Providence, Rhode Island, is a little city in America’s littlest state, overshadowed by New York and Boston. Yet it’s always had a robust creative community, home as it is to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. And now it’s got a boutique hotel to rival its big sister cities. The Dean, in a century-old building that once housed a brothel, was named with a nod to nearby Brown University, and the look is equally smart. Brooklyn-based practice ASH NYC restored the building and furnished the 52 rooms with a mix of all-American antiques and austere contemporary pieces. The lobby - with a coffee house called Bolt - has original tile floors and the restaurant, Faust’s Hofbrauhaus Biergarten, is in a street-level space once occupied by a gentlemen’s club.