by Courtney Elko
The Graduate Providence, which recently transformed from the historic Providence Biltmore, easily blends its historic bones with an artistic, modern vibe. Whether you appreciate architecture from another era or art work from a colorful generation, the Graduate Providence satisfies all tastes in style.
The property was built in 1922 and has seen several hotel brands pass through, but the Graduate made it home in 2019. The Graduate collection of hotels are situated in university-centered towns and continue that theme in their design with things like student IDs as keycards and tons of plaid and tweed. The original chandelier and glass elevator are show stoppers in the center of the lobby and in the guestrooms, families will find photos of famous college graduates from universities in Providence. Providence has the largest amount of donut shops per capita than any other state, and that stat is not lost on the Graduate. Families will find artistic donut paintings and designs throughout the hotel. Check out the carpet in the hallways and you’ll spot some donuts there, too!
The Graduate Providence is centrally located in downtown Providence across the street from Kennedy Plaza, where there is a family-friendly beer garden, playground, bumper cars in the summer months, and an ice rink in the winter months. Families can easily walk to nearby museums, restaurants and donut shops when staying here. The guestrooms and suites are oversized and the onsite coffee shop provides a great morning jolt.
Families who appreciate design, history and/or the convenience of a great location will love a stay at the Graduate Providence.
Our Editor Loves
- Central downtown location
- Spacious suites with refrigerators
- Outdoor roof terrace and faux lawn area
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
There are 294 guestrooms and suites in this 18-story building. Complimentary Wi-Fi can be found throughout the hotel. Designated pet-friendly rooms, with no additional pet fee, are available. Cribs and rollaway are available upon request.
The guestrooms feature one king bed and can accommodate one to two people. The guestrooms feature a mini-fridge, flat-screen television, USB outlets and docking stations by the bedside, a coffeemaker and a shower/tub combination in the bathroom.
The spacious suites can accommodate between two and four people and feature either one or two king beds. The suites offer a separate living and dining area with a queen-size sleeper sofa, flat-screen television, and USB outlets and docking stations by the bedside. Additionally, some of the suites offer a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, and cooktop station. If the suite does not include a kitchenette, it will include a mini-fridge and coffeemaker.
by jim d
Lobby was nice. That was it. The rooms are extremely dated and worn. Woodwork all beat up. The bed was very uncomfortable. Also the room was freezing COLD. The front desk explained that the heat and a/c are on a two pipe system, so it's either heat or a/c. Well this was October and the outside temps were in the high 40s low 50s. TURN THE HEAT ON! Air conditioner blew ice cold all night. I highly recommend NOT STAYING HERE. I was so disgusted I got up and drove home at 6am.
The staff handled a hotel change with incredible professionalism. At every point in our communication, from the front desk to the general manager, they made a difficult situation manageable and I look forward to staying at the Graduate the next time I visit Providence. They seem to be striving to offer their customers above the board service.
This outdoor space sits high above the street and overlooks Kennedy Plaza below. The terrace features tables and chairs and some faux lawn space, perfect for playing. Yoga is offered here on select mornings from May through September, and seasonal community events often take place here as well.
Complimentary bikes are available for guests to use during their stay; they're available on a first-come, first-served basis. Providence is an excellent city to explore by bike so families should definitely take advantage of this perk.
The hotel offers a loaner pair of headphones just in case you or your teen forgot to pack a pair. Guests can borrow a pair of custom LSTN headphones from the front desk, based on availability.
Seasonal events, open to hotel guests and the community, often take place here. Events like donut fest, ghost story night and paint night are a few of the options available. Be sure to ask if any events are taking place during your stay.
This onsite café is located off the lobby and features more than coffee. This is a great stop for breakfast, lunch or mid-day caffeine needs. Hot breakfast sandwiches are available along with fresh salads, yogurt, grilled cheese and tomato soup, smoothies, pressed juices and coffee drinks. The café is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
- Pet Friendly
The Graduate is a pet-friendly hotel brand and does not charge an additional fee for its furry visitors. Pets are free and receive a pup perk upon arrival from BarkBox.
Valet parking only is available for an additional fee.
- Fitness Center
Cardio and weight machines can be found in the fitness center, along with a Peloton bike and yoga mats. The fitness center is open 24/7. Yoga classes, for an additional fee, are also offered on the Parkview Terrace on select mornings from May through September.
The Best Time to Visit
Providence is a four-season vacation destination, but it is also a university city so when school is in session, it can be at its busiest. The Graduate has the most visitors around the graduation season in the spring.
Providence is the capital city of Rhode Island. It is located about an hour from Boston and less than 45 minutes from Newport, Rhode Island. The T.F. Green International Airport in Providence is located about 15 minutes from the hotel, and Boston's Logan International Airport is located about an hour from the hotel.
Providence is a very walkable city. There are sidewalks, and strollers can easily navigate the city. When staying here, families can easily park the car at the hotel and walk or take a taxi to most of the city’s restaurants and attractions. However, if you want to explore more of Rhode Island (you can drive the entire state in an hour, a vehicle is needed.
While there is no bar or spa (it’s coming soon) for adults at this hotel, there is a “time travel” machine! The brass and gold elevator that sits as the centerpiece of the hotel’s lobby is inoperable. The elevator worked from 1978 to 1998 and while the Graduate has not given up hope just yet that it might work as an elevator again, it is currently just a design piece. A plaque on the outside of the elevator states: Glass Elevator, Built in 1978. It’s a Biltmore Classic, Use for Time Travel Only.
Another fun plaque to track down is located in the lobby, on a pillar near the front desk. This sign, which sits about 7 feet high, is the high water mark from a hurricane and flood that devastated Providence in 1938.