Given that I recently got back from the Czech Republic and stayed in a castle that dated back to the 1700’s, touting that a hotel is historic from the 1920’s probably sounds a bit funny for most Europeans. That said, Newport is known for its history stateside and can even boast housing the oldest restaurant in America – White Horse Tavern, which dates back to 1673 (we included it in our FoodiGuide on Newport Rhode Island, so be sure to check it out). The Viking Hotel’s One Bellevue Restaurant is also on that list — worth noting is their award-winning wine list and live music certain nights of the week.
So, while Newport’s Viking Hotel only dates back to the beginning of the last century, it is a very classic hotel that oozes antiquated warmth throughout. This landmark luxury hotel is only a 10-12 minute walk from Newport’s Long Wharf Mall Shopping Center and the main port, depending on how fast you walk. Considering that parking isn’t easy in the downtown area, leaving your car at the Viking and walking to the restaurants and bars around the harbor is definitely the way to go.
What I love most about this chic but traditional styled hotel is its warm ambiance mixed with elegance — the fine touches in the rooms make you feel right at home. As you can see below, there are various room flavors so you can request what style you’d like depending on your preference. For a family stay, I’d recommend one of their larger suites or do what we did: get two adjoining rooms, which all have fridges, quite useful for dinner left overs and keeping bottled water and wine cold.
Romantic and luxurious are two great words to describe the ambiance of their rooms. Regardless of which color palette you go for, I’d encourage you to try their rooms focused on period inspired furniture with the tasteful décor of Newport’s Gilded Age. For example, pillow top mattresses are draped with Egyptian cotton bed linens and a rich satin duvet and some of the rooms have built in cherry wardrobes, which are reminiscent of those found in elegant manor houses. If you have kids in tow, you’ll find the LCD TV’s in every room a useful addition. In some rooms, beveled glass doors lead into the bathrooms which feature large showers wrapped in ‘pillow’ carved marble along with rain head showers.
They also have rooms that are typical of the Progressive Era (a little more modern, while keeping its classic style throughout) and what they refer to as Estate Rooms, which are located in the original wing of the hotel. These rooms have rich fabrics and textures with pillowed marble showers in the bathrooms. If you want even more luxe, go for the Estate Fireside guestroom which includes a pullout sleeper sofa, a king bed and an electric fireplace, making a great choice for a romantic weekend or if you’re a family of three.
The elegance of the place is what you’ll remember here, which extends from the hotel rooms to the on-site spa, which sadly we didn’t have a chance to try. SPAFJÖR offers traditional spa services, from anti-aging facials that incorporate high doses of Vitamin B3, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid and treatments that help Rosacea, inflammation and acne to advanced peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, stone, therapeutic and Balinese massages.
Below is an aerial view to give you perspective. And oh, those Newport sunsets are grand!
From the clock above the Front Desk depicting ancient Nordic Runes to the original 1926 brass letter box in the Lobby, there are remnants of famous dignitaries and celebrities, all of which is a nice bonus. For me however, it was the elegance of the furnishings, the outdoor porch area with Adirondack-like chairs where you could get lost for a few hours in a good novel or a cup of tea, the sauna and the delicious restaurant and wine menu that made me warm to the place after our few day stay.
We dined there on their outdoor patio (highly recommended if you go there during warmer months) and while I was thrilled by fresh oysters on the half-shell under appetizers, it was the soups that wowed us over, most notably the Cucumber and Almond Gazpacho and the homemade onion soup.
Of course, their lobster dish was out of this world as well and I’d highly recommend it if you’re a lobster lover!!
The tuna tartare starter…..
The last thing worth boasting about is their desserts – oh so delish — the photos will tell the story; they were as divine tasting as they look!!