal yard, temperance-oriented tea house, laundry, concert venue, ice rink, yacht basin and most recently, a parking lot, reflects this change. Its newest resident, Hammetts Hotel, and its neighbors, will continue to bring new life to the historical sites along this vibrant and thriving waterfront for generations to come.

Welcome to Hammetts Hotel.