When you consider hotels for a family trip vis a vis a romantic weekend getaway or a solo business trip, all bets are off when it comes to “spontaneous planning.” The type of hotel matters, the restaurants you hit matter and what amenities the hotel has most definitely matters, depending on the age of the kids of course.
Prior to flying into New York City for our Providence Rhode Island to New Haven Connecticut and back again loop, I did a little research and was wooed by the grandeur and history of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Providence. While many of their rooms have a sectioned off sitting area, they don’t provide a traditional suite situation, optimal for family stay, or at least they didn’t have anything available during our window in April.
Back to the drawing board. Adriana, our godsend contact from the local tourism board came back to us with an option at the Providence Marriott Downtown, where while a suite wasn’t an option during Easter Break week (surprise, surprise), we could get two adjoining rooms, one with two beds and the other a king sized bed — both of them spacious enough to spread gear out across both rooms. On other words, a perfect solution for a family stay.
Of course, the wine, cheese and grape platter was a nice addition to the already perfect side-by-side rooms. Bellmen and concierge were welcoming as was the reception desk when we checked in. They also had appetizers and bottles of water on a table during certain breaks during the day and after check in, I discovered a silver pot with cups so filled up thinking it was hot water for tea or coffee, but alas, it was hot apple cider, which was so welcoming after our long drive and the cool chilly air that New England Spring months so often bring.
Both rooms had bathrooms with a sink was outside the toilet and shower area (always a good idea when you’re traveling with a family) and in-room refrigerators, which we used twice for dinner leftovers.
Below is a suite option but given how busy the Providence Marriott tends to get, it’s advisable to book in advance, particularly during holidays or school breaks especially as they only have five suites out of a total of 351 guest rooms.
They have state-of-the-art 37″ LCD TVs in HD, ergonomic swivel desks and chairs and something they refer to as the Jack Pack Connectivity Panel, which is a multimedia interface that enables guests to easily connect laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras and game systems to their in-room TV.
You can order room service of course or head down to the lobby area where they have a fabulous restaurant and lounge area.
Below is the bar area and inside of the Bluefin Grille, located inside the Marriott itself.
We explored a few Providence restaurants for dinners each night (be sure to read my Providence foodie and restaurant write-up), but we did have lunch one day at the Bluefin Grille, which is known for their seafood dishes — my salmon salad was excellent and beautifully prepared.
They also serve an amazing breakfast buffet in the mornings, with enough variety that even the overly health conscious can easily satisfied. They have an omelette stand as well as the traditional American breakfast options too of course – bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, muffins, etc.
What makes this hotel so appealing for families however is their onsite indoor/outdoor pool. Below, you’ll see the outdoor pool which leads into the indoor pool via sliding glass, so that when both pools are open, you can swim in between the two. Since we were there in April, only the inside pool was open, however this is also where the cozy hot tub also lives. When we weren’t swimming with the kids, we could safely watch them from the hot tub which overlooked the main indoor pool, making it a win win for kids and adults alike.
Also worth mentioning is AQUA, voted the Best Outdoor Lounge in Rhode Island, which includes the indoor/outdoor pool access. AQUA is a pool-side party experience where you can relax casually over cocktails or even host a party here for up to 200 people. There’s fire pits, luxurious cabanas and water, all amidst a fun outdoor bar and lounge atmosphere.
They also have an indoor gym — Club Pace, which has plenty of machines and free weights and unlike so many hotel gyms, is open 24 hours.
It was spacious enough that Anthony and Jake decided to practice some martial arts moves in the gym while we hung out and took to the treadmill.
A spa exists on-site as well, and you don’t need to travel far to get there. The G Salon & Spa is literally on your way to the elevators, so whether you’re after a facial or massage or a haircut and style, they offer it all. When I went in for my haircut, they had an outdoor massage chair where someone was giving quick rub downs, a great option if you don’t have time for a full treatment. Be sure to read my write-up on 2 transformative spas in Providence — The G Salon & Spa totally “gets” how to pamper their clients!
Two thumbs up!! We thought this was a perfect family travel “stay” and we’ve stayed in a lot of hotels and resorts over the years, including higher end chains. Go Marriott!
The Providence Marriott
1 Orms Street
Providence RI 02904
Note: we were hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.