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“Indescribably Beautiful”
Review of The Breakers

The Breakers
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Newport Viking Trolley Tour with Admission to The Breakers and Marble House
Ranked #1 of 114 things to do in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
109 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
“Indescribably Beautiful”
Reviewed January 25, 2014

When I was telling some friends about my plans to visit Rhode Island, I really wasn't sure what to do. I had never been to the area before, and I knew no one - this was a solo trip. A friend at work suggested that I visit the mansion when I was there. I took a look online, saw that it looked cool and decided to go. I must say, pictures really don't do this place justice!!!

This place is truly a masterpiece with the detail in EVERYTHING. Ceilings, banisters, floor and drapes are all immaculate. I would love to have this as my "summer cottage"...you know, if I had to.

Like the other houses that belong to the family, you cannot take pictures of the inside, however people can get a sense of what to expect by the incredible outdoor landscaping and architecture. Backed onto the ocean, there is lots of green space to run around outside.

I don't want to describe the place to you, that's for you to discover.

I would recommend the headsets that they offer when you first arrive. I didn't realize what they were at first and passed them over, but they give a detailed narrative of each room, and some history. Well worth it to pass the time (as this is a large house) as well as for informational purposes.

This place was a treat. I looked into all the "Newport Mansions" but only had time to explore one, and this is the one that I chose.

Visited May 2013
4 Thank Baltzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Must See Mansion”
Reviewed January 19, 2014

If you only get to see one mansion, this is the one to see. Stunning views of the ocean, wonderful access to all the rooms, and a wonderful voice guide. You will not be sorry you toured this 'summer cottage'!

Visited January 2014
1 Thank Brooke B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayside, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

This was such a great place to see. The audio tour takes you through all the rooms and gives you the history on the Vanderbilts.

Visited December 2013
Thank Pierresquare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“The most ornate mansion”
Reviewed January 16, 2014

The most ornate, and probably most famous, of the Newport mansions. The Breakers is a monument to the lavish lifestyle of the gilded-age wealthy. If you have time to tour only one mansion, make it this one.

Visited June 2013
Thank Nancy Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thousand Oaks, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fabulous at Christmas time!”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We'd wanted to check out this infamous mansion for a long time, and were lucky enough to visit this past December. It's like walking through a door into another age (as close to Downton Abbey as we'll probably ever get).

From Dec through late Jan they decorate for Christmas (trees/garland/lights everywhere)...definitely worth going then. The audio tours have two settings, adult and child, so it worked out perfectly for us (13 YO opted for adult and 8 YO went for the kids version).

Beautiful property, right on the water, and if the weather holds it's parked on the Cliffwalk so you can stroll further down after visiting and see the backs of many of the other old mansions.

Definitely a must see if you're in the area!!!

Visited December 2013
Thank SethBrady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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