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The Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel is a property I used to stay at quite frequently. It is located next to the Rhode Island State House in beautiful downtown Providence. The majority of my stays at the hotel occurred before I started this blog, so I unfortunately do not have photographs of their standard accessible hotel rooms. I did, however, take photos of the Vice Presidential Suite, which I received as a free upgrade during one of my stays at the property.
Wheelchair accessible suites are rare in the hotel industry, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find them outside of Las Vegas. While this suite does not have a roll-in shower, there is an accessible tub with grab bars. The Renaissance Hotel in Providence is one of the city’s finest, and it is housed inside of a historic building that was constructed in 1927 as a Masonic Temple. Due to funding constraints, it was abandoned and never used as such. In 2004, an investor bought the building and opened the hotel in 2007 under Marriott’s Renaissance brand. Directly next door to the hotel is the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which is a 1,931-seat performing arts and concert hall.
Reservation & Check-in
I always make my reservations for this hotel through its website. For this particular stay, I had reserved a wheelchair accessible guest room, with a king size bed and roll-in shower. The hotel also offers rooms with two queen beds and a roll-in shower. My nightly room rate was $208.00, and I spent two nights.
At check-in, I was greeted by a friendly manager who I knew quite well. He offered to upgrade me to the Vice Presidential Suite. I accepted, knowing that it only had an accessible tub. A portable shower chair was sent up to my room after check-in, which worked well in the tub. This was a small sacrifice to make for two nights in an expensive hotel suite! The room typically carries a cost of $950 per night. Yikes!
Let me just say, my history at this hotel has included nothing apart from incredible experiences. The first time I stayed at the property, there was a snow/rain storm, and an accessible taxi was unavailable to pick me up in time for dinner. The manager on duty felt bad about the situation, and offered a complimentary dinner in the hotel’s restaurant – for both me and my friend. Ever since that first stay, I have rarely stayed at another property while visiting Providence.
The Vice Presidential Suite
The hotel’s VP Suite is very large – 1,750 square-feet, larger than most apartments! It is certainly a luxurious room, but not in an “over the top” way. The room has character and class. As soon as I rolled into the room, I knew that I would enjoy my two nights there.
The view of the Rhode Island State House from a window in the room’s living space was incredible. Surely, this has to be one of the better views in the entire hotel.
The suite’s main living area is large and fairly open, with a table and four chairs and two sofas at the far end of the space. The suite also contains a wet bar with sink, coffee maker and small refrigerator. You can see a small reflection of the wet bar in the photograph above. The entrance to the bedroom is at the far end of the room, to the left.
The beautiful four-post, king size bed was my favorite part of the room. After a long travel day, I was excited to rest on the pillow-top mattress, comforted by the incredibly soft duvet blanket and feather pillows. There was plenty of space on both sides of the bed for my power wheelchair. I was able to charge my chair using power outlets in the lamps, located on nightstands next to the bed on both sides. Opposite the bed was a flat screen television.
I placed my bags on a dressing bench located at the end of the bed. This put my bags at my height and within reach, so that I had easy access to their contents.
The bathroom was extremely large and spread out, as seen in the photograph above. There was space for my wheelchair to roll under the sink and its countertop – no bruised knees! Towels were on a rack underneath the sink, to the right. All of the towels were within easy reach from the seated position in my wheelchair. At the center of the photo is a tub. It features grab bars on the walls, and a handheld shower nozzle. The shower seat that was brought for me is not pictured here. The bathroom also has a walk-in (but not roll-in) shower. This is enclosed by a glass wall/door.
Not pictured in the photograph above is the toilet. There were grab bars on the wall alongside the toilet, and plenty of space for a wheelchair to park next to it. This made transfers from my wheelchair to the toilet very easy.
The hotel is located to the West of the State House, at the top of the hill that is Francis Street. The hill is quite steep, and manual wheelchair users will need assistance with a push up the hill. My power wheelchair handles it just fine. City bus routes 56 and 56 stop about 3 minutes walk/roll from the hotel, and the path to that stop (on the corner of Francis and Smith Streets) is relatively flat.
South of the hotel, down the steep portion of Francis Street, you’ll find the Providence Place Mall. To the Southeast, about 8-10 minutes away, is the Providence Amtrak Station. WaterPlace Park is 10-15 minutes away by wheelchair.
For more information on traveling to the city, read my Providence Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide.