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
I traveled to Newport for two nights on the spur of the moment, two days before my birthday. The Vanderbilt looked lovely on the website, and I decided to splurge a bit. The staff was delightful,and the details, including a welcome glass of prosecco, still,sparkling water and fruit in my room were a beautiful touch. Unfortunately, however, the overall experience was not great. I did not sleep either night that I was there, as the heating unit was extremely loud,and kept turning on and off all night. It was a cold night, so I could not turn it off. In addition, the room I was in was close to the nearby church and there were bells every hour on the hour. Lastly, the food left much to be desired. I am a vegetarian,and the options were limited. I went with a vegetarian quesadilla and couldn't finish it because it was very salty.
The hotel was very ncie the rooms were very clean the had great turndown service the staff was very freindly and helpful the food was great they had homemade jams for breakfeast the dinners were very good the staff in the restraunts were very friendly the hotel is very nice the spa was great has a great pool to
We found the hotel to be outstanding in every way: the staff, accommodations, food and service. Add to these attributes the fact the hotel is within walking distance of many Newport sites. You won’t be disappointed.
Wonderful babymoon at the Grace Vanderbilt with my husband. Everyone at the Vanderbilt was warm and welcoming. The hotel was impeccably clean and elegantly decorated. The amenities were fantastic and location in Newport perfect...easy walk to great restaurants and shopping on the waterfront. Would strongly recommend the Vanderbilt to others.
We had a wonderful “babymoon” at the Vanderbilt and only regret not staying longer! The resort was willing to accommodate our reservation so that we would not be penalized if our baby decided to arrive sooner than expected! Everyone was so helpful and accommodating, from entering the front door to receiving our car at departure. Staff was personable, and details like the personalized greeting note with sweet treats in the room added such a nice touch. The location can’t be beat, with a 2 minute walk to hit Thames with shops and restaurants galore - right across from the Wharf area with great food and bars as well! Can’t wait to visit again with our new addition!