Openings: The Beatrice Hotel is a New Paradigm of Providence Luxury

Hard to believe it’s been a decade since Cipriani family scions Ignazio and Maggio debuted their Mr. C hotel brand in Beverly Hills – methodically followed by properties in Miami’s Coconut Grove and New York’s revitalized Seaport. By the pattern of marquee cities, then, one might have expected their next project would have taken them to London, or perhaps Chicago or Toronto? But in fact, this month they’re setting up shop for the first time in…New England.

Indeed, September will see the opening of Providence’s most formidable luxury boutique hotel when The Beatrice is unveiled downtown at One Financial Center Plaza. And a considerable amount of the excitement surrounding the debut is due to an outpost of Iganzio’s Bellini restaurant, another edition of the fancy Italian eatery located in the aforementioned NYC and Miami Mr. C hotels – and all named for the beloved cocktail first created by grandfather Giuseppe Cipriani in the summer of 1948, at the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice.

As for the Beatrice itself, it’s a signature project of Paolino Properties (headed up by local luminary Joseph Paolino Jr.), and is located in the handsome 1887 Exchange Building, just up the block from the storied Arcade Providence shopping center. With just 47 rooms, the hotel promises a significantly more personalized experience than upper-echelon competitors like the Renaissance (272 rooms) and the Omni (564 rooms). Here, each sleeping chamber is thoughtfully well appointed – even the smallest measures 300 square feet – with elegantly understated color schemes, dark wood detailing, parquet flooring, linens and towels from Italy, Nespresso coffee makers, and generous windows framing Providence’s graceful, historic cityscape. There are even Fit Kits for those who would tend to bring their fitness consciousness on the road.

All that style comes by way of ZDS Architecture, whose collective CV includes the trendy 1905, Mikko and Compass Rose restaurants in DC, and the Affinity and Nova Farms Dispensaries in Massachusetts. But with the Beatrice, they seem to have been striving for a sort of modern-classic European glamour and grandeur – especially in the striking, opulently chandeliered atrium. And with exposed brick walls, abstractly patterned rugs, and handsome dark leather sofas, this could just as readily be a five-star hotel in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

As to Bellini, the New York and Miami restaurants are notable for their cool Italo sense of style, buzzy atmosphere, and contemporary Italian classics like linguini vongole, gnocchi al gorgonzola, chicken piccata, and a namesake truffled pizza – so expect the Providence edition to be an exceedingly urbane epicurean magnet for local and visiting Europhiles, a place for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as just whiling away lazy afternoons over a few good glasses of prosecco. And still a bit of a rarity for the Rhode Island capital, upstairs will be the Bellini Club, a stylish rooftop cocktail spot reserved for guests and members – assuring a genuinely civilized experience, accompanied by some of the city’s most breathtaking views.

Endearingly, the name Beatrice refers to Paolino’s late mother, a community leader and philanthropist, whose impeccable taste is woven right into the very fabric of the hotel. So for all the luxe amenities and extravagant details, it more than anything promises to be a place where guests are made to feel pampered and very much at home.

As for Providence itself, New England is always a brilliant destination in autumn. And this fall the RISD Museum will be showing Any distance between us, featuring the works of 25 queer and of-color artists, while the Museum of Natural History will be putting on Night at the Haunted Museum, for the more ghoulishly inclined. And considering that re-escalating pandemic conditions will soon be making trips to Europe prohibitive once again, Amtrak-ing it to Providence has rarely ever sounded so good.

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