Boutique Beatrice hotel in downtown Providence offers books as amenity

PROVIDENCE — The Beatrice hotel, at the corner of Westminster and Exchange streets, is designed to reflect the elegance and love of the arts of its namesake, philanthropist, Rhode Island Monthly editor and community leader Beatrice Temkin, the beloved matriarch of the Paolino family, who died in 2016.

Her children and grandchildren are committed to honoring her legacy through every detail of the hotel, including one unique feature, Bea’s Book of the Month, an amenity for guests inspired by Temkin’s lifelong passion for books.

“My grandmother, Beatrice Temkin, was an avid reader and was known for finishing a novel in one sitting,” said Paolino Properties’ Jennifer Romano. “Inspired by her passion, we created ‘Bea’s Books’ as a nod to Beatrice, while creating a fun way for guests to engage and become a part of our story themselves.”

So far, she says, the feedback has been “heartwarming.”

“Seeing it come to life and continue my grandmother’s passion for books among fellow book lovers near and far has inspired us to continue creative programming that engages our community at home and across the country,” Romano said. “From guests requesting their favorite books while visiting, to travelers commenting on our social media channels, we’ve been inundated with a positive response and look forward to continuing the program for months to come.”

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Romano said that book selections are made in partnership with Symposium Books, a small local shop nearby on Westminster Street that’s an easy place for hotel guests to visit.

The exterior of The Beatrice hotel, at 90 Westminster St. in Providence.

Guests can add the month’s book selection as an amenity when making their reservation, and it comes with a gift bag that includes a water bottle and a bookmark in the shape of Temkin’s signature B.

“We try to select books with broad appeal and make selections that my grandmother would have enjoyed,” Romano said. “We’ve also consulted with my cousin Mari Bianco on occasion. She’s got great insight into everything, from what’s popular, to classics we shouldn’t miss.”

A bookmark that features a B in Bea Temkin's distinctive script is part of the goodie bag for guests at The Beatrice who sign up for the monthly book selection.

Romano said the hotel hopes to make the reading program more interactive in the future.

“We may host a monthly series or one-off events to allow the community to engage in person, but nothing is set in stone yet,” she said, adding that those interested should follow the hotel’s Instagram account (@thebeatricehotel) to keep tabs on future events.

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