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front of the house
Photo Credit: guyonthego

The Francis Malbone House

392 Thames Street Newport, RI 02840
Not applicable
401-846-0392 Not applicable
July 2014 Summer, Fall, Spring
$200-399 Newport Rhode Island
Website Lodging Refined B&Bs
First review
The Francis Malbone House is a bed and breakfast located in downtown Newport, Rhode Island. It has 20 rooms/suites in the main historic house and a newer wing. A full breakfast and afternoon tea is included with the room. Rates can vary considerably depending on room type and time of year. Basic rooms tend to range from $150 in the winter offseason to $300 in the peak summer season. Pets are not permitted, and smoking is only allowed outside. There is a parking lot in the back of the property.

The main house was built as a private residence in 1760 for Colonel Francis Malbone, a wealthy merchant. The house was occupied by the British during the American Revolution and then reacquired by the Melbone family after the war. It stayed in the family till 1830s and then passed through multiple owners. It became a bed and breakfast in 1989. The historic house has 3 floors but no elevator. The newer wing built in 1996 and has two floors. In addition to the guest rooms, there are several parlor rooms in the main house and a breakfast/dining room in the back. A quiet and quaint courtyard area is located behind the main house.

Normally staying at a bed and breakfast (especially a pricey one) is not on the travel agenda because lodging is more of an afterthought relative to the main history, culture and outdoor attractions that merit a trip and can serve as a tagline on a website. First the positives: the service here was first rate, polite, attentive and helpful. The Newport 7 room in the newer wing was quiet since it was off the main street and generally clean, though there were some small mold spots in the shower area. This place exudes charm, exemplified by the quiet courtyard, and general coziness. It also has a prime location in the heart of downtown. Downsides include a limited breakfast menu. They offered a basic scrambled egg alternative, but more options would have been better. The room was small and facilities limited, so value relative to the high price at least in summer season is questionable. Coming back in the afternoon to enjoy the afternoon tea and snacks turned out to be a downer because there were some flies on the food in the dining room. While this can happen when windows are open, better attention to detail would have been a plus. While the overall stay was more positive than negative, it makes most sense for those who covet a B&B lodging experience and are willing to pay up to get it.
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