Built in 1909 by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt for his mistress, Agnes O'Brien Ruiz, this Grace Hotel property aims to impress, and does. More than 70 early-20th-century paintings, including magazine cover illustrations for Vogue and the The New Yorker, hang in common areas on permanent loan from the hotel's prior owner. The rooftop deck has cocktail service and a spectacular view of Newport Harbor. Enormous rooms have separate sitting areas and flat-screen TVs, DVD players, iPod docks and high-quality mattresses. You'll be asked to choose your pillows and room scent before arrival. Informal dining is available in the Conservatory and formal dining in Muse, serving the contemporary cuisine of chef Jonathan Cartwright of Maine's renowned White Barn Inn.
Hotel Award Winner | 2011
Jun 16, 2013
After being guided to this property by the spectacular naming as a Fodor's Choice and "World's 100 Best" from a previous year, we were a bit underwhelmed. The vaunted art collection that was on "permanent loan", has apparently been removed (save for a few replicas in the dining room). Much of the stylish "period" furniture from the public rooms ("Christie?" Lobby, and beautiful upstairs landing) depicted on the hotel website and other travel sites
has been replaced with what appears to be cheap Naugahyde sofas. For an elegant beauty, this has a faded "we're getting by" feel despite a bucket of champagne and mismatched service pieces in the lobby. No one seemed to "sparkle" when we asked for a room show/ tour. We debated booking our stay over a lackluster and pricey "formal" afternoon tea service. Perhaps our expectations were outsized to the ability to deliver, however assorted biscuits, sweets and the service implements should encourage one to linger (an offer to pour would have been welcome). Perhaps we should have stayed when the bloom was still on the rose...