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.
- 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