The Dean Hotel has a surprising history in Providence, Rhode Island.
Before it ever boasted well-designed rooms, the space was used as a church mission and ironically, a brothel. The hotel was the first hotel project by Brooklyn-based ASH NYC, a hybrid interior design and real estate developing company co-founded by Ari Heckman and Jonathan Minkoff.
Heckman explains, “The design hypothesis was that we wanted to restore the building that was built in 1912 back to more or less its original condition, from an exterior perspective. The background canvas was to create this fresh, clean but historically accurate space—but our general aesthetic is, we don't really like things that feel too much of one era, it needs to feel fresher. We wanted to have an interplay between this historic building, bringing in pieces from all different time periods from Europe, and layer in more modern art and design touches where we thought it was appropriate, so that it feels like a live, new building and not a museum relic."
Upon entering the hotel, visitors would never assume the building had such an interesting backstory, although the existing footprint has been preserved from the original mission, forcing the rooms to have different layouts. This just confirms that each visit will be a bit different for returning guests. The existing cage elevator has been restored, and the lobby’s tile floor is still original. Not forgetting about its history as a brothel, the hallway lights were hand tinted by creative directory Will Cooper to exude a pink glow. Neon signs are placed on each floor, creating a somewhat seductive vibe. A full service coffee bar, a German style beer hall with sausages and pretzels, a Koreatown inspired karaoke bar serving soju and sake based cocktails, and a seductive bar serving liquor and cocktails are all located within the hotel so guests can get more from their stay.
With a wide variety of rooms, the Dean Hotel attracts many different types of people, especially with the amazing prices offered for rooms that vary from king suites to single bunks. Their low rates start at $79 for a single bunkroom, and a group of 4 can rent a double bunkroom for only $89. The minimal furnishings and dark wooden floor add a relaxed atmosphere, while the finishes and materials add a touch of luxury mixed with local finds. That is The Dean Hotel's charm: a hotel that uses its proximity to talented local artists and craftspeople to create something that feels fresh yet homey. It's an acknowledgment to the city's historic roots, artistic community and collegiate surroundings.
Visit The Dean Hotel’s website to learn more and book a reservation next time you’re in Providence. Also, don’t forget to check out Caisson Studios website for inspiration for your own home, or give us a call to discuss your project idea!