Bathrooms are small, and some guests complain of poor water pressure
Some wear and tear visible in the rooms
Providence's grand dame, the Biltmore has maintained charming historic features -- such as coffered ceilings and an old mail slot that runs from the top floor to the bottom -- while seamlessly incorporating modern necessities, like free Wi-Fi, a small gym, and an on-site Starbucks. Rooms are massive, and even those with two beds have exclusively king-size mattresses. Updates such as attractive orange duvets and sunburst mirrors add some appeal, but the bathrooms are quite small and, despite renovations, there's still a bit of wear and tear. Nonetheless, with a great location downtown, it's a solid base for exploring the city. Those who'd prefer a hotel with a pool may want to consider the nearby Marriott, which has both an indoor and outdoor pool.
An historic property in the center of downtown Providence
Though the Marriott Downtown is also housed in an historic building, the Providence Biltmore arguably holds the title as the city's grand dame. Built in 1922 by the same architects who designed New York's Grand Central Station, the Biltmore impresses guests upon entry with high coffered ceilings and dark wood paneling throughout the lobby and mezzanine above. It very much has the feel of a large, somewhat corporate property. There's a Starbucks on-site, and decor is attractive, if a bit generic; picture cream-colored hallways throughout, and rooms with bright orange duvets, added as an attempt to infuse some color and modernity.
The Biltmore remains independently run, but it became the fourth property in Hilton's Curio Collection in late 2014, meaning members can receive rewards points during their stay. Most guests here are business travelers, particularly during the week and when the weather's cooler, but the hotel also hosts families on vacation, visitors to the many colleges and universities in the area, and couples using Providence as their home base while exploring other areas of Rhode Island, such as Newport.
Adjacent to the government buildings, the Providence Biltmore has 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.
15-minute drive to T.F. Green Airport
60-minute drive to Boston Logan Airport
10-minute walk to Amtrak Station in the Capital Centre Project
5-minute drive to State House, Providence Place Mall, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence Performing Arts Center
10-minute drive to the Roger Williams Park with a zoo, planetarium, carousel, and lake with canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating
No matter the room category, all beds are king-size.
Rooms here are massive, and all -- even those with two beds -- have king-size mattresses. Renovations brought in attractive decor -- a blue-and-orange color scheme, plush pillows, and sunburst mirrors -- as well as free Wi-Fi, large flat-screen TVs with an impressive list of available channels, mini-fridges (that are not stocked), and walk-in closets with safes and ironing boards. However, the bathrooms are tight and show some wear and tear.
There aren't a ton of spa options in Providence, and the spa at the Biltmore certainly stands out as one of the best downtown. Off of the lobby, it's a serene place where guests and locals can indulge in massages, facials, manicures, and various other treatments. Many of the brides who choose the Biltmore as their wedding venue (the property is home to several grand options) get their hair and makeup done here before the nuptials. Along with the grand ballroom, the hotel offers a couple other venues well-suited for weddings and conferences, and there are numerous smaller meeting rooms, as well as a business center, also available.
It may be small, but the 24-hour gym here is well-equipped with several treadmills and ellipticals, a bike, a weight machine, and free weights. Mats are also provided. It's largely frequented by business travelers getting a sweat in before meetings, as are the on-site Starbucks and McCormick & Schmick's, which serves all three meals. Room service is also available, and the hotel often hosts a happy hour in the lobby with free wine and light appetizers.
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