(Providence Biltmore)

11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI

(401) 421-0700

Status: History Century 4 Star Hotel; Urban Legend



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Built in 1922 this hotel was funded by 1,800 citizens of Providence as it was meant to inspire civic pride. The project was an idea born from the Providence Chamber of Commerce.

When the hotel opened on June 6, 1922 it was the second tallest building in Providence – the tallest being the Rhode Island State House – and today it is still the 9th tallest building in the city. The new Bowman-Biltmore Hotels chain took over the initial management of the hotel.

It originally had 600 rooms.

Despite different owners the name Biltmore stuck with the hotel until just recently.

Being the only luxury hotel in the city for many years anyone who was anybody – famous and infamous – stayed at the Biltmore or met in it’s eateries and bars. Celebrities, bootleggers, politicians etc and it was part of pretty much every political and social scandal in the State for many years.

The hotel was also known for accepting both Caucasian and African-American guests in a time when most businesses practiced strict racial segregation. They even bought ads in the Negro Motorist Green Book.

In 1947 the hotel was bought by Sheraton Hotels and became the Sheraton-Biltmore Hotel.

In 1954 Hurricane Carol flooded the lobby of the hotel to a depth of 8 feet. To this day there is a plaque in the lobby marking the high water line from this flood.

In 1968 Sheraton sold the hotel to Gotham Hotels.

In 1975 the hotel had lawsuits of over $10,000 ($55,000 in 2022 dollars) in unpaid bills and back taxes. Unable to pay Gotham Hotels closed the hotel and it remained vacant for 4 years.

The hotel reopened in 1979 under the new name of Biltmore Plaza Hotel after an extensive renovation including the construction of the glass elevator – which no longer works – and renovations to the rooms including creating some suites.

The hotel went through many different owners and names but was finally sold out of receivership in 2012 when Finard Coventry Hotel Management bought it for $16 million. They then put another $10 million in renovations and the hotel became a member of Curio – A Collection By Hilton.

In 2017 the hotel was sold again; this time to AJ Capital Partners out of Chicago who added it to their family of Graduate boutique hotels. While they removed the name Biltmore for the first time for the hotel’s title, they have retained the iconic neon sign saying Biltmore.


Paranormal Activity

This hotel is called haunted, famously haunted, incredibly haunted on many websites and YouTube videos but when it comes to actual evidence or even witness accounts there’s really not much.

There is a rumor one of the original financiers – Leisse Weisskopf – was a known Satanist who committed animal and possibly human sacrifices either on the roof or in the hotel. There are even stories that the hotel was Satanist education center (?). There is no historical documentation to base this on.

The Satanist card seems to be played at far many haunted locations. Satanic Panic anyone?

Frankly, if I’ve learned anything in a lifetime of searching alleged haunted locations, as soon as Satanism or Satan is mentioned we’ve crossed into the pure Urban Legend world. Which is a polite way of saying it's all made up.

There are also stories of the mafia using the hotel and many murders and executions happening in the hotel. Again, there is no historical proof of any of that happening; in fact, there’s no record of any murders happening in the hotel at all.

In the 1940’s a woman did commit suicide by jumping out of one of the windows. Ever since then the front desk has been receiving calls from concerned guests who thought they saw someone falling from a higher floor.

There are stories of ghostly parties still happening in the hotel’s ballroom with see-thru dancers on the dance floor. Other reports include the phantom sounds of parties coming from empty rooms including glasses clinking and the stomping feet of party goers.