It’s easy to overlook cold weather cities in the winter—what good’s the chill if not for snow sports? But when the weather cools, Boston actually gets more romantic (think: snowy strolls followed by fireside cocktails). In view of the historic Public Garden, which hosts winter ice skating on its Frog Pond, The Newbury Boston, a landmark property that opened in the 1920s as one of the country’s first-ever Ritz Carlton hotels and was recently reimagined by a design team that included Alexandra Champalimaud, Jeffrey Beers, and Ken Fulk, now represents the best of Boston past and present. And it’s extra-special in the winter, when the hotel’s 42 fireplace suites encourage just as much in-room exploration as out.
DuJour spoke with Carlos Bueno, the hotel’s managing director, to learn more.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
What makes it so special?
At nearly 2,000 square feet, the Mansion is The Newbury Boston’s largest suite, and it’s truly one of a kind. The dramatic space features a dining room for six, an expansive living room overlooking The Public Garden, a butler’s pantry, a five-fixture primary bathroom featuring a soaking tub and double sinks, a powder room, and ample closet space. But perhaps the most special feature is the wood-burning fireplace in the bedroom, which is perfect for fall and winter months and a cozy complement to the king bed with plush linens and comfortable seating area. The residential feel of the space is enhanced by a soothing and sophisticated color palate. And, the Mansion connects seamlessly to another one-bedroom suite, also with a wood-burning fireplace.
What’s the nightly rate?
Nightly rates in The Mansion start at $12,000.
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
The Newbury Boston opened in 1927 as one of the first Ritz Carlton hotels in the United States and since that time has been a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike. The hotel has long been a favorite of celebrities, dignitaries, and business leaders. From gala events and fundraisers to unforgettable wedding celebrations, the hotel is one of the city’s most popular event venues. In addition to its physical prominence overlooking The Public Garden, the recent lobby-to-roof reimagining of the building has solidified its icon status in the community. Historic spaces like The Street Bar are complemented by new spaces like Contessa, the hotel’s dramatic rooftop restaurant and once of the most sought-after dining destinations in the city.
What’s your personal favorite room and why?
In the public space, my favorite room is The Library. From the contemporary art collection to the books curated by the Boston Public Library and Trident Booksellers, it’s the perfect location for guests to relax with a coffee or cocktail between exploring the city. It’s difficult to pick my favorite guestroom and while The Mansion is certainly among the top, one of my personal favorites is our second Presidential Suite, The Corner House. What sets the Corner House apart is its small library and office space, which is a wonderful place to work and relax. And, with its location on the 7th floor, you are that much closer to The Public Garden and almost feel as though you are staying in the trees.
What special perk do you offer that most guests don’t know about?
There are a couple special touches that we offer our guests, including private tours of The Public Garden hosted by the docents at The Friends of the Public Garden. Each tour fee benefits The Friends of the Public Garden and their mission to preserve, maintain, and beautify The Public Garden, Boston Common, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. In the spring and summer seasons we also offer our guests complimentary Swan Boat tickets. And, finally for those interested in our art collection, we offer an art tour on our website, narrated by co-curator Mike Carroll.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
The designers who worked on the transformation of the property took great care to incorporate the historic elements of the hotel while adding a layer of modernity to the amazing bones of this building. The chandeliers are a good example of this. Our historic blue glass chandeliers have been restored and returned to their place in the Garden Room. They sit alongside a contemporary Scandinavian-designed chandelier hanging over the Grand Staircase and a dramatic, handmade porcelain and gold chandelier in the lobby that was designed to emulate the leaves of a Ginkgo tree, a species representing good fortune that is also found throughout The Public Garden. In addition, the art collection, which features photography, mixed media, sculpture, oil paintings, and more adds a contemporary and sophisticated touch to the property.
What are your favorite things about the property?
In summer, the hotel’s proximity to Boston’s wide variety of greenspace makes it really special. From strolls through Beacon Hill to runs along the Charles River, it’s great to get outside. And, there is something wonderful about dining in Contessa with all of the windows open to the fresh air and dramatic city views.
Winter is cozy season in Boston and there is nothing better than relaxing in one of our fireplace suites and having our fireplace butlers lay the perfect fire. We offer a selection of wood varietals from fragrant maple to long burning cherry to set the perfect ambience. And, the fireplace is complemented by an exclusive fireplace menu of bites and cocktails.
And your favorite things about Boston?
There is really so much to enjoy in every season in Boston. The enthusiasm around sports and Boston’s teams adds a wonderful energy to the city. In the summer, whether or not you are Red Sox fan, there is something special about a visit to Fenway Park. The same is true for a visit to The Garden in winter to see The Celtics or the Bruins play. Boston’s green spaces are also some of my favorite elements of the city in both summer and winter. From summertime Swan Boat rides in the Public Garden or Shakespeare on the Common to ice skating on the Frog Pond, Boston’s parks are accessible and activated year-round.