Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Hip and historic hotel in a culturally significant neighborhood
Hotel Providence's turn-of-the-century building fits in quite nicely in the Arts and Entertainment District, which has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The hip boutique hotel has a European feel, with antique-style knickknacks and furnishings in the lobby and rooms. An an art and literature theme pays homage to the neighborhood: The hotel named 16 of its suites after New England authors, and there is an art collection on-site featuring pieces by local artists.
Those looking for a sexy night out need look no further than the hotel's restaurant and bar (Aspire and A-Bar, respectively), both sophisticated, hip spots that are favorites with locals as well as guests. And many more restaurants, clubs, and bars are within walking distance.
Right in the middle of downtown's Arts and Entertainment District
Hotel Providence is is in the Arts and Entertainment District, within walking distance to a number of pubs, clubs, and restaurants.
Providence has always been a bit like Boston's little sister. When it came to East Coast cities, it was always a question of "Boston or New York?" for travelers. However, that has started to change over the years. Providence is coming into its own. The capital of the smallest state in the country, Providence is densely populated and chock full of interesting things to see and do, such as the Riverwalk, historic buildings dating back to pre-revolutionary times, and the oldest Baptist church in America. Not to mention, it's a city that's easy to explore by foot. Of course, those used to a grid system may get a little lost walking the streets of Providence, which seem to have no rhyme or reason to the way they run.
Downtown, there are plenty of galleries, shops, restaurants, clubs, and bars to keep the average vacationer happy. Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel and the Providence Performing Arts Center are a couple of notable spots. Every summer, don't miss the spectacle of WaterFire -- 100 bonfires are lit just above the surface of the water on the three rivers that pass through downtown.
And for prospective college students, Brown, Johnson and Wales, and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) are right in the downtown area.
Rooms with generic New England style and upscale amenities such as iPod docks; rooms facing the street can be noisy
The rooms at Hotel Providence are decorated with antique-style New England furnishings, such as ornate armoires and upholstered benches. The beds have pillow-top mattresses and high-end linens, and each room features artwork by local artists. But the overall feel is a bit generic, and there are signs of wear, such as carpet stains and nicks and scratches on the wood.
Rooms facing Matthewson Street can encounter a lot of noise on weekends from the bars and clubs, not to mention the church bells ringing frequently (starting at 8 a.m.) at Grace Episcopal Church across the street. Also, the hotel has become a popular spot for weddings and private parties, which can add to the noise on the lower levels of the building. For those wanting the quietest of stays, book a room in the Westminster Wing (specifically the second floor).
Upscale New England fare and classy cocktails
Aspire, an elegant restaurant with dramatic crystal chandeliers and plush maroon banquet seating, serves contemporary Rhode Island cuisine with fresh New England ingredients for lunch and dinner. Seating is also available outside in the courtyard. Aspire is quite popular with weddings and private parties, which means it is sometimes closed to the public.
A-Bar offers signature cocktails and classic drinks in sexy surroundings. Both indoor and courtyard seating are available.
Hotel Providence is an 80-room boutique hotel centrally located in Providence's Arts and Entertainment District. The interior decor is a mix of traditional New England and European styles, though some may find the rooms more old-fashioned than upscale. But the restaurant and bar have a much more contemporary and sexy feel -- and thus draw a hip, stylish crowd. While its location means plenty of things to do, it also can mean lots of room noise in the summer and on weekends, and there's no pool (you'll find one at the Providence Marriott Downtown). Still, it's a popular site for weddings, and guests traveling with their dogs will likely appreciate the pet-friendly rooms and the "pet concierge" station in the lobby.