What We Love
- Easy access to Newport’s sights, from the waterfront to art galleries
- The Vanderbilt signature massage, with warm aromatic compresses
- Muse restaurant serves New England favorites like clam chowder
- Indoor and outdoor heated pools
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Block Island, RI
What To Know
- Evening cocktails on the Garden Terrace are popular with guests as well as locals; arrive early
- Valet and self-parking are available for $20 per night
- Pets are allowed but an extra fee is required; see Details for more
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
It’s hard not to be drawn in by the steamy history of this elegant mansion. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt commissioned the building in 1909 for his mistress, Agnes O’Brien Ruiz, wife of the Cuban attaché. The soul of the hotel is its history, but the personality is all Peter de Savary. This well-known yachtsman took over the hotel and refurbished it with great flair. Now operated by upscale hotel group Grace, the property still has de Savary’s collection of original American illustration art, from cheeky pinup girls to New Yorker covers and other humorous early 20th-century works.
Bed and Bath
From the Beaux-Arts front room, grand pillared staircases lead to the 33 rooms and suites. In contrast to the polished Gilded Age style downstairs, guestrooms have a more contemporary look, with white paneled walls, sash windows and a successful mix of fabrics in sherbet shades. Even Deluxe Rooms are a spacious 300 square feet, and all have flat-screen TVs, coffee machines and free WiFi. The are luxe touches, too, from the king-size beds dressed in Italian linens and cashmere throws, to the ample marble bathrooms stocked with Penhaligon amenities.
Opened in 2011, Muse restaurant dishes up New England favorites with a decidedly French twist: venison medallions with a blueberry reduction, pheasant and braised red cabbage, oysters and clam chowder are just some of the tasty sections. As for evening cocktails, there’s no better spot in the hotel (or Newport, for that matter) than the breezy Garden Terrace, with its sea-foam-green wicker chairs and general New England aura of lazy summer afternoons. The Vanderbilt Grace really shows its luxe side in the on-site spa. Take a dip in the indoor heated pool, followed by a couples massage in a candlelit treatment room. The spa uses Yon-Ka products from Paris, which are holistic, handcrafted and heavenly.
In the Area
Just down the street is the historic Newport Tower, as well as sailing and fishing tours in the harbor. Next door, the Newport Art Museum hosts outdoor movies and documentaries. In the summer months, take a sailing tour on one of the champion vessels manned by 12 Meter Charters (many are winners of the America’s Cup) or see the small city on two wheels, with bike rentals from Newport Bicycle. If you have time for only one mansion tour, make it the Breakers for its spectacular platinum walls, and don’t leave without a meal at the Lobster Bar. Get there early to score a front row seat for the sunset.
How to Get There
The place is unattractive, the rooms are very small, it is very expensive and they charge a daily resort fee because they have an unattractive small pool.
Would not recommend The Vanderbilt to anyone.
I highly recommend this hotel. You can walk to everything from it’s location. Walk to the Mansions, the Cliff Walk, the Harbor, the charming and plentiful shops and restaurants. And you can walk to the beach! 😎The restaurant in the hotel is good and the views of the harbor and city from the roof top bar are fabulous. The staff were all friendly, helpful and efficient.
We are just returning from a lovely stay at the Vanderbilt. It is pure luxury with keen attention to detail by the knowledgeable staff. It is the small touches, from the welcome sparkling wine in reception to the fragrant toiletries in the rooms, that make this hotel first class. The facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, gardens and rooftop bar are impeccable.
The staff is fantastic, from Silvio, the valet to Akeem and Elena at reception, all go out of their way to ensure you have a memorable stay. Allison is a visionary manager with wonderful ideas for continuing to make the hotel special. We will certainly be back!
My family and I had the pleasure of staying at the Vanderbilt for my wife’s birthday in early June 2019. Given we have a 5yr old and a 2yr old, we opted for a suite. Rooms were very well priced, especially given their size and family friendly nature. The hotel also has two pools, (one heated indoors and one outdoors, not heated) a sauna, spa and roof deck bar which we made good use of. The is a bar / restaurant downstairs for dinner, as well as conservatory and outdoor dining area for breakfast and lunch. Food was excellent (especially brunch) and service was very friendly and attentive (though can be a little on the leisurely side if you’re in a rush). The location is also excellent as you can enjoy most of Newport on foot. We’ll definitely look to stay there again on our next visit!
We chose the Vanderbilt for an overnight stay in Newport. We originally booked a Cove Suite, as we had read reviews that indicated this would be the best choice in terms of space. I titled this review Contrast in Worlds because its as if two different worlds exist within this hotel. There's the genteel, classic concierge service provided by the staff (though there was a mistake or two) juxtaposed with shabby hotel carpeting, wallpaper and rooms with dated, damaged furnishing, AC that sounds like a jet taking off and linens and sheets that reflected the standards of a Red Roof Inn. When we were taken to our Cove Suite, we passed a room service tray with half eaten food that we could smell. Three hours later the tray was still there, smelling even worse. Our room had dirty carpeting, thin sheets that felt like a poly blend, an old suspect couch and a bed frame that was covered with velvet that was stained with God knows what bodily fluids (was that dark substance blood, I wondered?) We tried our best of make the best of it, but the bed was the last straw and I mentioned it to the concierge. She happily upgraded us to a Master Junior Suite, taking me there to see it before I agreed to the move. The bellhop, who said it was his second day on the job, showed up to help us with our luggage, but had no luggage cart to help us move our stuff. So we all took a piece and carried them to the new room a floor below. While the new room had a cleaner bed, the same lumpy tweedy couch was there and I kid you now, the beat-up nightstands looked like 1930 era furniture. The same LOUD air conditioning was in this room too. The next morning as we were checking out, the concierge was very apologetic again. Our car was brought around and as we were loading the car, the concierge (a gentleman) asked me to come inside to sign something to check out. He asked if we were going to have breakfast and I said not and he pointed out that we had been upgraded to the better room and that included breakfast. The concierge the evening before had not mentioned that and now the car was loaded and my husband waiting outside, so we had to pass. I pointed out that we had not been told breakfast was being provided or we would have woken up earlier and included it in our plans. As we were pulling out of the driveway, the general manager came out to again apologize, give us her card and say that if we needed anything else to let her know. Honestly, I feel terrible for the staff at this hotel, as they are working at a certain level of high quality customer service while the hotel itself is a travesty. We paid an extremely discounted rate and in the end they upgraded our room, offered us the breakfast and refunded our resort fee, so the staff certainly tried to make it right and for that I do appreciate and thank them, but the organization that owns this hotel needs to shut it down, upgrade it to the level of quality that the service strives to achieve and reopen this interesting building having upgraded its facilities and decor.