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“Good Location; Questionable Accommodations”
Review of Melville House

Melville House
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Melville House
Ranked #62 of 95 Newport B&B and Inns
Reviewed 19 May 2014

The Melville House
Category: Bed & Breakfast
5/19/2014

As a senior contributor to both Trip Advisor and YELP, I cannot recall ever giving ZERO Stars to a place of lodging. However, in the interest of providing assistance to fellow travelers, I must give The Melville House Zero Stars.

It was my oversight to later learn that there was little, if any, photos and documentation of The Melville House on-line; more on that later on. Hopefully, this review will prevent others from making that same mistake.

First, hotels.com, at the time of my booking (mid-May) did not post photos of rooms at The Melville House other than the buildings' exterior. Booking.com posted reviews for The Melville House yet those photos represented rooms at The Clarkeston House, several doors down, apparently operated by the same Inn Keeper. This was where my error occurred; I had not noticed the "qualifier" in the upper RH corner of the web pg. (There may also be other B&B's on Clarke St that are associated with the Owner.) Following our stay, I now suspect why interior photos of The Melville House are difficult to find on-line.

The Cons:
I want to begin by stating that, for me, a B&B is not only a room; breakfast, and the experience that goes with it are an important part of the stay. I'm not expecting nor do I want crystal chandeliers hanging overhead nor do I expect silver plate and fine china table settings. What I do expect, is feeling welcomed, greeted by management, and all those customary conveniences found in our own home during breakfast time; a clean table and place settings. The Melville House failed to deliver most, if not all of those aspects that most B&B's and Inn's offer, especially when considering their price point.

- Our Room:
We were booked on the 2nd floor facing the street. Worn shades were pulled down for privacy and had seen better days. One shade was torn. Cafe curtains would have been more appropriate offering privacy and taste.

Both of us could not walk around the foot of the bed without one of us hugging the wall; the room was that small. The mattress was the wrong size and did not properly fit the four poster bed frame.

The bathroom light could not be turned OFF as the switch was inoperable. It stayed ON all day and night.

The toilet did not flush properly. The Toilet ran for quite awhile before shutting OFF.

The bathroom sink was smaller than one would find in a small sailboat and was close to being useless.

There was no TV in our room; Hotels.com confirmed as much.

After returning to our room following dinner, we found it to be very warm and humid.
Our room had central AC. I called the office and asked that the AC be turned ON. I was advised that they had not planned on using the AC yet. I insisted and the AC activated. (Note that the Inn Keeper suggested that a window AC unit be installed in our room. Frankly, I found this quite confusing when considering that our room had central AC.)

Breakfast:
Breakfast would be served at 9:30. The Inn Keeper mentioned that this would be served in the building next door. We entered the breakfast room, found three other couples waiting for breakfast. There were no place settings; no coffee; no juice; no signs of Ownership.

Ownership finally showed and asked if any of us wanted to move across the street for breakfast. We found this question to be very unusual. No explanation was given to support this announcement. Clearly, we felt uncomfortable. Next, we were advised that most of the staff had not showed. Once the "cook" showed up, we ordered.

It became obvious that little or no planning had gone into serving breakfast. Bacon was listed on the menu yet it was not available. Our food was acceptable yet the lack of warmth and organization eroded the best part of the B&B "experience".

Breakfast, 2nd morning:
We arrived at 9:30. Apparently, several guests had already eaten. Soiled dishes and flatware as well as used coffee mugs remained on the table. Staff did nothing to remove them. Ownership was nowhere to be seen. Awkwardness was apparent. There were no more clean coffee mugs to be had. Staff had to retrieve them from another building. Coffee was lukewarm. We also had to ask for napkins and flatware. The extra bacon that I was promised turned into two very small curls of bacon despite an earlier discussion with Ownership. Our food was passable yet nothing special.

Their Phone Number:
Prior to leaving for Newport, I placed a call to The Melville House, using the phone number shown on my confirming e-mail sent by Hotels.com however the phone number is incorrect. Their correct phone number is: 401-848-5300. I registered my complaint with Hotels.com. Regardless of this review, my goal is to help other travelers. (FYI, their Wi-Fi code was never given to us nor were we instructed on securing the front door to the building.)

Pros: Proximity to the waterfront, restaurants, and shopping.

I cannot recommend The Melville House regardless of their ideal location.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank ShoreStops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ANewporter, Manager at Melville House, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2014

Thank you for your detailed review and we apologize for not meeting your expectations. Our hope is to provide all of our guests with a lovely room and experience and we obviously failed in your case. We acquired the Melville House due to its great location as noted by you. While it is different than our other properties , the Melville House has much historic charm and we will do a better job in making sure that ALL amenities are fresh and operable. Based on your note, we will also make sure that photos are posted on booking sites to help guests make informed decisions. As owners, we would love to personally greet all of our guests but in our absence, we hope to ensure that our staff is equally caring. Thank you for making us better.

