Luxury Hotels

Boston has a colourful, fun new luxury hotel

Brian Gullbrants – in front of Popeye

The gal had not realised that Wynn’s Encore Boston Harbor, which opened this June, is so close to the centre of the city – it is also only 15 minutes’ drive from the airport. What a sensational structure this is – the entire $2.8-billion investment fortunately included some serious spend on significant art. See David Harber’s four-foot high polished Torus sculpture, above.  It sits outside the resort’s main entrance. Brian Gullbrants, President of the whole operation who has been onsite for three years, explained how Wynn had no trouble winning over local support for the 35-acre development.

A gaming row

In usual Wynn style, everything is COLOURFUL.  The front lobby is dominated by a full-size circus carousel, its bobbing-up-and-down horses covered entirely in white flowers. Around are bursts of colour, from patterns set into white tiled flooring to Gauguin-type carpets. Look into the two floors of gaming spaces that make this entire thing viable and, again, it is colour everywhere. For relief, head up to any of the 671 rooms, which are refreshingly champagne-coloured, with sumptuous Hollywood-style bathrooms and some pretty impressive paintings – see a video of my suite, below.  Wynn’s own designer Roger Thomas, by the way, sadly retires end of this year so this gorgeous place is his swansong.

The buffet restaurant

There is a big choice of dining venues, from a multi-hued buffet place to Asian by Boston culinary legends and a soothing pale green arbour-like conservatory.  We dined in Sinatra’s, a blaze of scarlets, highlighted by massive red Murano chandeliers.  Ol’ Blue Eyes belted out, but not too loudly.  Guillbrants, a master of anticipating sensorial reactions, makes sure sounds and lighting are just right.  Our table, covered in a floor-length scarlet cloth, was set with Christofle cutlery and Riedel glasses.  I could have had a Sinatra’s Smash, Genttleman Jack with crème de cassis, blackberries, lemon, lime and vanilla, but I settled on a glass of winemaker Gina Hennen’s Elizabeth’s Reserve 2014.

Style, everywhere

Everything is the best at this luxury resort.  After fried cauliflower with golden raisins, pine nuts and vegan saffron, I went on to a Creekstone Farms’ dry-aged New York strip, served in a metal pan, with an accompanying Guy Degrenne steak knife.  And they care about wellness, with a stylish spa and first-class fitness, where all the joggers are Woodway. Garden lovers will adore this place – stroll among what must br a thousand or so mature trees. Look across Boston Harbor and the Mystic River to Boston itself, gaze at a trio of 20-ft tall two-dimensional female head silhouettes by Catalan Jaume Plensa. If you want more art, go back inside, to the floral display that surrounds the carousel. Behind it is a six-foot haphazardly painted ceramic vase, Amphora IV, by Viola Frey; walk a further 30 yards to my favourite of all, Jeff Koons’ metallic balloons sculpture, Popeye, which was formerly at Wynn Las Vegas. SEE THE COLOURFUL LOBBY, AND THEN SUITE 2302