Desperate for a spring getaway, this Poshbrood drove to Newport, Rhode Island, nicknamed “City by the Sea.” The Viking, an institution in Newport, is a Noble House property.We brought along our two poshettes, ages 1 and 2.
The hotel has free valet parking which proved very useful as we didn’t arrive until ten o’clock Friday and were able to pull up right in front and carry two sleeping kids inside. At the front desk the manager noticed my son’s sippy cup was empty, and by the time we walked to our room, #2002 on the first floor near the lobby, milk had been sent free of charge and was waiting for us in front of the door!
The lobby had a great vibe-live jazz music fluttered in from the bar, which is adjacent to the front desk. Once we got the kids settled, I went out and got two glasses of wine, and brought them back to our room. The crowd in the bar was mixed-a newborn slept soundly in a stroller while its parents relaxed with their drinks, a few twenty-somethings were on dates, there were men and women in Navy uniform and there was a group of women from NJ in their fifties who were on a girlfriend’s weekend away.
The hotel has four floors and our room was adjacent to the lobby, which made coming and going very easy. My 2 year-old loved the perfect view of the town’s firehouse, and spent a lot of the weekend perched in front of the large windows, watching. We are city people, and didn’t mind the noise Saturday night from a prom in the ballroom, but if you are seeking quiet we suggest a room on a higher floor.
Our room was a Noble suite with a King bed, and the hotel provided 2 cribs for $25 a night. Being able to close off the doors to one part of the room so the kiddos could sleep and we could drink wine was amazing.
Our bed was so high off the floor there was a step-stool next to the bed, which my toddler loved climbing up and down. The bed and linens were extremley comfortable. My hubby joked he felt like he was “swimming” when he laid across the bed and stretched out his arms.
If you want to upgrade, pick one of the 10 Mansion suites. The hotel underwent a 6.8 million dollar renovation in 2007, and Mansion suites are the most posh rooms. They echo the nearby Newport Mansions themselves, from the Chateau to the Marble House to Rosecliff, with unique “parlors,” and Gilded Age décor, including Chippendale and Queen Anne furnishings, rich velvet, silk, satin and tapestries. However, we found the 1920’s décor and two-room suite in our Noble room to be very luxurious as well. Our room came equipped with a refrigerator which was perfectly sized for bottle storage.
Saturday morning was spent doing a lot of running and crawling up and down the hotel’s long hallways, which my kids loved. We ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant One Bellevue, which has beautiful floor to ceiling windows with views of Bellevue street. They have a children’s menu and crayons. My toddler was delighted when his blueberry pancakes came in the shape of Mickey Mouse! One Bellevue has a great selection of food including seasonal seafood, and most of it is locally-sourced by chef Kevin Thiele.
We brought our bathing suits for the hotel’s indoor pool, but as the weather was so spectacular we decided to stroll over to the famous Cliff Walk, a 3.5 mile winding walk with the ocean on one side, historic mansions on the other.
Our 1 year-old was content in the stroller, and we ended up cajoling his brother to stay buckled in as well, as some parts of the walk are steep and dangerous for the under-5 crowd. The views were breathtaking and after getting some exercise we then walked over to town, passing the Tennis Hall of Fame with its 13-manicured grass tennis courts.
We went to Bannister’s Wharf, showed our boys some beautiful sailboats docked in the harbor, and then ate at Brick Alley Pub, which has good food and a perfect open space upstairs for kids. My son got pasta off the kid’s menu and enjoyed the firetrucks, which hang from the ceiling throughout the restaurant.
After arriving back to the Viking I had a Swedish massage in its Spa Terra for Mother’s Day. I found myself in heaven! My massuse’s name was Nicole and she was extremley talented. I felt the stresses of our lives back home simply melt away. If you have older children, Spa Terre has a section just for kids 12 and under which include items such as “Children’s facial, twinkle toes pedicure, Princess manicure, teen facial, and Princess manicure.”
We had one last blast of fun before bed with cocktails at Top of Newport bar, a rooftop bar with palm trees and a view of the entire town. In summer the bar hosts local Rhode Island musicians on weekends from 5-9pm.
It’s sometimes hard to relax when you travel with your kids, but I give the Viking a lot of credit for making my husband and I feel refreshed and happy, a feeling which has stayed with us since we returned. We will definitly be going back to the Viking whenever possible. Newport is a fun town, and once our poshbrood is old enough we will be taking them to tour the famous Newport Mansions.
The hotel has many different packages, ranging from their “Family Fun” with overnight accomodations for up to 4 people in the same room, a free in-room movie and bowl of popcorn, and breakfast daily for 2 adults and 2 kids, to “Bubbles and Butlers,” which is a Downton-Abbey inspired pampering weekend which includes afternoon tea, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, and a real butler who brings you breakfast!
The Hotel Viking has a wide range of packages and pricing available. Its high season is April-September, so expect proms and bride-sightings during your stay. Nightly room rates can start as low as $130. Book through Poshbrood/SmartFlyer for best rates, upgrades and amenities!
--Submitted by Kate Rockland, cool Connecticut mom of two sons and a cat. Kate is aformer preschool teacher and editor for Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, New Yorkmagazine, and Us Weekly. www.katerockland.com