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Reviews (53)
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20 - 26 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2013

Melville House - The staff was very friendly. ROOM - Upon our arrival the room we were shown I did not like -- so Cloe took the time and effort to show us a number of rooms until we found one acceptable. Although the bathroom was as small as the one in a camper (the sink might be smaller) and not what is shown on their website, the room was ok. No Central AC in our room but there was a window air conditioner. There is no TV in the room (but I knew that from the reviews) so we figured we would watch something off the computer but, could not get internet service. (bed was lumpy). The Inn itself is from the 1700 so the stairs and walls are a "bit crooked" but I guess you could say that it adds "character". FOOD - breakfast is served in the sister property two doors down. Zack was our waiter and he did a fine job. He was attentive and efficient. The breakfast is a bit of a "bare bones" breakfast but it was good. Choice of eggs, french toast or pancakes. Fresh OJ, coffee, toast, peanut butter, jam, fresh fruit, coffee and tea. LOCATION - ok this was the best part. The location of this property is what "saved the day". You cannot beat the location! It is 1 block away from the main street (America's Cup Way). The only time we took the car out was to tour. Parking is a big factor here and we never had a problem finding a spot in one of their lots. Final review of the property -- ok. I did take the time to look at a few B & B's near by in case we return to Newport. If you are busy travelers (like us) you are really never in the room and location, location, location was more important to us. (oh, and there was no closet in the room either - just one five drawer dresser. There was a closet door but the broken handle was in a drawer, so who knows! ACTIVITIES/RESTAURANTS - Mansion tours - go to the Welcome Center in town and buy a 5 tour pass. Much cheaper then individual tour prices. The Newport Harbor Shuttle was a good deal. $10.00 pp for a day "hop on hop off" pass. Great way to see the Mansions, Fort Adams, Lighthouses, Goat Island, etc. from the water. The Cliff Walk was a nice. The Red Parrott was an excellent restaurant for a good price. Food was delish!

Room Tip: Bathrooms are very very small. Not what is shown on website. Might want to consider one of their o...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tracey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ANewporter, Owner at Melville House, responded to this reviewResponded 24 August 2013

Thank you so much for taking time to write a review and to highlight Clarke Street, this one-block lane chuck full of history and so centrally located. Did you know that George Washington and General Rachambeau, the leader of the French troops during the Revolutionary War, stayed across the street?

I hope that you will look at some of the rooms in our adjacent inns next time so that we can accommodate you with a larger room and bathroom AND TV/Internet. By the way, we are addressing that closet door today!

Rick and Tamara Farrick

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

The staff at Melville House were very pleasant and the breakfast was very good (except no tea bags fortunately I bring my own), The blueberry pancakes and French Toast were delicious and the orange juice was outstanding!
The accommodations however were disappointing. Our small room had the smallest shower I have ever seen, Broken TP holder and towel rack did not improve the situation. There was no TV even in the Living Room and I had to use an extension cord to use the hair dryer.
Againthe staff was accommodating and the free parking in Newport was a real plus.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Dgirardrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012 via mobile

Overall we had a really great experience at the Melville house in Newport RI. Rooms were clean, Rick and staff were extremely accommodating and the breakfast was delish!! The girl that made the hot breakfast every morning was a pleasure and really did a wonderful job. We really had no complaints but one which was not really the BnB's fault. The Mel House was central air upstairs, no individual A/C. The people that stayed next to us kept turning off the A/C with the switch in the hall all weekend long, very inconsiderate and it made our room very warm, i had to keep getting up to turn it back on in the middle of the night. It also can be a bit noisey at night when people return back to their rooms because the doors are older and a bit noisey. Other than that it was a great experience.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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3  Thank DD143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2012

This was my very first trip to Newport. My boyfriend made the reservations. i had never stayed in a B&B before. our room was very cozy, bathroom was down the hall but no biggie. We had a great stay, and our breakfast was excellent. Shame on all of the negative reviews. If you wanted 5 Star service you should have stayed at a 5 Star resort.!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sally h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2012

If you are looking to create new memories, this is the place to stay. Is not over price, the location is excellent, and the best of all you don't have to pay for parking! I have been visiting Newport for the past three years during the summer. I live in Connecticut and the drive is not bad, so usually I go early in the morning and come back at night time; however, this time, I wanted to stay for the night and enjoy the weekend with my daughter and her cousin. They both had a blast! We were able to walk to the wharf and back, we were able to drive to Gooseberry Beach (the best), and we did not miss anything from the big and fancy hotels we are used to staying in. WE LOVED IT! AND THE BREAKFAST WAS THE CHERRY ON TOP OF THE ICING!

Room Tip: If you are planning to share the bedroom with someone else, make sure that you ask for two double be...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Manchester_CTCarmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2011

Located in the heart of Newport, this hotel is steps from all of the shops, restaurants and nightlife. They have a small parking lot around back and offer a delicous home cooked breakfast with the room. Unfortunately, that is about all the hotel has going for it. The room we stayed in was very small with paper thin walls and didn't have a bathroom attached to it. Our bathroom was down the hall and around the corner. The room next to us had an infant child. We had just purchased a new car prior to the trip and it was hit in the parking lot our second day there. A hotel employee had tried cramming her car back there after the lot was full and caused an accident trying to move it so another guest could get out. The hotel manager did absolutely nothing to compensate us for the anguish this brought us, aside from offering to let us check out late, although we were visibly frustrated and told him how unhappy we were with our stay even up until our car was hit.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Melville House

Address: 39 Clarke St, Newport, RI 02840-3023
Region: United States > Rhode Island > Newport
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #62 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in Newport
Price Range: £107 - £279 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Melville House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Melville House Hotel Newport

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