As a Bucks County native, I’ve always known of the legacy of Chez Odette’s, later named Odette’s Restaurant, situated on the banks of the Delaware River in New Hope, Pennsylvania. While the original, historic structure that housed first an inn and then the restaurant was relocated to preserve its legacy after the restaurant was shuttered earlier this century, the recently opened, newly built River House at Odette’s, a hotel and restaurant, sits in the original location and pays homage to its namesake, Odette Myrtil.
My colleague Angelique and I made our way to the River House at Odette’s earlier this week to tour the hotel, opened Sept. 28, and enjoy lunch. I absolutely love the décor and enjoyed the special touches that honor Myrtil, like wallpaper in the ballroom designed from her former love letters. As visually appealing as the interior are the amazing river views, particularly stunning at this time of year with the leaves changing. A hallway in the hotel honors Myrtil through old photographs.
I was eager to learn more about Odette Myrtil, wondering how her journey began in Paris and ended in Doylestown, my hometown. She began as a vaudeville violinist, moving to London, then New York, appearing on Broadway regularly 1924–1932. She was 16 when she came to New York for the first time to appear in the Ziegfeld Follies. She was also in numerous films. Later in life she settled in New Hope and operated the restaurant before passing away in 1978.
The hotel is located near the Delaware Canal Towpath and has bikes available for guests’ use. It also boasts a members’ club on its rooftop, open only to members and hotel guests. The artwork throughout is a highlight, with some pieces from the original restaurant. Local musicians appear regularly, and the property will be a perfect spot for events and business functions. There’s no beating its natural backdrop.
I can see the hotel serving as a perfect escape for both New Yorkers and Philadelphians. It’s also conveniently located near the popular Bucks County Playhouse, and its artistic spirit and nod to its past fits perfectly with the vibe of New Hope. There’s no doubt this modern hotel and restaurant will be a hit in the area, especially as it pays respect to its historical past.
— Kim Krol, editor in chief
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