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Upon arrival, the regal presence of Hotel Viking, reigning over the quintessential Bellevue Street in Newport, RI, might cause you to gape in awe. Authentically historic opulence, perfectly resounding in its surroundings, embodies this impressive destination. Walk through its grand entryway and into the lobby and your awe will be soon infused with the warmth of welcome, as the exceptionally friendly staff put you immediately at ease.  It is just such pairings—the grace of antiquity with modern amenities and top-notch service—that set Hotel Viking at the top of an already impressive roster of hotel options in Newport.  And while service, amenities and location are all of highest caliber; it is the undeniably romantic atmosphere that charmed us during our recent stay.

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We’re hard-pressed to think of anything more romantic within a three-hour drive from New York, than cozying up with your sweetheart in the presence of a town that has been romancing visitors for centuries. A self-guided tour of grand houses and mansions, towering over the New England coastal cliffs, a sunset cruise from the charming wharf or shopping for antiques and quaint baubles to bring back to Manhattan, are all lovely options for whiling away your day—though, when staying at Hotel Viking, you might just opt for staying in.

The on-site SpaTerre and the ridiculously good restaurant, One Bellevue, heighten one’s romantic inclinations, indulging guests without having to set foot outside the property. Fill in the gaps with a bottle of wine over splendid views on the roof deck, and be sure to linger over the scrumptious breakfasts, where the lobster omelet will ensure that, should you choose, you can decadently eat locally caught lobster for three meals a day.

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Unwind from the stresses of the city with your sweetheart and book a custom-designed SpaTerre couples massage. The well-trained therapists easily cater to individual needs and will help you choose the perfect treatment. The insanely blissful Abhyanga Massage, which blends traditional Ayurvedic massage with European techniques, melts away all your stress while leaving you feel invigorated—perfect to ensure you can enjoy the rest of the evening with easy abandon.

Hotel Viking Spa

To be sure, you will want all your senses alert and primed to enjoy the stunning culinary prowess of Chef Kevin Thiele at One Bellevue.  We New Yorkers, especially as foodies, are equal parts spoiled and jaded—falling into the rut of believing we already have the best food within arm’s length. Still, nothing can compare to eating regional cuisine in the region to which it belongs. However, even more than merely getting a fix of the age-old New England steamers and chowders that we love, Chef Thiele takes inspiration from these local specialties and elevates them to new levels—showcasing the fresh immediacy of the ingredients, while playing with traditions and exciting the taste buds. It’s truly a special experience to be in the midst of the historic grandeur of the Hotel’s setting while sampling some of the most vibrantly innovative takes on classic New England we’ve come across.

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Dining at One Bellevue is reason enough to come to Newport, and the basking in the warm hospitality (and decadently relaxing spa) of Hotel Viking is reason to stay.

– Ava Fedorov

Photographs by Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative, Spa photo courtesy of Hotel Viking