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The Dean Hotel: Providence's Answer to the Ace

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Nov 05, 2014 01:04 AM
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by Meredith Swinehart last modified Nov 04, 2014

A first in a city packed with corporate chain hotels, The Dean, in Providence, Rhode Island, is an Ace-inspired gathering place with a playful vibe and a flair for applying a fresh spin to old New England design.  The hotel was created with the hope of becoming a local point of pride: Most of the furnishings and accoutrements are the work of designers and artists in and around Providence. The fact that it was developed by New York real estate and interior design firm  ASH NYC  might be damning—except that ASH founder and CEO Ari Heckman is a Providence native and cheerleader. The Dean's interiors are the perfect draw for parents of students at Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, but the hotel is also young and ready for fun: a coffee bar and Hofbräuhaus-style restaurant are the tamer of the four in-house establishments; a karaoke bar and seductively decorated cocktail lounge are the more risqué. And waiting in the lobby for those ready to explore Providence is an army of fixed-gear bikes. Photography via The Dean . Above: The Dean is set in a 1912 brick building, originally an Episcopalian social services center, and later a brothel turned strip club. The lobby displays the original tiled floor, which was uncovered during the renovation. Above: The lobby also hosts a cafe modeled on traditional Italian stand-up espresso bars.  Above: A bench-seating table at Faust, The Dean's Bavarian restaurant. Above: Furniture in the 52 guest rooms is a mix of custom-designed and vintage pieces. Developer Ari Heckman told Sleeper magazine, "We asked ourselves if we could use local artisans for everything, and it turns out it was actually more affordable to do so." The light fixtures are by Will Cooper, creative director at ASH NYC. They're the first products in ASH's soon-to-launch furnishings line. Above: The top-floor suite has four connected rooms and sleeps up to 10.  Above: A revealing shower in a double room is described as "ideal for voyeurs and exhibitionists."  Above: Artwork is a mix of vintage European portraits found in Paris and contemporary photography by RISD students and alums. Above: Classic rugs—some Persian, some Turkish—add color to otherwise neutral rooms.  Above: Instead of closets and dressers, rooms are kitted out with simple hanging hardware. (Pack lightly.) Above: Another staple absent from guest rooms? Phones. The hotel's general manager told the Providence Journal, "We find that passé; everyone has a cell phone these days."  Above: Bathrooms are in black and white with brass hardware. The mirrors were designed by ASH's Cooper and Heckman. Above: Beds have linens by  Matouk  of nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, and custom-woven blankets by  Brahms Mount  of Maine, both longtime Remodelista favorites. Above: Bunkbeds, anyone? The Dean's blackened steel bed frames and desks are by Providence artist Nate Nadeau.   Above: A bathroom off the Magdalenae Room, "an intimate and discreet" cocktail lounge modeled after European hotel bars.  Above: Pink walls and overtly romantic lighting nod to the building's past. Above: Basic needs—plus karaoke.  Above: Kite Architects  of Providence restored the building's original architecture, including the facade. For more information and reservations, see  The Dean . Swear off dull hotels, once and for all. Try: A Midcentury Classic Is Reborn in Acapulco Casa Angelina in Amalfi The Thunderbird Hotel in Marfa The Original Vertical Garden: Hotel Raphael in Rome More Stories from Remodelista A Japanese Lighting Company Embraces the Dark Side Built to Last: Joinery Kitchens by KitoBito of Japan Remodelista Holiday Market in LA 2014






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