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“What a Fun Place”
Review of The Dean Hotel

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The Dean Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Providence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I saw this on the Today Show and booked when we decided to go to the Waterfire festivities in Providence. It was a nice walk to that so the location was perfect for us. I got a room with two bunk beds because I knew my kid would love it. Its very basic but the linens were SUPER nice and comfy. Beds comfy, sheets and towels all super soft. I knew about the open shower and those aren't my favorite and it was quite small, but since it was expected it was ok. The place has a fun, quirky feel and it was perfect for our one night stay. I paid $23 for the valet to park my car, which I don't recall seeing in the reviews I read, hence the 4 out of 5 rating. But the price of the room was cheap so not going to frown on it. I'm sure I could've parked my car just as close on my own. The staff was very friendly and helpful. There were a lot of outlets in the room so everyone could plug in their devices :)

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank meco871
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Thank you for the review! Glad to hear you enjoyed water fire and a night out in Providence!

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Reviewed 5 August 2014

The least restful night I have ever had in a hotel. By far. Forget the fact that this hotel is more show than go in terms of practicalities e.g. the stairs from reception instead of a ramp, the tiny lift... The issue here is the noise, its simply unacceptable outside of a night club set up. From the street level noise to the karaoke room below, to the noise from other rooms, its simply a nightmare place to stay if you want to rest. Its simply not acceptable. I in fact spent the night with earplugs and Bose noise cancelling headphones looking for other hotels to move to. Horrible experience. Next morning on check out, the receptionist showed no sympathy and pretended there was no issue. Luckily the lady checking out at the same time agreed.

Room Tip: In another hotel
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank Karim E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Terribly sorry you had such a poor experience with the noise. Although we can't control the noise level in the rest of Downtown Providence, we are working to reassess and limit the noise coming from our Karaoke Lounge. Apologies that you didn't have a restful experience.

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Reviewed 30 July 2014

I stayed at the Dean for a quick overnight and loved it. It's fun, quirky, and in a great location - there are shops and restaurants nearby and its a quick walk to Federal Hill, the Italian section of Providence. The staff were very attentive. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was a decent size for a boutique hotel. In the lobby there is an espresso bar for breakfast and there is a cool restaurant attached to the hotel. Did not eat in the restaurant, but did have an espresso and an amazing scone for breakfast.

The hotel is new and has a few kinks to work out. The only constructive feedback I have is that it is not necessary a hotel with women in mind - there were no skirt hangers, the light in the bathroom was very dark so it was hard to put on makeup, the shower had no hand bar or step so shaving was impossible (it was too slippery), and they provide only a small ironing board. The ironing board would not be a problem if there had been an outlet near the bed or chair in the room but there wasn't one. I had to iron with the board balanced over the little desk, which was interesting. Just some things for the hotel to hopefully consider.

And, it was not easy to use the elevator, which is very small and has an old fashioned grate door while carrying luggage. I got caught twice and wouldn't maneuver everything very easily. When I didn't have luggage I took the stairs.

Overall though this place is a great little boutique hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Explorer_from_Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Thank you for your review and thoughtful feedback! Certainly good points to consider!

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Reviewed 30 July 2014

Recently stayed for seven nights. The high points: the staff, including housekeeping-after one day they learned that I was planning to leave the hair dryer on the toilet tank rather than crawl around on the floor every morning to get it out from under the bed; the location was great for the Convention Center and walks to various restaurants and galleries; convenient for getting to the Logan bus; the stairs-loved the built-in exercise over the elevator; the lip on the shower stall-I just had some spray to deal with but no flood. A/C was nice in my full-sized room. Not too noisy (which was good because I often have to turn them off to sleep).

