Built in 1929, the original Norwich Inn was a haven for the rich and famous, drawing such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, Charles Laughton, Frank Sinatra, and the Prince of Wales. The Inn benefited not only from its premium location, midway between New York and Boston in beautiful eastern Connecticut, but also from the word-of-mouth inspired by its architectural elegance and unrivaled surroundings. The classic Georgian Colonial revival structure, with its handsome front portico, door, and fanlight, included 75 guestrooms and boasted an expansive, rolling golf course.
The Inn changed hands several times in the years surrounding the Second World War, and eventually, a period of gradual decline set in. The fortunes of the property hit bottom when, having been purchased by the City of Norwich, the core structure was operated as a boardinghouse, while the basement was used as a holding tank for overflow prisoners from the police department. In 1983, the Edward J. Safdie Group recognized the Inn’s potential and made an offer to purchase the property. The group immediately set out to create a truly exceptional inn and spa facility, modeled after one of their most successful properties, the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa in California. Mr. Safdie commissioned a complete renovation of the inn, including all guestrooms and public spaces, and built a freestanding Spa building. He also developed 160 condominium villas on the 42-acre property.
In 1994, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation purchased the Norwich Inn and Spa. The tribe began a forward-looking plan of expansion and improvement. Most significantly, in 2000 the tribe completed a $15 million renovation that doubled the size of the Spa, making it the largest on the East Coast at project completion. This renovation project also included the redecoration of the property’s 100 guest rooms, in both the inn and the adjacent villas. To signify the importance of these changes, the renovation project concluded with the renaming of the facility as The Spa at Norwich Inn.
Today, The Spa at Norwich Inn is an intimate retreat and home to an elegant, full-service spa offering a blend of fitness programs, nutritional instruction and beauty and body treatments redefining the concept of health and wellness. The essential ingredient to a stay at The Spa at Norwich Inn is personal attention. Guests do not have to conform to routines, regimens or schedules. Instead, the Spa’s staff makes it a point to conform to the individual needs of each guest who come for a day, a long weekend or an extended vacation. Guests may choose from a range of program packages or select from an a la carte menu of services and amenities.
The Spa at Norwich Inn is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information visit historichotels.org.
About the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribal Nation
The Mashantucket Pequots are an Eastern Woodland people with their traditional homelands in what is now known as Southeastern Connecticut. Having endured centuries of conflict, survival and continuity, their home is now one of America’s oldest Indian reservations, established in 1666. The fox stands as a vigilant reminder of the turbulent times when the Pequot adopted the name, which remains today, The Fox People. As the first native people within the borders of the continental United States to suffer an attempted genocide by Puritan Colonists in 1637, the repatriation of the Pequots is an unprecedented story of restoration exhibited in detail at the Tribe’s world-class Museum and Research Center. Today the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation owns one of the largest resort casinos in the world, Foxwoods Resort Casino, along with several other economic ventures including the Lake of Isles Golf Course, The Fox Tower, The Spa at Norwich Inn and Foxwoods Development Company dedicated to world-class resort development throughout the United States and Caribbean. Altogether, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation remains one of the State of Connecticut’s highest tax payers and largest employers. Likewise, the Tribe provides significant financial contributions to state and local non-profit organizations that support neighboring communities.