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Inside The Hotels of One College Grad's Great American Road Trip

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  Site Where: 351 Thames Street [map], Newport, RI, United States, 02840
June 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM | by | ()

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.

We were very close to booking a room at the Vanderbilt Grace but we opted to use HotelTonight to book Forty 1° North instead. This was my first experience booking with Hotel Tonight and overall, it was a pretty seamless process.

When we arrived at the hotel, we had a very friendly receptionist who brought us up to our room. Unfortunately, we were given a room overlooking the parking lot (not the ocean) with two queen beds. We opted to switch rooms but we were stuck with a 45-minute wait until we could get into a room with a king size bed.

Dining Detour
We decided to hit up Christie’s, a casual tapas spot owned by the hotel, in the meantime. The décor and waitstaff were very fun and the food was splendid. I have heard amazing things about Forty 1° North’s other restaurant, The Grill, which is actually inside the hotel, where Christie’s is in a building next door. Daniel Leahy, co-founder of Savored, recommended The Grill’s wine pairing menu, available at the Oval Bar every Wednesday at 6:30.

Room Reaction
After our early dinner, we headed back to the hotel so the concierge could closely inspect our new room to ensure that it was in tip-top shape for our stay. The new room was infinitely better than the the original room, with an electric fireplace, gigantic bath tub, and windows overlooking the ocean. We were thrilled with the upgrade and even more thrilled with the quirky and fun vibe of the room.

Amenity Madness
Every room comes complete with a different Dr. Seuss book, iPad, and iPod touch that sat on a dock integrated into the wall. Have they overdone the “hip-factor?” For me, no but for the typical 50+ Newport go-er, the added tech and fun quirks might come off as a bit tacky. I rarely turn on the television when I stay at hotels but for those who want in-room entertainment, most rooms are stacked with a host of A/V inputs integrated in the wall.

The minibar was stocked with the necessary amenities and large goblets for your drinking pleasure. We put these goblets to good use. However, the “Intimacy Kit” was missing from the guest that had stayed the night before. Whoops. The receptionist had the housekeepers bring an Intimacy Kit to the room so that we wouldn’t be charged for it. Awkward.

Bathroom Bonanza
I think the bathroom was the most impressive part of the room, with an incredibly large bathtub, (MALIN+GOETZ) bath products, and a spacious standup shower. The glass above the bath is tinted white and you’re able to see the silhouette of someone standing on the other side. Overall, the bathroom stood out as larger and more luxurious than most hotels that I’ve stayed in.

Service Style
In addition to the gorgeous high-tech room with an amazing ocean-view, we were also very impressed with the concierge. She organized a car for us very last minute to get us to our evening engagement. When we returned in the wee-hours, we were greeted by the night-time receptionist who gladly pushed our checkout time to noon. Thanks man, we needed it!

Bottom Line
We paid $242 plus $32 in taxes on HotelTonight. We also had a credit of $25 on HotelTonight so the total was $247.

If you are looking to hit up Newport this summer and wish to stay in a hip, luxurious yet unpretentious accommodation, you must look up Forty 1° North.

Keep following Teddy's road trip hotel series all week long and next on HotelChatter! Next stop, WASHINGTON, DC!

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