Personal touches make an impression at Newport's Brenton Hotel

A double queen guestroom at the Brenton Hotel. Rates at the Brenton start at $349 per night, midweek. Photo Credit: Louis Walker III
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While the Brenton Hotel in Newport, R.I., may be most aptly described as a luxury boutique hotel, in many ways it feels more like a family-run bed-and-breakfast.

The hotel's lobby bar and restaurant, fittingly named the Living Room, features comfortable couches, armchairs and low tables. The managing director, Andy Ross, personally takes guests on bicycle tours of the city, while their director of operations leads group runs. For those heading out for the day, staff will pack a delicious picnic lunch that comes in a sailcloth bag. And in the guest pantries on each floor, there's a drawer filled with complimentary ice cream treats.

T1129BRENTON1_C_HR [Credit: Louis Walker III]
The lobby/Living Room area at the Brenton Hotel, which opened in July on Newport's waterfront. Photo Credit: Louis Walker III

The 57-room, locally owned hotel situated on Newport's scenic waterfront opened in July of 2020. And while opening in the middle of a pandemic obviously wasn't ideal, Ross said that in many ways it was beneficial. "It allowed us to really ease into the space, as we didn't open the hotel all at once," he said. He added that because they opened when they did, Covid safety procedures and protocols are the norm for them, and the timing allowed them to make changes, such as installing air filters for each room.

Harbor views

As a guest of the hotel on a recent visit, I stayed in a Waterfront King room, which, as the name implies, had amazing views of Newport Harbor. The floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors filled the spacious 450-square-foot room with natural light and opened onto a Juliet balcony to let the sea breeze in. The room also featured a chaise lounge sitting area and an extremely comfortable king-size bed with a custom-made mattress and luxury brand linens. In addition to the guestrooms, the hotel also features penthouse rooms with private balconies, 1,200-square-foot suites with two king bedrooms and a top-floor penthouse suite.

The Brenton is located within easy walking distance of the stores and restaurants along Newport's waterfront as well as to its historic district and the many bars and restaurants along Broadway. It's also a short drive or easy bike ride (the hotel provides complimentary bikes for guests) to Bellevue Avenue or the Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile oceanside path that is home to the city's iconic mansions.

Packages and a private boat

T1129BRENTON3_C_HR [Credit: Brenton Hotel]
Guests can book the Brenton's private, 36-foot Hinckley Picnic Boat for a tour of the bay or a sunset cruise. Photo Credit: Brenton Hotel

Guests can also book the Brenton's private, 36-foot Hinckley Picnic Boat, docked nearby, for a tour of the bay or a sunset cruise. The hotel offers several packages, including Brenton to Bellevue, which includes a pair of tickets to one mansion and two museums. And as part of its commitment to supporting the local community, the hotel also created the Brenton Believes package; now through March 31, guests who book a summer 2022 stay will receive a gift card to any Newport County business of their choice in the amount of 10% of their stay.

During my two-day visit, I started each day with breakfast in the Living Room, then headed out to explore the town. The first day I strolled along the Cliff Walk to take in the coastline and sprawling mansions, and the next I spent several hours at the International Tennis Hall of Fame before heading out to scenic Ocean Drive for a walk around Brenton Point State Park. After each day's excursion, I headed back to the hotel's rooftop lounge area to take in the great views of both the bay and the city while enjoying a cocktail and watching the sunset -- the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring.

The Brenton's standard guestrooms start at $349 per night, midweek. For more info, visit brentonhotel.com.

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