The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, a former Newport, RI mansion turned 33-room luxury resort, has begun its transformation into a vibrant social hub for guests from near and far. Bringing rekindled glamor to all public spaces including the lobby and all food and beverage outlets, the reimagining of the Vanderbilt vividly propels the mansion into a new era, bringing a very unique and vibrant feel to the setting. legendary downtown Newport. Redefining the concept of residential wealth, the renovated property was designed by design collective SWOON and celebrates the mansion’s illustrious history and charm as well as its downtown sensibility.
âWe saw the rich history of the mansion and the iconic characters who inhabited its walls through a witty, modern lens to create a truly unique property in Newport,â said Joslyn Taylor, Director of SWOON, The Studio. âOur goal was to imbue the design with warmth, wit and accessible elegance. We wanted the design to help evoke an vibe that would allow the reimagined with the Vanderbilt to claim the title of “downtown Newport mansion”, buzzing, friendly and full of life. “
With a new cutting-edge dining and mixology program, The Vanderbilt unveils a completely redesigned signature restaurant, along with new menus and eye-catching designs at the resort’s three additional dining destinations. Renowned Director of Beverages, Maxwell Britten, joined the team as Chief Curator of Cocktails, while award-winning James Beard Chef April Bloomfield brought her culinary expertise to the service of the New England getaway, by organizing a selection of pub-inspired dishes. Together, the artful redesign and exclusive offerings and amenities create an inspired interpretation of modern splendor that sets a new standard of luxury in the destination.
âThe new design really embraces a strong point of view that wasn’t present before, inspired by – but not tied to – the history of the property,â explained Taylor. The rich colors and patterns impart a cinematic vibe, and every space in the public space has strong storytelling and purpose, from the cozy but chic restaurant, a cool library lounge, an elegantly quirky lounge, and a dreamy, leafy veranda. , all flowing harmoniously into each other to come together and be entertained.
A Newport gem is reborn
Positioned as an unconventional Georgian-style home in downtown Newport, The Vanderbilt, the transformation of the Auberge Resorts Collection pays homage to its history and its original builder, owner and namesake, Alfred Vanderbilt. Blending the early layers of the American era with a colorful, witty touch, the revived aesthetic embraces the mansion’s cinematic spirit and creates a transporting destination with unexpected discoveries at every turn. Elements of curiosity can be found everywhere as a nod to Alfred’s passion for exploration and travel.
âAfter graduating from college, Alfred embarked on a two-year world tour cut short by the sudden death of his father. We envisioned Alfred as a rebel blunted to responsibility, and the mansion he built as a place where he could retreat from his family’s expectations and pay homage to his past adventures, âTaylor said.
SWOON has reinvented the historic property with a series commissioned throughout the hotel by photographer and artist Maxine Helfman, while introducing new and vintage furniture, a mix of woods, dramatic fabrics, custom hand-drawn wallpaper and a rich, saturated color palette throughout – somewhere between a cinemascope setting and a chic private club. From the spectacular lobby, which purposefully replicates the foyer of a private home, to the library which features a spectacular gallery wall with antique portraits, travelers and Newport locals alike will be delighted by the cool yet elegant sensibility of the complex.
âThe rooms are dramatic, with colors, patterns and textures that form the basis of the design and create a feeling of warmth,â Taylor said. âThey also have a thoughtful sense of luxury with the comfort and well-appointed amenities that the Auberge brand is known for. Guests will find special touches like a minibar organized inside a custom cabinet, a unique collection of vintage accessories, and a thoughtful selection of books in each room.
Coastal culinary overhaul
The property’s beloved signature restaurant is reborn as an all-new dining experience, The Dining Room at The Vanderbilt, which features a selection of seasonal dishes from celebrity chef April Bloomfield. Building on Alfred Vanderbilt’s love for the outdoors, the restaurant has been transformed into an epicurean concept inspired by 1920s sportsmen with elevated tavern design and cuisine. Hailing from Birmingham, England, Bloomfield has owned and operated some of the country’s most beloved restaurants, winning a James Beard Award for Best Chef in 2014, and has also served as Chef-in-Residence at the Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection in Washington. , Connecticut. Bloomfield prepares select dishes for the idyllic coastal retreat that tap into its former urban pub days while paying homage to Rhode Island’s seasonal and local bounty. The avant-garde menu of affordable New England classics includes iconic dishes such as smoked salmon with duck fat potatoes, vermouth-braised rabbit and Rhode Island clam chowder according to Bloomfield.
