B&B News & Blog
Welcome to the Historic Jacob Hill Inn blog! We will be using this space to keep you updated with our bed & breakfast news and local activities and events. Check back regularly for the latest info!
Rhode Island’s Gem, “WaterFire”, a festival that brings hundreds of thousands of visitors into the capital city of Providence each year. Originally an idea created by Barnaby Evans in 1993 for Berlin, turned into a work of art to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence. The next fire was lit in June 1996 for the International Sculpture Conference which was when ardent art supporters convinced Evans to create an ongoing fire installation. Barnaby Evans decided then to start a grass roots efforts to establish WaterFire as a non-profit arts organization.
Each ceremony is different in its own way. They all begin at the RI State House at sunset. On the steeps of the State House the sponsors of that particular WaterFire give a speech, perform, or introduce each event. From here the crowd follows the sponsors and the flames down towards Water Place Park and the Providence River. This is were the sponsors and special guests begin to light the rest of the torches placed in a circle around the basin. During the ceremony music chosen by the creator Barnaby Evans is played. The music differs from a variety of ritual, religious and nature. Special orchestras and singers have also been known to perform during the events. Those attending this free festival can choose to ether watch the flames from above on the banks of the Providence river or choose to ride around on the Providence River Boat or romantic gondola, on the river. We have experienced both and they are good options but book ahead.
There are fire twirlers and actors that dress up like gargoyles or statues who stand still around the river, they are the perfect stop to take a picture! Each WaterFire Festival is different with special themes These themes correlate with the specific set of events that occur throughout the festival. There have been performances by local theaters, famous composers, and local dance companies. Last year WaterFire started to offer free dance classes during the festivals at the corner of Weybossett and Westminster Streets. WaterFire is not just a lighting of the basins, it is so much more than that. It is a festival that gathers people from all over to enjoy what Providence has to offer. Local shops, artisans, restaurants, and beverage sellers come together to sell their crafts. Some of the Lightings are sponsored by Brown, Alex and Ani, Providence College, Volvo, National Grid, Banks, and other Foundations. There is even a special lighting for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The Beautiful white marble capital building is light up in Pink at that time. Here is a list of the sponsors and their specific date for the 2015 WaterFire Schedule.
Tuesday July 14th-Basin Lighting
Saturday July 18th-Full Lighting
Saturday August 1st-Full Lighting
Saturday August 15th-Full Lighting
Saturday August 29th-Full Lighting
Saturday September 12th-Full Lighting
Saturday September 26th-Full Lighting
Saturday October 3rd-Full Lighting
Saturday November 7th-Full Lighting
A full lightning includes more than 80 braziers from the Providence Place Mall all the way down the river. A Basin Lighting includes the circle of twenty-two braziers in the Waterplace Park and the twelve braziers leading up to the Providence Place. A full lighting includes all of the exciting events that go from sunset to half past midnight. It is worth the travel to Providence, Rhode Island!
Did you known that Historic Jacob Hill Inn has our own WaterFire Grand Suite! Our most popular suite is equipped with a wall fountain just above the Jacuzzi for two and fireplace to watch while you soak. This room also has a private sitting room with another fireplace, and amazing views of the property. If you are a guest staying during a WaterFire Festival we also have directions to our “hidden” parking area which is away from the crowds and will help you avoid the traffic! Remember Historic Jacob Hill Inn is only a 10 minute drive to Providence.
WaterFire is about celebrating the beauty of Providence and about gathering together in one place to preserve and create memories. The original is always worth seeing, for no other city can say they are the destination of the first WaterFire.
Over the course of our 24 years of owning our property on Jacob Hill people have asked: “how we got into the Innkeeping business”. Our story has been told and shared many times around the world, over the internet, in magazines, newspapers and my personal favorite, word of mouth (today its called social media). In short, after an extensive search all over Rhode Island, we found our Historic property located just 15 minutes from where I grew up. We redecorated and re-purposed it over the years, creating the highest rated lodging property in the Providence area.
For our 20th anniversary of opening our award winning Inn we decided to share our experience with anyone that has the same dream of becoming an innkeeper. We put together three options so you can find out if you have what it takes:
Option #1 Is a unique opportunity: Inn Partners will be holding a seminar at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn on June 6. Bill Oates, Heide Bredfeldt and Tim Piper are a professional team of consultants very experienced in the Innkeeping business. They will work together to present a “Seminar for Future Innkeepers”.
Inn Partners will present all of the basic information: fundamentals of operations, finances and personal aspects will be covered on the first day. It is a thorough overview for people who are just beginning to think about owning an Inn. The second day which is optional and for an additional cost is for those who have already begun the process of becoming innkeepers/owners. This will focus on the details of models and income and expenses. It will also help with the final goal of developing an individual acquisition plan.
More information about Inn Partners can be found on their web site The team at Inn Partners .
The One Day Seminar on June 6 runs from 9 to 5:30 the cost is $150 per person or $175 per couple and includes lunch. Day Two is an additional $100 for one or two people 9 AM to 1:00 pm. Register online below, or Call the Inn Partners to register-877-957-2360.
We at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn are offering a special rate for seminar attendees which includes breakfast. Call the Inn to make a room reservation 508-336-9165 or toll free 888-336-9165.
Option #2 Is our hands on approach to learning the business. My husband Bill and I are offering a program for our Inn guests. For a extra $200 per day per couple you can shadow both of us during our daily Inn activities. Activities including preparing breakfast, guest services, marketing and more. We will fill you in on our personal journey of our 20 years as Innkeepers. Learn what it took in order to become the Four Diamond Property that we are today!
Option # 3 Is more of a self help recommendation. 20 years ago when we started our Bed and Breakfast we read what ever we could get our hands on. Things have changed in 20 years. A new book that covers current topics is written by Mary White, president of BnBFinder.com it is an easy to read reference guide book: “Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies” is filled with information on becoming an innkeeper. She explains the process and procedures of starting a B&B for beginners. You can read topics from marketing your Inn better to how to increase profits. The book is available on Amazon it can even be down loaded to a Kindle
Being and Innkeeper is not for everyone and becoming an Innkeeper does not mean you have to jump into an expensive commitment, there are other opportunities for example: Innsitting as a career, where one floats from one Inn to another to give the owners a break.
We encourage you to try one of the these options or all three. The important thing is not to miss this opportunity and just get started. Being an innkeeper is very rewarding, come learn if it is a fit for your future.
What is better than relaxing at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn with a glass of wine from a bottle you hand picked from a vineyard in Rhode Island? I do not think you can get much better than that! In Rhode Island there are about half a dozen or so vineyards ranging from family owned to company owned. Many of these vineyards are open year round. They offer tasting’s and some give tours where they explain the wine making process.
Newport Vineyards & Winery opened in 1977 and planted their first grapes there in that same year. The original owner was a retired Captain Richard Alexander, the land is now owned by John and Paul Nunes. The Nunes men own over 60 acres of land in which they grow their award winning wine-making grapes on. Newport Vineyards & Winery have won several awards for their wines and are in the top 50 vineyards in the country by Ice Wine. Newport Vineyards recently opened the Brix Restaurant which has foods that compliment their wines. The Vineyard also offer a hiking trail, yoga classes, farmer’s market, and concerts. Historic Jacob Hill Inn or the Providence Luxury Hotel is less than an hour away from Newport Vineyards & Winery so why not go pick your own bottle and drink it in your room? For more information go to Newport Vineyards
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard is located in Little Compton Rhode Island. The land was originally sacred land owned by the Sakonnet Tribe. Once the Plymouth Settlers came over on the Mayflower they created a relationship with the Queen of the Sakonnet people. In 2012 Carolyn Rafaelian, the creator and president of Rhode Island based Alex and Ani jewelry, bought the vineyard. The name has changed to Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard and now hosts charity events, weddings, and concerts there. The vineyard is so well known because of the award winning grapes which produce wines such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Ports, and much more. There is a café that opens in the spring for visitors. Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard is only 45 minutes from the Historic Jacob Hill Inn and Providence Luxury Hotel For more information about this vineyard please visit Sakonnet Wine.