Not so great: There is really no place to put anything but the floor. If you are designing a hotel, then I think its purpose should be kept in mind. The hangers for clothes in place of a closet are fine. If it had been two of us in the room for more than two nights, that might have been a space issue. With no luggage rack, dresser or desk, the suitcase goes on the floor. The one easy chair was only about 6-8 inches off the floor, so I could just sit there when I didn't want to sit on the floor to get into my suitcase. To have more space on the desk, I moved the tray of snacks to the other bedside table. Would not have worked if there were two of us. If you don't move it, you are left with about a small space-no room for a laptop. The bathroom has no room for toiletries. No rod to hang wet towels with enough room to dry if you are trying to do the eco thing. Lighting is an issue if you want to read in the chair without the overhead on. I had no trouble with outside noise but the noise from other rooms is an issue. Someone seemed to have a party the first night; the group dispersed around midnight. The last night, someone four rooms down was blasting the TV so loud I heard it through my closed door. I did hear others coming and going but at least I was at the end of the hall.

The bed reads as soft which I normally don't like. I slept OK though. I know that is personal opinion. This one actually was lower and sunken on one side. Rather a surprise given how new it is.

The plastic under-the-bed box for the ironing board and hairdryer kills the first impression of this supposedly designed environment. That may be a temporary fix?

I got the room at a great price, booking 8 months ahead around when they first started reservations. I'd do it again by myself at a good price. If traveling with someone, I'd have to weigh out the length of the stay and potential inconvenience in the room vs the price.

Tough to rate the room given the quirks.

Room Tip: 305 is along a side street, end of the hall. The windows do open to a fire escape so not good if yo...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank greenboatgb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Thank you very much for the thoughtful review! We appreciate the feedback.

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Reviewed 27 July 2014

In case you've been living under a rock this year, The Dean Hotel has had one of the most remarkable hotel press debuts in years (other than NYC's The Marlton, the Dean is the It hotel of the moment). But nearly all of the terrific press is just that -- press and photos. We, however, checked into The Dean for five nights. Is the Dean the Next Big Thing or is it just the Emperor's New Clothes? Read on.

Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first. It's wildly clear at every turn that the Dean design team has Agonized! Agonized! over every little, tiny detail, esp on an aesthetic end. Note, the matches (even the inside cover). The great "please, don't/yes, do" disturb signs. The bathroom fixtures (Watermark is the brand). The gorgeously leather bound, Dean embossed in room hotel/providence guide -- so smartly written, totally worth your time. The Dean pencils! The Dean pen, which at first glance you'll think is cheap, until you realize it's your sixth grade pen. Hardwood floors in the rooms, for god's sake with an area rug - no fluid filled carpeting here! The smart little room desk (though overcrowded). A perfectly double/triple sheeted bed I.e., mattress sheet, top sheet, comforter, then another top sheet on top -- not a duvet cover, with the folded throw at the foot of the bed. That's exactly correct. The gorgeous men s room in the lobby. The Dean logo outside the front door. The lighted Hotel sign outside, double sided perfectly. Team Dean has agonized over the details.

However. There are issues. Some are correctable, some likely not. Some can be overlooked, some cannot.

Okay, the greatly dissed showers. I personally am willing to start a moratorium on the shower complaints. We were in a Guardian Suite, perhaps other bathrooms have it worse, but there were no floods, electrocutions, just a bit of floor tile spray. Love the bathroom tiling and the aforementioned hammered brass fixtures. Kudos for the cost saving ecofriendly bath toiletries, but I'd run the concept by the insurers -- any number of fluids could be included in those bottles -- I'm just saying...

Let's address a fixable problem. While the room lighting fixtures bedside are gorgeous, they and all lighting in the room are in application horrible. We started calling our room not the Guardian Suite but the Surgical Suite as when you turn the bedside and over bed light on, it's so bright you could do brain surgery. Anyone heard of a dimmer? No, I don't want to hear the fixtures don't work w dimmers. The on the center overhead light is inexplicable, albeit shiny (overhead ceiling lights may seem retro, but not all retro is good). It is virtually impossible to read anywhere in this room and not wake up your now pissed off partner. Folks, an easy fix.

