Genre-bending design firm Rockwell Group is known for pushing the discipline into the future, leaving its stamp everywhere from New York’s forthcoming Shed at Hudson Yards to Tony-winning Broadway sets. Yet when it came to one relatively straightforward project – a hotel remodel for Ritz-Carlton, Boston – the company looked to the city’s past for inspiration.
With Rockwell’s $13 million renovation across 193 rooms completed in October, The Ritz-Carlton, Boston stands as a crown jewel in the iconic Ritz-Carlton portfolio. After all, the hotel’s original location on Newbury Street was the hospitality company’s maiden property. The latest iteration honors the historic legacy of the property and the surrounding city, with nods to Boston literati; interior accents include a custom wall covering depicting Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.”
The hotel’s most requested rooms – dubbed the Parkview Luxury Suites – pay homage to early turn-of-the-century arts patron and philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardener, the namesake for Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (and the $500 million theft it endured in 1990 – the largest art heist in history). And while the case of the Gardner art theft remains open (the museum pledges $10 million to whomever solves it) these rooms offer a safe-haven for art historians and hospitality buffs alike.
Herein, general manager William Bunce illustrates what makes the room a work of art.
What’s the most requested room(s)?
Our Parkview Luxury Suites, which were redesigned by Rockwell Group in the spirit of Isabella Stewart Gardner founder of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum here in Boston. The design team at Rockwell Group says her passion for the arts and her extensive worldly travels helped drive a more personalized and residential design feel for these suites.
What makes it so special?
Numerous accent pieces, such as pillow shams adorned with Indian elephants and a custom mirror in the suite that’s inspired by one of Gardner’s dress patterns, seem as if they have been brought back from her travels specifically for these guestrooms.
But inevitably it’s the size of the suite that sets it apart. It’s oversized and much larger than most suites in the city of Boston. And the views, extending over Boston Common (America’s oldest public park), Beacon Hill, the Charles River, and into Cambridge are nothing short of spectacular. They can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows, or through an in-suite telescope.
The suite also offers access to the hotel’s exclusive Club Lounge, a ‘hotel within a hotel,’ where a dedicated concierge attends to individual needs in a well-appointed, relaxed lounge environment.
What is the rate?
Rates for Luxury Parkview Suites begin at $795.00 per suite, per night. Rates are subject to change seasonally.
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company actually originated in Boston 90 years ago with the Ritz-Carlton, Boston. The standards of service, dining and facilities of the original Boston landmark continue to serve as a benchmark for all Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts worldwide. The original Ritz-Carlton, Boston revolutionized hospitality in America by creating luxury in a hotel setting that offered a private bath in each guest room, flowers throughout the public areas, and gourmet cuisine utilizing the genius and cooking methods of Auguste Escoffier. Although no longer in its original Newbury Street location, the Ritz-Carlton, Boston remains in operation and continues to embody the vision and passion set forth by Cesar Ritz.
What’s your personal favorite room? Why? Absolutely the Luxury Parkview Suites . It’s a personal favorite since I take great pride in hearing all of the “wows” guests excitedly share when they walk into the suite and experience the views for the first time. That wow factor, and the lasting impression the suite makes, never gets old.
Have you had any celebrity guests? While it would be inappropriate to comment about our celebrity guests, we can share that we’ve had Academy, Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony award winners stay with us, along with Heads of State, Royal family members and former First Ladies.
How about one more fun fact about the property? Our hotel fitness center, (we’re connected to the Equinox Sports Club), is larger than the average size of a Home Depot in the United States. Equinox Sports Club is approximately 114,000 square feet.
Photo credit: Eric Laignel