Located off the lobby, The Library is a lavish Doris Duke-inspired lounge that has an urban, cinematic feel, with walls saturated with a rich palette of muted greens and blues. The lounge, which serves light snacks and refreshments, is filled with a clever mix of clever found objects, mysterious and moody old-world still lifes, custom sculptures, hand-drawn wall coverings and classic patterns. unexpectedly rendered. Here, guests will also discover the lounge’s hidden honor bar, providing another whimsical moment for visitors to the mansion. Beneath the quaint wallpaper is a secret door in a coral-covered liquor cabinet filled with thoughtful provisions. The Conservatory hosts breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in an elegant new setting. The restaurant’s interiors are verdant and feminine, with reclaimed European marble checkerboard floors, plentiful foliage, sculptural rattan furniture, and graphic textiles.
During the warmer months, the restaurant’s magnificent garden terrace is surrounded by lush greenery and is open for alfresco dining. The seasonal patio offers a new seating area with electrifying cocktails and alcoholic popsicles infused with fresh juices and herbs, exclusively created by the resort’s resident mixologist. Newport’s best-kept secret, the famous Roof Deck, has also been refreshed with a new bar and new furnishings, providing the best viewing point for year-round sunsets over the harbor. Visitors can now order from the deck menu, which offers tasty and affordable fare, ranging from a selection of local cheeses and house fries to oysters and lobster rolls.
Along with the renovation, the resort’s cocktail program was also revitalized, turning the Mansion into Newport’s newest social hub. Chief Cocktail Curator Maxwell Britten has created a menu inspired by 19th century and present-day Newport, featuring classic cocktails that have been influenced by the property’s remarkable history and the destination’s historic landmarks. . Britten brings his vast capabilities, creativity and experience in the New York beverage industry to Newport, previously holding the title of Bar Manager at James Beard’s award-winning Maison Premiere restaurant.
The one-of-a-kind menu playfully hints at the area’s bygone days, when Newport’s Golden Age mansions hosted extravagant parties. The libations are inspired by regional mainstays such as The Belcourt, a refined version of the Greyhound cocktail, or the Turkish Espresso, which pays homage to the voracious local demand for a refreshed version of the classic Espresso Martini. Seasonal libations include The Hunterhouse Cooler, a whiskey-based cocktail with manzanilla sherry, lemon, fresh pineapple, and seltzer water, and The Chepstow Tonic, a hibiscus-infused gin. rhubarb with herbal liqueur, Peychaud bitters, grapefruit and pink pepper.
Unexpected customer experiences
The new look of the Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection is complemented by enhanced offerings for guests influenced by modern life in Newport. From tea leaf and tarot card readings held in the resort’s mezzanine, to bespoke hot beer flips, a popular American libation, by the new garden patio fireplaces, the mansion will offer new ways to reconnect and indulge in the simple pleasures of life.
For those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture, the property has established an exclusive partnership with neighboring artisan Jonathan Glatt, renowned for his classic American furniture with a twist. Named by Vogue as one of the “Ten Contemporary Designers Collectible Today,” the local Rhode Island artisan will offer guests an exclusive interactive tour and a behind-the-scenes look at the art of furniture making in its 20 000 square meters. pi. showroom in Warren, RI.
Newport’s rich history has always been linked to the sea, with commerce and shipbuilding at the forefront of the region’s economy and culture. As such, the property introduced a new experience with the workshop of a neighboring shipbuilder to offer guests an insight into the craft of restoring authentic antique boats. Guests can join these restoration experts as they open their doors for a private overview of their current projects, which can range from building a 68-inch schooner to restoring a classic racing yacht. The resort has also partnered with local vendor Matunuck Oyster Farm to offer guests a private tour to learn about the process of growing this New England favorite while tasting champagne and cooked oysters. After the experience, participants are invited to relax on Matunuck’s waterfront outdoor patio and enjoy their exclusive raw bar, which is fully stocked with a variety of Rhode Island oysters, kernels from Crispy cherry, clams and giant prawns.