Newport County and East Bay Hotels

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Vanderbilt Grace

Vanderbilt Grace, Newport

At a Glance

    Pros

  • highly personalized service
  • full-service spa and indoor and outdoor pools
  • stylish snooker room

    Cons

  • on a narrow street that's busy in summer
  • municipal parking lot next door

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Vanderbilt Grace Review

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.

2011 Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winner

Updated Elegance
The blue-blooded enclave of Newport, Rhode Island has several natty hotels facing its yacht-filled harbor, but this recently reopened (and rebranded) grand redbrick mansion a couple of blocks up the hill feels a bit more like one of the classic "summer cottages" of the city's Gilded Age. You half expect to see Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt supping on butter-poached lobster amid the model ships in the hotel's glass-enclosed Conservatory. Beyond the slightly formal salons, elegant Muse restaurant, and luxuriant spa and indoor pool, the hotel's 33 spacious suites reflect an unfussy, contemporary aesthetic, with muted colors, mod lighting, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. Up on the roof, a widow's walk with 360-degree city and sea views is the place to be at sunset.

    Hotel Details

  • 33 rooms, 29 suites.
  • Rate includes no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 12-23-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Perhaps, however...?

    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...

    by watch569, 6/16/13

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