The personal vibe at CC Ledbetter (326 Benefit St., 401/351-4699, www.ccledbetter.com , $95–115), located not far from the John Brown House  and a block away from Brown University , lends a calming element to any stay. With just five bedrooms—complete with handmade quilts, antiques, paintings, and lithographs—the small 1768 house offers breakfast (included in the rates) in the living room near the fireplace.
Historic inns abound in the city, making it possible to base your stay in something remarkably close to a miniature museum. One case in point is the Edgewood Manor (232 Norwood Ave., 401/781-0099, www.providence-lodging.com , $120–300). Merchant Samuel Priest had the out-of-the-way Greek Revival mansion built in 1905, and today it sports whirlpool tubs, fire places, and stained-glass windows in its three elegant floors. Don’t miss the afternoon tea in the Louis XIVth–style library.
The historic 290-room Biltmore (11 Dorrance St., 401/421-0700, www.providencebiltmore.com , $140–210) boasts 18 suites (and, after a $10 million renovation in the last three years, wireless Internet access and voice mail).
Meanwhile, the newly opened Hotel Providence (311 Westminster St., 401/861-8000, www.thehotelprovidence.com , $160–180) is equally posh, what with its rich tapestried furniture, down comforters, marble bathrooms, and Bulgari soaps. Just as charming are the pieces of local art—from city scenes to ceramic fish sculptures—that are found in every room.