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“Excellent breakfasts!”

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Architect's Inn - George Champlin Mason House
Ranked #43 of 95 Newport B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 9, 2013

First of all, this is a beautiful historical Newport home, furnished with lots of antiques. There are a couple of rooms on the main floor that are very inviting, and offer lots of reading materials, and information about the Newport area. It is also in an excellent location in Newport. It's about 3 (long) blocks down to the Cliff Walk, and about 2 (short) blocks to the road that runs down the center of Newport - Bellevue, which is also the street where several of the Newport Mansions are located. So, we found the location of the inn to be ideal for walking in Newport, or at least for keeping any car trips very short.
BE AWARE - due to the age of the home, and the fact that it is kept very clean and well maintained, there are no street shoes permitted in the house. So, you would be advised to bring slippers or house socks with you. This rule is understandable, however, it is somewhat inconvenient, when loading/unloading luggage to/from the car, or even if you just want to go out for a walk in the neighborhood. Also, if there are more than a couple of rooms occupied during your stay, the front entryway can get pretty full of guests' shoes, which in some cases carried a distinct aroma. We have stayed at a lot of B&B's in the past several years, and I don't remember another one where we stayed that had this strict a rule about the shoes. But, in the owners' defense, they do make it abundantly clear in their pre-stay communications that this is the rule, and please bring slippers or other footwear for inside the house.
One idea might be to provide inexpensive slippers to guests, upon request, or available at the entryway.
Our room was on the second floor, and we found it to be very quiet - no neighborhood or road noise at night. It had a fireplace, but we weren't offered the opportunity to have a fire (I think it might be a wood-burning fireplace, not sure) - I had the impression that this might have been an option if the weather was cold, and it seemed cold enough to us, but perhaps not cold for RI. Or, maybe it's non-operational. If you are interested in a fireplace in the room, make sure you ask if it's more for decoration, or if it can be used during your stay. We didn't ask, so don't know the answer.
Our room on the second floor was fairly large, and decorated with antiques, as well. We found it had plenty of room for our luggage. The bathroom was small, but adequate. The toiletries provided were one soap, one body lotion, and one shampoo. I believe there was a hairdryer in the room, although I'm not sure. If you need one, I think they may have them - just ask. The water in the shower did take quite a while to heat up one evening, but this can be explained by the age of the home. It seemed better the next morning.
The bed looked very nice, but didn't sleep as comfortably as I thought it would. Not sure if it was an older mattress, or just kind of lumpy and too soft.
When the inn has more than just one or two guest rooms occupied, they do offer an evening snack of cookies or brownies. They also had out at all times teas, hot chocolate, a pot for heating water, as well as water and sherry, for an evening nightcap. And, I think coffee may have been available, too. We didn't need it, so I just don't remember.
To the side of the large dining room there is a butler's pantry that guests may use. There was a fridge in there - not sure if it's available for guests - I didn't ask, but it might be.
The owner we dealt the most with was Nick, although we also met Brian briefly. They do live on the property, in case there was any kind of emergency. I understand from other reviews that Brian is the chef, but not sure if he cooked our breakfasts or not. Nick was the one who served breakfast, and I assumed he also cooked it. I will say the breakfasts were either 2 or 3 courses, and VERY filling and presented in a gourmet fashion, on beautiful antique china in the lovely dining room. The two mornings we were there, I would say we were served "sweet" breakfasts, more so than savory (I know some B&B's try to switch off between sweet and savory), but I'm not complaining. I think one morning was a delicious stuffed french toast, and I think the other was a plate of pancakes (maybe pumpkin pancakes??). These were just the main courses - there was a preliminary course, plus several side items each day, including meats (either bacon or sausage or both, I think). Anyway, the breakfasts really were delicious and outstanding, if a bit extra sweet. They certainly were more than filling, and probably could have lasted most guests until dinner, or until just a light luncheon! I'm not doing justice to the breakfasts here, because I don't remember everything that was included, but they were definitely the highlight of our stay. By the way, if the house is full, there are two seatings for breakfast, and there is actually a signup sheet in the dining room the night before so you can request your breakfast seating time. We had very pleasant conversations with the other guests the mornings we were there. Everyone sits at a large dining room table - I think it could seat 8 guests at a time.
When we arrived, Nick greeted us, showed us around, and even insisted on carrying our bags up to our room for us. He also had helpful advice about the location of the inn within Newport, some history of the area, things to do within walking distance, etc., etc. He knows the area well, and is a wealth of information about Newport and RI.
In each room, there is a notebook on the bed with information about the area, sightseeing, etc., etc. We tried to utilize the book primarily as a restaurant guide, since it had information about lots of the restaurants in Newport. While the descriptions were colorful, we found that it was a bit overwhelming for us to utilize, and therefore not as helpful. A suggestion might be to reorganize the restaurant guide into some order - either listing restaurants alphabetically, by cuisine type, by location/distance from the inn, by pricing, or in some form. The descriptions seemed to be in no particular order, so if you were looking for their review of a particular restaurant, you had to flip through several pages; if you were looking for a particular cuisine, you had to read through every description; etc. It just was a lot of information not organized in a way that was helpful to us. Again, the same information organized in some fashion might be more useful.
Overall, I think Nick (who was the owner we dealt with, primarily) really enjoys owning a B&B, and works hard to ensure that his guests have a pleasant experience. If it's your first trip to Newport (or even later!) he certainly has lots of information to share with guests about the city.
Finally, I will say that, because of the elaborate breakfasts we were served, I think the rate of $150/night for two people is a fair price (this was their off season rate). However, we were told in advance that because our bill was less than $600, we needed to pay in cash. We don't run in to many B&B's today that have that caveat. In addition, be aware (as it states in the pre-stay reservation email) that there is also a 13% tax AND a 4% service charge added on to the room charge (payable in cash).
I understand the tax, but I assumed the 4% service charge was for people who were paying by credit card, to cover the fee the inn has to pay for credit card processing fees. I wasn't aware this would be added on to our bill when we paid cash. Not sure what the 'service charge' was for, but I do disagree with that fee. I didn't really look carefully at the pre-reservation booking info, and received no paper bill upon checkout, so didn't realize that we were paying that fee until weeks later. If the service charge is the gratuity for housekeeping, I don't think it's right that that is added on to the bill. I think housekeeping services should be included in the room charges, and any gratuities should be at the discretion of the guest.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nfall2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Architects G, Owner at Architect's Inn - George Champlin Mason House, responded to this reviewResponded July 4, 2014

