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
I had asked if I could check in early for my wedding day prep two weeks before the big day. I was told that I could and it was a service they provided but that I would have to call back a day or two before. When I called back they told me they couldn’t make any promises and told me to email some person, promising to email me her contact information, which never happened. If I had known there was that much uncertainty then I would have booked an extra night but instead I was extra stressed about where and when I could get ready with hair, makeup and my photographer. Additionally my maid of honors room was not large enough to get ready early either, which we were told was an option. The room wasn’t even big enough for a cot (which they apparently only have one of in the whole hotel)
The last thing a hotel should do is make you feel like you're at a hotel. The Dean, Olivia, and every other employee we encountered left us feeling like we've been here our whole lives.
It felt familiar. It felt honest. It felt like home. And we felt reassured and comforted for it.
Don't ever lose focus, you're doing a great job, and we will coming back in droves.
We loved everything about The Dean Hotel!! The staff, the atmosphere, and the location. Not to mention the bed, it was the most comfortable bed we’ve ever slept in!! We will be back to stay again! Highly recommended!