hotel_providenceFour Diamond Hotel Providence is fantastic but not little-kid friendly. School was finally out for the summer and I was looking for a quick getaway with the kids.  I wasn’t ready for a real vacation yet, nothing too far away, just a few days for my daughter to unwind from the labor of school and for me to unwind from my daily toil and routine.

Someplace where I could go and leave my knives at home for a couple of days.  It was time to make a trip to one of our neighboring states…Rhode Island here we come!  (Did I mention I was taking my mother with me?)  

We loaded up Nana’s magic bus (a.k.a., my mother’s Town and Country mini-van), fired up the DVD player and set the cruise for Providence, Rhode Island.  In a mere two-and-a-half hours we arrived at the epicenter of New England at its finest.  Here, in this collegiate town, you can experience great food as well as culture and entertainment.  My mother manned the helm of her magic bus (so aptly named years ago by my daughter who thought that the push button that opened and closed the doors to the mini-van were controlled by magic) as we pulled up to The Hotel Providence .

We emerged excited and anxious to check out our suite at this luxury, boutique hotel which would be our home away from home for the next few days.  We were sold on this place as a family-friendly hotel; a place for children of all ages as well as a great get-away for adults.  The valet and bellman greeted us warmly and helped to unload the mini-van.  With the bags taken care of we made our way into the hotel to check-in.  The lobby was quite beautiful with highly polished marble floors, antiques and lovely furnishings.  It felt both gracious and elegant but a long way from what I consider as being baby-proof.  I let out a small sigh of relief with the knowledge that my seven-month-old son was neither crawling nor walking yet.  He was contentedly confined to his stroller and I was mostly certain that my five-year-old daughter would not run into a table and break a really expensive piece of art.  Generally speaking, she’s well-mannered for a five-year-old.  My first impression was that this was not a place for small children.      

Sleeping with my mother

After check-in, we headed to our room to unpack and get acquainted with our surroundings before going out for dinner.  We opened the door to our suite and my daughter ran ahead to check things out while I directed the bellman with our luggage.  It was at this point that my daughter announced that she had found her bed.  She then asked where the rest of us would be sleeping.  I wondered the same thing myself.  The front desk knew that I was coming with my mother, daughter and a baby yet there was one bed and no crib.  I explained to my daughter that the beautiful, red velvet couch that she saw in the first room would most probably fold out into a luxurious bed for her to sleep on.  She eyed me dubiously.  I may have used too many adjectives in selling it to her or it may be that I was unconvinced of its luxury and comfort myself.  I then placed a call to housekeeping to ask them to please make-up the sleeper sofa for my daughter as we were going out to dinner and asked if they had a crib that could be sent up for my son.  Not the kind of thing that you want to do if you had come in from a long airline or car trip and thought that your sleeping arrangements had been clear and prearranged.  Also, not the kind of service and attention to detail that I have come to expect from luxury hotels.  I expect the kind of service that goes out of its way to make sure that everything is anticipated and taken care of without asking. With the kids beds sorted out, my mother and I looked at each other and I asked which side of the bed she preferred to sleep on.  I chose the right and she agreed to the left.  I would be sleeping with my mother.    

My daughter was busy unpacking her suitcase into the armoire that was hers in the sitting room and then scampered off to use the bathroom.  I heard the ooh’s and ahh’s coming from her and went in to check it out for myself.  The separate waterfall shower and whirlpool tub was what impressed her.  The double sinks were a bonus for me.  It meant that I did not have to share a messy sink with my daughter.  She could use as much toothpaste as she liked and I would have my own clean one to use.  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a sucker for a large, luxurious hotel bathroom and this one ranked pretty high.  It included all of the amenities you come to expect from a luxury hotel: plenty of fluffy towels, a hotel bathrobe and as an added bonus, Bulgari bath amenities. 

iHome clock radios are now available in all guest rooms. 

This is exactly the kind of hotel that my husband and I stayed in before we had kids.  Nowadays our prerequisites for hotels are a swimming pool and in-room DVD player.  I panicked briefly as I realized that none of my prerequisites were at this lovely hotel.  I could be in for a world of hurt if things went wrong.             

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