We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Conspicuous consumption abounds!”
Review of The Breakers

The Breakers
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Newport Viking Trolley Tour with Admission to The Breakers and Marble House
Ranked #1 of 114 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.
Level Contributor
323 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Conspicuous consumption abounds!”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Yes, it's splendid, full of extravagant details, platinum backed mirrors so they would not tarnish, walls lined in embossed leather, tiffany lamps, marble imported in slabs from Italy, solid marble baths. They also had the latest technology for the times, electricity, running sea water in addition to mnormal water for the baths, plumbing, telephones etc. The self guided audio tour is excellently judged, not too detailed but with some interesting nuggets. The rolling lawns down to the sea with a dramatic look back at the house was like something out of the Great Gatsby. However, for all this, it was strikingly overly ostentatious and vulgar in it's extravagance give what the rest of the country was going through at the time. Also, the architecture was so unoriginal for this time period, just aping French, Italian and Greek styles into a decorative mish mash. Having said this, definitely worth a visit to appreciate the inequality of this era and the spectacle of it.

Visited July 2012
Thank HaskelUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,986 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Jefferson, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Very informative audio tour that you can choose whether you want the general tour, or expand your tour for more inside information. My husband and I chose most of the extra tour info, took our time to look at all of the amazing things this house has, and it lasted a little less than 2 hours. Take the time to look around to see what this house has to offer.

Visited July 2012
Thank MomtheSlave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethel, Connecticut
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I would like to have a "Cottage" like that”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Beautiful and immense. Platinum on the walls and gold everywhere else. My times have changed.

Visited July 2012
Thank Gerald M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whippany, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2012

This was my 2nd visit but it still blew my mind! Was happy to bring a friend and see the disbelief on her face as we toured the Breakers.

Visited July 2012
Thank LZnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A trip back in time”
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Excellent tour and insight as to how the very wealthy lived back in the day. You won't be disappointed.

Visited July 2012
Thank angelo885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Breakers also viewed


Been to The Breakers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing