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“Nice hotel but staff need re-energising” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Vanderbilt Grace

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The Vanderbilt Grace
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   41 Mary Street, Newport, RI 02840 (Formerly Vanderbilt Hall Hotel)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Newport
Birmingham, UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but staff need re-energising”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2008

There are many plus points to the Vanderbilt. First of all is its location, just off the main street and close to a number of excellent bars and restaurants. The hotel has recently been refurbished and all the furnishings and fittings are absolutley spotless. The rooms are great, big comfy beds, excellent TVs, also our room had a fine selection of books. The air-conditioning and the fridge are good but both made a lot of noise.
Couple of issues, one is its expensive we paid $320.00 for a room with no breakfast. The rooms are very good but at this rate you would expect nothing less.
The next bit is difficult to say without being rude, but the staff are a little bit ...... vacant. Their energy levels seem low and they just don't seem so bright. As an example we asked on a couple of occasions how long was the drive to the Block Island ferry, and both times the staff member looked at us as though we had requested an explanation of Einstein's theory of relativity. Both times we got different and wrong answers. For anyone interested it takes bout 45minutes, but leave an hour if you have to buy tickets etc. The islands beautiful but don't go on a sunny weekend day ,as we did, because it's jammed.
I would go back to the Vanderbilt because of its location and the fact it is a beautifully appointed hotel. However the guy in charge of staff recruitment and training has a bit of work to do. If he wants to see how it should be done visit the Hotel Providence in, funnily enough, Providence.
Must give a mention to the Newport Fastnet bar, traditional Irish pub. The owner, a native of County Cork, opened the pub at 7.30AM to allow me to watch a live English soccer game. Also on Sunday evening they have a group of musicians doing jigs and reels and there's always a good atmosphere. Only a 5 minute walk from the hotel and worth a visit.

  • Liked — Location, room
  • Disliked — Cost
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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450 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
UK
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2008

I have never written a review of a hotel but was compelled due to my recent stay at the Vanderbilt.

We had a very disappointing stay. The staff on the front desk were very rude. The hotel was surprisingly dirty. We had to clean our bath when we got into our room. Also we had breakfast one morning and when we went back the next day to the same table in the dining room it was clear that nobody had cleaned the floor. Food was simply left on the floor under the table. When I pointed this out to the staff, I was told it was their "policy" only to clean once every 24 hours and not when people left the table! I pointed out that they clearly hadn't cleaned even once every 24 hours. I

Although the building is fantastic I agree with the review below that the furniture, decor is bland to the extreme. The hotel has the feeling of a concept design hotel which has been carried out rather half heartedly. This is a shame as if done properly it could be a great hotel.

The service was gruff and unwelcoming.

Finally do not bring children. The hotel does not want children and I was interested by the review below which suggests the same.

We booked two rooms for us (including our baby of 15 months). I asked for a cot. When I double checked just before we arrived that the cot was available I simply recieved a message saying there was no cot as the hotel only has one but is was being used. No help offered. In fact I was told it was another "policy" to only have one cot. What I find most annoying about this was the manner in which the hotel addressed this and other points - very, very unwelcoming.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Customer Service and Cleanliness
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2008

I attended a posh wedding in Newport, RI this past weekend and I had no idea where to book our hotel stay so I went to TripAdvisor for some assistance with my lodging choices. Vanderbilt Hall caught my eye as I like to stay at hotels that show the local history & flavor rather than a cookie cutter type bland "chain" hotel. We were in for a pleasant surprise as I checked in to the most chic & clean darling hotel for our wedding weekend! We had the most enjoyable stay at this hotel. We enjoyed a marvelous room and opted for the Loft Suites as it suited our needs perfectly! We had the most delightful breakfast in a very sunlight -filled & gorgeous european-like greenhouse room off the lobby. I felt immediately transported to the south of France! We were pampered beyond expectations from the lovely check-in areas to the wonderful breakfast & food service, the kind housekeeper who brought extra sheets to the room at midnight and the very cute & attentive valets who staffed the entry! Many of our travel companions stayed at the Newport Marriot and lamented on how awful their hotel was. All I kept saying was that we were treated like a Newport mansion millionaire! We felt as pampered as if we were a member of the Vanderbilt family staying at the wonderful Vanderbilt Hall!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
larchmont, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2008

This was our 1st time in Newport and at Vanderbilt Hall. The inn sits on a very quiet street right off Thames Street (main street). It is in a great location for everything. The inn is absolutely beautiful. Our room was enormous and was decorated so nicely, as was the entire inn. I love the history of the inn - ask them! The inn is pretty old but the interior is completely new but very charming. The staff is lovely (no concierge to help with touristy things but they tried their best) from making the reservations, to checking in to checking out. I was very impressed by the Vanderbilt Hall. You will not be disappointed, I promise. Not the place for a bunch of small children...too elegant (but they do not discourage it. fyi, I do have children but we came alone). I can't wait for my next stay at Vanderbilt Hall.

