We stayed at Bellevue this summer for a family reunion of 13 people. It's a strong choice for that kind of gathering as there are a variety of buildings and accommodations to suit (as in our group) family members with kids as well as singles and couples. Location is a short walk uphill from the main harbor area. It's convenient and yet quieter than being "in town" but it is a bit tiring to walk up the hill at end of a long day walking or biking around the island or when arriving with luggage. The grounds and buildings are nice and well cared for. The staff was OK -- just average on the scale of helpfulness and friendliness. The breakfast that is provided with some rooms is just OK -- a variety of pastries, one kind of not very good yogurt, muesli, nice fresh fruit. No variety from day to day.
A few things you should think about if you're planning to stay here:
The main one is noise. How noisy it will be depends in large part on who else is staying at the Bellevue at the same time as there is a relatively small space including a central outdoor area that everyone is sharing. We were bothered by another family group the first two nights when they stayed up late, sat and partied on the Windrose porch and were quite loud, even after we politely asked them to be quiet about midnight. And we may have bothered other guests when we used some of the outdoor dining tables for big group dinners, although we finished and went inside not long after dark in part to avoid bothering others.
Unless you buy out the whole place, you will be sharing a fairly small space with other guests, and it tends to attract groups who want to gather outside. So there will be noise and not much privacy, and you may feel crowded. (It wasn't just us: One couple spoke very strangely to my sister when she sat reading a book on the porch of the main house, which is where her room was. They seemed to have some idea that the entire front porch belonged to them while they were staying there -- or they wished it did!)
The other problems we had were specific to the building that we (a couple) stayed in - the Windrose House. It does not have A/C and the weather was unusually hot and humid, but really you'd need the windows there open at night any time in the summer. Not only was the room hot (despite fans running non-stop) but we could hear all the noise outside. And even on nights when there wasn't noise on the Bellevue grounds itself, we had noise almost all night long from a building across the street that's apparently some sort of hostel or other cheap accommodations. So college age and twentysomething kids were out there drinking, talking loudly and even yelling and arguing every single night we were there almost until dawn!
Another problem with Windrose was that the bed in the Walnut room where we stayed is ridiculously high off the ground -- like antique beds you see in museums. I'm a bit taller than the average woman and able-bodied, but getting on and off that bed at night was like a gymnastics maneuver. It also seemed small for a supposedly queen size bed. The upshot was, given the bed, the heat, the lack of A/C, and the noise, we did not sleep well the entire week we were there -- even with earplugs in! One night I literally got a single hour of sleep. That doesn't make for a good vacation.
The family members who stayed in other Bellevue buildings seemed mostly happy with their accommodations, which all had A/C, other than a complaint that the beds upstairs in "Cottage Sweet Cottage" are quite short, as if sized for kids not adults.
My final comment is general, since Bellevue isn't even one of the more expensive places on Block Island, but -- this place isn't cheap! We spent MORE for a small double room (with all the problems named above) for just 5 nights than we've recently paid to stay in nice, comfy apartments in two major European cities for a full two weeks!!
Given the expense, I suggest you really research Block Island to see if it's where you want to vacation. We found it disappointing, especially given the price of everything (including food) and also the huge build-up it gets as a beautiful place. It's OK, but we were expecting a place much more beautiful and interesting -- and it is very touristy and crowded. There are other more beautiful places to go in coastal New England, such as in Maine or Cape Cod, that aren't as pricey (or not any more so) than BI and are much more appealing, with more to do.
- Also Known As:
- Bellevue House Hotel Block Island