Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Resort-like experience in the middle of downtown Providence
The Great Room (you might recognize it as a lobby) is an example of where the Marriott decided to go with its renovations in 2011. Bright, spacious, and punched up with colorful furniture and accents, it's an inviting, contemporary space that sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, which caters to business travelers and families alike.
The indoor/outdoor pool is the hotel's main stand-out factor among its competition -- modern and spacious, it comes complete with pretty lounge seating, fire pits, and a poolside cafe. The Jacuzzi is a bit small for the size of the hotel, though, so plan to cozy up with strangers when it's crowded. For non-water activity, head to the Bluefin Grille and Bluefin Lounge -- a hot spot among locals -- for some New England fare and cocktails.
Adjacent to the Capital District
Adjacent to the government buildings (you can see the State House from the lobby), Marriott Providence Downtown is a great location for travelers wanting to see the city’s sights, and maybe get in some shopping at the Providence Place Mall, too.
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 an easily walkable city. 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.
Nice, spacious rooms with modern amenities
Rooms feature contemporary decor in warm colors and flat-screen TVs. As to be expected, as the rates go up, so does the square footage -- but luckily even the standard rooms have enough space to feel comfortable. The beds feature soft sheets and plush comforters, although those who don't prefer ultra-firms beds may wish they had a pillow-top mattress. The furnishings are nice, though standard-chain-hotel style -- no attempts at wowing with decor touches here. Also, although the Amtrak trains are not noisy, some rooms may experience a quick, rumbling vibration as the trains pass by -- something that could slightly alarm some guests at first feel.
Resort-style features from a downtown hotel
Marriott Providence Downtown is a premier hotel chain that has transformed itself into a resort-style destination in the middle of the city. It’s the only hotel in the city to offer free parking. There is also the G Salon on-site, Club Pace (the fitness center), an indoor/outdoor pool that plays host to hot-spot AQUA for private pool parties, and a full-service restaurant and bar that are favorites among locals. And for those who want a little extra with their stay, the Concierge Club (for an extra fee) has you covered for those midday snacks you crave.
Casually sophisticated restaurant, a cocktail lounge, a poolside cafe, and a coffee shop
Open for three meals a day, Bluefin Grille serves casually upscale seafood in sophisticated surroundings. Aside from local seafood, guests can also enjoy locally grown New England fare.
Those who want to experience a local favorite shouldn’t miss the Bluefin Lounge, serving lighter meals and upscale bar fare with signature cocktails.
AQUA satisfies those looking to have a pool party. With specialty drinks, live entertainment, and a full menu, guests can enjoy service by the pool, next to the fire pits or at the bar itself.
The Coffee Shop is great for on-the-go snacks and specialty coffee, and also sells general gift items.
For families and business travelers who want offerings beyond the basics in their mid-range hotel chain, the Marriott Providence Downtown has more than most -- free parking, a variety of bonuses (spa, indoor/outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurant and bars, and business center), and comfortable rooms with nice modern features (flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi). The price is slightly steeper than at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, but that hotel's features offering isn't nearly as complete.