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
- 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
Very thankful for assistance by hotel staff and general manager in advance of stay. Gifted trip by family; management accommodated their advance arrangements and our needs as well. Looking forward to upcoming visit.
Thank you again, Alice.
Hotel beautiful and impeccably maintained. Staff very friendly and attentive. Tea selection great however, finger sandwiches bread stale, scones hard as a rock. Choice of two different cookies only one per person, truffles and chocolate strawberries were delicious but limited to one per person. For the price of $30.00 per person, just not worth it . There are much better tea services in the area. My sister had taken me here as a Christmas gift on 12/26/18.
-really nice and elegant hotel
-very friendly staff
-great location. We didn't need to drive anywhere after checking in because the restaurants, shops and sites that we visited were all within walking distance
-option for "free" valet or self park. I don't like valeting my baby so elected to self park. Since my car is quite low, they let me park in front of the hotel
-free marshmellows and sparkling water on check in
-complimentary water and marshmellows upon checkin
-TVs have hdmi cables hooked up already so its easy to plug in laptop
-large shower with dual shower head
-really high ceilings
-microwave and fridge in room
-AC was extremely loud. Seemed like an old unit, and not something that I expected from a hotel at this price point. It was so loud that I wouldnt be able to sleep through it, so I had to turn it off at night
-$50 resort fee that covers a few things that I did not utilize (only used the wifi). Seemed excessive
-wifi is a bit slow
-fitness room was on the small side
Will be open to staying again, as long as the weather is moderate enough that I don't need to use the noisy AC at night
I stayed here with my husband and our dog for 2 nights around the holidays and had a wonderful experience.
The hotel is truly pet friendly - allowing the dogs to hang out everywhere except the restaurant. There were at least 8 other dogs that we saw during our stay but never heard any of them. All the staff was as attentive to our dog as they were to us and they even had a few items on the room service menu especially for pets!
The hotel was very clean and I loved the fact that the rooms were updated and modern even though the hotel itself is quite old. The housekeeping staff came around each evening for turn down service and provided cookies and water which was a really nice touch. The only issue I had was that we went out one morning and left the Do Not Disturb sign on the door because the room was a mess and we didn't want anyone in the room. When we returned, the housekeeping staff was in the room making the bed. I feel that the staff should never enter when the DND sign is posted especially when the hotel is pet friendly and there could be a pet alone in the room.
The location of the hotel is perfect! We could walk to Starbucks for breakfast, Brick Alley for dinner and all the shops during the day. There are 2 parks just a block away for the dogs to do their business as well. And the Cliff Walk was a quick 5 minute drive.
Overall I would definitely return to this hotel. The staff was so very nice and knew us after only being there for 2 days. Highly recommend!
To give you some background, my husband and I travel all the time and everywhere. One of our favorite things to do is to try different hotels in different states and countries (i.e. Spectator Hotel in Charleston, Four Seasons in Oahu Hawaii, etc). With that said, we stayed at Grace Santorini (Greece) over the summer and had a bad experience (TV was broke during World Cup and we missed almost all the games). However, we decided to give Grace another shot and decided to stay at Grace Vanderbilt during our 2nd trip to our beloved Newport, RI to celebrate our 1st Christmas together as a married couple.
Prepare yourself for a long review. TLDR; After our second experience at Grace, we will no longer be staying at any Grace hotels. Based on the price of the hotel, there are other five-star hotels we've stayed at before that delivered stellar service that we'd recommend.
Keep in mind -- we stayed at Grace in winter of 2018, right around Christmas time. After making our hotel reservation, we were excited to stay at Grace Vanderbilt to celebrate our first christmas as a married couple. Our miserable experience started with little simple things such as not receiving an email confirmation or receiving an email from Bespoke Experience like the website claims we would. No big deal -- I simply emailed the 2 emails listed on the website since my husband and I wanted the hotel to help us plan some experiences (i.e. the glass blowing and spa as mentioned on the site). Turns out though that both emails did not work and I had to call the receptionist to get things cleared up. After talking to the receptionist and asking if they could book some activities for us, the response I got was "you should just book the glass blowing yourself." I'm sitting at home thinking, if you want me to book an experience on my own, then perhaps you shouldn't advertise it on your website as an excursion you are *happy* to plan for us.
Then, two days before we are leaving for Newport, we received an email from Grace Vanderbilt saying that we've been upgraded from our reserved Commodore room to an Admiral one-bedroom. Excited, we arrived to the hotel to learn that "we've downgraded you back to a Commodore because after upgrading you, someone else booked the admiral and there's no guarantee of an upgrade." Honestly, that is the WORST experience I've ever had with a luxury five-star hotel. If upgrades aren't guaranteed, then you shouldn't email guests in advanced of an upgrade and only provide upgrades on the spot. If you really were to upgrade us and then "downgrade" us again, then an email to explain would've been the basic thing to do. After sharing this frustration with the receptionist, his response was "well... you're staying at the room you reserved." Which, yes, at least they didn't double book our room. But we were surprised that the hotel didn't seem the least bit to care or sympathize with the fact that they had notified us for an upgrade and downgraded us back
After being shown to our hotel room (and we're happy with the location and the quaint look of the hotel), we soon realized even more issues: (1) our phone didn't work (2) we did not have a do not disturb sign (3) we were missing a room slipper and worst yet (4) our heater didn't work. Our first night there, we set the heat to 72 only to wake up to a full body of sweat as our room as 86F. We complained to the hotel and they claimed they "fixed it." Nope.. they definitely didn't fix it and we had to go the 2nd night by turning off the heater (to avoid another 86F night) and this time, we woke up shivering. Finally, I called them up again to fix our heater and the electrician said "well, you can't set a room over 70F because then it wouldn't work." WHAT does that even mean?
If you want to ask if I complained all the following issues, I did. Guess what they gave us? Our daily resort credit waived... which really didn't solve any issues. My husband came down with the flu and I'm sure the heater situation really didn't help. We never slept well during our 3 nights there.
So how would I rate Grace Hotel? I'd rate it a 1-star... purely because the location was great and the hotel itself was cute & adorable. The hotel had a vibe of the Newport character, but I don't think the service justifies the $$$$ of the hotel.