Jan 212013
Luxuriating in the giant bathtub in our Hotel Viking room.

Luxuriating in the giant bathtub in our fantastic hotel room in Newport.

There are some vacations from which you need a vacation, and our whirlwind trip to India proved one of them. We returned to America from New Delhi jetlagged, dizzy, and greeted by piles of grading.

“We’ve got to go somewhere relaxing, close, and awesome this long weekend,” I wailed to my husband. “Somewhere we can eat like beasts, sleep like bears, and sightsee pretty things at a relaxed pace. BUT WHERE?”

The lovely hotel in Newport where we could relax at last.

The luxurious hotel in Newport where we could relax at last.

Twitter to the rescue! Upon re-wailing my question to the Twitterverse, a lovely woman from Discover Newport contacted me, and our Rhode Island adventure was born. A smooth 90 minute drive from Boston later, Colin and I pulled off of Bellevue Avenue, up to the historic Hotel Viking.

The lobby of Hotel Viking. Old World charm indeed.

The lobby of the Hotel Viking. Old World charm indeed!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Hotel Viking (click for availability and rates) is the place to go to feel like royalty. All morning and afternoon in Boston, Colin and I had taught middle schoolers (I even had to read my kids the instructions for a “Lockdown Drill”), and in our luggage lurked reams of essays to grade. But, I tell you, the moment we set foot in that Newport hotel, we smiled and relaxed. Luxury and beauty at last!

When a hotel greets you with this, you're happy.

When a hotel greets you with this in your suite, you’re happy.

The Hotel Viking was originally built in 1926 to house the guests of the famous Newport mansion elite during the summer season. Yes, the Vanderbilts, Astors, and other fancy folk caroused in the same halls that Colin and I now skipped down. We slipped our key into the “Mansion Suite” lock, and the door creaked open. Ooh, what joy as we first saw our home for the next two days!

This bed! And the bathtub adjoining the bedroom?!

This bed! And the bathtub adjoining the bedroom?!

On the glistening marble table, a welcome packet winked. In the living room, furniture worthy of a Newport mansion posed. The chandelier twinkled above the flat screen TV and fireplace. And the bedroom! We sprinted into the next room to feast our eyes on the most ornate, pillow-piled bed imaginable. The multi-room bathroom adjoined, replete with a tub straight from an Italian movie.

Will our students know we graded in this luxurious setting?

Our Viking suite did not disappoint. Will our students know we graded in this luxurious setting?

What a delicious hotel! Given its beauty, which other celebrities (besides us of course) have laid their heads on pillowy Hotel Viking beds? Word on the street is that Christina Aguilera, Will Ferrell, and President Kennedy were all guests at the Viking. As a rabid fan of “The Voice,” “SNL,” and America (in no particular order), this fact thrilled me!

We ate ridiculously amazing breakfasts...

The daylight meant breakfast… Yum!

In the morning, Colin and I did some grading, swam in the pool, then headed downstairs to the Hotel Viking’s fabulous restaurant, One Bellevue. I warn you, the next few photos may make you eat your computer. Restrain yourself accordingly.

Crab cake eggs benedict?!

Crab cake eggs benedict?!

For the first morning, Colin ordered the crab cake eggs benedict, and I ordered the lobster omelette. The next morning, Colin ordered the lobster omelette an I scarfed the crab cake eggs benedict. We are aware that there were other things on the menu, but… lobster and crab cake for breakfast?! You don’t say no to that.

Sooo excited to eat. Colin had a lobster omelette...

Sooo excited to eat our lobster and crab cake breakfasts!

I must add at this point how delightful the waitstaff at One Bellevue was. Not only did our waiter agree with gusto to take the goofy photo above (and three other versions of it), but each day he made our morning bright with his cheerfulness. The Food and Beverage Manager also stopped by to chat with us, and genially answered our questions amid our giant bites of food.

This crab cake eggs benedict put me in a luscious food coma for hours.

This crab cake eggs benedict put me in a luscious food coma for hours.

So, did we do anything in Newport besides eating and sleeping? It was hard to tear ourselves away from the hotel, but yes, we did tour some astounding mansions on the Cliff Walk, and eat an exotic dinner out. But those stories and photos shall appear in a subsequent article. For now, just know that 230 Boston middle schoolers will have two totally refreshed and happy teachers tomorrow, thanks to the Hotel Viking and Discover Newport!

