Top Business Stays: Providence, Rhode Island

Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:33am EDT

The Rhode Island statehouse is seen from the highway in Providence, Rhode Island November 17, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The Rhode Island statehouse is seen from the highway in Providence, Rhode Island November 17, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Online lodging experts Oyster.com has prepared a breakdown of the best hotels for business travellers in Providence, Rhode Island.

One of the United States' first established cities, Providence's thriving education, hospitality and technology sectors are drawing in business travellers and big-time corporations alike.

Although most of Providence's economy is still struggling to overcome the aftermath of the recession, the one industry that's bested the others is the hospitality sector. In fact, the entire tourism industry generates a whopping US$2.31 billion in revenue for the state of Rhode Island per year.

And despite the capital city's small size, Providence has plenty to offer business and leisure travellers thanks to over 2,200 moderately priced hotel rooms, the Rhode Island Convention Center, and a vibrant cultural and entertainment scene.

Here are our choices for the top business hotels in Providence:

The Hotel: Hotel Providence (<bit.ly/UK7vHL>)

Business Staples: Hotel Providence is an 80-room boutique hotel centrally located in the city's arts and entertainment district. And while the rooms are spacious, clean and come with iPod docks, the decor feels a bit old school. But the restaurant and bar have a much more contemporary vibe - and thus draw a hip, stylish crowd perfect for entertaining clientele. While its location means plenty of things to do, it also can create lots of in-room noise in the summer and on weekends - not ideal for getting things done.

Standout Feature: Leave your wash bag at home -- the hotel stocks luxe Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.

The Downside: Although it's one of the city's best hotels, it's missing a pool.

The Hotel: Sheraton Providence Airport Hotel (bit.ly/U7Bc3f)

Business Staples: Sheraton, located only a quarter mile from T.F. Green, is a convenient option for travellers who need to be near the airport. The guest rooms are comfortable and clean, but with minimal extras. Bluefire Restaurant and Lounge, and the Link@Sheraton lobby featuring computer stations with free Internet (quickly becoming the norm for Sheraton Hotels), are nice additions.

Standout Feature: There's no Wi-Fi in guest rooms, and wired internet comes at a price.

The Downside: You'll need a car to access downtown Providence's activities and sights - nothing's accessible here by foot.

The Hotel: Providence Marriott Downtown (bit.ly/Pbro8d)

Business Staples: For business travellers who want offerings beyond the basics in their mid-range hotel chain, the Marriott has more than most - free parking, a variety of bonuses (spa, indoor/outdoor pool, fitness centre, restaurant and bars, and business centre), and comfortable rooms with nice modern features (flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi). The price is slightly steeper than at nearby properties, but those hotels' amenities package aren't nearly as complete.

Standout Feature: Free parking - the Providence Marriott is the only hotel to offer this in the city.

The Downside: Amtrak trains rattle by often, which may shake your room. If you plan on hunkering down in your suite, look elsewhere.

The Hotel: Best Western Plus Providence Seekonk Inn (<bit.ly/NZsw20>)

Business Staples: The Best Western has clean rooms, a heated indoor pool and hot tub (great during New England winters), and a stocked fitness centre - for a budget-friendly price. Although there is no restaurant on the property, the location on busy commercial Route 6 is near chain restaurants galore.

Standout Feature: Rooms are equipped with mini-fridges and microwaves - perfect, considering the lack of options available at the hotel itself.

The Downside: There's no bar or restaurant on-site, so stock up on groceries in advance to keep in your guest room.

The Hotel: Hampton Inn Seekonk (<bit.ly/SEoI8e>)

Business Staples: In comparison with its neighbouring budget-chain hotels, Hampton Inn Seekonk offers a good bang for the buck. The rooms are clean, comfortable and updated with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The area leaves something to be desired (aside from the convenience factor to downtown Providence), but on the upside, if you forgot something at home, there are plenty of stores within a minute's drive.

Standout Feature: Free coffee, tea and warm cookies in the lobby every afternoon are wonderful for a midday break.

The Downside: The decor is uninspiring (to say the least) -- rooms feel like they've been mass produced, which of course, they have.

(This article comes courtesy of Oyster.com; any opinions expressed are their own.)

(Editing by Peter Myers)

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