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The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island, was built by a scion of the supremely wealthy Vanderbilt clan during the so-called Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th Century, and as such is one of the only famous Rhode Island mansions now operating as a luxury hotel.
There are 33 light and airy rooms and suites in total, ranging from the 300 sq ft State Rooms to the huge 940 sq ft two-bedroomed apartment-style Vanderbilt Grace Suite, and the hotel is designed to feel like you are a guest in a private residence, albeit with facilities of a slick modern hotel. The homestay feel is probably best experienced in the elegant ground floor Christy Room, which still has many of its original Beaux Art features, and is the perfect place to relax with a book or to enjoy afternoon tea.
Another case in point is the fine dining restaurant Muse, created by chef Jonathan Cartwright, a New England native, where the focus is on fresh seasonal produce. Less formal is the Conservatory restaurant where guests can also eat on the lovely garden terrace and in the garden itself during summer. Meanwhile, The Bar, next to Muse, is the perfect place to relax pre- or post-dinner and enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail (try the signature Grace, a blend of pear vodka, pear puree, apple juice lemongrass and honey syrup) to a jazz age soundtrack.
There are two pools at the hotel, one tucked away beside the garden terrace and a perfect summer sun trap, and the other a heated indoor pool adjacent to the spa and fitness centre in the basement. The spa itself offers a wide range treatments from facials and manicures to massages.
Guests at the Vanderbilt Grace might be tempted never to leave the 'compound', but the lovely waterfront in Newport is just a few minutes' walk away and the perfect place to wander around before returning to this extremely comfortable haven.
Why we love it
The Roof Deck at the Vanderbilt Grace is the perfect place to see beautiful sunsets across Newport harbour, cocktail in hand.
Will, Original Traveller