Thanks for a brilliant mini-vacation, Hotel Viking and Newport!

Thanks for a brilliant mini-vacation, Hotel Viking and Newport!

So what’s YOUR take, dear readers? Have you visited Newport or this hotel? Have you also taken a mini-vacation that has made all the difference? Do share!

If you enjoyed this article, please consider using the following easy links to book the Hotel Viking, or search other Newport hotels, or browse Newport vacation home rentals, as it will support this site with a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks, and happy travels!

We were guests of the Hotel Viking and Discover Newport, but all views and pillow-squeezes are my own.


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  23 Responses to “Where to Stay in Newport, RI to Feel Like Royalty”

  1. […] Lillie’s Pick: Hotel Viking “This is the place to go to feel like royalty!”  […]

  2. I am so going there someday!

  3. Lillie, Just what the doctor ordered! I just said to my husband the other day that I want to book a weekend away in March…long & dreary! We are going to stay here…TY! This looks PERFECT 🙂 Did they have good tea?

    • Delightful! I didn’t try their tea but I would assume (given the deliciousness of everything else) that it would be fabulous.

  4. I had a friend who up until a few months ago lived on Bellevue Avenue. I have spend a few months there over the years and I would walk past the Viking often. So glad it’s as good as its reputation. Happy that you got to stay there but a big boo that it wasn’t when I was there.

  5. This is the second post on Hotel Viking I’ve read in just a few days. As a fan of the Historic Hotels of America, this one definitely makes my list!

  6. Wow I wish I could stay in that hotel! It looks like you are living in a castle! Hahah 🙂

    • Indeed, the hotel is modeled after the famous Newport mansions, and those are modeled after the palaces of French kings!

  7. I have not been to Newport but I suddenly now want to go there so I can feel like royalty too. 🙂

  8. My husband and I visited Newport, RI during the America’s Cup in 1983 – yes, I am older than you! We were dumb, love-struck twenty-somethings with no reservations. Needless to say, we slept in a rental car in a parking lot, as there was no room at the Inn…or anywhere in Newport.

    I am a West Coast girl, but the next time I visit Rhode Island, I’ll be sure to look up the Hotel Viking; lovely!

  9. A friend of mine had a conference once at the Viking & invited me to join for a few days. Good times! Newport is wonderful.

  10. Bucket listed! Hotel Viking looks absolutely fabulous!!! From the pillows, to the crab cake eggs benedict (whoa!). I’m in love…

  11. Big smile. I can so live vicariously through you two! Lillie, thank you for sharing all of it with us. I’m putting Hotel Viking on my must do list!

  12. What a wonderful place !!!!

  13. I once brought an entire conference to the Newport area. Very interesting place to visit. We considered the Viking Hotel and took a tour of it and it was lovely, but it just wasn’t what we needed for this group. Loved touring the Gilded Age mansions – in fact, the entire area is somewhere I highly recommend for anyone to enjoy history. Thank you for your blog. It makes me want to go back there!

  14. Those crab cakes looks insanely delicious

  15. I’ve always wondered what those rooms looked like; I’ve only seen the ones on the Hotel Viking website. I’m from Rhode Island, and a stay there might just be a lovely splurge for sometime this winter.

  16. Looks like you had a lovely visit, Lillie! I love Newport too. Maybe next time you feel like heading down to the ‘city by the sea’ I’ll join you for a girls weekend. 😉

  17. I enjoy reading all of your travel posts! We LOVE the Hotel Viking, we were fortunate enough to hold our wedding in Newport, RI in April 2012, we chose to have all of our New England and Washington, DC area guests stay at the Hotel Viking throughout our wedding weekend! Our guests ranted/raved and MANY want to go back to Newport because of their stay, whether it’s a “just because weekend” or a “celebration of an anniversary”. When we stayed there both on our engagement weekend & wedding weekend truly felt like royalty, the hotel put us up in their biggest suite and we felt like we owned the place it was so big! The Hotel went ABOVE and BEYOND and I’m so happy to see you featured them on your site. Fabulous place to stay, amazing destination town and smiling because you were able to see ALL that Newport, RI offers. Love it there!

    • So glad to meet another Newport addict! Having grown up in Boston and attended Brown University in Providence, I have popped by Newport in the past, and in every state of my life I find new things to love about it. And YES about the suites in the Hotel Viking. They are… WOW! 🙂

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