Diamond Hill Vineyards is a family owned vineyard in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The Berntson family opened the vineyard in 1976, since then the family has been producing over 4 acres of Pinot Noir, and 30 acres of other grapes for wine. This vineyard is especially known for making wines out of other fruits such as apples, blueberries, cranberries, and peaches which are mainly New England Fruits. Located just 20 minutes from Providence. For more information about this vineyard please visit Diamond Hill Vineyards
The Coastal Wine trail which reaches from Cape Cod through Rhode Island has recently extended into the East Coast of Connecticut only 45 minutes from Providence, Rhode Island. The coastal wine trail currently has a total of 10 vineyards. They have a fun passport promotion when visitors have it stamped they can enter into a contest to win several nice prizes. More information can be found at The Coastal Wine Trail
30 minutes east of Historic Jacob Hill Inn and the Providence Luxury Hotel is Westport Vineyards. It is owned by the Russell Family who also own the Buzzards Bay Brewery right next door. The Vineyard is on the coastline of Massachusetts which offers a perfect climate for their grapes. Being able to withstand all different types of weather, the grapes create crisp and award winning wines. Westport Rivers has won over 40 Gold Medals and 100’s of Silver Medals for their wines. The family that owns the vineyard has been open to the public since 1991, and has been growing grapes since the late 80’s. The vineyard hosts wine classes teaching guests about wines, paint nights, trivia nights, author nights, seminars, movie nights and more! If you are looking for more of a place to sit and eat and enjoy a glass of wine well the vineyard has that too! The Russell Gallery Wine Bar is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 8 pm. It is an easy drive from Historic Jacob Hill Inn or the Providence Luxury to Westport Rivers to enjoy a glass of wine or drive over to their brewery at Buzzards Brewery to enjoy a nice frost mug of beer. For more information please go to Westport Rivers.
A list of all of the vineyards in Rhode Island:
Diamond Hill Vineyards, 3145 Diamond Hill Rd. Cumberland, RI
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, 162 West Main Rd., Little Compton ,RI
Greenvale Vineyards, 582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI
Newport Vineyards and Winery, 909 East Main Rd., Middletown, RI
Langworthy Farm Winery, 308 Shore Rd., Westerly, RI
ShelaLara Vineyards and Winery 21-B Reservoir Rd., Coventry, RI
Nickle Creek Vineyard, 12 King Rd., Foster, RI
Westport Rivers, 417 Hixbridge Rd Westport MA just over the line
We have visited many of the vineyards and wineries around Rhode Island, so when you come to stay with us at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn or the Providence Luxury Hotel all you have to do is just ask. There are so many activities taking place at vineyards, the options are endless, Rhode Island has some amazing vineyards for you!
Now that St. Patrick’s Day is just a memory we thought we would write about the many local brewery’s.
Every day is a good day for a beer.
Check out all the information on our Sister property’s Providence Luxury Hotel Blog and come stay with us so we can drink a beer together.
We have created fifty reasons to visit Providence, Rhode Island even before the melt.
1. Stay at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn a green property.
2. Stay at our sister property The Providence Luxury Hotel a green property.
You know where the “Fifty Shades” came from so let’s get this out of the way:
3. Stay at Historic Jacob Hill Inn, relax in a green room and read “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
4. Stay at The Providence Luxury Hotel, relax in a green room and read “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Save some green with the following packages:
5. Stay in the Water Fire Grand Suite and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
6. Stay in the Vanderbilt Suite and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
7. Stay in the Newport Room and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
8. Stay in the Boston Room and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
9. Stay in the Providence Suite and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
10. Stay in the Plymouth Suite and get two tickets to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” *SRA.
11. Green is the color for March in Providence in honor of the Irish.
12. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newport March 14, 2015 at 11 AM.
13. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston March 15, 2015 at 1 PM.
14. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Providence March 21, 2015 at Noon.
15. St. Patrick’s Day Lunch at the Old Grist Mill Tavern for Little Sisters of the Poor.
16. St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at the Old Grist Mill Tavern for Little Sisters of the Poor.
17. Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day at the Old Grist Mill Tavern, Seekonk.
18. Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day at the Lucky’s Bar & Grille, East Providence.
19. Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day at Mc Bride’s Irish Pub, Providence.
20. Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day at Fat Belly’s Irish Pub, Providence.
