Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Newport Marriott hotel, Rhode Island

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

This is our review of the Newport Marriott hotel in Rhode Island (not Wales!).

It is the 2nd and final review from my US trip over Easter. I reviewed the InterContinental Boston hotel earlier in the week.

This is the Newport Marriott (website here):

Newport Marriott review

Newport is a funny old place

Newport is home to the grand Summer mansions of the great US industrialists such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts. The Breakers (website here) is the grandest of them all but there are no shortage to visit. Imagine 10 UK stately homes lined up on the same street and you’ve got the idea, although not all are open out of season.

Newport Breakers

It is also a big yachting centre and has some decent beaches, albeit out of the town centre. The central area is full of the sort of twee tourist shops you would expect.

It’s a pleasant place to spend a few days. It’s about a 90 minute drive from Boston, although we diverted via Plymouth to show the kids the Mayflower replica.

The Newport Marriott hotel occupies an odd niche. In general, if you have money you will probably want to stay at one of the many luxury B&Bs in town. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of chain properties in Middletown, a short drive away.

Newport Marriott is therefore an anachronism – a huge ugly 1980s building (image above, but the photo hides the sheer bulk of it) in the town centre, where there are few major branded hotels apart from a couple of Wyndham properties.

When I was here 18 years ago we stayed at the Jailhouse Inn, a converted prison. This is one of the cheaper B&B options – cheaper than the Marriott – but with two kids and needing two rooms, a corporate property with a swimming pool, big buffet, Club lounge, a harbour view and valet parking seemed more sensible if uninspiring.

A brand new unbranded luxury hotel, the Brenton, has just opened in front of the Marriott replacing the low rise building in the PR photograph at the top of the page. This is worth investigating if you want something luxurious but find B&Bs too constricting. The video on the home page for the Brenton also gives you a great view of the Marriott!

(My original plan was to try The Pell, a new boutique Hyatt hotel in Middletown. The opening date was delayed unfortunately and my reservation cancelled.)

Rooms at Newport Marriott

I had booked two standard water view rooms. I tried to apply a Suite Night Award to one of them but, for the first time, it failed to clear even though the hotel felt nowhere near full.

The hotel has been refurbished recently and, given that it is very much a midscale hotel, it did its best. As you can see here:

Newport Marriott hotel review room

…. there are ‘sails’ placed behind the beds. From the other angle:

newport marriott review

It’s nothing flash but you get a coffee machine and the furnishings are above average in terms of style.

Whilst ‘water view’, you not facing out to sea but along the waterfront, which is arguably more interesting. This was taken on a foggy morning:

Newport Marriott hotel review

The bathroom was nothing exciting with – shock horror – a combined shower and bath. Toiletries were the usual thisworks in dispensers.

Newport Marriott hotel review bathroom

So far, so normal

Don’t feel like a water view room? You can have a lobby view room instead!

Newport Marriott hotel lobby

The hotel has a ludicrously huge lobby. Whilst this design isn’t unique in itself, click on the image. The rooms have balconies with sun loungers. Overlooking the lobby.

Strangely, I never saw a single one occupied in three days ….

The Club lounge at Newport Marriott

Despite the size of the hotel, very few people seemed to eat in the hotel restaurant, even for breakfast. There are certainly no shortage of alternatives and most have more atmosphere.

I had free access to the Club lounge via my Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for my room and were able to add the other two people for $25 each. This was a decent deal since you won’t get very far in Newport for $50 for four breakfasts if you head out.

(For reference, we ate in a fairly smart, upscale but not Michelin starred restaurant one night and the bill, with virtually no alcohol, came to over £300 with service.)

Newport Marriott club lounge

Breakfast was no better than you’d get from a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton in the UK, but did the job. The lounge was smart – see above – and had views of the harbour. There were never more than 7-8 people in there excluding my gang.

Gym and pool at the Newport Marriott hotel

It’s also worth mentioning that the Newport Marriott has a pool. It’s uninspiring, especially the view out and the cheap loungers, but it kept the kids occupied.

