I recently stayed at The Hotel Providence and found the staff to really excel; the front desk and bellmen were especially accomodating.
My hotel room was smaller than I expected but I found it nicely furnished, at least visually, but the pieces were clearly replicated in a Bombay Furniture (light wood, not heavy pieces) way. I also found the position of the room's chair strange as it blocked the full length mirror in the room. I had to constantly move the chair back and forth out of the way of the mirror and back to its original position since I didn't want the chair sitting in the middle of the room.
The bathroom was very nice and modern, complete with sample size Molton Brown products line and rain shower w/ plush linens and robes. However, the lighted magnifying mirror attached to the bathroom wall did not light, not to mention the lamp on the desk in the room was missing one lightbulb. I know these are small oversights but 4-5 star boutiques should not forget the smaller details.
I did notice that soundproofing may be an issue. I could hear the person next door coughing, could clearly hear through the door as others were walking by or being escorted to their hotel rooms and I could hear at 4 am, early in the morning when someone came from the stairs to slip the express checkout paperwork under my door.
The bed was very very very comfortable though. I really enjoyed my sleep. Fair warning -- ask for a room that does not face the church on Westminster (?) unless you like bell music ringing on the hour every hour.
The breakfast buffet is small, but I think it's complimentary. I'm a bit confused by this because a *continental* breakfast is complimentary for all hotel guests, but the buffet is not supposed to be. But there was only the buffet offered so I have no idea what the difference is between a continental and the buffet. No menus were offered for a la carte so this is the guest's only option. My hotel rate included the buffet. 20% gratuity and tax is also already included if you do pay for this.
A really nice touch are three complimentary newpapers every morning for hotel guests -- The Providence Journal, USA Today and The NY Times. They aren't delived outside the hotel door but are located in the lobby.
The neighborhood is still in the process of being revitalized (not quite there yet) but if you have the opportunity to drive down Westminster St. at night, it's really quite stunning (you'll see). The location of the hotel is a little misleading as the hotel entrance/valet is actually on Mathewson Street. Straight down Mathewson and across is the Providence Journal. walk right around this building is the Westin Hotel which you can go through to acess the Providence Place Mall, less than 2 blocks away.
Parking is valet only, $24 which is steep, but I was able to come and go as I please which was very nice and there was no waiting for my car to arrive which was even nicer. I never had to stand or wait outside or wait in the lobby. And if I called down beforehand, they had the car waiting right outside.
Also, what is nice about The Hotel Providence is that the hotel tax is already included in your room rate. If you reserve through Priceline, it may not be, but if you find a rate through the hotel, the prices reflect that it is inclusive.
I think this is a very nice small boutique hotel and the service is definintely more personalized than the Providence Westin. I think there is still a wee bit room for growth, not with the staff but the actual hotel itself, as it's only been open since January '05. It is a small hotel though and does not have the corporate structure of the Westin but you know you're at The Hotel Providence because when you walk in, you are greeted and staff knows exactly who you are. You walk in to the Westin and it makes no difference because there are too many people to account for.
I would be inclinded to stay here again for my next visit to Providence (hopefully soon!). The staff is very personable and the hotel and location have lots of charm. I would love if the weather were warmer to be able to sit out on the terrace for breakfast or for dinner.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.