Boston, now both Australian and US borders are open, is an immediate magnet on the educational and medical fronts, but the city has perennial allure for so many others (think seafood and tea, museums and galleries, the Charles River and rowing, and Boston Common and history).
Running immediately to the west of Boston Common is Newbury Street, which is the new name of the hotel on the north-east corner of the street, a stone’s throw from the Common. The 1927-vintage building was once upon a time known as Ritz-Carlton and then Taj. What has been achieved now, by current ownership, mostly Iconiq Capital, and by Highgate management, is spectacular. As the brand proliferates, as both investors and managers want, other luxury groups must look out.
Frankly this is already Best in Boston. Big praise goes to the hands-on boss, Carlos Bueno, a live-wire impresario who listens, and takes note, minutely. He is backed up by the property’s location. As well as Boston Common to your immediate east, a few minutes’ walk north takes you to Charles River – watch Harvard and other eights on their daily rows – and, to your west, Boston Public Library, with Boyston’s side-by-side boutiques enroute.
Both Tiffany and Zegna in fact have significant stores actually in the hotel, with entrances and window displays facing both Newbury Street and the sparkling black marble lobby. Also in the lobby is the 1927-vintage mail drop, next to the fully modernised elevators. The ground floor, and first floor with two imposing ballrooms with twig-design carpeting mirroring outside nature, are designed by Jeffrey Beers. Stunning modern art complements decades-old Murano chandeliers.
Alexandra Champalimaud has designed the 286 bedrooms, 42 of which have real fires. Choose your preferred wood and the fire concierge will do the necessary. I think I would choose the 138 sq m one-bedroom #731, an airy palest-pastel palette looking directly into treetops.
Do not miss the quirky Ken Fulk elevator which takes you from Newbury Street to the 17th floor rooftop – this designer has totally transformed what was previously a back-of-house alleyway and a service elevator into a magical theatrical journey. Similarly, whereas the rooftop used to have a flimsy summer-only facility, now there is a year-round conservatory restaurant Contessa, run by respected foodies at Major Food Group. Book ahead. Tables are packed out, Pizzas on silver stands or Puglia burrata for Boston beauties or Berkshires gourmets. Alternatively order a peaceful bite down in the ground-floor bar or adjacent art-and-book-lined Library – another real fire, another of the Newbury’s non-stop Mayflower memories.
Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.
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