21. Drink Green Beer on St. Patrick’s Day at Trinity Brewery, Providence.
22. We can make your complimentary glass of Chardonnay green on request.
23. Have a Mint Chip Awful Awful at Newport Creamery, Seekonk.
24. Green Eggs and Ham on request for breakfast, Providence Luxury Hotel.
25. Green kiwi for breakfast at Historic Jacob Hill Inn.
26. Green is for saving the environment and we believe in that!
27. Green stands for reuse, recycle and being environmentally responsible that’s us.
28. Green space is open space which is what we have for you to enjoy.
29. We are over looking over Fifty acres of open space, green grasses very relaxing.
30. On Property their are over Fifty varieties of mature trees, bushes and plants.
31. See Green from the Water Fire Grand Suite and save green *SRA.
32. See Green from the Vanderbilt Suite and save green*SRA.
33. See Green from the Mansion Room and save green *SRA.
34. See Green from the Colonial Room and save green *SRA.
35. See Green from the Hideaway Suite and save green *SRA.
36. See Green from the Tiffany Room and save green *SRA.
37. See Green from the Club Room and save green *SRA.
38. See Green from the Newport Room and save green *SRA.
39. See Green from the Boston Room and save green *SRA.
40 See Green from the Providence Suite and save green *SRA.
41 See Green from the Plymouth Suite and save green *SRA.
42. See Green from the Nantucket Petite Suite and save green *SRA.
43. Look for a four leaf clover on the property, we do have them.
44. Green is my favorite color, you will see me wearing it most days.
45. Over fifty green glass collectables at the Inn.
46. Green is a traditional color used by the Jacob’s Hill Hunt Club (1924-1943) maybe because the staff was mostly Irish, green remains as a predominate color today.
47. Attend a Boston Celtics Game an see lots of green.
48. Play golf at the Fire Fly green in Seekonk.
49. Play golf on the green at the Hillside Country Club Rehoboth.
50. Save some green and get the “Fifty Shades of Grey” at the library.
*SRA = Some Restrictions Apply
Recently The Historic Jacob Hill Inn was chosen by Country Living as one of the “Best Hotels and Inns” in the Country.
See the Country Living article on line.
Country Living is one of the most popular American lifestyle Magazines, published by the Hearst Corporation since 1978. It is the definitive guide to country decorating, gardening, cooking and crafting. My personal source of inspiration during my whole adult life. I have kept a reference library of Country Living magazines that I go to for timeless ideas.
Earlier this summer we were chosen by another popular publication Yankee Magazine which is dedicated to covering New England: travel and home.
Historic Jacob Hill Inn was awarded by the editors as “The Best Rural Retreat” and featured in the Special Travel Guide “Best of New England”
We are very proud to be recognized by both classic magazines.
Looking for the best beaches in our area?
Please reference our Blog Post on our Sister Site
Hillary Clinton will be in Seekonk Massachusetts on July 26 at 2 P.M. to sign her new book “Hard Choices”.
A limited amount of event wristbands will be distributed throughout Saturday 7/26 starting at 7 A.M. at Sam’s Club 1110 Fall River Avenue Seekonk, MA.
If you are planning a East Coast Ivy league tour, trying to decide between Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard or Brown, you will probably want to find the best bed and breakfast, to get a sense of the local culture. Although Brown University is the closest school to the Historic Jacob Hill Inn and a popular rest stop for both students and parents, there are many other local colleges that take full advantage of our bed and breakfast. In fact Rhode Island is known as the state with more students per capita than any other state in the United States.
Literally next door to Brown University is RISD which stands for Rhode Island School of Design. RISD offers art history, graphic design, film, animation, video, photography and visual arts programs. Students can share classes and a social life between RISD and Brown because they’re so close. More information on visiting Brown or RISD
Many of our guests use the Inn as a place to relax after dropping their son or daughter off at Brown University or RISD to take a summer program, some stay and drive in for day programs, there are many options. More info on summer programs at Brown.
Providence College is about a 15 minute drive west of the Historic Jacob Hill Inn, just outside of the city PC has more of a “campus-y” feel. More information about PC tours.
Johnson & Wales University is known for culinary and hospitality, as well as international business programs. The Downtown campus is only 10 minutes from the Inn, more information of tours at J&W
Roger Williams University is strong in Law and architecture programs, RWU is located on 140 acre campus overlooking beautiful Mt. Hope Bay in Bristol, RI only 20 minutes away from the Historic Jacob Hill Inn. More information on RWU tours
Wheaton College is located in Norton, MA, which is an easy 30 minute drive away from the Inn. Wheaton College is small liberal arts college only about 1600 undergraduates. More information on visiting Wheaton
Whether you are just looking, a beginning Freshman, visiting for parents weekend in the fall, searching for commencement lodging or coming to join your alumni for home coming at these schools or the many others that we did not mention in this blog. We are here at the Historic Jacob Hill Inn and our sister property the Providence Luxury Hotel waiting to make your stay the best you have ever had. One last link to check availability and a recommendation to book early!
Restaurant weeks have started! Your chance to try one of the many excellent restaurants in the Providence RI Area during the next two weeks, July 6 to July 19, at a special price. Visit our sister property The Providence Luxury Hotel Blog for additional information or the Providence Restaurant Weeks website