"It was as if we were guests of European royalty, right here in the U.S.!"
- Travel & Leisure
"The gardens, the rooms, the appointments — even the staff were breath-taking. We needed oxygen!"
- Conde Nast Traveler
"The ultimate in taste and luxury! Goodbye, Provincetown; hello, New Britain!"
- The Rainbow Times
The sleepy New England city of New Britain, Connecticut is the home of the hottest East-Coast multi-season getaway for travelers looking for a combination of Old World luxury, up-to-the-minute amenities and country charm. The idyllic Resort at Chapman and Belden has become a "best-kept secret" among savvy luxury travelers looking for an alternative to dated Newport, Rhode Island and the hustle-bustle of Long Island's East End. Whether a Summer month or a cozy leaf-peeping get-away for a week, this impressive property is sure to meet — and exceed — the expectations of even the most jaded travel aficionado.
The resort is nestled among ninteenth- and early-twentieth-century architectural masterpieces on the exclusive East Side of New Britain. New Britain is home to the world-class New Britain Museum of American Art, founded in 1903, as well as several theater and musical arts destinations. The city is a small one, archetypally New England, and is surrounded by the verdant rolling hills of Central Connecticut.
Reservations must be made well in advance, as the property boasts only eight guest suites. Staff-to-guest ratio is an impressive eight-to-one.
Arrive in Style
Worries melt away from the moment guests are swept into the resort's Bentley limousine. Fresh flowers decorate the cabin. Fine champagne is served in Baccarat crystal flutes during the brief trip to the resort. As the car pulls up to the port cochere, guests find the impeccably landscaped grounds absolutely breathtaking.
"Our gardens are like a trip around the world," explains managing director P.L. Hulet, "in a half-hour stroll, our grounds reveal an authentic Japanese Tea Garden, a world-class collection of roses, and more. Some of our guests compare the topiary and lawns in the rear to the majesty of Versailles."
A personal concierge is assigned to each suite. On arrival, guests meet with their concierge to discuss their preferences in dining, bedding and recreation. Guests are immediately given heated pima towels moistened with rose-water to refresh after a long journey. Bags are whisked away and their contents unpacked into the sturdy cedar-lined cabinets in each suite's dressing room. Those who wish can enjoy a foot massage delivered by a shiatsu master trained in Formosa.
The Luxury Life at Chapman and Belden
Once ensconced, guests can choose from a wide variety of entertainments and spa options — or simply choose to do nothing. The Resort at Chapman and Belden pampers with quintessential luxury at every turn.
Meals from the resort's Michelin-starred kitchen may be taken in en suite or in either of the mansion's dining rooms. Options on any given day may include black truffles from Provence en croute, sushi created from the rarest Japanese blow-fish, wild boar from the Black Forest, and more. A wine cellar boasts some of the finest vintage Grand Cru from Bordeaux, as well as stellar offerings from other wine regions.
Reservations for dining may also be made at any of the area's four-starred dining destinations, if guests so choose. Your concierge will assist you.
Sleeping accommodations include over-sized feather beds in the guest's choice of firmness. Bedsheets are 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton. Fresh flowers abound. Suites are furnished with a collection of antiques as well as contemporary pieces of the finest woods boasting Connolly leather upholstery.
Guest bathing quarters are all marble and feature whirlpool, needle shower and a private sauna with heated rocks in every suite. While many of our guests prefer to bring their own toiletries, we outfit the bath with an array of world-famous soaps and bath potions that are fair-trade and eco-sensitive.
While you sleep, your laundry is cleaned and finished by our Swiss laundress. Shoes are shined using South American beeswax and Emu feathers.
Spa amenities include everything from aromatherapy featuring herbs harvested in the Loire Valley, deep-tissue massage, authentic Swedish sauna, and mud baths to cleansing high-colonic irrigation with mineral water imported from the Peruvian mountains. Exercise trainers and complete exercise facilities are also available.
Our guests talk about their experience:
dinner was crafted especially for a guest fond of big-game hunting in
Kenya. Let's allow him to describe the evening: "Tiny dishes of snake carpaccio were brought forth; then a timbale
of jungle greens flown in especially for us; then Mombasa Prawns in a
lovely sauce of exotic fruits; but the smash of the evening was the
roast loin of Water Buffalo, borne by two Mandingo warriors in authentic
dress. Their bodies were as if they'd been chiseled by Michaelangelo
from a single huge piece of Ebony. Did I mention the food was quite
A midnight snack was requested by another guest: "In no time at all, a stunning young maiden wearing a grass skirt and a lei brought up a lovely platter of the sweetest coconut cakes, and passion-fruit and pineapple slices as ripe as I'd ever had them. Just as quickly as she arrived, she undulated back through the door..."
Our verdant gardens were of interest to an amateur horticulturist: "One of the grounds staff, a young gardener, found me admiring a few choice blooms. He not only told me what they were, but he showed me the process for planting the bulbs ... his muscular arms pushing them in, then his sinewy body working as one with his long-handled spade, pushing it in and out of the loamy soil ever so slowly, in and out, in and out..."
Reservations and information are available by contacting the Resort at Chapman and Belden, Belden Street, New Britain, Connecticut.