More problematic is the air c system. This is when skimping on the inner hotel bones is a bad choice. In the GSuite, there is one vent, directly over the door entryway. Around the corner is the bed. So this arrangement keeps the two feet in front of the hall door chilled, but in bed just around the corner, it's hot (we were there in hot post-4th days. I also think it's set to go energy saver in the wee hours, again, hotter.

Now, the g suite does sport an incredible six, opening windows, and it's a corner! Wow! And providence has great cross_breezes. So, we tried that and it would have worked except...

The Noise Factor. Particularly Saturday night. Aside from the rEcycling diving guy at 430 every morning, there is the issue of The Boombox Lounge. Honestly, even before arriving, hearing that the Dean had a karaoke lounge, without any irony involved, raised my eyebrow, sharply. According to the hotel brochure, it's the only one in Providence. I think there's a reason for that, but the bridge and tunnel crowd has to go somewhere. BUT the noise. We were third floor, g suite, and the thump thump thump of Boombox lounge thumped loudly until two am. If you were on the second floor, you would have egged and/or shot the b l patrons at 2 am, when they disbursed into the parking lot loudly -- "hey man you really rocked 'living on a prayer'" "that older guy - he must have been 27, ew, but he told me I looked just like Khloe when I sang 'the power of love'" -- and then started playing soccer. Squad cars showed up around three am, no I didn't call. So big noise problem if you're on back of bldg.

Staff, esp coffee guys, have a twinge of ennui/slacker to them. In a hotel as theatre world, you need to find staff who are so gorgeous, smart, and hip -- and who realize it -- which enables them to wear their innate gorgeousness/smartness/hipness naturally and with a sense of humor "yeah I know. I'm so perfect, it's sickening, isn't it?"

Huge Kudos to housekeeping!!!! These women are my heroines! Having carpooled in in early am, they hover, quietly, calmly in the hallways. And soon as you leave your room/floor they are like a stealth super human cleaning team -- not once in five days was the room not immediately and perfectly cleaned, and in a flash. That's a huge pet peeve of mine, to leave a room in the am and come back to an uncleaned room. Yea, housekeeping. Tip them well.

Coffee bar and public cool lobby is absolutely slammed weekend ams. Nice honor system for left over baked goods, yes I paid a dollar.

No car for us but valets are on tHe ball.
Cool secret-ish bar. Some smart gay team should establish a wooly beard bar night there for all of the providence wooly bullies.

Okay, no rating inflation. Exactly, maybe a little. 4 stars for all of the care of design,and creating what I hope will brand/branch out (I mean,so much of the ground work's done...). I wish there was something between the size of the G Suite and having to rent an entire floor. Dimmers needed. Air c is a problem. Noise a real problem -- who is your guarded clientele, a couple like us who dropped $1100 with you, or a bridesmaids party (my sense was that your Boombox clientele were not hotel guests)? If you need turndown serVice, coddling, room service, a bathtub, chintz, you will hate this hotel. If you're a woman who wears your boyfriend's starched white shirt ona Sunday am with nothing else but bumble and burble surf spray, you'll The Dean? would I stay here again....Even with my reservations, absolutely.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank BlueEyedNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

There is truly not much I can say to such a thorough review other than Thank You! We appreciate you staying with us for such that duration of time and giving such a balanced look at what it meant to be a guest here from your view.

You gave me tons of things to reflect on, and dare I say, work to improve.

The single line I raise my eyebrow at is the thought that any of my staff think they are too cool, or even remotely 'perfect'. I apologize for any instance or interaction that gave you that idea as its not what we look to communicate after all of the agony that went into the details you spoke of. The experience should be relaxed and not overdone.

Cheers to you for helping me making it more so moving forward.

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Reviewed 27 July 2014

There is much about The Dean to like: fun, quirky décor in sparkling new rooms, friendly staff, free wifi, and a gourmet coffee shop that opens early in the morning. We had a corner room that was both quiet and private.