We enjoyed these customers and disappointed that they got so weird about the payment process. Actually industry standards according to the International Association of Professional Innkeepers is that most Inns do not accept credit card payment. We offer the credit card service free for those who are paying in large amounts that it is uncomfortable to carry that much cash around. The expense of running a credit card machine is very high so we ask our customers to pay cash to save them the 4% convenience fee. We charge that amount because it covers all credit card fees which can be quite high for reward cards and foreign cards. This is also quite common in small business transactions. This is all written on our website, in their online request and in the confirmation email so unless they must have not bothered reading it in all three places during the booking process. Consequently they stiffed our housekeeper on gratuity which was not very nice since he works so hard to shuttle luggage and clean rooms everyday.

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Reviews (205)
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54 - 60 of 205 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2013

My husband and I stayed there last week and it we recommend it. It's reasonably priced, and a lovely home decorated for fall. The owners are very nice and helpful. The room was clean- we stayed on the 2nd floor- and nice. The atmosphere is conducive to meeting the other guests, and there were some friendly people staying there. Breakfast was home-cooked and delicious.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank missy53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

This was a fantastic place for a weekend getaway. The owners Nick and Brian were very welcoming and made our stay extremely enjoyable. The redwood room was very cozy and the bed extremely comfortable. The entire mansion was very clean. The guide book in the room was so helpful in helping us figure out where to go. Additionally, if you ever have any questions on where you should go in Newport, you definitely have to listen to Nick and Brian as they appear to know everything. We look forward to rejoining them in the future.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JMas615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I booked thru priceline... The offer -- Hotel Freebies:Smart Deal — Free breakfast and free internet in room. well we got neither. AFTER paying with a credit card online it directs you to print confirmation, confirmation says breakfast not included. not cool, anyway the room was extremely small, extremely low ceiling, dangerous staircase, smallest tv on the planet, horrible sunken in mattress, oh and we signed up for the free breakfast that we were offered and i recieved a snotty note saying breakfast is $50,,,seriously ? i questioned the innkeeper and he said priceline can offer anything they want but we dont have to honor it. Also our private bathroom was down a non-private hallway not in our room. the hotel smelled musty and old.
I am shocked by the positive reviews and seriously doubt they are real

Room Tip: stay at newport beach inn and suites. much nicer rooms
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Architects G, Manager at Architect's Inn - George Champlin Mason House, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

As I have mentioned before, online travel agents are not your friends. They are trying to sell you something. They do not have contracts with our Inn to sell our products but they do it anyway....which should be your first clue that MAYBE they do not know what they are selling. We strongly encourage to visit our website and view the room before you book the room and to always contact us directly to book your room so you know what you are buying. Yes I know talking to a live person is such a pain for people nowadays. Nine time out of ten times, the travel agent does not even give us your contact information so if you do not call or email us, we have no way of contacting you.

