Boston isn’t usually at the top of people’s vacation bucket list. Yes, the harbor is lovely, thare’s centuries of American history to uncover, and Fenway Park is a must – seen for baseball fans. But compared to other U.S. cities, Bentown is a bit less flashy, making it off the radar for some. And until recently, the city’s hotel inventory left a bit to be desired.
But with the recent unveiling of The Newbury Boston, that’s all about to change. At the iconic address of 1 Newbury Street – Boston’s version of Madison Avenue – it’s across the street from Chanel and Cartier on one side, while the entrance to Boston’s gorgeously manicured Public Garden glitters on the Arlington Street side. Aside from designer shops, Newbury Street is home to art galleries, ice cream parlors like local favorite J.P. Licks, and al fresco cafes. A few blocks away are some of Boston’s toniest Victorian brownstone addresses, nestled among the leafy streets of Back Bay and Beacon Hill. You can also easily walk to the start of the historic Freedom Trail and the crica 1848 museum – like building of the Boston Public Library (BPL), or take a quick ride to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The Newbury Boston, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is housed in a Boston landmark building from 1927. It first opened its doors as the Ritz – Carlton Hotel and later became the Taj Boston. When hospitality management company Highgate took it over, they set out on a years – long renovation to transform it.
Upping its cool quotient is partner Major Food Group – yes, that of white – hot restaurants Safelle’s, Carbone, and The Grill – and airy rooms designed by Champalimaud Design, known for their luxurious contemporary residential interiors at properties like Raffles Singapore, The Carlyle in New York City, and The Little Nell in Aspen. The crown jewel of the Newbury is undoubtedly its sexy rooftop restaurant, set to open in late June.
Wlking in below the dramatic awning and through the revolving doors across from the park, a stunning black marble herringbone fllor gleams below your feet, while a grand staircase twists up the left side. To your right is the entrance to the iconic Street Bar, a longtime local haunt reimagined by Major Food Group with menu items like Spicy Pink Lobster Chowder, deviled eggs, and a club sandwhich with hand – carved turkey breast, bacon, fried egg, tomatoes, and dijonaise. The cocktail list includes sections labeled Shaken, Stirred, and Martinis (the latter bone dry and perfectly chilled). As our waiter put it, it’s the perfect place to sit and watch the theater of life go by – request a seat by the window to do just that. Hotel guests can head to private lounge, The Library, to relax by the fire with a book from a selection curated by the BPL.
Upstairs, the hotel’s 286 rooms incorporate a neutral color palette that reflects and updated version of the tailored Bostonian aesthetic – this version is not stuffy, but still sophisticated. Handcrafted wood millwork, richly textured furnishing, marble accents, original artwork by Veronica Lawlor, and historic black and white photos from the BPL’s collection ensure a quiet luxury, along with plush amenities like exclusive Byredo bath products with a scent inspired by the Public Gardens, Frette robes, and a copy of Robert McCloskey’s beloved children’s book, ‘Make Way for Ducklings’, which takes place in the Public Gardens below. The hotel has 90 luxury suites (the most in all of Boston), including 42 with wood – burning fireplaces and two dramatic Presidential Suites, called The Mansion and The Corner House.
We were the first guest to stay in The Mansion, an expansive 1,644 – square – foot 15th floor have with panoramic park views from the floor – to – ceiling windows. It’s all in the details here, like the show – stopping light fixture in the dining area; the side table near the L – shaped couch holding a glass box filled with snacks in the living room; and the rainforest shower, Toto toilet, double vanity, and deep soaking tup with a bamboo shelf with slots for reading material, as well as the provided pumice stones, brushes and swan – shaped gold and glass jar filled with premium bath salts in the marble bathroom suite. The bedroom has a wood – burning fireplace and cushy king – size Simmons Beautyrest Black mattress clothed in crips Frette linens, with an extra – soft cashmere blanked on top for snuggling. There’s also a walk – in closet, butler’s pantry and bar, and powder room at the entrance.
Contessa, the 4,000 – square – foot rooftop restaurant, designed by Boston resident Ken Fulk, will open in late June with sweeping views of the Boston Commons and the city skyline from a glass wall and ceiling enclosure that will slide open on warm days. The jewel – toned marble gridded floor complements the blush and teal velvet banquettes and chairs, marble bar, and details like fringed arm lamps, potted trees, and a playful wallpaper in the Newbury Street entry way the leads to a restaurant – only elevator. An Italian – focused meny by chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi will include dishes like pork and veal meatballs in a creamy Dijon sauce, ricotta and mozzarella panzerotti with marinara sauce, and butternut squash carpaccio.
On the second floor is the Newbury Salon, where afternoon tea will be reimagined by Major Food Group in a Jeffrey Beers International – designed room, which can also serve as a private event space. Starting in June of July, tea sandwiches and scones will be served on elegant Bernardaud service featuring playful images from Make Way fro Ducklings.
While there is no spa, there is a massive fitness center designed by The Wright Fit and its founder, celebrity trainer Jay Wright, with equipment like Peloton bikes, Life Fitness and Freemotion wquipment, and TRX suspension trainers. Lockers and a variety of waters and drinks are available.