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
This hotel is trendy and has a nice vibe to it.It is in a good location too. Walking distance to alot of stuff. The staff wasnt the best I've ever experienced. When we arrived to the hotel the two girls at the front desk seemed more concerned with the computer than making eye contact with me and/or making me feel welcome. Both of the bartenders downstairs were rude. I spend my life in customer service and this experience left me wishing for more. I dont believe that this hotel is worth what we paid to stay here and I probably wouldn't come again.
We had a king room and stayed 4 nights at a cost of $800. The room was spartan with one tiny table, an uncomfortable wicker chair and no wardrobe or storage space for clothes. There were 2 hooks on the wall and 6 hangers.
On the ground floor there is a coffee bar a bar/ restaurant and two bars. These are not managed by the hotel. There are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room and if you want a cup ( paper cup) of coffee in the morning you have to go down to the ground floor and stand in line with customers from the street and then try to negotiate either the ancient lift with a sliding metal gate or take the stairs having inserted your door card in the door security lock.
Thus, the only facility the hotel management control is the servicing of the rooms and they don’t manage that very well. We have never stayed in a hotel where the room servicing was so slow. The room was never serviced before 4pm. On the last day we were out from 10.30am to 4.30pm and left the ‘please do’ tag on the door. Room was not serviced. Spoke to housekeeping staff at 5pm and to reception as we left for the evening at 7pm. Room was done when we returned.
The hotel is not cheap, it is well located and has a ‘hipster vibe’ but the average motel provides better facilities.
The hotel would be OK for a one night stay but avoid if you want a relaxing longer stay.
This hotel was the only positive thing in a town without much else to offer. So stylish, funky and paying tribute to the original features of the building.The bar at the hotel, North (the fantastic restaurant) and the coffee shop. All good stuff!
The guardian suite was awesome, spacious and cool.
There could have been a fridge, as their minibar only had room temperature water.
The staff is amazing! From the second we got out of the car the valet guy was right there to see if we needed help. The front desk worker was very attentive and took her time to answer every question we had, as my friend and I were walking up the stairs with our 8 bags, an employee was coming up from the basement & he dropped everything he was doing to help us with our bags! The room was very clean and cute. The shower was amazing! If I ever go back to providence I will be staying here. We came down for the Halsey concert and I looked at the difference hotels in the area, The Dean was the cheapest & has the most stars. I was looking at the Hilton & than the Marriott, I gave the dean a chance & it blew every expectation that I had!
My wife and I chose to come here on our trip to Providence. We could have gone with a generic chain hotel, but wanted to go someplace unique. Bottom line: This place is *definitely* unique. Worth a visit even if you are staying someplace else. The style of the place is super hip and very memorable.
Humans make mistakes, but the mark of good hospitality is how you deal with them. The service level here is superior to what I've experienced at similarly priced venues. A mistake was made with our booking. The hotel took full responsibility immediately. We were quickly made aware of the issue and upgraded to a larger sized room at no additional cost. There's also some construction happening next door. The staff has earplugs in the rooms already available for sensitive sleepers, but if you're a city-dweller like myself I doubt you'll even notice the noise. The rooms we stayed in were very clean.
The location is unbeatable. You're a 10-15 minute walk from virtually everything you would need, including a mall full of shops. A 30 minute drive in normal traffic would take you to pretty much any place in RI you might want to visit.
Having said that, travelers should be warned that this is not a typical hotel experience. Definitely catering to a younger crowd. There's an attached karaoke bar and speakeasy. The restaurant next door, North, and the coffee shop, Bolt, might appeal to foodies but not casual diners. Don't get me wrong---they're delicious, but adventurous and not for everyone.
In short, if we find ourselves back in PVD we'll be coming here again.