Views from Providence River
Views from Providence River
Curio Local Guide

Providence

Authored by Cara Llewellyn
Cara Llewellyn
Professional Photographer

We sent Providence photographer extraordinaire, Cara Llewellyn, to The Providence Biltmore Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton to experience the historic property, shoot some beautiful photos, and create a Curio Local Guide for Providence full of tips and local secrets just for you. 

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Providence is the perfect bite-sized New England city. It has a hint of the sea, a picturesque canal, what can only be described as an adorable downtown financial district, and stunning college campuses sprinkled throughout.

Overhead view of woman drinking coffee on bed
Overhead view of group having lunch at Olgas
Gondola and a gondolier at work
Providence State House exterior

My Perfect Day

What to do in a place like this if you only have 24 hours?

Providence Waterfire canal at sunset
WaterFire

Start the day off with a morning coffee kick from The Shop in Fox Point, followed by a bike ride along the East Bay Bike Path, which follows old railroad tracks along the water, often with ocean on both sides. Finish your ride at Olga’s Cup & Saucer for a delicious breakfast under a canopy of pear trees. After your meal I’d say it’s time for a stroll along the canal, ending up at the RISD campus where you can explore their museum and the elusive RISD Nature Lab, but shhhh don’t disturb the furiously sketching foundation students.

Are you hungry again? Get ready for the best chicken salad sandwich you’ve ever had in your life (think additions like dried cranberries, crisp cucumber slices and goat cheese) at Small Point Cafe downtown, followed by a wee bit of shopping and perhaps a nap around the corner at The Providence Biltmore for good measure. Dinner will be at the hippest place in the city – take a quick walk over to Federal Hill where you“ll find the hidden gem of a restaurant “North”. Do not be deterred by a bit of a wait for a table, the ham biscuits and dan dan noodles will knock your shoes, socks and probably pants off too.

Alright, I know it sounds cheesy but an after-dinner gondola ride is not to be missed. Book your Venetian gondola ride early and enjoy a trip on the canal, complete with a singing gondolier with a voice that any indie band worth their salt would kill for. If you’re lucky your 24-hour visit will fall on a Water Fire night, where the city burns 20 cords of wood in 97 floating braziers along the entire length of the canal. Let the surreal city-wide opera music follow you as you make your way back to The Providence Biltmore after a day well spent.

Cara’s Favorites

Where to stay

Providence Biltmore hotel Lobby at the Providence Biltmore Premier Suite at the Providence Biltmore

Providence Biltmore, Curio Collection by Hilton

An iconic, landmark hotel with an illustrious past. Designed in 1922 by celebrated architects, Warren and Wetmore, and featuring a striking ‘V-shaped’ design, this stately hotel has continually fostered a legacy of gracious hospitality and authentic character. The Providence Biltmore’s premier downtown location places guests just moments from tempting restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

SEE HOTEL DETAILS

The Biltmore in Providence was as grand as it was accommodating. With its roots in old-world hospitality, the history of the hotel is immediately apparent as you walk into the multi-level lobby with a massive sparkling chandelier as the centerpiece. My room was ginormous, definitely big enough to run laps around (which I did immediately), and everyone who works there was super helpful and kind.   

One of my most enjoyable hotel stays in years, the importance of all the details really stood out to me along the way. My favorite (and the most subtly charming) bit of the lobby is an old glass elevator that is no longer in service, but has a little plaque stating it's for time travel only. The deeply plush carpeting throughout the halls, as well as floor-to-ceiling arched windows in the grand ballroom, all come together to create a truly luxurious feel to the space.

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Upcoming Events

Jun
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The Chainsmokers
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Crave RI - CVS Health Charity Classic
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Crave RI - CVS Health Charity Classic
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Retro Futura
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The Australian Pink Floyd
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