RI Travel Guide
If you've ever booked a weekend getaway in one of New England's charming little seaside towns, you know there's nothing 'charming' about the average hotel rates there. So this may not come as much of a surprise, but for the rest of you—here's a warning.
A new study by Cheap Hotels has named Newport, RI as the country's most expensive city when it comes to hotels. Santa Monica, Martha's Vineyard, Wailea...well, they're all bad. But at an average of $319 per night for a double room, Newport has 'em all beat.
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a job in tech. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
I like hotels… a lot. I have always been intrigued by Paul Carr’s hotel reviews, especially his series, “The Strip Diary,” where he stayed in a new hotel in every night in Las Vegas for a month. So I have decided to review some of my favorite hotels right here on HotelChatter.
For starters, I wanted to review Forty 1° North in Newport, Rhode Island where I stayed last Wednesday night with my girlfriend, Sally. The new LEED-registered Thames Street Forty 1° North is a 28-room seaside yachters’ paradise. Finding a hip and luxurious hotel in Newport is not the easiest thing in the world but I’m quite sure that Sally and I achieved it.
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We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
On Monday we were snooping around the gleaming Italian-tiled atrium inside Forty 1 North. What we also happened to find inside the rooms was this plastic framed hole in the wall. No, it's not an air freshener. And no, it's not art. In fact, it doesn't 'do' something as much as it allows for something else to happen.
What could it be?
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Sad to say, but summer fun—and with it, DJ parties, al fresco dining and outdoor weddings—at Forty 1 North has come to an end. Though we stopped by the hotel during uncharacteristically warm low 60s weather, the three outdoor spaces (Pavilion Deck, Gallery and Courtyard, all located below the lobby) are pretty much out done for the season.
But! Don't let that stop you from a panoramic long weekend in New England's prettiest oceanfront town, Newport, Rhode Island. The LEED-certified hotel, which opened in summer 2010, has found a way to balance that colonial, harbor town feel with a kind of Morgans-esque beauty that feels more state-of-the-art than other properties in the area. Small details, like Italian glass tiles on the floor and pillars, and inlaid wood pieces in the Oval Bar, make the lobby scenic in its own right. And that's before the sun even sets...
It took more than a year after much of the hotel was damaged during massive floods but finally, after extensive renovations, the NYLO Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island will be open once again this Monday. Business Week reports:
Susan Shaw, the new general manager, said the 163-room hotel will open with between 35 and 40 employees, down from 60 at the time of the flood. It will add employees and should reach full capacity by early next year, she said. It will look much like it did before it closed. The restaurant will offer a new menu and have what Shaw described as a more "mellow" feel.
Heading to Warwick and want to give the NYLO some much-needed love? Glass king loft rooms start at $149 a night on Monday and yes, that includes free WiFi. Oh and a cute little toy!
We just got back from a quick trip to Rhode Island, and had a chance to peek at the Renaissance Providence Downtown on the recommendation of a local friend. Turns out, the building, which is across from the State House, has a fascinating history.
Original construction of the Neoclassical landmark started in 1926, when the building was meant to be a Masonic temple. But after a lack of funds halted construction in 1928, the building was abandoned and left largely untouched. A local historian told the New York Times in 2006:
When I first came to work in the 1970s, you could go in there, and you could see the hand tools that were still sitting where they had been put down in 1928.
We've got a thing for cute hotel animals here and we've long covered the animals hard at "work" in hotels such as Kimpton Hotels Directors of Pet Relations and even The Algonquin's fashionable housecat, Matilda. But the dog in residence at the Hyatt Regency Newport in Rhode Island might be the hardest working hotel dog in the biz.
That's because Schimitty, a Yorkshire Terrier, delivers the news with Meteorologist and ABC Producer Ron Trotta. Ok "delivers" might be too strong of a word has Schmitty just hangs out while Ron gives the weather report but if you watch the video above, you can see Schmitty has some pretty funny thoughts.
When you think of Newport, Rhode Island, what comes to mind? History, preppy New Englanders, and yachts? Jazz? The harbor town definitely has a distinct scene going on, but its newest hotel, Forty 1° North is going for a more sophisticated beachy feel. Some of its amenities you might expect—like docking for 250-foot yachts. But then there are more modern features such as the boutique design and the in-room iPads. Bonus: even the marina has free WiFi.
Forty 1° North has both regular rooms and suites, and cottages and lofts with full kitchens, wet bars and gas fireplaces.
Even in a year of earthquakes and snowicanes, the recent flooding in Rhode Island and other parts of the Northeast was some of the worst weather the region has seen. And for the still-new NYLO Warick the results were very bad indeed.
Two weeks after the storm, the hotel is still closed and may stay that way for up to four months, according to Hotels magazine. Local news channels in Warwick reported that two feet of water flooded the first floor of the hotel, which was being ripped out and replaced by clean-up crews repairing the damage.
We would have done a Guess The Hotel here, but that just seems a bit too easy, no? Even if you're not familiar with Newport, Rhode Island, and the Cliff Walk (that starts right here), the Adirondack chairs, the rolling green lawn, and the rolling waves tend to give it away. Welcome to The Chanler, a historic property right on the beach in Newport.
If the views don't reel you in, then maybe the pear cookies will.
Introduced just this week, the cookies are made right here on the premises, and are deceptively decadent. The welcome amenity used to be fresh fruit until the hotel decided cookies would be a tastier (and economical) choice.
Within a day of the cookies' debut they knew they were onto a winner.
Let's face it: Leaf-peeping can get a tad tedious. Which is why we there was a certain twinkle in our eyes when we heard about the jewelry component--namely two handcrafted Angela Moore bracelets--of the "Baubles, Bubbles and Best Friends" package available at the The Viking Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, not far from the other leaf-peeping locales in New England.
The chilled bottle of champagne and $100 spa credit that are also included aren't too shabby either. For a total cost of $399 per room, nightly, the hotel also tosses in a tour of three of Newport's famed mansions, which we suspect is where the "best friend" bonding part of the deal comes in (we could do that just as happily at the bar).
NYLO Warwick -- the second property in the new NYLO chain, whose first-born is in Plano, Texas -- opened up September 2nd with a look that was bluer and more "Rhode Island" than its Texas counterpart.
And after just under two weeks of being open, the property already has a dozen reviews on TripAdvisor -- and they're all absolutely glowing. No joke.
ICOH describes it best:
The new NYLO in Warwick, RI is like finding a really good book. The "cover" catches your eye on the shelf, so to speak -- meaning that the exterior of the hotel is a wonderfully restored new england mill (part of the Pontiac Mill complex) that you just have to admire and want to dive into - and then the "story" (your stay) immerses you in a fun and refreshing experience!