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
- 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
The Dean is a very small boutique hotel, The room was very small and the elevator to floor was tiny. Room was also well worn and could use some updating with cold little iron tables next to the bed. over all for one night t was fine but I would not ant to stay for long periods of time. Good donuts are available in the lobby bar at breakfast time but the attached restaurant does not open until 5:#0pm
I had the most positive hotel service experience of my entire LIFE at this wonderful establishment this weekend, and marveled at all of the clever details.
First, Naiomi (sp?) helped us check in with total ease, she was just like this breath of beautiful haired perfectly manicured fresh air, every word ended in a smile and when I asked her if it was possible to valet our car before 1pm, she said no problem and radioed the sweet valet guy and he hopped off of his LUNCH BREAK and just appeared in actual seconds to sweep away our car, no trace of his lunch in sight, just a pro smile like he was ready and waiting, we were so stressed from a long commute and it was so comforting.
Then THE INSIDE was like a dream and we loved the tall mirrors in the stairwells, the vintage lift, the neon signs, the chic lounges, the lighting options inside our room, and even the bed was a soft cloud.
I got us coffee as we were getting ready and the baristo was so friendly, served up a Kenyan blend in one minute that was delicious.
THEN I went into the shower, I was so impressed with the hand blended soaps and we smelled great the whole trip, and slept like happy babies. FIVE. STARS.
This is our third year staying at the Dean. We go every year to see A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep. The Dean is right around the corner from the theater. Friendly staff and nice rooms. We will be back for a 4th year next Christmas.
We have stayed at The Dean several times now and choose it for its excellent location in downtown Providence, its always-helpful and friendly staff, and especially for the boutique hotel experience: Rooms differ in size and furnishings, which are carefully chosen to give each room a personality. Comfortable beds! Thanks, The Dean!
Fantastic night at the Dean. Perfect location, great restaurant onsite, and plenty of bars! The hotel staff were friendly! We live in RI and decided to enjoy a night in our capital city! Would definitely go back!