Luxury Hotels

BOSTON – 2

Other firsts at The Langham Boston include restaurant Grana, the former bank’s banking hall, up 25 blues-carpetted stairs from ground level. The space used to be a bit overpowering until designers Richmond took it in hand. Breakfasting at white marble tables under five high-set gigantic crystal chandeliers is truly memorable (no buffets here but servers are flexible when it comes to the à la carte menu, but who would want, anyway, to adulterate a Tafelstern bowl of strawberry-topped yoghurt parfait that comes with chocolate muesli?) There’s a handy supply of today’s Wall Street Journal.

Also on the first floor is the one-time office of the President of the Federal Reserve Bank, a most impressive room with a decorated concave ceiling. There are mammoth oversized oils here, one of George Washington, another showing Alexander Hamilton. Hotel GM Michele Grosso effected the introduction, below, and then showed off various historic photos, including one of the artist, N.C. Wyeth 1852-1945, at work- above. The father of Andrew Wyeth and grandfather of Jamie Wyeth, N.C. created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books, including the Scribners Classics series.

Art flows throughout the hotel. Leading off the main lobby is an art walk, with modern works supplied by the Copley Society of Art. Upper floor elevator lobbies have simplistic modern-Chinese caricatures, obviously from the collection of Great Eagle, owner of the hotel.  Get on one of the two Pelotons in the fourth floor’s 24/7 fitness centre and look down into the indoor pool, with a three-metre pink peony on the wall at the far end.

Room 912 has art displayed with supreme control. Either side of the bedhead are montages of small items associated with the area. There’s a blue-sea oil with sailing boats, there’s a framed bank note.

The Langham Boston, on Franklin Street, is almost hemmed in by financials, although there is a nice little green park a few metres to the hotel’s west, at Washington. The financiers who use this as their week-night lodging get what they need, excellent communications and soundproofing and the current Business Week if they cannot sleep. Come the weekends, it is a completely different story. Now the hotel is host to history buffs, families who have been inspired by Hamilton and their own genealogy. This is a hotel with many faces, all agreeably comfy.