Luxury Hotels

A quick stop in Boston to see its harbour-side luxury hotel

Behind the hotel

Boston Harbor Hotel is the result of an extremely astute developer, Norman Leventhal.  He realised in the 1980s that putting a hotel into an office block right by the water – at Boston Harbor, naturally – would be win-win for all. The 232-room Boston Harbor Hotel, part of Preferred, opened in 1987 and it is now, after all these years, being brought even more up to date.  Its front is right on Atlantic Avenue. Walk through its two floor-high arch to the rear promenade, and there are boats, and a permanent cupola that is one of the site’s several popular wedding venues, says the ga

Bathroom ceiling, Presidential Suite

Stephen Johnston, the Dublin-born GM of this hotel, frequently has three or four weddings going on simultaneously – he entices brides not only with pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes, #IdoinChoo, but by a choice of venues. He can accommodate 250 guests in the hotel’s Wharf Room, 170 people in the Atlantic Room, and a hundred in the Pavilion. Add to these alternatives the cupola and a flotilla of private yachts (Boston Harbor Hotel regularly services and caters private yachts, and does their laundry).  Soon, too, there will be another wedding, or any-event, venue.  After seven years’ planning, the hotel, now managed by Pyramid Hotel Group, shortly unveils a two-bedroom, 3,500 sq ft Presidential Suite – another two bedrooms can be added to make it even larger.

Presidential Suite terrace

This suite is a bold and stunningly successful venture. Right inside a top cupola, the ninth floor suite has been created out of events space. Look up, through a bathroom ceiling window, into the cupola – from outside, as shown in the photo above, you see both cupola and a hint of the Pres.  Another interesting feature is that the former solid stone wall around the suite’s 900 sq ft balcony has been dramatically cut, in crenellated style, to allow suite guests to have a view.  Renderings from designer Rosie Feinberg of SFA Smith Firestone Associates give a hint of the elegance, of the overall silver-grey hue. Even hard back books, say on Dior, add to the colour scheme.

Luxe Tiffany, left, and J.B. Dowd

The hotel has always been independent, but Preferred membership helps, and its ten-year affiliation with Forbes, as five-star, is a great motivator for the 500-strong team as well as attracting new business – this is one of those chameleon hotels, that changes completely at 3 p.m. every Friday, from Amazon and GE executives through to a drive market come for a weekend of shopping and shows. Although the hotel’s main lobby is also currently being re-done, fortunately nothing is planned for Sea Grill. Nearly five years ago I lunched here with my dear friends J.B. and Tiffany Dowd and here we were again. Tiffany Dowd, the social media guru known globally as Luxe Tiffany, travels as much as I do – she flew in yesterday from Shanghai, after a quick trip to see Swire’s just-opened luxury Middle House hotel. We both agreed that in lives that are so constantly full of change and variety it was essential to instil some consistency, so with a smile, or rather two, we both went for exactly the dish we had eaten then, simply grilled salmon. Yes, Boston Harbor is a very clever hotel, adding innovation while at the same time retaining tried-and-tested dishes on its Sea Grill menu.