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
Great venue for both a cocktail and scenic view. We recently visited with friends and enjoyed taking time to overlook the water while enjoying each other’s company. A must do when showing visitors the beauty of Newport.
Came to Vanderbilt for a three night stay. Traveled with friends celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary.
I have traveled all over the United States, Africa and Europe. The cost of this hotel was over $800 per night. I was shocked when I walked into my suite. The suite was a hodge podge of:
Brown and oatmeal carpeting, old beat up dark wood furniture that didn’t match each other, a tweed couch, orange chairs and a brown chair.
The television was on what looked liked old white Crate and Barrel furniture.
The stairs and railing looked like they were built in another era, blond wood and white paint.
The upstairs bedroom area was small, had a little TV set on an old beat up brown wood dresser, minimal art work on the walls, and no closet. The bed was set in an olive green base with matching upholstered headboard
The entire suite was an eclectic disaster.
The hallways are dingy and the carpet is in lousy shape.
I have never been so turned off by a hotel.
I am so insulted that I had to pay over $800 a night. If we weren’t traveling with friends, I would have left and found a different hotel.
There was one closet by the front door and the dresser in the upstairs bedroom was so awful I wouldn’t put my clothes in the drawers.
The only appealing thing about this hotel is the outside when you pull up.
I am pretty fussy but the service was excellent. Meghans at the front desk was helpful in every way....getting us fresh coffee in the morning, suggesting activities and restaurants, and letting us know in advance that the bike helmets had been lost.
The footprint of the property near the harbor was small but worked...a large indoor pool and decent fitness area (for a small hotel with 35 rooms), a gorgeous rooftop bar (beware slow service, but this was the only issue). Our suite had eight windows and a partial bridge/water view. It was really perfect and the shower was the first i had seen with a double jet.
Meghans for President!