We were guests of the Newport Mansion for review purposes, opinions are mine.
I can’t be the only one that has dreamed of living in a mansion since being a little girl. For those of us, like myself… that will clearly not be happening unless money starts growing on trees.. or perhaps falling out of the sky, that would totally work too. There is something so whimsical and magical about the thought of them. Well, in Newport, Rhode Island you can visit exquisite mansions while soaking in some very interesting history. I’ve visited some of the mansions back on school field trips, but it was really great to have the chance to really take it all in with my family. I thought my son might not be all that interested, but it turns out that visiting The Breakers was his favorite thing to do while in the area (aside from visiting the arcade of course).
The grounds of all of the mansions are absolutely exquisite. If time only allows for you to take a quick look, it’s completely worth it. The Breakers is one of the most grandiose mansions in Newport and it’s definitely a must see. The mansion was owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II and was complete in the late 1800’s. The Breakers has a whopping 70 rooms! It is built in Italian Renaissance style and was inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. The mansion was later passed down to the Vanderbilt’s youngest daughter Gladys who later opened it up to raise funds for Preservation Society of Newport County in 1934. Fast forward to today, The Society now has ownership and it’s open to the public. Both of these mansions are now National Historic Landmarks.
The photo above is of the front gate in front of The Breakers. It’s so large, it really gives you the feel of just how grand this mansion really is. Both of the mansions that we toured have a really cool new self-guided audio tours with a handheld player. There is a wealth of information available and you can opt to follow the whole tour as presented as well as gain additional audio for things that you’d like to hear more about. At first we were a little disoriented and it took a moment to get the hang of listening to the player while enjoying the tour together. Once we got the swing of it, we realized what a brilliant asset it really was.
The Breakers are breathtaking, every little aspect of it has been given great attention to detail. The image below is of the dining room. Look at all the detail, especially towards the top of the room. Amazing isn’t it?
The Marble House was the second mansion that we visited. This mansion was actually owned by the brother (and wife) of the owner of The Breakers: Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. This makes it an intriguing 2nd mansion to visit. Once the mansion was built, William gifted the manson to his wife Alma who was a well known hostess in Newport society. Years later in 1895, they were divorced which was pretty rare back then as you can imagine. She later rallied at the mansion to fight for the rights of woman to vote. She was quite the interesting woman.
Marble House stands true to it’s name, it’s literally built with 500,000 cubic feet of marble! It’s truly amazing. There is just so much detail and tremendous craftsmanship that went into the building of the home, it’s mind boggling. The image below is of the Gothic Room located in the mansion. This was my husband’s favorite room in the mansion. Again, just look at all the detail from the floor right up until the ceiling. It’s a site to see!
Amongst all of the beautiful scenes to take in, one of the things that really intrigued me was the servant quarters, especially in the kitchen areas. I love seeing the things that they cooked with and getting a slice of what it must have been like back in it’s hayday. Since visiting, I found out that you can actually take a “Servant Life Tour”, I think the next time we head out there, that will be first on my to-do list.
Want to plan your visit? Be sure to visit the Newport Mansions website for hours and tour offerings.
Have you ever been inside of a mansion?
Did you dream of living in a mansion when you were a kid?