  • Liked — the beauty of the rooms and the entire inn
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye Brook, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2008

I rarely stay at a place twice especially when there are so many choices as there are in Newport but we would not hesitate to go back. Vanderbilt Hall really has the best of both worlds: Old World Charm with modern amenities.
The location can not be beat! We were up the block from Thames which is the main street with restaurants, stores etc. And across the way is the wharf area with the harbor and bars etc. Easy to walk to nightlife. It is not that close to the mansions or Bellevue Ave so we did have to drive to see the mansions and go to the Cliff Walk and beaches.
Every floor and room seem different so I would definately call the hotel directly to discuss room choices. We had a junior suite which had a very interesting set-up. Beautifully decorated with a wonderful bathroom & shower. Luxurious bedding and very nice amenities overall. Our only complaint was the air conditioning. It gets very cold very fast but when lowered does nto go on much and the room is stuffy. So we were either freezing or hot! If we came inthe summer again, we would bring a fan next time.
Parking is a lot $18/day but it is convenient. The staff is accomodating but do not go out of their way, you really must ask for everything you need.
The restaurants: Newport has great ones. Breakfast at our hotel was great, we loved eating out in the garden, service is slow but the servers are nice and the food so good! We did not have time to eat dinner there but the menu looked wonderful. We went to Castle Hill for a special b-day celebration and it was very elegant and long. Make sure you have the time for a 3hour meal. We also enjoyed Fluke and 22 Bowen at Bowen's Wharf for dinners as well as The Mooring for lunch. Good Gelato at Cold Fusion.
I would highly recommend taking a boat ride on the Amazing Grace, you really learn a lot about Newport. We loved the Cliff walk and spending time at Easton's Beach. We stopped at a natural market on Bellevue and picked up some chesses, salami and baguette and it was the perfect lunch sitting seaside at the cliffs for lunch.
If you are doing the Mansion TOur, the 5 mansion deal is the best. we saw 3, and the pass does not expire so can use the other two on our next trip up. We loved the Marble House & the Breakers.
Overall, had an amazing 4 day stay and can not wait to go back.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2008

Upon trying to book my stay at the Vanderbilt Hall Hotel, I punched in 1 guest for my designated dates to see if there were rooms available. To my delight, there was an abundant choice of room categories available for my dates.

I went back and typed in 2 adults 2 children and all of a sudden there were no rooms available. I did the whole thing again with the same results! I then looked at website to see if there were no children allowed at hotel but could not find policies. The reservation page had children as a choice so I tried to book 2 adult/2 children with two rooms and could not find that option either. Every time I tried 1 or two guests, rooms came up and when I added children, the rooms disappeared. I found this to be suspect so I e-mailed the hotel directly. I explained my issue and asked them their policies. I also asked for rates and availability for two adults and two children for my chosen stay.

I have not yet received any response from the hotel. My request was submitted more than a few days ago. What type of hotel does not respond to a room request and customer inquiry? I am extremely dissappointed in the customer service and reservation practices at this hotel.

To me, this hotel may be beautiful but if the customer service is this iffy, I will be happy to take my business elsewhere.

Stayed July 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VandMgr, Manager at The Vanderbilt Grace, responded to this review, July 19, 2008
We sincerely apologize for any problems you experienced while attempting to make a reservation with us at Vanderbilt Hall.
Our property is almost all suites and all rooms (aside from our one two bedroom suite which can not be booked on the internet) have only one king bed. Therefore most rooms only sleep two people comfortably. We do allow children on property and some of our rooms have a pull out sofa in addition to the king bed and therefore could accommodate up to 4 people. We do charge for each additional person ($50 per person, per night). We have had difficulties in the past with guests booking for 4 people and expecting two beds and then only getting a room with a pull out sofa and one bed which is why we have changed the booking options through the internet. We do recommend that any guests with more than 2 people or with any special requests contact the property directly as we will better be able to help you if we clearly understand your needs.
We also apologize for not responding to your email. We do have staff that regularly respond to email inquires and somehow must have missed your email which was an oversight on our part.
We assure you that your experience thus far would not be typical of the experience you would have should you choose to consider staying with us in the future and we sincerely hope you will do so.
Best Regards,
The Staff of Vanderbilt Hall
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2008

Vanderbult Staff did a great job with my family's stay last week. "Modern mansion" in the middle of the historic area of Newport, yet completely unpretentious. Beautiful accomodations (we had a 2 level suite w/galley kitchen and 2 baths plus secret stairway up to the rooftop). The restaurant was empty for dinner all 3 nts - so we had the place to ourselves - kids were able to run loose in the greenhouse conservatory to eat. REALLY great menu, chef did a great job. Spinach salad, and gnocchi entree really stood out (2 nts in a row in fact).
Cute touches throughout the hotel ie: flower shaped lollipop cookies at turndown, aveda amenities - true luxury touches.
Staff could not have been more friendly, eager, or genuine. From Tony the Croatian doorman to the waiters to the hotel manager everyone was chatty, sweet to my kids (which doesn't always happen in luxury hotels!) - true hospitality professionals.
The pool and gym were empty the entire time - even though hotel sold out...felt like we have the place to ourselves. (Side note - the showers in the pool area are exceptional - nicer than even the suite shower).
2 thumbs up!!
(We stopped in the larger and more pretentious Viking Hotel down the street - Vanderbilt a better option for people looking to stray from the snooty).

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Some areas of the suite need touching up (minor engineering items) ie carpenters pencil on walls still
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Vanderbilt Grace

Address: 41 Mary Street, Newport, RI 02840 (Formerly Vanderbilt Hall Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Rhode Island > Newport
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Newport
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newport
#2 Business Hotel in Newport
#2 Luxury Hotel in Newport
#2 Family Hotel in Newport
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Vanderbilt Grace 4.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vanderbilt Grace is a quintessential Newport mansion with 33 guest rooms and suites, full service spa with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, roof terrace with amazing views of Newport Harbor and two restaurants. Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, our newly renovated simply elegant restaurant as well as The Conservatory, our more casual a la carte restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vanderbilt Grace Hotel Newport
Vanderbilt Hall Newport
Hotel Vanderbilt Hall

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