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  • The King Suite at The Dean (Photography by Christian Harder)
  • The King Suite's living area
  • Front desk
  • Handcrafted espresso by RI-based Bolt Coffee Company
  • A former strip club turned beer garden
  • The hallway at The Dean
  • Make-up room door tag
  • The redbrick facade of this early-20th century building was retained

01/06/15 The Dean, Rhode Island

In putting up a hotel in Providence, RI, the stern gaze of the city’s academic history is hard to avoid. Yet 52-room boutique property The Dean retains less of the environment’s rigor and more of its refinement: vintage rugs on hardwood floors, leather armchairs, and antique portraits of noblemen hanging on the walls.

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While stately and spare, the hotel serves a homey nod to venerable campus culture. With a penchant for marrying the nostalgic with Belgian design, developer ASH NYC retained the distinguished features of this 1912-erected Downcity building—mosaic tile flooring and the redbrick façade—and gussied the rest up for the now. What was formerly a street-level gentlemen’s club is now Faust’s Hofbrauhaus, serving Bavarian brews and bites in an old-timey setting with fixtures that date back to the early 20th century.

Faust Bar 2_Christian Harder

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In the lobby, neon signage that spells out “FINE” casts its pink glow on plush furniture; a word that foreshadows your general disposition after downing a drink or two at the hotel’s discrete cocktail lounge, The Magdalenae Room, presided over by esteemed bartender Mike Sears. Just as well when all that civilized sipping inspires one to let vocals loose at The Boombox, the city’s one and only karaoke joint.

Boombox Karate Punch_Christian Harder

In contrast to the Meatloaf encore you may have ended the night with, crisp sheets by Elder Statesman, fresh-cut flowers at your bedside, and the New England sunlight seeping through window blinds will make for a dignified rise. Much more the cup of handcrafted joe by local coffee company Bolt at the lobby. That should keep you up when you pedal across the city in one of the hotel’s complimentary bikes. Class act, this place.

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