The Dean Hotel
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Winner: Best Style Steal
- Vintage decor from such places as France, Belgium and the Netherlands
- The Dean’s design by ASH NYC is full of carefully considered details
- An overall clean and contemporary look that retains original touches from when the building was constructed, in 1912
- Free WiFi
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Block Island, RI
What To Know
- The hotel’s karaoke lounge, Boombox, is open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (and it can be noisy)
- Rooms with bunkbeds are a tight squeeze
- Valet parking is $23 per night
- The hotel opened in April 2014
- No gym, but discounts to nearby Boston Sports Club are available
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Fronting Fountain Street in downtown Providence, the Dean (the name pays homage to the city’s collegiate roots) was built as a “church house” in 1912. Fast-forward to 2014, and the four-story property has been lovingly restored and transformed into a boutique hotel by ASH NYC, but original elements (floors and an old-school crosshatch elevator) remain. The ambience is hip yet laid-back; the intimate lobby lounge features a library curated by a local bookstore and benches made from repurposed pommel horses, while upstairs the dim hallways have neon signs by artist Oliver Clegg with kitschy slogans such as “last chances.”
Bed and Bath
The hotel’s 52 guestrooms have a masculine tone (each has a different portrait dubbed “the Dean”), with salvaged dark hardwood floors, slatted blinds, wall-mounted antique Edison lightbulbs and elephant nightstands; some have separate sitting areas with buttery leather chairs. Low-slung beds with crisp white down comforters, pillows and Brahms Mount throw blankets sit atop metal frames from Providence metal artist Nate Nadeau. The bathrooms have doorless rainfall showers, vintage tarnished gold faucets, and black hexagonal tiling and wainscoting, as well as custom toiletries that are a blend of oils including Canadian fir, cedar atlas, bay laurel, bergamot, lavender and white grapefruit.
Start your morning with a cup of java from Bolt Coffee Company while flipping through one of the lobby’s art books. Faust is the Dean’s German beer hall, featuring murals by local artists Amanda Albanese and Kyla Coburn, and serves hearty eats such as pork schnitzel with malt vinegar–braised onions, peas and potato puree. In the rear of the space is a trendy cocktail den with an impressive custom woodwork ceiling. Perhaps the hotel’s best asset is the aptly named karaoke lounge, Boombox. Reserve a room with friends for an evening (it’s open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday) and belt out your favorite tunes.
In the Area
The Dean is within walking distance of Providence’s best attractions. Spend an afternoon browsing the galleries at the RISD Museum before embarking on a sunset cruise with Providence River Boat Company. Borrow one of the hotel’s bicycles and explore the city on two wheels, and make a stop at New Harvest Coffee Roasters in the Arcade (America’s oldest indoor shopping mall) and order a whiskey latte. Or take in a show at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
How to Get There
Enjoyed our stay at The Dean! Staff was very helpful, and the fun bunk bed room for a family of 4 made it more interesting than just two double beds. Room was very clean, great little bathroom and comfortable small lobby with a coffee house vibe. Kids really enjoyed the retro lifts to get to our room from the lobby.
Super small room, couldn't accommodate us with a regular bed, my wife and I (55) had to sleep in bunk beds. Fire alarm rang at 2:30 in the morning and we had to evacuate the hotel for about 30 mn, a little cup of coffee and an apology would have been nice in the morning!
There was construction which we were not told about prior.
There are no phones in rooms or slippers.
There are no closets, just little pegs for clothes.
I moved after 1 night.
Truly a terrible hotel run by hipsters and unsuitable for anyone looking for a quality hotel.
This hotel is a great example of a category common in America: "Premium Mediocre".
Read the comments by "cleverreference". I do not have the interest or time to go in such detail for a hotel I would never stay at again. So, just some highlights:
Being hip or cool does not mean not saying "hope you enjoyed your stay with us" upon checkout. Long hold times when I called the front desk. Awkward layout in the room and bathroom -- for a small room it wasted space! Harsh, unbalanced, lighting in the room. Lumpy, uneven queen-sized bed. The Hot and Cold taps were mislabelled -- come on, how easy is that to catch and fix! The acoustics are terrible. I was woken up at 3 am by three loud young drunks stumbling down the stairs in the corridor just outside my door. I called the night person. He came up to speak to them. I could hear him say: "I dont want you not to have fun but could you tone it down a bit." Needless to say all this was to no effect. The four pillows on the bed came in handy as i smothered myself with them in order to go back to sleep. Luckily I was staying for just one night so was super happy that my misfortune was soon to be over. The manager and staff should check out places like the Arlo, both locations, in Manhattan to see how its done in a hotel with micro rooms.
I loved this place. First of all, "north" restaurant is one of the best in town.
The bar is very sexy. I loved my room and bathroom. The staff was excellent
and the value, frankly, was great. I could have paid an extra $100 for a restaurant
for the availability of room service and a robe, but I'd rather stay at The Dean.
To top it off, the coffee bar was great, with a passion fruit doughnut to top of my