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“Witty, Quirky, Original ” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Dean Hotel

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The Dean Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Providence
Certificate of Excellence
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Witty, Quirky, Original ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

The Dean is the type of hotel that every place needs: witty, quirky, creative, utterly original.

Caveat - let your preconceived notions of what you expect in a hotel go. They are unimportant.

The Dean is perfectly located - short walk to Down City, Providence Place, Amtrak, Convention Center, State House, etc.

Personally, I think the quirks of this hotel are what makes it. The in room amenities don't take themselves too seriously - what other hotel has condoms and lubricant along with granola waiting for you upon arrival? - and you shouldn't take it too seriously either.

The beds are cloud soft, the bathrooms are well appointed. If you can afford it get a suite.

The dining options both within and without the hotel are numerous: Birch, Faust and Local 121 are incredible. The Mac and Cheese at Bravo is stellar.

The old fashioned elevator is a bit daunting at first, but after a couple of runs it whisks you to your floor on a cloud of nostalgia.

The staff is incredible as is the entire experience.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank nave0510
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 review, 28 August 2014
Thank you kindly for the review! We appreciate you taking the time to pass along your thoughts after your trip. Glad you enjoyed so much of Providence!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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712 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

The Dean, where we stayed for two nights in July, appealed to our design sensibilities: it occupies an interesting, quasi-historic building; it is centrally located in a relatively walkable neighborhood; and its interiors are modern, rather simple, and agreeably non-generic. The hotel has its drawbacks, however. Specifically, the elevator is old, minuscule and sometimes a bit cranky -- for instance, we once failed to pull back the hand-operated gate quickly enough, and so the elevator decided to move on to another floor before we could exit. Also, the elevator doesn't go to the fifth floor, which is where we happened to be staying. Not a big deal for us -- we are both physically fit and often voluntarily take stairs in other buildings with modern elevators -- but it was not fun lugging our bags up that narrow flight (we were traveling heavy, since the visit to Providence was part of a longer trip through New England). Also, some of the carpet in the hallways was worn and a bit smelly.

We had two more significant complaints. First, the shower in our room, which the front desk staff warned us was "European" (presumably meaning "unenclosed"), flung water across most of the bathroom floor. (Note to hotel staff: Calling this feature "European" is doing a disservice to Europe. The shower is simply poorly designed, with an inadequate separation between its floor and that of the rest of the bathroom.) Still, we found that by rolling up the bathmat and jamming it against the minimal threshold of the shower, we could stanch the flooding.

Our biggest complaint was the bed, which was WAY too soft for our tastes. When it was time to get up in the morning, I felt like I was climbing out of a marshmallow-lined crater. If you like super-squishy mattresses, I guess you'll be fine, but we slept poorly in that bed.

Despite these problems, we were generally pleased with the legitimately unique Dean.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TheGayArchitects
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 review, 11 August 2014
Thank you for the review! We are glad that you got a stop in at The Dean during your visit to New England on the whole. I suppose you are correct that a super soft sleep isn't for everyone. Sorry you didn't rest well after that treck up to the 5th floor!
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

The Dean Hotel is a new addition to Providence, having been created in a space that clearly has seen many lives over the years. The owners sensibly worked with the space that they had, and as a result have a hotel that is way more interesting than the large chains - but not without some caveats.

Good things:
* Everything about the place is hip and trendy - at times almost painfully so
* It's in a great location, if you want to be downtown
* The coffee bar is fabulous (a barista in a bakery cross town whispered that it was the best around)
* The rooms are on the small side, and are funky in shape and character, seemingly no two the same
* The showers are "European", which is to say that they don't close and as a result get the bathroom floor soaking wet
* The staff is hyper-friendly, in that young eager-to-please kind of way