Then there is the shower. On check-in, we were advised that rooms have an “open concept shower” and we should put plenty of towels on the floor so as not to slip. That would be easy to do if “plenty of towels” were provided, but, alas, there is only one bath towel, one hand towel and one washcloth provided for each occupant of the room. There is a thick cotton bath mat for the floor, but the spray of the shower extends beyond it. It is hard to enjoy a shower that lasts for more than 2-3 minutes when you can see how wet the floor is getting. And one wonders how guests can, as suggested on a little card in the bathroom, “reuse your towels.” If the hotel is going to continue to have a “open shower concept”, they should at least provide more towels, without requiring guests to ask for them, and more places to hang them to dry.

Another design flaw: it is difficult, if not impossible, to sit up in bed and read or watch tv because the beds are so far from the wall; there's nothing to lean against. The soft squishy pillows kept falling in the large gap between the wall and the bed.

Parking at the hotel is by valet for $23. a night. When we asked about self-parking, we were told by the valet that it is available at a lot that is a three block walk away.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Laurianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Thanks for your feedback about your visit. Every bit of information helps us improve our guests experiences. The showers are something that have required ongoing improvements which are finally close to being fully implemented.

I am not sure what the parking issue was. Perhaps it wasn't fully explained that there is no overnight parking on the street in Providence, so you have to put it in a lot when visiting? You are certainly not mandated to use our valet service for this, we simply provide it for those who wish you use it. You can "self-park" at any meter on the street during the times noted on that streets corresponding signage. Feel free to reach out to me directly if there is something else that was not clarified properly so that I can improve this for future guests visits.

Aarin@thedeanhotel.com

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Reviewed 27 July 2014

My husband saw review in Travelers magazine and made reservations for our vacation. I guess I am not as hip or cool as many of your guests. Our assigned room was dirty when we opened the door -room was tiny, looked like a college dorm room, dark and dreary. My husband went down to let desk know, came back up and we waited 10 minutes or so in hallway till Mary came up, she said she wanted to see the room since maid told her that it had been cleaned (really...did she think we made that up). Had to drag our bags back into that ridiculous lift...sorry no charm there for me. Told us the room she was putting us in had no view but was more spacious. After checking in I sat on the bed and started to cry....this was the smallest, dreariest room I had ever seen. 3 windows faced a brick wall, bathroom was way beyond tiny- I told my husband I cannot stay here....not on a vacation. Room might be okay in an emergency, sudden trip, nothing else available. Travelers magazine you just lost a customer. We left an had to hunt around for a room, we barely spoke that night-really came close to ruining our vacation. FYI, I do know about hotels, was a Sales Manager in a historic hotel for 14 years. This was a horribly disappointing experience.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Kkvacation23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarin C, Director of Sales at The Dean Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Im terribly sorry that you had the kind of experience that made you cry and shocked you into silence while on a vacation. Aside from commenting on your specific dislikes, it seems that we were simply not the kind of space or experience that you would enjoy. It's disappointing to hear that our efforts were lost on you and your husband, but I hope that you were able to salvage the rest of your weekend and experience Providence for the wonderful city that we know it to be!

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Additional Information about The Dean Hotel

Address: 122 Fountain St, Providence, RI 02903-1847
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Rhode Island > Providence > Downtown Providence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Providence
Price Range: £81 - £140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Dean Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dean is a 52-room boutique hotel housed in an c. 1912 Building that has been sensitively restored in 2014. The Dean is located in the heart of the Downcity neighborhood, directly adjacent to the Rhode Island Convention Center, Dunkin Donuts Center, and within close walking distance to Brown, RISD, Johnson & Wales, the State Capitol and many corporations and historic sites. The Dean features a wide variety of room types, from cozy bunk beds to lush king suites, all outfitted with custom furniture and vintage finds from Europe and beyond. The Dean is host to Bolt Coffee in the lobby library, the Magdalenae Room, a European-style cocktail bar, Faust, a German beer hall and the Boombox, a karaoke den with a bar and private singing rooms. ... more   less 
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