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Perched at the head of the Providence River, Rhode Island’s diminutive capital is somehow picturesquely quaint and effortlessly on-trend all at the same time. Founded in 1636, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is also renowned as a center of learning and creativity, thanks in large part to the presence of prestigious institutions such as Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. A walk through Providence’s compact downtown area reveals galleries and theaters standing shoulder-to-shoulder with arty bars and beautiful Italianate buildings. It is a city for foodies and culture lovers, students and sports enthusiasts - and its hotel options are just as diverse. Need help deciding where to stay? Keep reading to see nine of the best hotels in Providence.
Best Overall: Hotel Providence
Four-star Hotel Providence is a much-loved downtown icon, located just a few short steps from the Providence Performing Arts Center. The building dates back to 1882, and inside, an atmosphere of Old-World charm is perpetuated by collections of classic novels, artworks and antiques. The lobby often doubles as an exhibition space for local artists. In each of the 80 rooms and suites, a pillow-topped mattress and a goose-down comforter guarantee a good night’s sleep. Other luxury touches include a marble bathroom, an iHome docking station and a Keurig coffee maker.
The hotel is well equipped for every kind of traveler. Kids will love the cookie jar at reception, while a doggy lounge with beds and treats caters to your furry friends. You can host a meeting or a private party in a number of different venues, ranging from an intimate boardroom to a tented terrace complete with sparkling chandeliers. For a seasonal menu featuring the finest New England cuisine, head to Backstage Kitchen & Bar.
Best Budget: Providence Hostel & Guesthouse
For clean, charismatic accommodations that won’t break the bank, look no further than Providence Hostel & Guesthouse. This is a low-key option located in a quiet neighborhood within a 20-minute bus ride of the city center. The staff members are friendly, and with only a small selection of private bedrooms and shared dormitories, it’s easy to feel at home. One of the dormitories is exclusively for ladies, and all rooms include linens and free Wi-Fi. Discounted rates are available for longer stays.
Save money by cooking for yourself in the communal kitchen. The open-plan living room is a great place to meet new friends or watch TV, while the guest computer is a plus for those traveling without a smartphone. Other complimentary perks include tea and coffee, lockers, luggage storage and bike storage. There’s coin-operated laundry on-site, and if you don’t feel like cooking, you’ll find several restaurants and bars within a few minutes’ walk.
Best Boutique: Christopher Dodge House
Located a short stroll from Rhode Island State House in historic Smith Hill, Christopher Dodge House is a charming red-brick Italianate mansion. Built in 1858 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has since been lovingly restored. Nevertheless, an array of original features remain, ranging from marble fireplaces to ornate plaster moldings. Choose from 14 atmospheric guestrooms equipped with the finest hand-crafted wood furniture.
Other in-room luxuries include free Wi-Fi and a heated bathroom with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Some rooms boast a working fireplace. In the morning, sit down to a full hot breakfast, then spend the rest of the day sampling the hotel’s signature homemade cookies and pastries. To counter the effects of these complimentary goodies, all guests are eligible for passes to a gym located a five-minute walk away. Free off-street parking is another major perk.
Best for Families: Hampton Inn & Suites Providence Downtown
Situated near the river on the western edge of the city center, Hampton Inn & Suites is an easy walk from family-friendly attractions such as the Providence Children’s Museum. You can afford to travel light, as bulky essentials such as cribs, playpens and high chairs are all available at the hotel. For maximum space and privacy, choose a One-Bedroom Suite. In addition to a master bedroom for Mom and Dad, there’s a separate living room with a pull-out sofabed and an HD TV.
All suites include a fridge (handy for storing your kids’ favorite snacks), while a microwave and coffeemaker allow for basic self-catering. Before heading out to explore the city, enjoy the hotel’s free hot breakfast, complete with an array of child-friendly items. There’s a fitness center on-site, as well as plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby.
Best for Romance: Providence Biltmore Curio Collection by Hilton
Surrounded by downtown galleries and theaters, the historic Providence Biltmore is the perfect pick for a romantic weekend getaway. Designed by the architects of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the hotel seamlessly blends Twenties glamor with contemporary comfort. It stands out as the only hotel in the city with a full-service spa, allowing you to spoil your loved one with a long list of massage and beauty treatments.
Rooms are made for quality alone time, with custom-made King beds, an oversized TV and Biltmore Spa bathroom amenities. The Grande Suite adds a decadent touch with a free-standing marble tub. In the evening, celebrate a special occasion with a romantic meal at McCormick’s & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks restaurant. Other perks include a fitness center, free Wi-Fi and valet parking.
Best Luxury: Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel
Four-star Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel enjoys an enviable location in between Rhode Island State House and Providence Place Mall. The Neoclassical building was originally constructed as a Masonic temple in the 1920s and retains an aura of timeless elegance today. Inside, the hotel is sleek and contemporary. Rooms offer luxury amenities (think pillow-topped mattresses and custom duvets, marble bathroom and free Wi-Fi).
Splurge on a stay in the Presidential Suite for stunning State Capitol views and unlimited space, divided between a library, a study and separate living and dining rooms. You can work out in style in the on-site fitness center, while Public Kitchen & Bar is a gathering place for the city’s elite. Expect finely executed contemporary American cuisine paired with delicious craft cocktails.
Best for Nightlife: The Dean Hotel
On-trend pick The Dean Hotel is located across the street from the Dunkin' Donuts Center, home of world-class concerts and sports events. With two excellent bars, this design-led hotel also offers plenty of options for partying on-site. Head to The Magdalenae Room for expertly mixed cocktails or to The Boombox for sake and karaoke. In between parties, Bolt Coffee offers revitalizing artisan brews, while Bavarian beer hall Faust sets the scene for the next night’s celebrations with German pretzels, sausages and draughts. This hotel is especially suited to groups of friends traveling together, with several bunk-style rooms for up to four people. All rooms feature vintage furniture, free Wi-Fi, a TV and a signature black bathroom.
Best Business Hotel: Omni Providence Hotel
Offering direct access to the Rhode Island Convention Center, Omni Providence Hotel is especially convenient for business travelers. It also has 20 meeting rooms of its own, all of which feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. Guestrooms and suites are designed to make work easier, with a spacious desk, high-speed Internet and a coffeemaker (essential for productive early mornings). After your meetings, de-stress in the yoga and fitness studio or with a few laps in the heated indoor pool. There are three restaurants, including Italian Centro Restaurant and Fleming’s Steakhouse, a sophisticated spot for celebrating a new business deal.