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About the Hotel
About The Surf at Block Island Beach House
Overlooking picturesque Crescent Beach, The Surf at Block Island Beach House offers the only beachfront hotel rooms—some with private balconies—on the island. An easygoing open lounge welcomes guests and neighbors to grab a coffee to go, linger over a snack or meal, or browse beach essentials, vintage-inspired goods, and locally-made gifts. Soak up the ocean breezes from the porch or join the party at Beach Bar for frosé with surf views. Swim, surf, or unwind on the beach with complimentary loungers, towels and umbrellas. Coffee & Cocktails keeps you fueled with breakfast, lunch and essential provisions all day long. A laid-back sunset dinner on The Surf’s waterfront deck truly can’t be beat.
History of Block Island Beach House
The Surf at Block Island Beach House began its storied history as a small cottage aptly named Surf Cottage due to its proximity to the water. Built in 1873 at the corner of Water Street and Dodge Street (the right-hand portion of today's hotel), it was the home of the island's doctor, Thomas Mann. Just in time for the island's summer season that year, he opened a pharmacy and news stand in the lower level to capitalize on the burgeoning local tourism industry. The island's postmaster, Charles Willis, took ownership of the property when Dr. Mann left the island in 1876 and converted it into a small inn named Surf Hotel. Two significant additions—a three story section with a cupola in 1884 forms the central part of the present-day hotel, and a four story building was added on the left-hand side in 1888—created a grand Victorian hotel with a commanding and distinctive presence on the island. After passing through several hands, the hotel fell into disrepair and closed for 17 years until the Cyr family purchased it in 1956. After an extensive renovation, they were able to open that first season with 17 rooms. Eventually, that number grew under their careful stewardship to accommodate the number of families who came to see the hotel as an essential part of their Block Island experience year-after-year. Interested in learning more about our hotel? Check out our FAQ page.AmenitiesThings to Do