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“How the 1% live”
Review of Newport Mansions

Newport Mansions
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Newport Mansion Tour Along Ocean Drive
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Newport Ocean Drive Sightseeing Tour
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Private Day Trip From Boston to the Newport Mansions
Ranked #1 of 58 Tours in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: In Newport, RI, the leading architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries built magnificent mansions for the nation's social and financial elite. These "summer cottages" provided the backdrop for a society centered on sport, fashion and parties in settings of spectacular natural beauty. Ten of these properties have been preserved by The Preservation Society of Newport County and are open to the public. From the homes of a colonial merchant and leading China traders of the Victorian era, to the great Italian and French Renaissance palaces of the Gilded Age, these houses span over 250 years of American architectural and social history.Visit the Newport Mansions: The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff, Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Chepstow, Hunter House, and Green Animals Topiary Garden.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This was my third trip to Newport and although we had driven by the mansions many times, I never had a desire to see them. I am a second generation American, whose Irish immigrant grandparents met while working as a cook and a gardener for a family as wealthy as those who built the Newport mansions. I have always felt that that type of wealth was made from the sweat and labor of generations of people like my grandparents and I felt offended by the flaunting of such wealth. However, we received tickets to view three of the mansions as a part of our hotel package, so I decided to put my predisposed notions aside and give it a try. We started with the Breakers. The tour was self guided, with headphones. I was impressed with the technology and at how informational it was. I was, however, somewhat sickened by the surroundings, as I had suspected I would be. In those days, servants were not to be seen or heard and would perform their services using secret doors. The ornateness of the decor was overpowering. Historically speaking, it served its purpose and made it quite evident how that type of wealth and rash spending could and would be lost when the stock market crashed. I am assuming that the docents are members of the historical society. However, I think some of them have been working in the mansions for so long that they actually feel as though they are of a higher social class, and merely tolerate the peons that are there for a glimpse of a life they could never be a part of. I inquired as to why the servants quarters were not included as part of the tour, and a very snooty tour guide looked at me as though I had said something out of turn! Needless to say, we didn't visit the other two mansions. I wouldn't recommend this aspect of Newport unless you are one for self torture.

Thank zancooneymcd41769
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
acarneiro, Public Relations Manager at Newport Mansions, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2013

Please accept our apology if you felt that your tour guide responded inappropriately to your questions. We certainly strive to treat all of our guests with respect and courtesy. Regarding your question about the servant story--we do in fact work at offering the complete story of life in the mansions, including the stories of the servants who worked in the houses. While we do not offer a tour of the servant quarters of The Breakers at this time, we do offer a complete Servant Life Tour at The Elms. That tour includes personal stories of individuals who worked in the house and their families, based on information and photographs we have received from their descendants as well as independent research. It also includes a visit to the basement, the kitchens, and the staff living quarters. We hope that some day you will consider returning to Newport and taking that tour, as well as tours of some of the other houses, which represent nearly 250 years of American architectural and social history.

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652 - 656 of 1,408 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was our first trip to Newport and we knew nothing of the area or history (we're from the south). We stopped by the Visitor Center on arrival to Newport and they suggested the Mansions. Only three were open this time of year - Breakers, Elms and the Marble House. We LOVED these self-guided tours. . No need to take an organized tour with a company because these tours are self-guided with audio headsets. The audio gear also came in several languages. And while you can get through each tour in approx one hour, I would definitely suggest listening to each of the optional audio clips found throughout the houses on placards. We spent about 2 to 2 1/2 hours in each house. They also have free parking at each home. So interesting to see how the other half (or the other .09%) lived during the last turn of the century. This was the highlight of our trip to Newport and I can not recommend more highly.

5  Thank hilburno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

The membership is a really great deal, and you get a lot of bang for your figurative buck. The mansions are all great, and the whole membership is tax deductible. What's not to love about that?

3  Thank Sleaco_voyage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We toured The Breakers, the largest and most luxurious of the Newport Mansions. The opulence of the mansion is difficult to describe but think thick red curtains, marble everywhere(including a bathtub cut out of one piece of marble) and gold and platinum leafing on the woodwork and a kitchen with a 21 foot stove. The view from the back "porch" is amazing.

2  Thank 2HVTRAV4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

The mansions are just beautiful to see. Price for entrance is moderate. They have a new Servant's Tour which shows where the servants lived and gives some history of how they lived. Quite fascinating.

2  Thank stewart45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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