New Castle NH – Within a short and scenic drive from Portsmouth, NH, you can find one of the last grand hotels in New Hampshire. Introducing the Wentworth by the Sea, a luxury hotel with over 127 years of rich history. It is a beautiful building with an impressive history to match.
The Wentworth By The Sea History
The Wentworth by the Sea was built in the early 1870’s by a Daniel Chase, a distiller out of Boston. The Wenworth by The Sea was formerly called the “Wentworth Hall.” Some people guess that it was originally named after Samuel Wentworth. He was the first innkeeper on the New Castle island.
The Wentworth By The Sea Was Marketed as a Conference Center and a Seaside Escape
The sad history was that Daniel Chase ended up going bankrupt not too long after it had opened. The Wentworth was acquired by Frank Jones, a resident of Portsmouth, NH. Mr. Jones purchased the Wentworth by The Sea property in the year of 1879. Jones was responsible for a majority of the Wentworth build out and it was he who installed the very noticeable towers that adorn the roof of the hotel. Apparently Mr. Jones had almost identical towers that sat upon his home in downtown Portsmouth.
The Wentworth By The Sea Attracted Notable Celebrities Through The Years
Over the years the Wentworth by The Sea became a celebrity-magnet and hosted many notable names. One of the famed guests at the hotel was President Chester A. Arthur.
Beyond that President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the hotel in 1905 and they he signed the armistice to end the Russo-Japanese War. During that trip, the Wentworth hotel even gave the space to the visiting diplomats at no cost thanks to the urging of the President. Due to his efforts in helping to end this conflict, President Roosevelt won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Other Celebrities Who Stayed At The Wentworth By The Sea
One famous guest who stayed at the Wentworth Hotel (see also our favorite themed hotels in NH) was golf course designer Donald Ross. He was a renowned course designer and ended up creating a 9-hole golf course on the hotel’s property. Speaking of shooting, in 1916 Annie Oakley, the legendary pistol-toting sharp-shooter visited the Wentworth and performed a shooting demonstration for Hotel guests.
Here are some of the well-known people who have stayed at the Wentworth hotel: Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Ralph Nader, Ted Kennedy, Herbert Hoover, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Temple, Richard Nixon, Milton Eisenhower and John Kenneth Galbraith, among many others.
The Wentworth Hotel By The Sea Attracted Many Visitors
The Hotel in New Castle NH carried it with it notoriety and prominence. It remained a very popular destination for vacationers from cities like New York, Boston, and other locations. The hotel owners John and Margaret Barker Smith served guests continuously through to the year 1980.
Then it went into a period of idleness…
The Wentworth By The Sea Closed In 1980 And Stayed Closed For 20 Years
The hotel went into a period of being unoccupied from 1980 through to 2000 because they were unable to find new owners. Unfortunately this majestic and beautiful hotel gradually deteriorated and almost was completely demolished. In 1997 Ocean Properties swooped in and saved the Wentworth By The Sea rescuing it from destruction.
In The Early 2000’s The Wentworth By The Sea Was Completely Renovated
The hotel was restored to its former glory after the new owners invested $30 million in the renovation. The renovation made a huge impact and revitalized the long-dormant space. The Wentworth Hotel is now one of New Hampshire’s premier hotels and has some wonderful seaside views.
My parents stayed at the Wentworth in the last couple of years and really enjoyed the stay. They ate at the SALT Kitchen Bar and they raved about their meal. They also ventured into Portsmouth NH and visited the many restaurants. The next day they did a deep sea fishing trip down the coast in Hampton NH. My parents loved their stay at the Wentworth By The Sea and highly recommended I visit as well (it’s on my list!).
Where To Find The Wentworth By The Sea
You can find the Wentworth By The Sea at: 588 Wentworth Rd, New Castle, NH 03854
You can find them online here.
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