Call it Lord of the Rhody. By Perri Ormont Blumberg
Get ready to open the doors (oversized, round, and wooden, at that) in Rhode Island, to a Lord Of The Rings-inspired retreat. In Richmond, Rhode Island, the Maker’s Mark Hobbit Houses — two hillside haunts on a sporting club and estate’s bucolic grounds — inspired by the work of JRR Tolkien are here for you to get your Middle Earth-esque fix at The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences.
The Hobbit House
After walking down a flower-lined path, guests will be teleported to a literal storybook world within the private dining abodes. Each delightful house is designed with tree trunks built into the architecture, a grass roof, and stone walls. As if that’s not enough to slink you into a Sauron state of mind, there’s also an inviting fireplace and overhead skylights to set a whimsical backdrop for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience served at a custom wooden table crafted from upcycled Maker’s Mark barrels.
Great for secluded celebrations, each house allows only one reservation per lunch or dinner seating, so you truly feel away from it all. For your feast, each course is paired with sipping bourbons (including the property’s own Preserve Reserve), along with red or white wine. Even better, the chairs are outfitted with pillows and faux fur blankets, so you can sit by the crackling fire and flickering candlelight for a postprandial tipple. Or, head outside with your loved ones to nurse a bourbon cocktail beside your private fire pit.
Dining-wise, guests can expect a menu that changes seasonally with current hits like a Hudson Valley duck breast served teriyaki-style with butternut squash slaw, pomegranate-molasses glazed salmon, and a bittersweet chocolate bread pudding topped off with caramel hard sauce, Chantilly cream, and, of course, a generous splash of Maker’s Mark Preserve Reserve.
Lest diehard LOTR fans be concerned, rest assured that the property pulled out all the stops to bring this vision to life in collaboration with Ocean House Collection and Maker’s Mark. “Our Hobbit Houses are very authentic — all stones and materials are sourced right on property, from our 3,500 acres (14 square km), with adornments changing seasonally,” Preserve founder and chairman Paul Mihailides told Travel + Leisure. Due to the houses’ popularity, Mihailides added that they’re even building a third, scheduled to debut in early 2022.
Current rates for the Hobbit Houses are USD 726 (INR 54,007) for up to four guests, USD 1,089 (INR 81,011) for up to six guests, and USD 1,452 (INR 1,08,015) for up to eight guests (plus a 22 percent service charge and 8 percent tax). You can make reservations here. To riff on the sage JRR Tolkien, all those who wander should spend some time getting lost here.