In Lantern Hill valley, where streams run that feed into Long Pond, Whitford Brook, and the Mystic River, you’ll find an inn nestled in a field of grass surrounded by perennial gardens and old stone walls on 6 acres. With its cedar shingles, white trim, and straight lines, the inn is a contemporary take on classic New England coastal style. Built in 1987, the inn marries modern comforts with the charm of reclaimed flooring, doors, and lumber from old local homes. Embracing the concept of ‘sustainable building’ before it was in vogue, the inn’s builder Thomas Nicholas was responsible for the restoration of 11 historic homes along Starr Street in downtown New London, which became the city’s first Historic District in 1981.
Tom had been building the Lantern Hill property to sell. The late 1980s building recession set in and left Tom with a stack of unpaid debts and a frustrated wife leaving him. Faced with losing the property and moving into his van, he thought about the nearly finished house he’d built and the prospect of Foxwoods casino about to open a stone’s throw away. The idea of converting the building into an inn came to him as a way to take lemons and make lemonade. What started out of necessity as an effort to keep the property turned into a way to reinvent himself in a new profession in the burgeoning local tourism industry.
With little money but a lot of faith, determination, and hard work, Thomas opened the doors of Abbey’s Lantern Hill Inn in 1992. The inn’s name came from its location next to Lantern Hill and the name of one of Tom’s daughters, Abbey. From the first guest who came through the door, Tom’s outgoing and down-to-earth ways made guests feel immediately at home and relaxed. For over 20 years, Abbey’s Lantern Hill Inn has offered its guests outstanding value, comfort, and privacy. We are committed to providing a 1st class experience for each one of our guests.