We at the Architect's Inn, on the other hand, want to make sure we match our customers to the best room that will meet your level of standards and desires. Clearly, this customer picked a room for themselves without reading the amenities for that room. We are sorry they had a bad stay but again, they picked the room..... How can we be blamed for something they chose? If they wanted a better room, they should have chosen a better room. Even their travel agent would have sold them a bigger room if given a chance so apparently this was solely the choice of the customer writing this review. Obviously they were more focused on getting a Priceline Freebie room than getting a room that actually works for two people.

Furthermore....they admitted that they knew breakfast was not included because it was written on your confirmation email but you signed up for free breakfast anyway to see if you could get away with it.......then they were upset that we caught them and told them they needed to pay for breakfast???? Isn't that like the thief suing the homeowner because they tripped on the carpet? Come on people... get some class! We are running a business not a State funded agency.

Oh and I love their tip....stay at the hotel in the next town over further from town that is over run with truckers and kids. I guess that says a lot about where they belong. Next time PLEASE stay somewhere else and do our customers a huge favor.

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Reviewed October 15, 2013

My husband and I and another couple stayed at this wonderful inn this past weekend. Brian and Nick were so welcoming. At first we didn't think Brian exist but we did catch a sighting of him :). Brian makes a fantastic breakfast.! We enjoyed taking with Nick and he was nice, informative and fun to talk too! Definitely read their version of the "Bible". It is funny and very informative about the Inn and about the area. We stayed in the Belmont room which is a queen bed. The shower/bath is a little untraditional. The toilet is in a closet. The sink in a different closet separated by a shower which is open to the room. The fixtures were all modern. We made it work. The bed was a bit lumpy and uneven. Our feet were higher then our head. Our friends stayed in the spacious La Frange room which was spacious and had a traditional modern bathroom. Both rooms were very nicely decorated, very clean and comfortable. You may want to bring a hair dryer as not all rooms have one. Their is community iron and board. The Inn is very comfortable and the downstairs rooms are inviting and comfortable to hang in. The Inn is centrally located. About a 5-10 min walk to town and to the Mansion walk. We definitely would recommend a stay at this Inn. We previously stayed at the Jailhouse Inna md would not recommend it. We stayed at the Viking last year and like the spaciousness of this Inn over the rooms at the Viking. Remember to bring slippers as the Inn owners like you to not wear your shoes in the Inn to preserve the Inn's floors. We thought that was great! Thank you Nick and Brian for your hospitality!

Room Tip: The La Frange room was very spacious and is has a king bed.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sharon2girls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

We have stayed at Architect's Inn many times over several years, and Nick and Brian always make it an excellent experience. From the clean, cozy, beautifully appointed amenities to the delicious, freshly prepared breakfast food and evening snacks, they do not miss a trick. Because of the inn's history and Nick and Brian's reputation, the Inn always draws an interesting, pleasant, respectful clientele that add to the experience, especially over breakfast. The common rooms and our bedroom feel like an extension to the mansion tours we've enjoyed during the day, and Brian and Nick are always working to improve and restore this historic property. The location, while quietly off the beaten track, is actually quite convenient to transportation to the mansions, or a pleasant walk down to the wharf. The costs are competitive with other full-service bed-and-breakfasts, and well worth every penny. We'll definitely be back. Thanks guys!

Room Tip: Spend some time with the descriptions and photos on the website to find the room that fits your desi...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank caravagiohunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We stayed at Architect's Inn for 5 nights for a nearby work conference. I have nothing bad to say. From the moment we checked in and were given information on the area until the moment we left everything was great. We loved meeting all the different people at breakfast and not to mention Brian's wonderful breakfast. I wish I could of stuffed him in my suitcase but Nick wouldn't let me. Nick and Brian were superb hosts and I never expected that we would of left feeling sad as if we were leaving friends behind. They easily accommodated our requests for an upgrade and we were pleased with the suite that we got. To our luck a couple rooms were having some upgrades so we were given the Perry Suite. Beautiful! I really hope that we will get to visit again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank halfdozenmoore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Architect's Inn - George Champlin Mason House

Address: 2 Sunnyside Pl, Newport, RI 02840-3321
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Rhode Island > Newport
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in Newport
Price Range: $254 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Architect's Inn - George Champlin Mason House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Architects Inn - George Champlin Mason House Hotel Newport

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