Things to be aware of:
* I can't imagine how this place is possibly ADA compliant - it must have gotten a waiver for the narrowness of the halls, doorway, and lift. If you're mobility impaired, you might want to check with them before making a reservation
* At first I thought the front desk was being pretentious when she mentioned the "lift" - we're not in England, after all. But it turns out that lift is the correct word here: it's tiny (hold 3-4 people max, fewer with luggage) and has metal grates that must be slid open to gain entry / egress. I found it charming and original, but if you're looking for a modern push-button experience, this might not be for you.
* Also, the lift doesn't reach sections of the hotel - some require that you walk up a flight of steps after taking the lift up
* The beds were surprisingly soft. I prefer a medium firm mattress, which this definitely was not
* The bars (there are two: the front one mostly beer/wine, the rear one more speakeasy in style) aren't hooked into the main billing system, so must be settled separately

All in all it was a good experience for me - I have no trouble with the narrow spaces, and found the character worthwhile.

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues, be sure that they can accommodate you before you get there.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alan D
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 review, 11 August 2014
Thank you very much for the thorough and honest review. We appreciate the notes to consider. Thanks for taking the time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Found The Dean while looking for a place to stay in Providence for a girl's night out before we headed off to Newport. We all LOVED it for it's location, style and staff. It's a new hotel so be patient the kinks are being worked out.

The hotel's location is central and within walking distance of most of the major areas and an added 'cherry' is access to bikes that you can use to explore Providence even further. I am a biker so loved being able to hop on a bike and go to places I wouldn't think to do on foot. They are available on a first come basis but that is one of the nice touches that The Dean offers to show that it is proud of its city.

The attention to detail throughout the hotel and in the rooms really well done. Simple and elegant with interesting design elements throughout the hotel and rooms. They use all local workers and artisans so was happy to see them embracing this great sense of pride in the Providence community. Another reason to love The Dean. I know that some folks didn't like the old caged elevator but I liked it and added character to the history of the building. It was a little clumsy to get in and out with luggage but not overly difficult. If you didn't want to use the elevator, the stairs were an option. The beds were outstanding and uber comfortable. I would love to know where you can buy them. The Dean - share your secret.

Our bathroom was large and tastefully done but I have to agree with all the other comments about the showers and the water running outside the shower area all over the floors. We used lots of towels to mop up the excess water. It is a bit of a pain and a bit of a concern for the The Dean in terms of liability if someone falls. The Dean is well aware of the issue and is working on a solution so be prepared it is quirky.

The staff another gem element for The Dean. They were helpful, warm and welcoming. A special shout out to 'Mary' for her help. The Dean is not just a hotel but a Providence experience.

Will definitely return and recommend.

Room Tip: Be on the opposite side of the karaoke bar side especially on the weekends. Room #205 - The Gang...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chloe55
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 review, 11 August 2014
Thank you so very much for the review and the nod to your Providence Experience. Thats exactly what we hoped to be a part of when we dreamed up this crazy idea! We hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

This hotel has a good location friendly staff and is clean but truly lacks in functionality. We stayed in the king room and there was no room in the bathroom to hang anything and no counter space. Shower design needs some adjustment. Bed frame was very squeaky anytime you laid on it. Rooms werent very quiet (and we specifically asked for a quiet room) and the ding of the elevator was irritating after it ran every time. Common sense would have found a way to silence that after 10 pm.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank lee s
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 review, 11 August 2014
Thank you for the review! I wish it were easy to tame the ol' girl that is our elevator. But as its the original to the building it takes considerably more than "common sense." Terribly sorry she interrupted your sleep.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

If you are looking for a hotel with twin beds, 48" TV, fluffy carpets, don't go to The Dean. I assume some of the negative comments below are maybe from people looking for that. If you want something a bit quirky and different, then The Dean is your place. Its fun, trendy, the staff are friendly and helpful. The coffee is great. The place is clean, has everything you need (as long as you don't need the afore mentioned), a good location and very reasonable in cost. Next time I am back in Providence, I'll be heading to the Dean. Rob

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ZinzanFidds
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 review, 6 August 2014
Thanks for the review! We certainly know that every experience isn't for everybody, so it's good to hear that you enjoyed our space during your visit to Providence!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlton, NY
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dean Hotel

Property: 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 #6 of 12 Hotels in Providence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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