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Tag Archives: Doris Duke

Rough Point

My Mom and I went to Newport, RI to tour the mansions… and we toured them!  In 3 days, we explored 6 Mansions.  It doesn’t sound like many, but when you go on the tours, it’s a lot.  We covered: The Breakers, Rosecliff, Marble House, The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer, and Rough Point.

View from Rosecliff

View from Rosecliff

I am going to review them in the order I liked them… Meaning, if you only see one see the first one, if you can only see two, see the first two… You get the drift.

The Breakers Grounds

The Breakers is the best mansion to see.  The parking lot fills up pretty early, because it is the most popular of the mansions.  I am pretty sure it is the largest and most lavish of the Mansions.  From indoor fountains under the stairs to landings bigger than my apartment, this place is the epitome of the gilded age.  The audio tour was good – especially for an audio tour.

Entrance to Rough Point

My personal favorite, Rough Point- the Doris Duke house, had a live tour… which I like so much better.  The house was not as impressive as the tour guide’s knowledge, and Doris Duke’s story.  Her house was the most homey of all the mansions.  I loved hearing the stories about how some one actually lived in one of these giant houses.  Doris had her dogs running through her house and they were allowed on the outrageous furniture.

The Elms Grounds

The Elms is also a beautiful summer “cottage”.  I think this mansion had the most beautiful grounds.  The audio tour was well done, and the house was beautiful.  Completely worth seeing, unless you are starting to get mansioned out…

Marble House

Marble House was beautiful, and surprise, surprise, completely covered in marble!  It was surprising warm (in feeling, not temperature) inside, though.  The audio tour was well done, and told different anecdotes than the other mansions.  All of the houses did a fantastic job of giving you the idea of Newport in the gilded age, without being repetitive.


Chateau-sur-Mer was weird.  It was a weird mansion, not as gilded as the other mansions, with much more dark, heavy wood.  Although it was very cool seeing the beginnings of the mansions of Newport, our live tour guide was an odd duck.  It made my mom and I laugh, and it was truly unforgettable.  The grounds are nothing to write home about… but I did like this house because it was so different.


I disliked Rosecliff, and in fact, I would skip this tour.  This house was basically empty on the first floor, because it is still used for weddings and other private events.  The chairs stacked up on the patio really took away from the experience, on top of which, the furnished  rooms had all been redone in the forties.  It didn’t really reflect the Newport gilded age, and lacked the charm of Rough Point, or the unique experience of Chateau-sur-Mer.  It was a mehh for me.

The Elms

No pictures were allowed inside any of the Mansions, hence all of the outdoor photos.

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