This place, and Al Saulnier especially, does more to promote New Bedford and it's marvelous history, than any advertising campaign or magazine ad. Even as a native born Massachusetts guy and lover of the South Coast beaches and villages, here's a city I've traditionally ignored as a dying factory town, and so I was completely amazed by its graceful, historic, and fascinating downtown.
We arrived at the Manor after a long, damp and dreary day of boatwork over at Westport Point, and so coming through this beautiful neighborhood was an interesting lift for us. Tired and worn out, we only wanted to eat and crash to get ready for another work day tomorrow, so when Al checked us in and started to point out some of the decorative features and architecture of his place, I thought to myself "Uh-oh, here comes a tedious historical tour," and prepared to trudge along until we got to our room.
As soon as we walked out of the office area, however, I knew this place was something special. The building's incredible architectural texture and authentic historical feel was immediately transporting. OK, I'd go along with the house tour for a while, then fall on the bed as soon as possible.
Now Al's an educator, and maybe it was his skill in that area, or maybe it was the immensity of New Bedford's history as one of the richest cultural U.S. cities in America's 1800s, but either way, I found myself more and more fascinated. The house seemed just as it might have been a hundred or more years ago, and the long list of its inhabitants and their stories awoke a historical curiosity in me, and before we actually reached our room, I was ready to wander around. To my amazement, I found myself developing a real connection with New Bedford's long and storied history. I really wished I weren't going to be working all day tomorrow...this would be a wonderful place to explore instead.
We ate at the incredible Margaret's restaurant just across the harbor in Fairhaven, recommended highly by Al, and living every bit up to that recommendation. Returning to the manor stuffed and tired and looked around as much as we could before we ran completely out of steam and crashed in the beautiful Green Room.
Well, we DID head back over to Westport the next morning, but not after exploring the neighborhood a little, and vowing to come back again when we could to spend some real time in this richly endowed city.
Thanks Al and Suzanne, for opening your house and your town to us. Oh, and for the excellent breakfast!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "#1 B&B, New Bedford" Standard-Times reader poll. Exceptional, historic, globetrotter-run lodging with elegant public areas and individually decorated rooms. Experience New Bedford's past in Whaling Captain Benjamin Clark's 1840s home expanded in 1903 by Cotton Baron Henry Tiffany. Harbor views, private baths, AC, cable, WiFi. ... more less