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“Disappointingly, less than perfect”
Review of Grace Vanderbilt

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Grace Vanderbilt
Ranked #7 of 21 Hotels in Newport
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 1, 2013

As I'm writing this review I still can't decide whether to give the Vanderbilt Grace three or four stars. There is a lot to like about the hotel - and it certainly counts as a luxury hotel - but the room we were given (Rm 413) had some issues.

The hotel is great. Warm, well decorated, distinguished even. The staff were great too: very polite and attentive. Service at breakfast was also very good and the food was excellent. So all the touches you'd want - and expect - from an expensive hotel.

But the room...hmmm.

Firstly it was small. Not New York hotel small, but certainly the smallest room I've ever stayed in in a luxury hotel. It was on the top floor and apparently was one of the rooms added during an expansion to the original hotel. Consequently the ceiling sloped in (as it would if you created a room in an attic) making the room immediately feel small.

In addition to the area where the bed was, there was perhaps an additional 6ft of space, filled with a small sink, microwave, desk, chair and a comfy armchair under the one medium sized window. Between the foot of the bed and the thin unit upon which a nice flat screen TV sat, there was less than two feet's width - making it impossible for two people to pass each other at the same time.

In the small bathroom there was a single pedestal sink with a narrow glass shelf above it - so no room to lay out (m)any toiletries. The bath/shower combo was fine. Water pressure good. But the floor was uneven and the bathroom door didn't close easily and swung open if you didn't manage to close it properly (firmly!)

The other problem - certainly for this time of year - was the very noisy (defective?) heater. It was a very, VERY, loud unit housed in a nice painted white wooden box which came on intermittently to keep the room at the desired temperature. It didn't come on very often or necessarily for very long, but when it did it was enough to wake any light sleeper or drown out the sound on the TV.

My wife and I were in Newport for two nights and spent much of our time out of the room, so overall it was was no big deal, but overall it was less than you'd expect from a luxury hotel, certainly for the price we were paying. We certainly would have asked to change room had we been staying longer.

This was our first trip to Newport, which we loved as a place, and we're already making plans to come back next year. We will however give one of the other luxury hotels rated highly on Trip Advisor a try for that visit.

So three or four stars? I'll go with four on the basis that it is a lovely hotel in general and maybe it was just this one room (which was still nice) and had we complained, my guess (hope) is that the staff would have given us a different room - which had it been bigger with a quieter heater could easily have earned the hotel a 5 star review.

Room Tip: Ask for an "original" room, not one added during the expansion of the hotel...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rcadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarinaGrace, General Manager at Grace Vanderbilt, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2013

Dear rcadian,

Thank you for the compliments in your review and for giving us four stars. Our team aims to offer impeccable service and attention to detail and it is always so wonderful to hear from our guests that we have delivered that experience.

We were sorry to hear that your room was less enjoyable than you hoped. The nature of our historic building does mean that the rooms differ in style and size, and many of our guests have their own individual preferences. You are absolutely right – had we received your comments during your stay we would have done our utmost to provide alternatives!

Thank you again for your feedback and we do hope you return to The Vanderbilt Grace again one day.

Kind regards,

Marina Aslanidou
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 - 236 of 620 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2013

This is a most attractive property located a block from the main street with the waterfront shops and restaurants. The rooms are large, the bathrooms well fitted out with European style fixtures. The linens are first rate and the bed in our room was exceptionally comfortable. All that being said, what makes this hotel truly stand out is the service. From the moment we arrived and a smiling bellman swooped down and took our bags we were made to feel welcome. For the balance of our stay each staff member seemed to go out of his or her way to be sure that we had everything we needed. We sat down by the fireplace in an anteroom and someone was there to put wood on the fire. There was warm apple cider in the lobby, but my wife wanted coffee. No problem and it was brought with a smile. I don't know who oversees staff training at this property, but they are doing an outstanding job. The room comes with an elaborate continental breakfast including champagne served in the glass enclosed conservatory off the lobby. Additional hot breakfast items are available at a reasonable charge. The Vanderbilt is absolutely first rate and if you choose to stay, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank phillyshrink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

