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Hot List 2008

Renaissance Providence Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island 

5 Avenue of the Arts

Providence, Rhode Island 02903
United States

Tel: 401 919 5000

Tel: 800 468 3571

Unfinished and abandoned for nearly 80 years, the city's 1927 Masonic temple is now the best thing to happen to Providence's lackluster hotel scene, thanks to a $100 million renovation. The column-lined facade of the hulking building has been preserved, and while not the prettiest design—especially compared with the elegant neoclassic State House across the way—it strikes a dramatic note. Inside, the decor is theatrical: heavy red curtains in the lobby, plush mustard-and-green couches, Masonic symbols, framed blueprints of the temple. Guest rooms are similarly exuberant, with alternating dusky blue and slate stripes running down the walls and swooping window treatments with a bold pattern fringed in crimson. The staff are uniformly helpful with everything from making restaurant reservations to tracking down forgotten toiletries. With plenty of meeting space, the hotel is a no-brainer for businesspeople, but it is also a perfect choice for parents visiting their university students or leisure travelers looking for an easy getaway. The lower-level restaurant, Temple Downtown, serves only passable food, but after hours it becomes a buzzing nightspot. Don't worry—the thick century-old walls muffle the thumping bass.

When to go: Fall, when the leaves are starting to turn and the blistering winter winds are still months off.
Which room to book: All Deluxe Rooms face the Rhode Island State House, which is infinitely more attractive than I-95.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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