Newport Marriott hotel pool

The gym is a decent size but seemed a bit soulless after the light-filled one we’d had at InterContinental Boston immediately before.

Newport Marriott gym

The hotel has other amenities too – an in-house coffee shop (open AM only), a small mini-mart and a small bar (classier than the rest of the hotel).

The staff were never less than charming at all times which, given the scale of the hotel, was impressive.

We used the valet parking at $30 per day. There is a public car park at the hotel but I didn’t compare pricing.

Conclusion

If you want five star luxury there are plenty of places to find it in downtown Newport, and if you’re on your honeymoon or a special trip I’d recommend trying one of them. Newport Marriott won’t be on your list.

However, you will pay through the nose and – needing two rooms for three nights – I didn’t want to. The Newport Marriott did the job for us and may do the job for you. You’re just seconds away from shops and livelier restaurants when you need them.

Do get a water view room if you can as it does make a difference. You can pay a lot more in Newport for a far worse view. If you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status or higher, and so can get Club access, this is worth factoring in as it amounts to a decent saving.

Pricing is all over the place as you would expect. Midweek rates start at $350 in May, $500 in July to September and $400 in October. There is a substantial premium at weekends and a further premium for a water view, with taxes and a resort fee on top.

Marriott Bonvoy redemption pricing is similarly all over the place – our target value for a Marriott point is 0.5p so if you can beat this then consider taking it.

The Newport Marriott website is here if you want to find out more.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 2nd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (15)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Michael C says:

    Actually not as scathing as I was expecting: I thought Rob might go full Jay Rayner on it!!

  • Tom says:

    $400-500 per night for a mid-scale four star-ish Marriott not even in a major city is why I am still currently giving the US a wide berth for leisure travel…

    • Jonathan says:

      Yeah the US has become crazy expensive since Covid came along, I’m avoiding going there for primarily that reason, but others are included

      It’s also far better too see countries that don’t see huge numbers of visitors from the same country

    • Nick G says:

      Me too. Just trying to figure out where is ‘reasonable’….

      • blenz101 says:

        Just avoid anywhere pegged to the USD until politicians agree that Brexit was a bad idea and hope GBP one day becomes a desirable currency.

    • dougzz99 says:

      I think not even a ‘major city’ misses the point. Newport is what it is, and that’s expensive. There is little doubt that the US is currently very expensive, and combining that with generally poor service too.
      Couple of weeks ago I was in Sedona for 3 nights. Nice place in the context of Sedona, balcony with mountain view, right on the main area, but essentially a motel for £300/night. External doors, and reception closed at 9PM opening again at 6AM I think. Like Newport you’re paying for location, not the facilities.

    • GeoffreyB says:

      There’s nothing in America that can’t be found elsewhere.

      Other places don’t have this tipping nonsense either.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Well, mass shootings and $3,000 insulin…

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Newport is indeed a funny old place. To be honest, my advice would be spend one night at the most. Something about the ersatz nature of it and the ostentatious identi-wealth together with Manhattan pricing for lots of things is not all that charming. If you want to visit American turn-of-century industrial wealth then the Vanderbilt estate in NC is better, more interesting and the surrounding region is beautiful yet not-so-ludicrous on price and relatively lightly visited.

    • Man of Kent says:

      +1 for the Vanderbilt Estate – stayed at The Inn on Biltmore Estate a few years ago – very good stay. As TSS says the Great Smoky Mountains surrounding area is lovely.

  • Michael C says:

    Nice tip, TSS, thanks!

  • Andrew. says:

    Is Newport as bad as Providence for beasties, or does the sea breezes help?

    I’ve never been bitten anywhere in the US quite so badly as Rhode Island. Can understand why there are adverts for “bug” companies everywhere.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    This literally looks like my idea of hell

  • Nick says:

    Plenty of better (and much cheaper) options in Providence, which is a lovely city. There’s even a good bus service between the two ($2) if you don’t fancy the drive.

    In Newport, Annie’s is a wonderful old-school place for breakfast or lunch – and surprisingly cheap given inflation over there.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.