My (now) fiance and I stayed at the Vanderbilt Grace during a weekend getaway to Newport in November of 2013. Before we even arrived, I knew this would be an amazing stay. Once I had informed the hotel of my plans of proposing for the weekend, the Vanderbilt Guest Services team went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this would be a special occasion. They took time out of their busy schedule to drive us to and from the proposal location, and then again to dinner that night. Upon arrival back to the hotel from getting engaged, there was a bottle of iced champagne to greet us! The hotel itself is old, but has been modernized with every amenity possible, but still maintains a classic flair. The location of the hotel is ideal if you're looking for something that is away from a lot of noise, but still manages to be right in the thick of things in downtown Newport. We were within walking distance of nearly every main attraction around, except some of the mansions.

Again the service was incredible, and I have no critiques whatsoever. They are an "eco friendly" hotel, so if you want towels replaced daily, you must put the old ones on the floor. The cost is towards the higher end of the spectrum for Newport, but as most things go in life in terms of quality - you get what you pay for. For us, this was money well spent and we will be returning to the Vanderbilt Grace in the future for many anniversaries to come!

TIP: We had read on other reviews that the temperature control in the rooms is a little off, and that the rooms can get warm very quickly. This is definitely true, and we had to turn down the temperature a little bit at night to be comfortable. This is not a complaint, but rather an FYI to help others in the future!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Adam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This was a nice hotel experience. The staff are very attentive and accommodating. It has the feel of staying in a private manor house. We booked a suite which was very comfortable. The hotel has a nice spa facility, with gym, indoor pool and sauna, which we made good use of. When you walk out the front door, May street is only 50 meters from the main area of Newport, with shops, restaurants and pubs. They include a breakfast in the room rate, but I would say that it is probably the only negative. Each day when we arrived about 10am (it is open until 11am), it had been well and truly picked over and not refreshed.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Craig D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Just came back from spending a weekend at the VANDERBIT had a wonderful time. the staff at the hotel were very nice and offered some choices for lunch, around the corner from the hotel . we ate at the BENJIMAN for lunch some of the best oysters I ever had. also ate at the hotel for dinner very good but not great. the breakfast which was included was on the sparse side and they should have included a full breakfast. I would go back Newport off season is a lot of fun.

Room Tip: we were in room 209 which is next to the elevator but you do not hear any noise and it faces the wat...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank century60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

We stayed here in the nights following our wedding last year for a "mini-moon" and loved it so much we returned this year for our 1st anniversary. We love literally everything about this hotel and will definitely go back. The service is absolutely impeccable - they respond quickly and anticipate your next needs. The rooms are spotless and pretty, the breakfast (included with your room) is delicious (I looked forward to it everyday!), and the location ideal for shopping and restaurants right on the waterfront. Our only complaint during our second stay was the loud heating/cooling unit in our room - it woke us up every single time it turned on and off. Regardless we will be back. Wish we could've stayed longer!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KOStew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We went for a girls weekend. We got a one bedroom with a loft. We were greeted with champagne or warm apple cider. The staff was helpful and attentive but not so much so that it was intrusive. We sat in a common room with a fireplace to chit chat. Staff came in and tended the fire and offered us beverages. We shopped all day and went out for the evening. When we returned we had drinks and dessert in the lounge and the piano players was wonderful. It came with a nice breakfast in a beautiful sun room which we lingered over Sunday morning.
We could walk to all shops and waterfront. This looked great for a romantic weekend as well. Go if you can, I can't think of one negative.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank plpl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grace Vanderbilt

Address: 41 Mary St, Newport, RI 02840-3027 (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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Newport
#1 Family Hotel in Newport
#4 Spa Hotel in Newport
#5 Luxury Hotel in Newport
#6 Business Hotel in Newport
Price Range: $476 - $1,081 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grace Vanderbilt 4.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grace Vanderbilt 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. Experience our newly renovated, elegant restaurant Muse or enjoy casual a la carte dining at The Conservatory, 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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