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?”
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 — one of the best hotels in New England.
Note: We were guests of the Hotel Viking and Discover Newport, and some of the links here are affiliates that provide a small commission at no extra charge to you, but all views are my own.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 and famous Newport 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!
So what’s YOUR take, dear readers? Have you visited Newport or the Hotel Viking? Have you also taken a mini-vacation that has made all the difference? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!